Yahoo Staffs Up in Click Fraud Prevention

Yahoo has taken steps to bolster its click fraud detection and prevention efforts today, with an executive-level appointment focusing on marketplace quality.

Reggie Davis, who has served as an attorney for Yahoo for the past seven years, has been named the company’s new VP of marketplace quality. His most recent role was as associate general counsel managing litigation, including Yahoo’s click fraud litigation. Davis is based in Burbank, Calif., and will operate within the marketing products division of Yahoo’s recently-formed Advertiser & Publisher Group, led by Susan Decker.

“This is an opportunity for me to get into an area where we’ve shown leadership in the past, and expect to continue to show leadership in going forward,” Davis said. “I’m especially excited by the commitment of resources. Previously, I’ve seen a disconnect between how hard the company is working on these issues and outsiders’ perception. Now we can help remedy that.”

Davis will be given resources to hire a dedicated staff to focus on marketplace quality efforts across several product and click protection teams, which are currently operating independently. His team will focus on click fraud, traffic quality, network placement and other marketplace quality issues, including working closely with advertisers and publishers on quality-related matters.

Davis will have operational, reporting, and communications functions within his role, as well as strategic and tactical ones. He will begin by driving the consolidation of several existing quality efforts at Yahoo, and creating new teams to address network quality issues.

Davis stressed the importance of addressing advertiser concerns about click fraud, which Yahoo has done in the past and will continue to do. He said the improved geo-targeting controls in the new Panama platform, which help advertisers block traffic from countries where they believe invalid clicks are originating, were one of the top requests from advertisers.

The next two most frequent requests were for discounted pricing of certain types of traffic and domain-blocking capabilities, both of which are in the works and expected to be released to advertisers in coming months. Quality-based pricing will aim to price traffic in a manner that is consistent with the quality it delivers to advertisers, so traffic will be priced at different tiers. Domain-level blocking will allow advertisers to identify individual domains from which they do not wish to receive traffic.

Davis said that Yahoo is planning on continuing down the path it has undertaken. “We’re focused on the concerns of our advertisers. We’re really committed to providing visibility, control, and transparency on behalf of our advertisers. We want to put them in a position to ensure they’ll be getting quality traffic,” he said.

A more detailed report on Davis’ plans, along with some click fraud-related statistics he shared with ClickZ Network site Search Engine Watch, can be found in today’s SearchDay, “Yahoo Steps Up Click Fraud Efforts.”

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