Thursday, July 13, 2006

AdSense arbitrage

You may have noticed little Google ads on this blog, placed through their AdSense program. A snippet of JavaScript on this page is executed by your browser, which then loads the appropriate text ads from a Google server. The ads are targeted by key word and the placement of the ads is sold in a key word auction to advertisers.

I put the ads up mainly out of curiosity -- as you know, I am fascinated by all things Google :-)

What I've learned recently is that certain key words are very valuable. If you are reading this blog and see ads related to, e.g., hedge funds, derivatives, FX trading, volatility, etc., you can send me a dollar just by clicking! Please click early and often -- you'll be transferring funds from rapacious luxocrats to a humble physics professor ;-)

Bruce Schneier has a nice article on click fraud (Google's greatest weakness at the moment) in Wired News. Note I am not encouraging click fraud -- my readers really are interested in stochastic volatility and Black-Scholes :-)

Google's $6 billion-a-year advertising business is at risk because it can't be sure that anyone is looking at its ads. The problem is called click fraud, and it comes in two basic flavors...

But the overarching problem is both hard to solve and important: How do you tell if there's an actual person sitting in front of a computer screen? How do you tell that the person is paying attention, hasn't automated his responses, and isn't being assisted by friends? Authentication systems are big business, whether based on something you know (passwords), something you have (tokens) or something you are (biometrics). But none of those systems can secure you against someone who walks away and lets another person sit down at the keyboard, or a computer that's infected with a Trojan.

10 comments:

STS said...

Are you a "humble physics prof" when pitching your latest start up concept on Sand Hill?

That said, if you keep posting the quality goods, I'm more than happy to click on some links ...

... do you ever look into topics like this one:

http://www.bu.edu/phpbin/news/releases/display.php?id=1159

Seems like Adaptive Resonance Theory has some bearing on the "Information Processing" between our ears.

Anonymous said...

If you start making lots of posts about mesothelioma and home mortgage refinancing I'm going to get suspiscious.

steve said...

STS: Thanks for the link; I will have a look if I have time. I get a lot of interesting stuff from readers -- too much to look at, sometimes! And yes, I am always in the role of humble physics prof -- "To thine own self be true" :-)

PS said...

"humble physics prof" he-he-he :)

PS said...

ooops...

1. Google sold its soul to the devil

2. Very good article on Google fraud click was in Bloomberg Markets magazine few months ago.
Basically its outsourced fraud :)
Google will never get them -- it's not quality, but quantity of cheap eyeballs and fingers.

A_random_physics_grad_student said...

Sorry to be a pooper, but from the adsense policies and terms (http://www.google.com/adsense/policies):

'For example, your site cannot contain phrases such as "click here," "support us," "visit these links," or other similar language that could apply to any ad, regardless of content. These activities are strictly prohibited in order to avoid potential inflation of advertiser costs.'

steve said...

Note, I only encourage clicking on the expensive adwords directly related to finance, not just any ad :-)

"Minimum effort, maximum effect" -- Jigoro Kano

Anonymous said...

Wow, you're breaking the biggest rule that Google Adsense has -- you're telling people to click on your ads. I should be banned for this, if someone reports you, you will be.

kati said...

Good alternative for Adsense is PeakClick. Want some reasons to join, here are just a few: Sign up is free, Extremely easy to set up and implement, Real time statistics, One of the highest pay out rates in the industry (70%), One of the top affiliate programs (earn commissions on 3 separate sales levels), Get paid every 15 days, High quality customer service and technical support.

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