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Indian-origin researchers propose new method for preventing pay-per-click fraud

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New York: Indian-origin researchers have proposed a new method for detecting fraud from the pay-per-click model – a pricing model used for online advertising.

“If somebody likes something, they can click on the ad and go directly to the site. Hopefully, that translates to a sale. No matter whether it does or not, the advertiser pays for these clicks. In the pay-per-click model, if people or bots are clicking fraudulently, then the advertiser is losing money,” said Suresh Radhakrishnan, professor at the University of Texas in the US.

The researchers have proposed a way to support technological improvements to check fraud which, they said, is affecting the advertising industry as a whole.

The study considers identifying click fraud as a three-stage process: the service provider — for example, Google or Yahoo — classifies clicks as fraudulent or not.

Then, the advertiser does the same, using his technology. If there is a disagreement, the service provider examines further and its conclusion is considered binding.

The problem with the new approach is intuitive. For a service provider, if he gets paid, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a valid click or a fraudulent.

But the advertiser would want to verify whether the click is fraudulent or not. Even if the click is valid, the advertiser may say that it’s fraudulent because of the pay-per-click cost, the researchers explained.

To solve the problem, the researchers suggested that an independent third party investigate and flag fraudulent clicks when a conflict arises between the advertiser and the service provider.

“In the long term, for the pay-per-click model to survive, you will need to make sure both parties are happy, so technologies will have to get to a point where click fraud is minimized,” Varghese Jacob, vice dean of the Naveen Jindal School of Management.

“People will have to invest in such improvements. Otherwise the pay-per-click model may not be sustainable,” Jacob noted.

The findings appeared in the journal Information Systems Research. (IANS) (Photo: http://www.lifehack.org)

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Social Media Advertising in 2019: Staying Ahead of the Curve

Social media advertising is certainly set to boom in 2019.

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Social media marketing now represents a full-time job.

It is estimated that there are now more than four billion global Internet usersThe majority of these access social media pages on a regular basis; as high as 80 per cent in some areas of the world. Not only have websites including Facebook and Twitter been used to pass along casual messages, but they are even influencing other areas such as politics. It therefore makes perfect sense that businesses are looking to leverage the power associated with digital advertising campaigns. What does 2019 have in store and how can your organisation make the best use out of the tools that are currently available?

Modern Trends Signal a Bright Future 

There are several trends worth noting in 2019. Perhaps the most interesting is the rise in the number of mobile devices used to connect to social media pages. Thanks to the use of dedicated applications and 4G wireless connections, users are more likely to browse through their news feeds while out and about. Businesses will therefore be able to actively target potential customers within real-time scenarios. In the same respect, the public now has the ability to follow their favourite pages and to keep up to date with any offers that are placed. So, marketing professionals will need to keep abreast of any feedback so that on-the-fly changes can be made when required. 

Social Media Companies Accelerating To Remove Online Hate Speech
Social Media Companies Are Accelerating To Remove Online Hate Speech, VOA

While the number of social media users continues to grow, their needs are becoming more focused and narrow. No longer are visitors willing to endure generic advertisements and similar forms of spam. They are looking for specific products and services. Businesses which continue to adopt a watered-down approach are likely to fare poorly in the coming year. the age of personalised marketing and merchandising are now upon us. Businesses need to fully appreciate the needs of their audience if they hope to make a lasting impression.

Finally, the B2B and B2C competition associated with social media should become even more noticeable in the coming year. This is great news for the average customer, as he or she will have a greater range of products and services to choose from. However, marketing professionals must appreciate the fact that they will likely need to adjust their previous campaigns. Embracing a more proactive approach will help to guarantee brand loyalty and a steady income stream. Second-best strategies simply will not suffice. 

Social media. Offensive Speech
An iPhone with Twitter, Facebook and other apps, May 21, 2013. U.S. internet companies are taking a harder look at their policies that have promoted free expression around the world.VOA

Steps that Businesses Can Take 

Now that we have highlighted some of the main trends that are expected to make digital waves in 2019, are there any tools which businesses can employ in order to capitalise upon such upward momentum? Let’s look at a handful of key takeaway points and options to consider. 

The first step is to download the hands-on and authoritative Facebook advertising guide provided by Oberlo. Not only is the information extremely relevant, but it is explained in such a manner as to make it easy for novices to appreciate the steps that should be taken. Some of the topics which are covered include: 

  • Effective advertising strategies.
  • Their associated costs.
  • How to establish an effective campaign.
  • Getting to know your target audience.

In other words, this definitive guide represents a solid foundation from which a targeted publicity campaign can be created. 

Social Media
Digital marketing is also another popular profession among graduates. Wikimedia Commons

Another suggestion to keep in mind involves the liquidity of social media itself. In order to keep abreast of customer sentiment and feedback, marketing managers and similar stakeholders will need to take a proactive approach. Simply waiting for results to pan out is a sure-fire way to lose a potentially viable audience. Social media marketing now represents a full-time job and it could be wise to employ a specialist in order to better understand where the business may be headed. 

In the same respect, the use of third-party marketing and advertising software is set to increase during 2019. These user-friendly platforms have become highly intuitive and they can be customised to suit the needs of the online business in question. Such tools are also cost-effective options when compared to attempting similar feats with traditional in-house software packages. 

Facebook, data, social media
A Facebook start page is shown on a smartphone in Surfside, Florida. Aug. 21, 2018. The social media giant Facebook said late Wednesday Aug. 22, 2018, it has banned a quiz app for refusing to be audited and concerns that data on as many as 4 million users was misused, after it found user information was shared with researchers and companies. VOA

A final suggestion involves the ways in which an audience base should be analysed. As mentioned earlier, top-down and otherwise generic approaches serve little purpose. It is critical to appreciate specific trends and buying habits. Some of these metrics can often include: 

  • An age and gender breakdown.
  • Where the majority of the audience is located.
  • Which pages are receiving the highest number of hits.
  • The most successful marketing campaigns (as well as those which failed to hit their mark).

Social media advertising is certainly set to boom in 2019. As even more users are now entering into this massive digital landscape, we should fully expect this trend to continue well beyond the coming year.