Let's get it off the table right now. I am not a fan of pay per click engines (PPC).
No it isn't because I do search engine optimization. I also manage PPC ads.
But I believe that as the PPC model gets more popular, the organic results are getting sloppier.
You see, I understand economics in a street wise way. If you get money in your business for doing one thing really good. And zilch, for something you do really good. Why would you keep doing the non-profitable thing really good anymore?
For those in the back of the class, that means the profit motive sits squarely in the Pay Per Click model.
No brainer so far right?
However, what makes this whole thing pretty to the Corporate Suits that are about to put money into Google's IPO, is the assumption that bidding on the PPC system is on the up and up. Good ole Capitalism at its best, right? Let's not forget that Capitalism has a dark side. Because it seems that the fraud prevention of the Pay Per Click engines are not sufficient.
In a recent Post at Reve News, it is reported that major PPC player, John Carreras went off to an industry Trade Show where most of his competitors would be. John had always been a bit suspicious about his competitors clicking his PPC ads. Upon his return he found that his clicks were off by half. The missing clickers were too busy at the Trade Show to be frauduently clicking John's links.
Another problem with PPC isIndia's Secret Army of Online Ad 'Clickers'. These guys are paid to click their employer's competitors ads!
There is even hacker software that apparantly makes it impossible for the engines to trace. It even changes it's ip adress as it comes from hundreds of places around the globe clicking on your ad.
This problem was made apparent to me when I got solicited by a Law Firm to go back and audit my PPC accounts to see if I had been taken.
It will be interesting to see if these realities ever turn into doubts on the whole search portal model that looks to make Google's, the IPO of the year.