Trick clicks are about to get standardized.
Two media industry associations announced yesterday that they are forming an industrywide group to standardize how click fraud is measured and reported.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau and the nonprofit Media Rating Council are forming the Click Measurement Working Group to create a set of Click Measurement Guidelines. The guidelines will define precisely what constitutes a "click" and decide the standard against which clicks -- fraudulent or otherwise -- are measured.
Member companies thus far include Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Ask.com and LookSmart. Of those search engines, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft represent 94.5 percent of all search traffic, according to Hitwise.
According to the IAB, the guidelines will help the media industry understand just how prevalent click fraud is. Third-party measurement services have argued that up to 30 percent of clicks on advertisements are click fraud. Google and Yahoo maintain that click fraud is negligible.
Google recently changed its AdWords product to give customers data on the number of spurious clicks their ads receive.