One of the things I've brought up a few times is the problems with the current advertising models - and I mean all of them. TV ads? Defeated by the bathroom and DVRs - not to mention the dreaded remote control. It's my belief that the entire TV advertising model is built on air, and everyone involved has agreed not to question it. All it's going to take is one kid to come along and ask about the emperor's lack of clothes, and *poof* - up in smoke it'll go.
Then there's the online model, which doesn't even have age to recommend it. Today, Mark Cuban brings up something I've mentioned a few times - the click fraud thing is far bigger than anyone is willing to comtemplate. The money is too good, and the chance of being punished too small - it's the perfect storm for massive fraud:
The number of splog/fake websites being created EVERY HOUR is exploding. Based on the comments Im getting on my blog from what must be legions of boiler rooms creating marginally understandable comments , with links back to “affiliate websites” and legit email addresses in an effort to legitimize those sites. There must be just as many more in place to sign up those sites for ad publishing networks.
Now i have no idea how much money is being lost to click fraud. All i know is that when the black hat hackers see easy money, they take it. I also know that they are greedy and a jealous bunch. The more they see the more they take, so you can pretty well bet that the amount of click fraud is going up by the minute.
Heck, there are dirt cheap products that enable this - you don't even need to be a hacker. Even more than the TV model, this whole thing is a house of cards, but without any actual supports. Eventually, a reality check will stumble by, and the advertisers - the ones paying the money - will start to question the value. At that point, Google and Yahoo are going to be dealing with sucking chest wounds, and Microsoft - a company that has actual products - will be laughing all the way to the bank. Again.