An economic model of click fraud in publisher networks

Kursad Asdemir, Ozden Yurtseven, Moin A. Yahya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Click fraud occurs when a Web user clicks on a sponsored link with the malicious intent of hurting a competitor or gaining undue monetary benefits. Advertisers and the media accuse search engines of not doing enough to curb this practice. This paper develops a game-theoretical model of click fraud in a publisher network that sheds light on the economic trade-offs search engines face. On the supply side, search engines try to create incentives for publishers to generate clicks honestly and to reward honest publishers who generate legitimate clicks. The negative strategic effect of undercounting invalid clicks deters the search engine from undercounting. Since better filtering is beneficial to search engines, publishers, and advertisers, search engines have an incentive to invest in filtering technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-90
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Journal of Electronic Commerce
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Click filtering
  • Click fraud
  • Contextual ad networks
  • Economic incentives
  • On-line advertising
  • Search engines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'An economic model of click fraud in publisher networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this