Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bad Clicks and Good Trends

I was going to write a blog about click fraud… How to detect it? What to do about it? Honestly though, the support pages for the major search engines sum it up pretty well. They have auto-filters in place to watch for invalid clicks.

If you think the search engines missed something that is out-of-line – like you got 100 clicks in one day on a keyword that has only had 3 clicks over the past 4 months – contact support and report it. Here are some links to the support pages for the 3 major engines where you can read all about their click fraud protection and procedures:

Instead, I’d rather talk about my current web addiction,
Google Trends, particularly the Hot Trends section. While it’s not a social site in the strictest definition, what could be more socially relevant than a top 100 list of what everyone is searching for on Google, updated every hour? Breaking news, new product releases/announcements, celebrity hijinx, viral videos – it’s all there.

And it just keeps giving and giving. Google Trends has helped me get 2 free Nine Inch Nails CDs, a free Rita’s Water Ice, a free McSkillet Burrito, and a free Jamba Juice breakfast. All I had to do was review the results for the topics that everyone else was searching for. I missed out on IHOP’s Free Pancake Day, but it did warn me when Starbucks closed every location for training, and let me know that I could get a $1 latte at Dunkin Donuts instead. I’ve learned about National High Five Day and National No Pants Day.

What’s not to love? And isn’t that what the Internet is all about: Instant information at your fingertips? What you need to know, when you need to know it? Google Trends puts it all in one place.

Now if Apple would hurry up and release my
3G iPhone already, I could get the Hot Trends “to go.” Of course, when Steve Jobs officially announces the 3G iPhone, I can guarantee you it’ll shoot to #1 on Google Trends.

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