Thursday, January 29, 2009

Google Tools Against ISP Abuse; Fake Traffic Hits Advertisers

Some internet service providers make unpublicized decisions about what applications you can and can't run on your connection.

Google, siding with broadband customers, is releasing tools to monitor your ISP. There is a short, concise article on Techcrunch today.

In fairness, I don't know why ISPs decide to ban certain applications, or make them sluggish. If it's a cost issue, then the costs should be spread fairly among households and institutional users. You would think this would be obvious by now, but try explaining that to all the people in rural areas who don't have broadband because the ISPs won't hook them up.

Spyware Being Used to Fake Traffic

Spyware used for generating phony traffic to your site is spreading.

We've all seen ads for dodgy firms selling scripts for generating fake traffic to a website. The common story is they work great until Google has enough data to erase you from their databases, or someone outs you.

Now that spyware, surreptitiously inserted into your computer when you visit a sucker web site, is being used, antivirus providers are rushing to provide remedies. Some articles are urging people to avoid using Internet Explorer.

Bloodhound programs that identify odd traffic patterns and networks of compromised sites may help, but they are often used privately, due to the risk of having to defend a lawsuit, even when the data is clear. Now there is advanced discussion of turning all these sleuths into white hat reporters, via an information posting site that would use the latest technology to verify incoming reports. Such a site would probably vault up the ranks fairly quickly, in my estimation.

It's playing with fire to game traffic stats. Here's why: the first thing to die when a site isn't reliable is advertising. When advertising gets hurt, Google gets hurt. Ad hosts committing fraud on the internet are making a big enemy.

I think getting shut down is probably preferable to being to getting ensnared in litigation. Personally, I think the best thing is for traffic fakers to keep right on going, business as usual. Filling Google's databanks with information.

I would like to express my thanks for reporting assistance with this article.