There’s no shortage of grandstanding coming out of North Carolina these days. Fayetteville-based web hosting company AIT, who took over the lead in a class action lawsuit against Google last month, has launched a new anti-click-fraud website to track fraudulent affiliate networks. With the usual dramatic rhetoric, CEO Clarence Briggs and company have named their site “IGeryon,” after a monster in Dante’s Inferno.
Geryon, the honest-faced symbol of Fraud in the classic literary work, guarded passage to the 8th level of Hell stinging the gullible with his scorpion-like tail. The allusion to a beast of fraud falls in nicely, thematically speaking, with Briggs’ self-described holy war. In November, the wrestler-turned-soldier-turned-web-hosting-CEO and raconteur wove tales of an internal battle between good and evil.
"It's easier to join it than it is to stand up and fight it,” he told WebProNews.
In conjunction with that battle, a lawsuit against pay-per-click search giant Google, and an anti-fraud software partnership, AIT has set up IGeryon.com
“This site will be a clearinghouse of information on shady affiliate networks, software that generates false clicks and impressions, and how-to advice so advertisers can avoid being ripped off,” said Briggs.
Since launching an offensive against Google, accusing the company of tolerating click fraud, AIT says several companies and individuals have contacted them to share their troubles with click fraud on PPC engines. The information they’ve provided have fueled the development of the new website.
“The site will be to fraud what the anti-spam portals are to spam,” said Sean McCoy, Senior VP for AIT.
“People will be able to file complaints and exchange information about click fraud. The portal will serve as a source of information for consumers, businesses, government agencies and other organizations.”
McCoy also said they will list search engines and other online advertisers who have demonstrated a trend of working to identify and eliminate fraud such as Overture, MSN and others.
Briggs has not commented specifically on the lawsuit against Google other than that AIT has lost up to a half-million dollars to click fraud. Most of AIT’s ire has been directed at affiliate networks like Linkz.com, where an AIT advertisement appears the company has not paid for.
“That is not a site AIT has paid to be on, but our ad is there anyway like so many other sites with automated clicks coming through,” said Briggs.
“This is the type of site a search engine or any other PPC broker either implicitly or explicitly supports; either way, it’s wrong.”
Briggs estimates there are millions of affiliate pages and parked domains set up with PPC advertising syndication for the sole purpose of collecting fraudulent clicks.