This article about click fraud is sure to catch a lot of attention--probably due more to the fact that it's a PPC search engine guy writing the article. He does seem to have a unique perspective because of his experience and position in the indstry. He also accuses the other search engines of ripping people off while trying his best to make Blow Search look an angel. More than anything it's probably a stab at trying to get some publicity for his search engine by taking a controversial stance on the pay per click fraud issue.
However, Joe makes several good points in his article. I agree that something needs to be done about click fraud. The primary reason advertisers aren't making more noise about this is that the fraudsters are so good at creating these automated clicks that look like real clicks, it makes it hard for the PPC search engines to differentiate fake from real, and it makes it almost impossible for the average website owner to tell the difference.
I'm not convinced that there is a technological solution that will catch all incidences of click fraud. I think the solution to the problem lies in the search engines changing their business models to take away the incentive for click fraud. If the search engines were more discerning in who they allow to be partners, a lot fewer rip-off artists would be allowed, so the quality would improve.
I disagree with Joe's statement that Google isn't any better than anone else. I know they do have a lot of automated and manual processes in place to detect fraud. I'm sure they miss some, too, but I've seen a lot more credits given for fraudulent clicks by Google (even to small advertisers) than any other search engine--even without the advertiser having to contact them to complain.
Google is having a hard time keeping ahead of fraud, mainly because their adsense program lets anyone put Google links on their site, and there is just too much incentive for those guys to create a bot to rack up a bunch of fake clicks.
I doubt Google will get rid of their Adsense program anytime soon--they've got too many publishers who would freak out. But that very program that is driving a huge increase in their ad inventory will prove the most pressing problem related to click fraud. The funny thing is, Yahoo and MSN will probably be coming out with their own versions of Adsense soon, so they'll run into the same challenges. The real challenge for the search engines will come when advertisers quit spending money, not necessarily because they detect fraud, but because their ROI will be so terrible that it won't make sense to advertise anymore. Then we'll probably see the whole search engine biz cycle back to focusing on traffic to their own portal and maybe eliminate the partner programs all together.
It will be interesting to watch how the search engines cope with click fraud, but I'm not sure they'll ever be able to reduce click fraud unless they eliminate the financial incentive of those who are perpetrating the fraud.