Ask Partners With Anchor Intelligence To Stop Fraudsters And Optimize Ad Serving

The downturn in the economy is apparently leading more than the usual number of ambitious click-fraudsters to try their luck. And that’s causing ad networks to think a lot more about click fraud and the overall health of their networks, says Anchor Intelligence CEO Ken Miller. We first wrote about the company in late 2007 when they unveiled their click fraud product.

The company has always been secretive about their partners – they work with both advertising networks and advertisers/agencies and are able to compare traffic across those networks to increase data relevancy, and most of the time these partners don’t want others to know about their specific security precautions. But Technorati, LookSmart, Adbrite, Vivaki (Publicis Groupe) are all announced, and today Ask is also announcing that they’ve started working with Anchor Intelligence.

The product has also evolved since 2007. They aren’t just looking for fraud/no fraud on clicks any more. In addition to tracking fraud, the company is also generally scoring the overall attractiveness of a given click. Traffic with a very high likelihood of conversion can be sent to one type of advertising (CPA-type stuff), and lower quality stuff can be sent to ads that pay per click. The fraudsters can look at display ads all day.

The company says they are also working on a “self serve” product that publishers can use on their own to gauge the advertising quality of their traffic. I’m looking forward to using this for TechCrunch when it launches.

The company says that by next calendar quarter they’ll be scoring over a billion clicks a month, so there are clearly some other large partners working with the company that haven’t been announced. They’ve raised $6 million in venture capital to date.