For each search query, search engines identify the most relevant web pages (links) and then rank them, before displaying the search result page for a particular keyword.
This keyword and page matching/ranking technology is subject to a sophisticated type of keyword relevancy fraud. It impacts organic search as well as paid search. Here's how it works:
- An advertiser selling data mining software buys a domain name such as bluedatamining.com
- With a botnet, the advertiser creates a large volume of impressions on Google search for keywords such as "data mining bluedatamining", "web analytics bluedatamining", "data analysis bluedatamining"
- The advertiser creates clicks too, with a slightly higher CTR for bluedatamining.com than for competitors; bluedatamining.com should show up in the top on the search result page for keywords that include the term bluedatamining
- After a while, Google algorithm will believe that bluedatamining is a term that is very relevant/associated to "data mining", "web analytics", "data analysis"
- Eventually, the domain bluedatamining.com will show up first for top keywords such as "data mining", "web analytics", etc.
The trick here consists of creating artificial relationships between a low and large volume keywords, in order to eventually appear in the top results for popular keywords.
Question: how can this type of fraud be detected?