JOHN Carreras was once a contented Google advertiser. He used text advertisements that appeared alongside searches to bring people to his trade exhibition website. He happily paid Google a few cents for every referral, believing that anyone who clicked through to his site from Google was a likely customer. But then he attended a conference in Las Vegas, and he noticed something strange: the number of Google referrals he was getting dropped dramatically, only to rise again once the conference was over.
Carreras became convinced the "missing clicks" weren't from customers but from his competitors, who had been in Vegas with him. He believed his unscrupulous rivals whiled away their office hours clicking on his Google ads, knowing that every tap cost him money.
We are still at the beginning of all this. The tools are crude and our understanding limited. Both paid search and traditional media will be making adjustments.
Nick Mudge points out, a business idea does not have to be pefect or fool proof to work on the Internet. A business idea doesn't have to make total sense. It just has to be workable enough. Workable enough for people to take it up.