Monday, September 20, 2004


Spam & Pay Per Click Markets

So let's take a never ending problem like spam. More than a few ideas are around for attacking spam, including mandatory labeling with bounties for catching offenders (see Alex Tabarrok's post at Marginal Revolution Here's my take:

Why not work with the existing Pay Per Click system that has delievered billions to Overture, Google and other big name portals? Here is how it could work. The big mail clients (Outlook, Yahoo Mail, Google etc.) would filter their mail for spam. However, advertisers could opt to pay a bounty to go through the filter. The user would set a bounty on receiving spam.

For example, at my old job I was hit with up to 300 spams per day. It didn't bother me much at all but when my IT dept. set up a good filter that number dropped to 25 a day. So imagine I set my spam bounty at $0.001 per spam. A spammer, on the other hand, offers to pay $0.002 per spam delivered. The difference would go to the email client (Microsoft, Yahoo, or whoever). If I received 300 spams per day I would earn $3 and the email client would earn $3 while the spammers would pay $6. Of course, if I had more value for a clean inbox I could set a higher price. Some spammers, of course, would be willing to pay a premium to reach users who are not flooded with spam.

Now for this to work the spam filter has to be pretty good but the email client has a good incentive for creating a good filter. After all, every spam that gets through the filter represents lost revenue to both the user and email client.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?