While affiliates gathered in Vegas and then found themselves stuck by the snow storm on the East Coast, life went on. CPC rates were found to have gone up by an average of almost 20% during 2010. YouTube announced it was serving 200 million views a day to mobile devices and is now going to run ads on that traffic. And spammers invaded Mechanical Turk. Catch up with news you can use after the jump.

New Mobile Video Ads On YouTube As Traffic Triples

Think about the number of people you know with an iPhone, and iPad or an Android phone. If it as high a proportion as here in San Francisco then it will be no surprise that YouTube today announced that traffic from mobile devices tripled last year to more than 200 million a day. As part of the announcement, YouTube also launched 15 second ad pre-rolls for all content partners. Mobile monetization is leaping forward and we can expect to see much more in the next few months.

Search CPC Ad Rates Up By 20%

Efficient Frontier has released figures showing year-on-year prices for CPC ads up by 23% in the travel sector, 14% in retail, 13% in automotive and 10% in finance. Overall they estimate that comparing Q4-2011 to Q4-2010 shows an increase in at least the high-teens.  

40% Of Mechanical Turk Now Jobs For Spammers

Amazon Mechanical Turk is a fantastic idea but like so many before it is slowly falling prey to the spammers and bad actors among us. Researchers at the Stern School of Business NYU recently announced that 40.92% of all HITs (Human Intelligence Task) are designed to spam ad counts and various social media metrics. Some examples include: 

  • "Test if the ads in my website work".
  • "Create a Twitter account and follow me".
  • "Like my YouTube video".
  • "Download this app".
  • "Write a positive review on Yelp". 

The researchers examined a broad cross-section of HITs posted and discovered that approx. 35 new HIT submitter accounts are created and some 1,500 new HITs are posted every day. The conclusion?

  • 40% of the HITs from new requesters are spam. 
  • 30% of the new requesters are clear spammers.
  • The spam HITs have bigger value than the legitimate ones.

Amazon has since responded to the study results but with – in our view – a wholly inadequate response. As a final comment on that response, we can’t do better than quote Business Insider:

"An Amazon spokesman starts by saying that "our data indicates that the majority of the work [on Mechanical Turk] is valid," which, well, if 40% of the work is spam, that means 60%, i.e. a majority, is legitimate, but it’s still pretty bad. The spokesman then notes that Mechanical Turk’s terms of service forbids this kind of behavior, which is all well and good, but makes little difference if it’s not enforced, and that there are systems to report it, which, again, is a good thing but gives little indication as to whether these systems are working."