Search engines including Google, Yahoo and MSN have teamed up with The US’ Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) to develop ways of better measuring click fraud, according to the

Associated Press

.

Set to be announced later today, the initiative will attempt to develop guidelines that would introduce more accountability into PPC advertising.

Along with the big three, Ask and LookSmart have joined the alliance, as well as the Media Rating Council, a US-based group which is responsible for validating the sizes of advertising audiences.

John Slade, senior director of Yahoo’s anti-click fraud team, told AP that the development of the guidelines “will be a game-changing step in measuring and fighting click fraud.”

Getting everyone to agree which types of clicks are fraudulent and which aren’t won’t be at all easy, however.

Greg Stuart, chief executive of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, said it may be over a year before the guidelines are complete.

But the decision showed the industry’s “commitment to being the most accountable advertising medium and providing marketers with the highest level of transparency,” he added.

We’ve previously written about click fraud here, and here, and here.