As associate general counsel, Davis had represented Yahoo in various click-fraud litigations. In his new role, he will serve as the company's liaison to advertisers on issues ranging from click fraud to traffic quality. In June 2006, Yahoo settled a click-fraud class action suit, promising advertisers cash rebates for the amounts they paid on fraudulent ad clicks.
Patrick Garrett, managing director for search engine marketing firm Outrider, said that Davis' new role could help Yahoo polish its image as a search engine actively confronting the problems of click fraud.
"Click fraud is obviously a hot topic in our industry, and the engines have gotten a bad reputation for how they handle it," he said. "Bringing someone in to provide oversight with promises to make things more transparent is a great step."
Yahoo is the first company to name a senior executive to a position dealing specifically with click fraud, he said.
Garrett said that despite Yahoo's trailing market share when compared with rival Google, the move would nonetheless make its search advertising space more appealing to advertisers.
"If you're using the system, click fraud is a very important issue," he said. "It doesn't matter what sort of market share those engines have. You want to know your money is being spent properly and not fraudulently."