Google Sued Over Click Fraud in Adwords

On June 24, 2005, a lawsuit was filed against Google for alleged click fraud on the Adwords pay-per-click program. The Plaintiff, Click Defense, claims Google failed to enact appropriate measures to guard against fraudulent clicks resulting in unwarranted marketing fees. Click Defense claims it has lost over $5 million to click fraud.

Click Fraud

"Click fraud" is a term with a unique meaning on the Internet. It refers to the deliberate clicking of pay-per-click advertisements by users that have no intent of actually making a purchase. It is common knowledge that unethical companies will set up click centers oversees where individuals are paid nominal wages to click on certain ads. Alternatively, companies will use programs called "click bots" that automatically search out ads and do the same thing. The end result, of course, is a bevy of clicks that drain advertising budgets.

Google claims it takes appropriate precautionary measures. This claim, however, is often met with a snicker since the sole source of revenues for Google is advertising. This causes an inherent conflict of interest since Google needs to maximize clicks to generate revenues. As a publicly traded company, Google is under pressure to continually show increased profits. Taking all of this into account, one must wonder how hard Google works to limit fraudulent clicks. If you have used the "content search" aspect of Google Adwords, the incredible poor conversion rates certainly must raise doubts in your mind.

Click Fraud Percentages

Neither Google, Overture nor any other search engine has been willing to publish click fraud rates for their paid advertising program. Hints have been provided regarding a rate of 20 percent. Active advertisers know, however, the percentages can be much higher depending on the competitiveness of the keywords in question. Click Defense, the Plaintiff in the lawsuit, is claiming a click fraud rate of 38 percent.

Will This Impact PPC?

The lawsuit against Google was inevitable. Every site using Adwords is aware of the problem with click fraud. Frankly, it is a problem with every pay-per-click search engine although our experience has been better with Overture.

So, will this lawsuit force the search engines to clean up their act? It's hard to say, but there should be one definite benefit. As part of the lawsuit, Google may be forced to reveal the true click fraud percentages occurring in Adwords. If Google moves to quickly settle the case, you should take it as an indication it wants to keep the rates confidential. This, of course, will mean the click fraud percentages are high.

You should watch the progress of this lawsuit if you use pay-per-click search engines to promote your site. Some very interesting information should be revealed. Regardless of the outcome, click fraud is just another reason to pursue search engine optimization strategies.

Halstatt Pires is with http://www.marketingtitan.com - an Internet marketing and advertising company comprised of a search engine optimization specialist providing meta tag optimization services and Internet marketing consultant providing internet marketing solutions through integrated design and programming services.

In The News:

Goodbye Google Academy for Ads, Hello Skillshop  JumpFly PPC Advertising News
A Complete Guide to PPC Ad Formats  Search Engine Journal
What is PPC?  Startups.co.uk
SEO vs. PPC: A Few Forgotten Truths  Search Engine Journal
10 Tips to Win at Local PPC  Search Engine Journal
Pay-Per-Click Advertising  Image Matters
How to run a PPC campaign  Startups.co.uk
7 Great Ways to Work with Your PPC Agency  JumpFly PPC Advertising News
Who still clicks on ads anyway  App Developer Magazine
Comparing SEO to PPC  Practical Ecommerce
Why SMBs Should Use Paid Search  MarketingProfs.com

What is Google AdSense?

AdSense may be one of the fastest and easiest ways... Read More

Google Adsense: What You Need to Know!

We read about how to develop a Google AdWord campaign,... Read More

A Fundamental Overview Of Pay Per Click Search Engines

Forbes magazine has reported that pay per click ad sales... Read More

Three Google Adwords Secrets for Massive Online Profits

If you know anything at all about Internet marketing, then... Read More

The New Google Ad Links

You know about Google Adsense, now it's Google Ad Links... Read More

Pay-Per-Click Search Advertising Comes First

There are a variety of advertising options available to online... Read More

Paid Search Advertising that Delivers Maximum ROI

Paid Search Advertising (also Pay-Per-Click, PPC) has gained a significant... Read More

AdWords Work: They Really Do!

In 2003 I was accepted by Google into their AdSense... Read More

Considerations For A Pay-Per-Click Ad Campaign

Submitting your website to the Search Engines today may seem... Read More

Picking The Right Keywords For A PPC Campaign

Running a pay-per-click advertising campaign can be very expensive if... Read More

The Perils and Pitfalls of Pay-per-click Advertising

In this age of speed dialing, T1 lines and other... Read More

Click Fraud ? Threatening the Internet Economy

One of the most popular forms of Internet advertising is... Read More

Relevant Ads Increase Adsense Profits

If you've started using Adsense as a way to increase... Read More

Under The Covers: ClickBanks Affiliate Tracking System

The core principle of affiliate marketing is that the referring... Read More

Surefire Google Adwords Formula

Success with Google Adwords isn't quite as easy as some... Read More

How to Double Your AdSense Income Instantly

As you probably already know, AdSense is revolutionizing the way... Read More

It Makes Sense to Add AdSense to Your Blog

Google AdSense is easy to install on a web page... Read More

Affiliate Strategies Of Pay Per Click Search Engines

Where are your ads being displayed?The Untold Secret Of Pay... Read More

Pay Per Click Search Engine Marketing - Starting A Campaign

Pay per click advertising is an on-going and growing arsenal... Read More

Expand Your Horizons - Sell Your Professional Services Through ClickBank

ClickBank allows its merchants to sell many different types of... Read More

Pay-Per-Click Search Engines ? The Basics

Search engine optimization can take a long time to show... Read More

AdSense - 7 Keys To Empire?

There's a lot of buzz around about how you can... Read More

Pay Per Click or Pay Per Human Browser?

Pay Per Click advertising has been around a few years... Read More

7 Great Ways to Lose Your Shirt Using Google Adwords!

Google Adwords is a great tool! Careful use can lead... Read More

How To Increase Adsense Income

If you are already running Adsense on your site, you... Read More