Google Sued for Not Protecting Adsensers from Click Fraud

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You may recall that earlier this year we lectured you about click fraud, and even mentioned that Google was suing an outfit over their alleged click fraud. In fact, last month we showed you a news release from a company which tracks click fraud, LostClicks.com

Well now another click fraud tracking site, ClickDefense.com, is actually suing Google itself, claiming that the giant isn’t doing enough to protect their advertisers (the people who publish Adsense “Ads by Google”) from click fraud.

According to Scott Boyenger, CEO of ClickDefense, the ClickDefense tracking system has tracked click fraud at rates as high as thirty-eight percent. That’s a whole lot of fraudulant clicking going on.

The most rampant, and indeed egregious, type of click fraud is when someone working for one business clicks on the ads of their competitor, both running up how much their competition must pay for those ads (as they pay per click), and also often maxing out their competitor’s ad exposure for the day. Most pay per click programs, such as Google’s, allow an advertiser to limit how much they spend on ads in a day, so when that limit is hit, their ads cease appearing for the rest of that day.

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The other type of click fraud is when a websites’ ‘friends’ click on the ads which appear on that site in order to generate income for the website’s owners. While perhaps less malicious, this type of activity is no less fraudulant. In both cases the clicks are being made by people who have no intention of actually patronizing the advertiser on whose link they clicked.

For their part, Google has responded to the lawsuit by saying that “We believe the suit is without merit and we will defend ourselves against it vigorously.”

Which all begs the question – in fact the fundamental question underpinning this case – what is, and should be, a pay per click program’s responsibility and liability to those who advertise with them when it comes to bogus clicking?

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