Google Opening Up On Click Fraud

    July 26, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

AdWords clients will be able to view information on invalid clicks as detected by Google through an advanced option in an AdWords account; it is Google’s first significant effort to make this information more transparent to its AdWords customers.

Google Opening Up On Click Fraud
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Google’s Shuman Ghosemajumder, Business Product Manager for Trust & Safety, has previously responded to criticism of the company’s attitude and approach to click fraud. He defended Google’s stance on click fraud and emphasized how the company combats it behind the scenes continually.

However, 1970’s era Soviet politics were more open than Google’s methods on finding and identifying click fraud. The opaqueness on the issue has fueled criticism of the company. Given the click fraud settlement for $90 million before an Arkansas court, many advertisers have clamored for more information from Google about the issue.

Ghosemajumder has provided an update on how Google will help to clarify some of what is going on behind the scenes in the click-fraud detection battle. He commented on this on the AdWords blog and noted how AdWords clients can see the information:

The metrics of “invalid clicks” and “invalid clicks rate” will show virtually all the invalid clicks affecting an account.

These clicks are filtered in real-time by our systems before advertisers are charged for them. The resulting data will of course differ from one advertiser to the next. In addition, a much smaller number of invalid clicks may also be credited to advertisers’ accounts after-the-fact, as the result of a publisher being terminated from the AdSense program for invalid click activity. These will appear as account-level credits.

He also took a swipe at companies that seek to profit from click fraud by selling products that claim to help advertisers with the problem:

One of the most controversial issues related to the topic of click fraud has been estimating how big the problem is. Estimates from third-parties (usually from consultants who have a financial incentive to make the problem seem very large) have been both inconsistent and greatly exaggerated due to their methodologies.

Ghosemajumder wrote that the new tool in AdWords will make it easier for clients to estimate invalid clicks, and how this should complement what they have always been able to do by comparing their website log data can be compared to AdWords charges to calculate invalid clicks.

More information on the invalid clicks report may be found in Google AdWords help online.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.