Google Won’t Let Click Fraud Just Happen

    July 14, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The search advertising company responded to what it feels was a quote taken out of context from a talk given by CEO Eric Schmidt back in March.

Although Shuman Ghosemajumder, Google Business Product Manager for Trust & Safety, doesn’t name the blogger in question in his post titled ” “Let click fraud happen”? Uh, no,” the post refers to a blog entry made by ZDNet writer Donna Bogatin.

She posted this excerpt from Schmidt’s speech:

Eventually, the price that the advertiser is willing to pay for the conversion will decline, because the advertiser will realize that these are bad clicks, in other words, the value of the ad declines, so over some amount of time, the system is in-fact, self-correcting. In fact, there is a perfect economic solution which is to let it happen.

Ghosemajumder points out how Google has a real problem with this:

Eric made clear from the very beginning that he wasn’t describing our approach to click fraud and was answering hypothetically. He introduced his answer by saying: “Let’s imagine for purposes of argument that click fraud were not policed by Google and it were rampant …”

But he made clear that we don’t take that approach, by adding that click fraud is “a bad thing and because we don’t like it, and because it does, at least for the short-term, creates some problems before the advertiser sees it, we go ahead and try to detect it and eliminate it.”

Schmidt’s presentation is available on Google Video for those who wish to hear the speech for themselves.

Google has been accused of taking the wrong approach to thwarting click fraud, particularly with the issue of click arbitrage. Raising the keyword price for advertisers the company feels do not provide quality landing pages just increases the cost of business for those gaming the system.

That leads some to believe Google is more interested in profiting from click fraud than quashing it. With its click fraud procedures opaque to its advertising clients, there isn’t a way to objectively assess their effectiveness.

Especially when losses of $800 million due to click fraud throughout the online advertising industry have been alleged.


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