Google says click fraud claims don't click
Not that long ago, a blogger on ZDNet kicked up a fuss over CEO Eric Schmidt's supposedly laissez-faire attitude towards click fraud. Just as Google has quieted that kerfuffle down, claiming Schmidt's comments were taken out of context, there is more evidence that Google isn't taking the problem of click fraud as seriously as it could. (Click fraud occurs when publishers who carry Google's ads find ways to generate clicks on those ads that don't come from actual readers; since Google's advertisers pay per click, the money from those fraudulent clicks comes out of advertisers' pockets and goes into Google's.)
Here's the latest evidence that Google would rather argue about click fraud than tackle it. The company has come out with a study, PC Pro reports, that takes apart independent researchers' click-fraud analyses and concludes that they overstate the problem, counting some legitimate clicks as fraudulent.
Fair enough. But if I were a Google advertiser, I'd want to know what Google is doing about the remaining click fraud, not about problems with third-party research. By touting this study, Google is continuing to create the impression that it would rather win an academic argument than please its advertisers.
Click Fraud 3 - Google 0
I think this article is dead on. I run a family oriented website that used Google's Ad Sense program (the Content Network Google Advertisers use). I received an email from Google that said there were fraudulent clicks coming from my site. I said I would be glad to open up my log files and information and even asked for specifics of what clicks were being recorded as fraud. Google said that their software was proprietary and they could not disclose any of that information. So Google banned my site with no explanation, no facts to backup their information - nothing. This is terrible and someone has to put a stop to it.
I tried adwords about a month ago. Used catch phrases and assorted key words that matched my product(s). I followed my campaign very carefully each day. I found that all paid clicks were going nowhere. Meaning, these supposed individual(s) clicking onto my ad were not clicking on links within my pages. All of them! So I decided to have my campaign consist of "absolute" phrases. Interestingly, even with an absolute phrase, a phrase that matched my product description still generated these types of clicks to my site. Since I am not one to give money away for free, I have come to the conclusion that PPC is a gimmick. As internet users that come to my site via business cards or, other means always generate additional internal clicks.
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