homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 23.20.220.61
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google AdWords
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: buckworks & eWhisper & skibum

Google AdWords Forum

This 71 message thread spans 3 pages: 71 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
Suit Filed Against Google over "click fraud"
markbaa




msg:1124503
 4:40 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Unless I'm missing this, amazed no one has posted it yet.

article [today.reuters.co.uk]

"A seller of online marketing tools said on Wednesday it sued Google Inc., charging that the Web search giant has failed to protect users of its advertising program from "click fraud," costing them at least $5 million."

Doesn't surprise me this finally happened. They are going for a class action suit.

[edited by: Woz at 11:32 am (utc) on July 1, 2005]
[edit reason] Fixed Scrollism [/edit]

 

markbaa




msg:1124504
 5:10 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

[msnbc.msn.com...]

Same story without annoying interstitial ad

Matt Probert




msg:1124505
 5:29 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

How does one ascertain if some one clicks an advert "with no intention of doing business with the company"?

Sounds like someone trying to screw some money out of Google to me.

Matt

harbs




msg:1124506
 5:37 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Someone must be really desperate to buy some GOOG stock before August.

Lord Majestic




msg:1124507
 5:44 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Click fraud is real, and its getting worse rather than going away. Problem with Google is not so much with their policy of telling nothing on how they detect fraudlent clicks, it is understandable that they don't want to share it. The problem is that the advertiser is at the Google's mercy.

The solution to the problem is development of API that would work in real-time like this:

1) Google receives click and passes to advertiser's URL

2) Advertiser decides at this point whether click comes from a good source (global shared list of bad IPs can be created and used in this system).

2.1) If advertiser decides to ignore click then it forwards request to Google's URL that won't count this as a click: where visitor goes is up to Google.

2.2) If advertiser decides to accept click then it forwards request to Google's URL that will count this as a billable click and then forward visitor to ultimate destination.

--

There -- the advertiser is in control and can use its own anti-fraud methods.

Philosopher




msg:1124508
 5:54 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree that something needs to be done, but there are too many ways to manipulate/cheat a system such as suggested.

Lord Majestic




msg:1124509
 5:56 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

there are too many ways to manipulate/cheat a system such as suggested.

Less ways to manipulate current system because this system should be done in addition to built-in anti-fraud protection of Google.

Advertiser knows about conversions, so it can act fast to stop traffic if it does not convert, with current system all is done post-factum and one can only hope for refund.

tama




msg:1124510
 5:59 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Looks likes this suit is going to end up a class action suit

Philosopher




msg:1124511
 6:03 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

In principal I agree, but the problems are the unethical advertisers.

I can already see people scripting a way to take advantage of this method.

User clicks on an advert
User directed to advertiser URL for verification
Advertiser uses backend script that tells G the click is fraudulent, when it isn't.
Backend script opens up invisible Window to G so that G thinks visitor has been directed back to original page.
Backend script actually sends visitor to advertiser destination URL.
Free traffic!

That's just one way to beat the system. I can think of numerous other ways. All of them could be caught over time, but all of the would work for a while and a potential advertiser could continue using them over and over and over.

Anyway...we're getting off topic :)

Back to the original topic. I only hope that this suit will help to bring about some changes.

Lord Majestic




msg:1124512
 6:07 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Free traffic!

No free traffic - first request should only provide minimum information necessary for advertises to make up their mind if they want that customer. For example it could be just IP address, if you try to redirect somewhere else instead of giving yes/no then you will redirect Google's script rather than visitor -- if Google does not get either yes or no, then traffic is not sent.

phantombookman




msg:1124513
 6:16 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's hard to see a practical way to elimiate completely potential fraud. I suspect the only way to really look at it is that there will be fraudulent clicks and it will cost you money, if it reaches an unacceptable level then clearly it is no longer viable to continue.

How many businesses print leaflets, fliers, handbills etc, mail shots many of which go straight in the bin unread, all a direct loss.
If you have a B&M shop then people will steal your goods etc etc

Google should do all they can of course, but I believe it has to be seen as a business expense or it will drive you mad

HughMungus




msg:1124514
 6:21 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

How does one ascertain if some one clicks an advert "with no intention of doing business with the company"?

Comparison to known advertising conversion ratios.

Rodney




msg:1124515
 6:31 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just from that article, it seemed more like a way to get PR and buzz about the company suing Google and less about stopping clickfraud.

incrediBILL




msg:1124516
 6:37 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Click fraud is real

So are frivolous law suits.

markbaa




msg:1124517
 6:37 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

My hope:

Lawsuit won't be successful, however, it will scare google enough to get their act together and become a little more upfront about the issues and how they deal with it (without giving too much information to frauders of course).

ionchannels




msg:1124518
 6:38 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

As Rodney says, I'll bet a major reason for this lawsuit is for Click Defense to generate awareness and fear of click fraud which helps their bottom line since this is their business. In fact, I would go so far as to say that they were probably planning this lawsuit before even signing up for Adwords, IMO.

ownerrim




msg:1124519
 6:45 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google needs to do a better job of policing the sites that are in adsense. And they could do that by getting enough warm bodies so that each site that is added to the content network (by webmasters who are already in) could get a review before being allowed to carry adsense. Taking this route would also take weapons away from google's critics, which, from time to time, includes many of us here.

But, whoever said it is right: ultimately, the value of the google ad program will be determined by advertisers, i.e. they'll stay as long as their returns are worthwhile.

bostonseo




msg:1124520
 6:56 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google and Yahoo make me sick when it comes to click fraud. It will catch up to them.

kaz




msg:1124521
 7:01 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

i'm glad to see the issue addressed - but would prefer that litigation not be the method ... who wouldn't, but that is how precedence gets set - obviously that is where this issue is headed as it hasn't been addressed by google or yahoo directly ... yet.

Syzygy




msg:1124522
 7:02 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

From the article:

...click fraud. The figure most cited by independent firms that track the practice is around 20 percent.

...Click Defense said in an e-mail that [their] company's tracking system has detected click fraud rates of as high as 38 percent. The company sells software to prevent click fraud.

I agree, it is a wonderful way to kick start a campaign to make people fear something they didn't know they should be fearful of. It's a classic technique.

The figure of 38 per cent is very high (although, of course, we have no idea whether there is any validity in the claim or not). However, so is the 'industry standard' figure of 20 per cent!

If 20 per cent is indeed common place then users of adwords certainly need to be made aware of the threat of 'click fraud' and how best to deal with it. They don't all hang out in this forum.

Syzygy

Tropical Island




msg:1124523
 7:06 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just from that article, it seemed more like a way to get PR and buzz about the company suing Google and less about stopping clickfraud.

My very first reaction on reading the story.

I've already posted this in the AdSense forum.

This appears to be a blatant attempt at publicity for their software which, by the way. they will be able to manipulate to their own favour.

Don't think the case has a chance in h... of succeeding.

kaz




msg:1124524
 7:11 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

The figure of 38 per cent is very high (although, of course, we have no idea whether there is any validity in the claim or not). However, so is the 'industry standard' figure of 20 per cent!

True that we don't. But what I do know is I have personally witnessed those rates for multiple types of campaigns and no longer invest advertising budgets in ppc because of my own problem with click fraud and budgets being eaten up by non human click fraud. Motives are skewed it any lawsuit, but hopefully the reality of the problem will be addressed or defined to be fair to those that are purchasing. Can you imagine if another business was providing a service (i.e. phone company) that included a rate paid due to fraud of 20% (average) ... let alone higher (its worse in specific industries).

EvilDan




msg:1124525
 8:26 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

By the speed of all the responses to this post, I am guessing click fraud (at whatever level) is present, and top of mind for publishers like myself

I hope Google picks up on this point, and filters some information out to us at a safe enough level to quell our concerns.

rbacal




msg:1124526
 8:49 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

We can't guess the complainants motivation but if I HAD to speculate, I'd look at the desire for a smaller company to end up being acquired by a larger one.

It would seem to me that any product developed to fight click fraud would either have to be licensed to the big boys, or bought outright by the big boys in order to make any profit. It only has economic value for CPC adnetworks, and there just aren't that many, anyway. That pretty much leave out that source of revenue.

That's where the pot of gold is.

charlier




msg:1124527
 8:58 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hmm, "costing them at least $5 million", "[earned] $1.3 billion, makes virtually all of its money from search ads", "around 20 percent" .

To quote from Lost in Space: "Does not compute".

Webwork




msg:1124528
 9:25 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ummmm . . . a company that sells click fraud detection services . . . files a lawsuit and grabs some headlines and free publicity? Looks entirely like consumer protection to me . . .

"Dear Advertiser X: Since it is your determination that we are both unfair and incapable of doing our job we write to confirm that we will no longer accept advertising placements from your company, its affiliates and subsidiaries. We trust you are happy with our decision. Thank you."

To whatever degree the corners aren't square litigation gets out of rack rather quickly when one's adversary is prepared to meet allegation with proof. Let's see who has the actual proof and who will be prepared to show it. It would be amusing if the plaintiff's proof of click fraud was promptly shown to be . . . deficient? Likewise, it will be interesting to watch the maneuvers by G to protect against disclosure those systems it employs to detect click fraud.

incrediBILL




msg:1124529
 1:27 am on Jul 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google and Yahoo make me sick when it comes to click fraud. It will catch up to them.

Yes, let's blame the vendors and not the theives. Sheesh, with your logic I bet you blame the police for crime and not the criminals that commit it?

The problem is 100% the ineffectiveness of the internet medium to accurately identify the theives, bandits and evil doers due to the shoddy protocol we live with but you would prefer to heap blame on the companies doing the best they can to deliver one of the best products possible on a horribly shaky foundation.

Put your anger where it's deserved, on the scammers, not on honest people trying hard to deliver an honest service.

bostonseo




msg:1124530
 2:02 am on Jul 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

"not on honest people trying hard to deliver an honest service."

How naive are you? If you actually think Yahoo and Google aren't in business to make money #1 at all costs you have no idea. Their whole bidding system is geared towards them making as much money as humanly possible.

And Yahoo and Google know there is a certain amount of click fraud experienced by every advertiser on a continual basis. They NEVER proactively monitor this or contact you about it. YOU have make a very convincing case; and even then their decision is final.

I'm not saying they are completely dishonest, but they certainly are not being proactive enough about investigating click fraud. You may feel differently, you are in the minority.

They have to a lot to gain (fiancially) by looking the other way to this issue of click fraud.

incrediBILL




msg:1124531
 3:23 am on Jul 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

How naive are you?

I'm not saying they are completely dishonest, but they certainly are not being proactive enough about investigating click fraud. You may feel differently, you are in the minority.

How naive am *I*?

If you truly understood the underlying technological issues you wouldn't make such rash assumptions and point fingers at the innocent. Yes, I know they're in business to make money but I'm also aware of the problems inherent with this technology we call the internet.

Ever been on the receiving end of a DDoS that has no apparent valid source?

Imagine using the same tricks to fake clicks on Google.

asianguy




msg:1124532
 11:24 am on Jul 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

I accidentally found the company that filed a class action lawsuit against Yahoo, Google, FindWhat, MSN and other major PPC companies when I inquired about the service they offered. I decided to ask then why they are suing these companies. They said that the advertisers are complaining and these PPC companies are not doing much to protect them. However, they wont specify how many people have complained.

They specialized in click fraud protection and web analysis.

After a little chat, a tech support gave me an example that Mesolethemia or something is a $90 click in Adwords and it's a target of click fraud.

Do they really think that someone bids that high?

Dont they know that it could be Google's suggested bid price and not really the actual bids?

Don't they also know that whichever you choose, there's is always click cheater?

I told them as an advertiser, I tried almost all the major PPCs out there, and only Google Adwords works for me.

I think this law suit doesnt have legs to stand in court.

Do you think they are just making a buzz to attract business?

[edited by: Woz at 11:35 am (utc) on July 1, 2005]
[edit reason] Tidying up. [/edit]

This 71 message thread spans 3 pages: 71 ( [1] 2 3 > >
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google AdWords
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved