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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Click Fraud - Its What You Don't Know That Hurts You

Well I read yet another article in Blomberg where Eric Schmidt says everything is rosey for Google and that click fraud "is not a threat to the company's success". Well...what about your advertiser's success? How can click fraud ever be a threat to Google's success when their accounting for an advertiser's money is generalized and incomplete?

It's what advertisers don't know that hurts them.

  • Google doesn't provide any particular information about WHO clicks on a advertiser's ads, despite having all of this data available.

  • Google doesn't report on how much click fraud or how many "low-quality clicks" an advertiser's campaign receives.

  • Google doesn't provide any information as to the amount of money Google "saved them" by detecting fraudulent or "low-quality" clicks.

  • Google doesn't provide any particulars on how prevalent click fraud is in a advertiser's vertical, despite having a very large sample rate of what they deem is click fraud or "low quality clicks."

  • Google doesn't provide any information as to what they are doing to protect advertiser's online investments.

If Google's motto is "do no evil" then what does it mean when advertisers, who are the life blood of the company, are questioning Google's motives and morals?

What can Google and other search engines / pay per click networks do?

1. Convert your critics. Saul of Tarsus harshly persecuted the Jews until converted by a vision of Christ.

While Google is defintely no resemblance of Christ nor I of Saul, I would be more than happy to sign an NDA and have Google show me what they are doing to protect advertisers and approach it with an open mind. If they are doing everything within their power than I would be ready to publicly support their continued efforts.

2. Educate & communicate with advertisers:
  • What is Google doing to protect an advertiser's online investments?
  • How prevelant is click fraud or "low-quality clicks" on an advertiser's campaign?
  • How much money has Google not charge them for?
  • What can advertiser's do help protect themseleves?
3. Get the monkey off their back. Get an independant 3rd party to mack the call as to what activty advertiser's should and should not be charged for based on established guidelines.


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