Google To Offer Click Fraud Protection
Google Inc. has announced that it will provide more tools and data to help its advertisers assess and combat click fraud. Click fraud is a controversial practice that is the biggest enemy of the highly popular and profitable online advertising method known as pay-per-click.
Google disclosed data showing that while its pay per click advertising is under regular attack from fraudsters, almost all fraud tricks are automatically detected. This rebuffs critics of Google's pay-per-click advertising who say it's a magnet for fraud.
Click fraud is when web site publishers try to trick Google's ad system into counting ads that are never seen by actual users, or when competitors use automated programs to create false clicks, which drives up charges per click and their rivals' ad rates.
Some click fraud-fighting companies think that the practice of click fraud is rampant and forces advertisers to pay an extra $16 billion per year. They also believe that up to half of all ad clicks are fraudulent.
According to Google, however, an average of 10 percent of all ad clicks are invalid and claim that is a worst case scenario. Google claims the amount is usually in the single digits.
Google also claims that the amount of click fraud that Google does not catch represents less than 0.02 percent of the times an ad is clicked.
Google also announced that it is introducing a number of new click fraud-fighting measures in the upcoming weeks and months. This will include allowing advertisers to notify Google about specific internet addresses from where they suspect click fraud attacks originate.
Other tools include providing advertisers with a resource center to address questions and Google will make available a standard way for advertisers to report click fraud.
"We're trying to provide advertisers as much transparency, understanding and control around this issue as we can, " said Shuman Ghosemajumder, Google's business product manager for trust and safety.
So starting in March, Google plans to allow its advertisers to blacklist certain IP addresses for reasons such as suspicion of click fraud or even because their clicks don't lead to sales.
"IP filtering is going to allow advertisers to say: 'If I believe a given IP address isn't producing productive traffic for me, then I don't want to ever show my ads to that IP address, '" Ghosemajumder said.
Google reached a settlement of a click fraud class action lawsuit last year which has been described as a big victory for the company. A loss may have likely cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars. Google managed to settle the case for $90 million.
Sources: http://www.itworld.com/Tech/2427/070301googleclick/ http://in.today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=technologyNews&storyID=2007-03-01T121845Z_01_NOOTR_RTRJONC_0_India-289625-1.xml http://www.smartmoney.com/bn/ON/index.cfm?story=ON-20070228-001305-2124
By Shea Harris - Based in Texas, Shea has been writing professionally for over a decade. His articles have appeared in several magazines and across the web.
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