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Monday, March 05, 2007

Google's Click Fraud Spin

Google is again on the PR trail to defuse concerns about click fraud on its network, but to paraphrase Shakespeare, the company "doth protest too much."

Google said in December that click fraud was only 2 percent, but now says it has identified click fraud rates of only two-hundredths of one percent. As Donna Bogatin points out, the company is actually revealing more than it should in stating that it can only identify 2 out of 10,000 clicks as being fraudulent.

Since most advertisers believe (and with good reason) that the click fraud rate is at least 10 percent, that means that Google is only able to identify a tiny fraction of fraudulent clicks. It's like someone saying that global warming isn't reducing ice caps by studying the weather in Australia -- they aren't looking hard enough or in the right places.

Google is now letting advertisers block IP addresses, but that ain't enough. Google is only digging themselves deeper into a credibility hole by pretending that there is very little click fraud.

If Google wants to be believed, the company should hire a reputable third party to track clicks on their network, and invite advertisers to contribute data to the project. Only by allowing independent analysis will people start to believe Google on this topic.

By John Gartner at 01:28 PM | Comments (0)

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