Poor Google, and yes I’m being sincere this time. The web news world has been plastered with reports of Google committing click fraud. Let’s face it, they are a big an easy target these days. Yes I’ve lost lots of money with PPC, but still, I’m not really sure I can prove that it was because of click fraud.
A recent Washington Post article talks about the new click fraud allegations and an impending class action lawsuit in Pennsylvania. Reading the article you can see that places are popping up to pay people to click and surf away. They seem to be targeting stay at home moms and just people trying to make a few extra dollars here and there. Sounds like this could be a big problem if you ask me…thousands of people just clicking away on Adsense ads while burning away cash from advertisers pockets, at the same time Google making billions.
But still, click fraud is hard to claim. Expert PPC people say that if you do notice a suspicious pattern (graphing IP address and such through your web logs) you can take that evidence to Google and they will (of course if your argument and evidence is solid) refund you the amount of the suspected spend. Shoemoney talks a bit about this in his most recent post “Click Fraud Crap.” He does make some good points, but I have to say that it is silly to me that you have to take your case to Google since they certainly wouldn’t bend over backwards to tell you that they suspect fraud. But let’s put that into perspective…would an investment firm willingly let you invest in mutual funds that contained companies that were committing fraud and cooking books *COUGH ENRON*