Google, Yahoo on click fraud audits: look to the IAB

Google and Yahoo are using the IAB to deflect attention away from their responsibilities to back up their anti-click fraud public relations campaigns with commitments to third party audits.

In “Google on commitment to click fraud audits: no specifics, no timeframe” earlier today, I reviewed my exchange with Google and Yahoo during a public Q & A at an industry event August 8 regarding the companies willingness to “commit not only to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) ‘Click Measurement Guidelines,’ but to the IAB ‘independent auditing against the complete guidelines’ recommendations as well.”:

At this morning’s 'Auditing Paid Listings & Click Fraud Issues' SES panel, Yahoo and Google reiterated their support for IAB’s 'Click Measurement Guidelines'…

During the Q & A, I asked Yahoo and Google if they would commit not only to the IAB 'Click Measurement Guidelines,' but to the IAB 'independent auditing against the complete guidelines' recommendations as well…

Both John Slade, Yahoo, and Shuman Ghosemajumder, Google, committed to accept third party independent click fraud audits. When I asked for a timeline for initiating the third party independent click fraud audits, John Slade indicated such audits would follow the development of the Click Measurement Guidelines.

Since the event, I have contacted both Google and Yahoo to ask for specifics on "third party independent auditing, for click fraud, of company charges to its advertisers" that they commit to, as well as for the date when such auditing will commence.

As I reported in my earlier post, Google responded to me, but did not deny, reconfirm or clarify its public, stated commitment to accept third party independent click fraud audits. Google simply referred me to the IAB (for details on Google’s response and on the IAB, see “Google on commitment to click fraud audits: no specifics, no timeframe”).

I have also received a response from Yahoo. Gaude Lydia Paez provided the following via email:

Your questions are very relevant, but I'm concerned that it may be premature for us to answer with specifics about auditing before the industry standards and guidelines we're working on with the IAB are more concrete. Timing for that is still being developed, but as John said during his panel, many of us in the industry are very eager to get such standards in place.

We are absolutely committed to providing additional transparency to advertisers and working more closely with our industry peers to combat click fraud, so you'll be hearing more from us on this front over the coming months.

As with the Google response, Yahoo does not deny, reconfirm or clarify its public, stated commitment to accept third party independent click fraud audits. Yahoo simply references the IAB.

As I said of Google’s response, Yahoo is being disingenuous in inferring the company can not make a principled commitment, without the IAB’s say so, to a Yahoo submission to "third party independent auditing, for click fraud, of Yahoo charges to its advertisers."

At the Search Engine Strategies Conference panel August 8 both Yahoo and Google responded to me in the affirmative when I asked them if their companies would “commit not only to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) ‘Click Measurement Guidelines,’ but to the IAB ‘independent auditing against the complete guidelines’ recommendations as well.”

At present, both companies are using the formation of an IAB committee to conveniently deflect attention away from their unique responsibilities to take leadership roles in backing up their anti-click fraud public relations campaigns with principled commitments to "third party independent auditing, for click fraud, of their charges to advertisers."

UPDATE: Google, Yahoo click fraud audits: When will advertisers demand them?

MORE ON CLICK FRAUD

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All