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Beware Google $1 billion click fraud PR campaign

UPDATE: Why Google click fraud is NOT 0.02% Google is once again on the click fraud defensive, big time.
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor on

UPDATE: Why Google click fraud is NOT 0.02%

Google is once again on the click fraud defensive, big time.

Earlier this morning I cut through Google blog hype to underscore: “Google: Stingy with click fraud refunds?” 

Google love is a powerful force, nevertheless, even when billions of dollars worth of potentially improperly invoiced Google advertiser charges are at issue. 

I often point out, at this Digital Markets Blog, that the degree to which mega corporation Google inspires seemingly true love among users, and even the media, is not only uncanny, but the principal driver of its meteoric rise to search engine and Wall Street fame.

 

SEE my “Google’s secret weapon is a four letter word.”

 

I have been on the Google click fraud case since I provided sunlight on “Google CEO on click fraud: ‘let it happen’ is perfect economic solution” last July.

 

Last August, I personally asked Shuman Ghosemajumder, Google Trust & Safety, and John Slade, Yahoo Search Marketing, to publicly commit, on behalf of their employers, to upholding the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) “auditing and certification recommendations” under development in conjunction with the IAB Click Measurement Guideline initiative.

 

SEE my “Click Fraud Breaking News: Google, Yahoo agree to independent click fraud audits

 

I interviewed Greg Stuart, President & CEO, IAB, (see “Interactive Advertising Bureau CEO on click fraud in ‘Real Deal’ exclusive interview”), and George Ivie, Executive Director & CEO, Media Rating Council, MRC, (see “Media Rating Council: Click audits support advertiser ‘Bill of Rights’) who are overseeing the joint IAB-MRC industry-wide Click Measurement Working Group to create a set of Click Measurement Guidelines.

Both Stuart and Ivie conveyed to me that search advertisers must demand search engine compliance with impending “auditing and certification recommendations.”

Ghosemajumder confirmed this week that Google is “working with dozens of other companies to establish industry standards for click fraud protection.” 

Ghosemajumder continues the Google silence on third-party independent click fraud audits of Google, however. 

Not only does Google continue to refuse to commit to third-party independent click fraud audits, it’s mastery at spin has succeeded in turning a Google advertiser multi-billion dollar risk problem into a Google multi-billion dollar benevolent coming to the rescue PR campaign. 

Ben Charny, Market Watch from Dow Jones, put forth the Google position that: 

In the worst cases, on average 10% of all ad clicks are invalid. Typically, the amount is in the low-single-digit percentages. Google bases that figure on the average number of invalid clicks that it catches, and as a result, doesn't charge customers for. That amounts to about $1 billion a year in payments Google could have collected, but chose not to, it said.

Market Watch may not have caught on to the Goggle-centric fallacy, but ZDNet TalBacker "bfrei" has

Google does not forgo revenue because of click fraud, because the click fraud is not a legitimate source of revenue. If it was not fraudulently done, it would not be done, and would not exist. Therefore, it never had value in the first place, and never was an income stream.
A more correct statement would be that click fraud ATTEMPTS to generate $1 billion per year, which amounts to 10% of the value of legitimate revenues. 

Seconded! Also Why Google click fraud is NOT 0.02%

Read the Great Google Debate:
GOOGLE DUE FOR A FALL? DONNA BOGATIN DEBATES DANNY SULLIVAN

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