Google fights against Click Fraud? Yes, BUT No

Is Google Really Fighting Against Click Fraud? Yes, BUT No
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor
The Google machine is fueled by SPIN, I said earlier in the year: "Google’s secret weapon is a four letter word."

BUT, Can Google SPIN conquer everything, even the scourge of click fraud?

Google Trust & Safety exec, Shuman Ghosemajumder, continues to try his darndest!

I met one-on-one with Ghosemajumder and separately with his Yahoo counterpart, Reggie Davis, Vice President of Marketplace Quality, earlier this month in New York City.

By pure scheduling happenstance, my Yahoo meeting transpired before my Google meeting. Consequently, when I met with Ghosemajumder, I had already published a report on my discussion with Davis.

Nevertheless, my Yahoo story appeared online but an hour or two before my scheduled meeting with Google. I was a bit surprised then, that the first course of Google business in my meeting with Ghosemajumer was a Google desire to one-up Yahoo’s position on click fraud, as specifically headlined in my report.

My Yahoo story headlined Click Fraud: Yahoo wants audits!

Ghosemajumder assured me right out of the Google click fraud gate, Google wants click fraud audits too, BUT…

BUT being the operative word. Why BUT, why the need to qualify an affirmative?

“Only if they mean something,” Ghosemajumder said.

How So? Does that imply that Yahoo and all other concerned parties only want click fraud audits if they DON’T mean anything?

I put forth a considerable effort in soliciting Ghosemajumder to itemize under what terms Google WOULD accept click fraud audits, that WOULD “mean something.” (Google to host Click Fraud day for advertisers)

Of course, meaningful specifics about what would be meaningful are conveniently waved off, as details could risk helping the “fraudsters,” Google warns.

Ghosemajumder is playing the Click Fraud BUT game once again, in a blog rebuttal to a third-party click fraud advisory service championed initiative, “Cornerstone Principles for Pay-Per-Click Quality Improvement” introduced by Tom Cuthbert, CEO, ClickForensics.

An example of the latest Google Yes BUT No anti-click fraud stance:

Proposed Principal:  Advertisers should never pay for double clicks or repeat clicks from the same session.

(YES) I agree that advertisers should not be charged for double clicks. (BUT)

While the activity of comparison shopping is a common reason that multiple clicks to the same ad can occur within a short period of time, if the clicks occur so close together that they could only be caused by double-clicking or malicious repeated clicking, the extra clicks clearly provide no value to the advertiser.

But “same session” is not defined here, and it would be bad for advertisers to define it in a way that would exclude comparison shopping. For example, if publishers and search engines decided not charge for multiple clicks on an ad within the same day, they would redesign their ad systems to not show that advertiser’s ad the second time a user searched on the same keyword, since showing ads which produce no revenue is not desirable. But this would deny that advertiser the opportunity to have a user who was comparison shopping revisit their site, and that would rob them of sales opportunities.

Google SPIN cheerfully turns double-triple-quadruple clicking by the same person on the same AdWord as “comparison shopping.” Perhaps it is, but that doesn’t mean that the Google cash register should repeatedly ring up the same PPC sale.

So-called “comparison shopping” is not the complaint, re-charging for same visitor clicks on the same ad is the click fraud problem!

BUT, how can a Google advertiser resist the Googley plea of PLEASE don’t let those pesky third party click fraud analysts rob YOU of sales?

By steadfastly reiterating: Why Click Fraud is NOT case closed!

And repeatedly asking: Click Fraud Audits: What is IAB’s dog in the fight?
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