Studies

by Mike Masnick




With Profits Like These, Most Advertisers Don't Seem Worried About Clickfraud

from the so-they-say dept

Last year, a bunch of advertisers sued Google, claiming that the company didn't take the issue of clickfraud seriously enough -- costing them money. Of course, if clickfraud was really that big a problem, then you would think they'd start taking their business elsewhere. Earlier this year, Google settled the lawsuit, tossing some pocket change to the complaining advertisers. Not surprisingly, many felt it wasn't enough and sued to block the settlement. However, as part of the deal, an independent study was commissioned to look into the issue -- and that study has now said Google is doing a pretty good job in controlling clickfraud. This, obviously, won't make the advertisers happy -- but it seems reasonable. Still, what may be most interesting is that this is the first time that we can remember that Google actually opened up at all to an outside party about how they handle the issue. Google likes to claim that it needs to remain secretive to protect its methods -- but that's the traditional "security by obscurity" method that you'd think the folks at Google knew better than to rely on. On the other side of the fence, it's important for Google to keep the trust of its advertisers. Obviously, this report helps somewhat, but it only came out because it was forced on the company. You would think they would have been a lot more proactive in offering up an independent analysis that advertisers' dollars were being put to good use. However, perhaps when your revenue and profits just keep going up, it just doesn't matter -- which also suggests that plenty of advertisers don't seem to be all that worried about clickfraud.

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  • identicon
    ch ching, 24 Jul 2006 @ 3:31am

    fat dumb and happy

    Sure while the economy is on an upswing, advertisers will overlook losing some money to make some money. Just wait till the slow down and this investigation will end up in Washington.

    oh yea.. first post.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Adsense...., 24 Jul 2006 @ 3:46am

    Bid bid bid

    Have to spend money to make money *Click*

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ruel, 24 Jul 2006 @ 4:12am

    google monopoly

    While I'm quite sure that Google is addressing the clickfraud problem, its effort may not be enough. There are already many reports where advertisers found out that many of the clicks that were made on their sites register the same IP address. Google has not been fully transparent on the issue, but reiterates that it is addressing the problem. But with Google controlling a majority of the search industry, one would definitely wonder if they're motivated enough to take the complaints seriously. Advertisers may respond by withdrawing their ads. But, then again, with the market dominance of Google, they might just decide to absorb the loss and hope that the benefits would be heavier.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    PopeRatzo, 24 Jul 2006 @ 4:27am

    Mike, when you write an article that uses jargon in the headline, always define the jargon in the first paragraph.

    I'm not saying your a dope, but clearly some English teacher didn't do their job somewhere along the line.

    I shouldn't have to click to find out the meaning of "clickfraud".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Dope, 24 Jul 2006 @ 5:05am

      Re:

      Quote PopeRatzo:
      I'm not saying your a dope, but clearly some English teacher didn't do their job somewhere along the line.

      I shouldn't have to click to find out the meaning of "clickfraud".


      Dude, i'm not saying you're a dope.. (although i am conviced) but how many meanings can you think of the word 'clickfraud' in an article about online advertising? ..Clearly some English teacher didn't do their job somewhere along the line..

      Besides that: if you're too lazy to click, don't surf the web

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DreadedOne509, 24 Jul 2006 @ 5:12am

    Not My Money

    Slightly out of the box here, but in almost 12 years being on-line, both at work and home I have never once intentionally clicked on an online advertisement.

    I did in impromptu survey of my coworkers (7 of them) and none admitted to clicking on any either. Makes me wonder where these people are, and what they do...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      MissingFrame, 24 Jul 2006 @ 9:11am

      Re: Not My Money

      Well on the opposite end of the spectrum, I intentionally click on quite a few ads, and have bought through them as well. If I want to buy something, I just type it into google and see what paid ads come up, which is more reliable than froogle which is chock full of eBay ads.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jul 2006 @ 11:05am

      Re: Not My Money

      I thought I didnt either, but then I thought really hard and remembered maybe just one that I did and started wondering whether all this money is made from everyone doing one click a year and the clicks being genuinely valuable, or whether its all about 2% of internet users--similar to the 2% that buy from spam, but a different set perhaps--that follow sponsored links religiously.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ryan, 24 Jul 2006 @ 5:49am

    DreadedOne, you'd be suprised at how many people just click the top link on a search engine without even reading it.

    Do an experiment.. Bid on the word "home" on adsense, and any variation of "home" that pops up..

    you'll pay a fortune, but just look at how many clicks you get.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lay Person, 24 Jul 2006 @ 9:02am

    Companies are STOOPID!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lay Person, 24 Jul 2006 @ 9:05am

    Companies are STOOPID!

    When companies don't make a profit they tend to blame everyone and everything other than themselves.

    This is a sign that these advertisers need new marketing departments all-together.

    "Shit! why are we losing money? It must be the messenger! let's kill the messenger for delivering our message!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lay Person, 24 Jul 2006 @ 10:22am

    True...

    True, there are alot of people clicking all over the place.

    The whole idea of online advertising is to trick the viewer unless they are actually looking for said product.

    Advertising is deceitful by nature, the whole purpose is to evoke a need in the subject (who they like to refer as customers). There's an entire science devoted to such nonsense.

    Anyway, people who click are generally duped into doing so. I have yet, myself included, to find people who actually click on ads intentionally.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mr Shag, 24 Jul 2006 @ 10:45am

    My 2.

    If all of a sudden, Google started to pro-actively make these kinds of things available. They would be attacked, because they would be seen as commissioning these reports. Like MS did all those years ago with Netcraft. It favored MS in a good light up against open-source. (I think it had to do with web hosts.. but.. not sure). It came out later that MS funded the report, so they had a hand in directing things. Just because it's an independent report means nothing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mike is going soft., 24 Jul 2006 @ 10:52am

    Has TECHDIRT jumped the shark?

    YOU NEED TO FIND A NEW HOBBY.

    Your "corporate intelligence" is weak and fluffed.

    Mike,

    I'm dropping you from my RSS feeds.

    I'll have to tell everyone that I originally recommended your site to that YOU JUMPED THE SHARK.

    Anyone else have any other _WORTHWHILE_ independent tech news sites they'd like to recommend?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mike Baker, 5 Aug 2006 @ 3:15pm

    Click Fraud is an intersting topic,

    Click Fraud is an intersting topic, one which will cost you an estimated 20%. This is an interesting article with valuable information. What we and many other webmasters are starting to do is invest some of our marketing dollars into a click fraud prevention/protection software. If you are looking for the best one for your company i recommend you take a look at: http://www.trackingsoftwarereviews.com Mike Baker

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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