The issue of "clickfraud" really seemed to die down for a while, but it appears to be back. As you may remember, about five years ago, a bunch of advertisers sued Google
over clickfraud. Google took about a year to work out a settlement
and we hadn't heard much about the issue for a while. But, of course, there are other web properties that have been building up a pretty big audience with their own advertising programs, and it looks like clickfraud has expanded well beyond Google. In recent weeks there have been articles about Facebook being targeted in a lawsuit
over clickfraud, and Microsoft has gone in the other direction, being aggressive in suing a company
it accuses of engaging in clickfraud.
But perhaps more interesting is that, despite the settlement, Google is now a target again
, from a locksmith who claims that the clickthroughs on his ads jumped up, and he didn't get any new leads from them. He insists the clicks must have come from a competitor, though it's not clear he has any additional proof. Of course, it's difficult to see Google getting pinned with any liability in such a case. It clearly tries to eliminate clickfraud, and as a service provider it shouldn't be held liable for actions by third party scammers.