Click Fraud Services & the Law

Source Title:
PPC Fraud Service - Beta Testers Needed
Story Text:

With click fraud having been bought into the public spotlight so much over the last few months, it's no wonder that existing click fraud solutions are banging drums, and that new services are getting ready to roll. But what good are they legally?

Mikkel brings up a good point in this clickfraud thread looking for beta testers for a new service:

In Googles new TOS they specifically state that ONLY their own tracking data can be used for verifying validity of clicks. If they stick to that how will the data you supply be of any help?

That part of Googles TOS is new to me, and seems somewhat er... unbalanced.. but regardless, it's a pertinent point. With all the new click fraud services springing up, what use are they really from a legal point of view?

It's all well and good knowing (thinking..) you're being billed for fraudulent clicks, but if Google (or anyone else) won't recognize your evidence, i presume you're left only with a costly legal battle right?


No, Independent 3rd party auditing

should be an option for every advertiser. The engines should work with these services in detail so that problems in the space can be resolved for the advertiser quickly and efficiently. It establishes trust between the advertiser, the auditor, and the engine if they can all work together to meet each other on mutual ground.

The problem is this, I'm looking at lots of auditing services out there to work with. Some are good, some are blowing smoke and making claims they cannot back up just to get into a new market quickly.

There is a valid need for these services. Only time will tell which ones are the best at doing it.


I can not imagine that standing up in a UK court. The OFT might not be best pleased, especically when you look at what they say is an unfair term

A term is unfair if:

contrary to the requirement of good faith it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations under the contract, to the detriment of consumers.

I am pretty sure that if you can show that click fraud has taken place then not being able to use that evidence is a significant imbalance

Can't blame Google ...

... for refusing to accept evidence provided the aggrieved party. It's no better, lets face it, than their own data.

If this was a discussion about independent data, you may catch Google on the back foot - but with the amount of attempts to defraud Google, do you really think a court in the world would force them to accept the complainant's data?

When you want to attack Google, it's always a good idea to have a scheme that will stick. This one, however, won't.

Just a thumb in the dike

Google can dance with the procedures but it won't be long before they get some gov't intervention. Systematic fraud is usually dealt with by state attorney generals.

Yes you can blame Google...

This is a valid claim against Google.
Right, they have their own info which is not better than any other 3rd party, but do they really use it?
Between their millions of advertisers, and the strong will to make as much as possible, do you think they give a crap if someone clicked on my add 10 extra times?
Probably not. Maybe if they offered me to view the information and review where my money went last month I will back them up, but that is offcourse not possible...
But, if it is fairness that we are discussing, isn't changing the TOS in the middle of the game unfair to begin with?


Public perception is more powerful than your current legal options. Google has a financial incentive to allow click fraud. Their big liability is with public perception and trust in their program. Just remember what motivates Google the next time you try to get a credit your account

adsense shows no reffering url

Surely google must allow the referring url info to be shown on any context clicks. They have the info, why don't they give it out?

This would then allow context advertisiers to check the relevancy of the sites sending the traffic, and also track the roi. Hence from either they could work out if traffic was real of not.


http-referer is a browser function

I would point out that appending a http-referer is a browser side function.

There are a number of situations where a browser will omit referrer information.

That is not to say that the method used by google was not deliberately chosen for this characteristic, but it remains a browser side function.

On the other hand, none of the above applies if you are speaking about information obtained from the advertiser control panel.

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