Report backs Google efforts to combat fraud

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – An independent report filed on Friday in an Arkansas court sided with Google over disgruntled advertisers who had sued the search engine giant accusing it of trying to drive up fees through so-called click fraud.

The two sides agreed to commission the report as part of a settlement deal for the lawsuit, filed by advertising customer Lane’s Gifts in a state court in Miller County, Arkansas.

Pay-per-click advertising, where advertisers only pay when people click on ads, is seen by critics as the Achilles’ heel of Web search leader Google, which last quarter saw revenues grow 77 percent to $2.46 billion, virtually all from such ads.

The suit alleged Web advertisers allowed their pay-per-click ad systems to be abused in order to drive up fees paid by customers. It argued that companies such as Google have not taken reasonable steps to regulate the practice.

"Based on my evaluation, I conclude that Google’s efforts to combat click fraud are reasonable," Alexander Tuzhilin, a professor of information systems at New York University, said in the report. Lane’s Gifts commissioned Tuzhilin’s report.

The Google Blog just posted the independent study on their click fraud detection practices that shows Google makes reasonable efforts to detect click fraud.

This is probably true and Im sure Google does all it can to battle click fraud, but they cant prevent it totally.   I think Google adwords is the best pay per click program by far but I would be cautious of the Google content network and I never recommend it to clients when doing Adwords advertising. 

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