Feeds

Google slapped with click fraud class action

Lifting the veil

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Google has been sued for breach of contract, negligence and unfair business practices over its Adwords ad program. The class action lawsuit filed by Click Defense seeks $5m damages.

The filing seeks discovery on whether Google has taken adequate measures to prevent click fraud, which accounts for between 10 and 20 per cent of all Adwords clicks, according to insider estimates; whether it has misled its Adwords customers, and whether the refunds it has collected from Adwords click fraud victims are justified.

Advertisers pay a fee for every click on a text ad, with the amount depending on the value of the keyword. However the lucrative nature of the system means that 'click syndicates' are deployed to generate clicks on competitors adwords or boost their own.

The suit includes a quote from Google's CFO George Rayes last year, describing click fraud as "the biggest threat to the Internet economy".

"I think something has to be done about this really, really quickly, because I think, potentially, it threatens our business model," he said. Google generates almost all of its revenue from its text advertising.

Stephen Messer, who runs the ad affiliate LinkShare, has described 2005 as "the last big year for search before it blows open or people start looking for alternatives".

Click Defense says it bid $3 for its own advertisements when Google users searched for the term "click fraud", and then became a victim of click fraud itself.

Google denies the charge. ®

Related stories

Google and Yahoo! accused of click fraud collusion
Google sues website over click fraud

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.