Click Fraud: Google Clarify “Let It Happen”

Google have replied to a ZDNet article, published last week, which quoted Eric Schmidt on the subject of click-fraud. Needless to say, Google say the article was “misleading”, as the quotes were taken out of context.

Eric made clear from the very beginning that he wasn’t describing our approach to click fraud and was answering hypothetically. He introduced his answer by saying: “Let’s imagine for purposes of argument that click fraud were not policed by Google and it were rampant …”

The “let it happen” excerpt followed, in which he discusses the economic forces that can retard click fraud: “Eventually the price that the advertiser is willing to pay for the conversion will decline because the advertiser will realize that these are bad clicks. In other words, the value of the ad declines. So, over some amount of time, the system is, in fact, self-correcting. In fact, there is a perfect economic solution, which is to let it happen.

Google finish by saying they take click fraud “very seriously”.

I do believe them, especially as they have stated openly what they consider the key risks are to their business, and one of those is click-fraud.
The problem is that their secrecy, and habit of saying “trust us”, doesn’t help them much on this one. Anti-click fraud measures need to be seen to be done, else this story is surely going to pop-up time and time again.

  1. corey_iconocastcorey_iconocast07-21-2006

    Why you need to Fight Click Fraud

    I have been reading and thinking a lot about the dilemma of Click Fraud. I
    believe Click Fraud is more of a danger to existing Google AdSense
    publishers who are honest than Google.

    I also read about eBay promoting click fraud with allowing people to place
    dishonest ads. Shame on eBay!

    See below:

    also see:

    I believe Google has created tremendous value with Google AdSense. Google
    and Google AdSense Team should be congratulated for such achievement.

    Let me show you how I mean this.

    Here is my reasoning:

    First, I like to pose this question:

    How much is your website worth if you generate revenue from Google AdSense?

    Let’s say your website makes a good $30 per day on average.

    This is how we calculate the value of your website:

    Yearly income = $30 x 30 x 360 = $32,400

    Value of the Website= $32400/interest rate = 32400/.07 = $462,857 (this is
    assumed that the income will never end and is good for ever

    Of course if the income grows, the value will be even more)

    How many websites do you think make over $30 per day? If the answer is say
    10,000. Then total value created is: 10,000 x $462857 = $4,628,570,000.
    That is more than $4 Billion.

    Google should be congratulated for creating such a wealth.

    I am 100 percent sure not many honest AdSense Publishers are aware of this

    If they knew, they would also be more protective of the existing AdSense
    system and the integrity of the AdSense system. Hence, I believe Google
    should plan a campaign to educate the honest Publishers of such value and
    the fact that Click Fraud can jeopardize this value.

    If the Honest AdSense Publishers recognize this value and also recognize the
    danger that such value could be jeopardized by Click Fraud, they will take

    This might relieve Google from Burden of fighting Click Fraud alone.

    I suggest AdSense Publishers boycott eBay. We must fight along Google to
    eradicate Click Fraud.

  2. Peter Da VanzoPeter Da Vanzo07-25-2006

    Nice post, Corey. “I believe Google has created tremendous value with Google AdSense. ” – ditto.

    Those ebay sales are a real eye opener – thanks a lot for bringing them to everyones attention.

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