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: “Letâ€™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.