So Google has finally acknowledged that click fraud is a problem, so much so that it is paying $90 million to settle the class action lawsuit against it.
The settlement stems from a lawsuit filed by Lane’s Gifts earlier this year in an Arkansas state court and is designed to settle all outstanding claims against Google for fraud committed using its pay-per-click ad system back to 2002, it said.
And no, it is not going to die as an issue, despite this settlement.
Clickz: Google will offer refunds on confirmed invalid clicks for advertisers beyond its current 60-day limit, in the form of credits to purchase ads with Google. The total amount of credits, plus attorneys’ fees, will not exceed $90 million. The agreement will cover all advertisers who claim to have been charged but not reimbursed for invalid clicks dating from 2002 when Google launched its cost-per-click advertising program through the date the settlement is approved by the judge.
The Official Google Blog has a statement and more details on this here…
Updated: Danny Sullivan, Editor-In-Chief, Search Engine Watch, writes in, in response to my comment about this issue not dying down: “Nope, it’s not going to die, but it just became a heck of a lot less of a threat. Two things here. First, it’s very likely to my understanding that if this settlement goes through, all click fraud claims in the US against Google during this period go away. All of them…What about future cases? Google’s making noises in that post above about why they think it won’t happen…Google says they are more proactive now. Steve [attorney for the other side] says he hopes there will be more data provided and third parties have a roll. No one things click fraud is going away, but it does potentially give Google a fresh start to make sure it is keeping advertisers happy and credited quickly if they spot something, to the degree they don’t feel they need to go to court. Plus, I think the case will scare some people off. Google’s settling for only — and I use that word on purpose — $90 million for a four year period. That’s not much across the billions spent. A class action for future cases could happen, but you have the burden of showing Google’s gotten much worse at things to get a value higher than this one.”