Invalid Clicks/Click Fraud Report

4 comments
Quote:
The bottom-line conclusion of the report is that Google’s efforts against click fraud are in fact reasonable.

get more at the Official Google blog.

What does "reasonable effort" mean anyway?

Comments

It means that still, a lot

It means that still, a lot of people think they are not doing what it takes.

I've just finished reading -

I've just finished reading the independant findings (pdf, 47 pages!) - Interesting.

My (very brief) summary:

Surprise, nay, shock, at the (relative) simplicity of the investigative and reporting systems - Much of the complexity now in-place wasn't seemingly implemented 'til ~4th quarter of... 2005!!!

One of the "click-judgements" made, ie... valid or invalid click, was charging (the advertiser) twice for double-clicks (Double-click as measured by speed). This wasn't revised until ~Mar 2005 when only the first click is (now) charged for.

The author cites that example extensively and and, dare I say, incredulously too... it amounts to ~3 yrs of "double-charging" for one click in effect (We're talking about double-clicking as if firing-up an application on the desktop or similar)!

"Post-click" activity (A sniff of CPA anyone?): The measurement of a user's-activity on the advertisers target site after clicking on an ad (where do they go; what do they do, ie... fill-in a form, make a purchase etc...). Relies on co-operating advertisers willing to share that info and restricted because of time, ie... keeping a "tag" on a user going-forward and subsequently processing their behaviours amidst a sea of other click-data constantly hitting (Googles) servers.

... in other words: Not reliable but presumably useful historical data for future development.

I'm sure someone with more time will describe the document in more detail over the next week or so but my immediate concerns are historical ones going back to before ~mid 2005, for example:

- For publishers that have been kicked-off the network without adequate (if any) explanation (auto-response) prior to ~mid 2005... Well, I think there's a case for some sort of amnesty TBH. Most of the filters, systems and staff that trigger "auto-terminations" were seemingly not even in-place until that period so any judgements were being flagged by an apparently primitive system incapable of taking the degree of "objective" nuances into account that the current system (alledgedly) can now.

- The "double-click" question.

What I've come away with (reading between-the-lines):

- There are clearly blindspots which the system doesn't (or can't) "see".

- There are anomolies which have to be ruled subjectively by a human. This is a worry in situations of low staff numbers and increasing numbers of "alerts"... particularly in the "ramping-up" phase of a new roll-out.

- When G rolls-out a new system, it tends to be at its most secretive. Looking back over time, we can see that it's only after a period of time that the machine opens-up in terms of communicating more of its reasonings and processes. Discounting the obvious needs to safeguard certain commercial-sensitivities; after reading that, it seems a possible underlying explanation for this behaviour may be that, well, put simply... because a (new) project/system/algo/infrastructural change, may simply be operating "by the seat of its pants" (for want of a better phrase), and/or is under-staffed.

- The author couldn't locate any original Click Team member that was involved with the initial setting-up of the system. IIRC (and I'm happy to be corrected with regards to the status of the staff member involved), the one person who could talk about it, was on... "extended leave"!!

Now to read Google's response.

ThePost

My Mum: Your Nightmare

Man! My mom knows that you "double click to make things work." She double-clicks EVERY THING ;D

It literally hasn't been since 1997 that I have seen a company charge for double-clicking! Virtually every single CPC I have ever delt with before and after The Bust has made it very explicit that I will not be charged for "double clicks" or even clicks w/n 24 hours, and I have gotten refunds on such things very easily.

One of my biggest gripes about AdWords is that it is very hard for most of hte mums and pops to differentiate from Goog SERPs and AdWords; they come from the same URLs and same domains. Fortunately, most click profiteering happens from pagead2.google.com but most errant clicks and click extortion happens on good old goog (unlike Overture).

I am so glad I have never had to use AdWords; I find Overture more than enough when I really need something. All I do is troubleshoot other people's AdWord money sinks.

"Valid click"?

If p is “relatively large,” e.g., 10 seconds, then the second click on the same impression can be valid because the visitor may click on an impression, click on the Back button of the browser and come back to the same ad impression again and wanted to have another look at the ad (for example, doing comparison shopping).

Hmm... I guess I'd prefer Pay Per Lead (unique visitor / day) then, thank you very much.

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