On the heels of reports that Google is joining Yahoo and MSN to address the click fraud problem, Google has released a report criticizing earlier attempts to quantify the problem as exaggerations.
"Google said reports about click fraud have exaggerated the problem and could scare away advertisers. In its report yesterday, the company attacked the methodology used and conclusions drawn by click-fraud consultants, arguing they either lacked the technology to differentiate between a fraudulent click and a Web page reloading or that their technology improperly counted a single click as multiple clicks. Google cited specific examples of such methodological problems.
The reports ‘have led to vastly inflated estimates’ of the problem, said Shuman Ghosemajumder, Google's product manager of trust and safety. ‘We saw media reports and data from consultants submitted by advertisers and it didn't make any sense. This report details the flaws and explains the discrepancy. We want to help consulting firms.’"
As we’ve previously posted, declining advertiser confidence has forced the largest pay-per-click advertising companies (Google, Yahoo, and MSN) to finally address the click fraud problem. Google’s latest report is an attempt at damage control. Hopefully, it will lead to an honest appraisal of the problem and the granting of additional assurances to participating advertisers.