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Old 07-07-2005, 07:26 PM   #26

Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 9,506

It is intriguing that Google didn't have a field day with this judgement. Perhaps back in May the company felt that its best course of action would be to avoid issuing any release that deals with click fraud in an effort to keep the concept out of the headlines. This date also corresponds fairly closely with the network's debut of the CPM-based site targetting feature, which was a proactive gesture aimed at subtly sending a message to the market that click fraud could be battled through evasion (whether the message made sense or not is another matter).

The only other factor that seems to have possibly had a bearing is the fact that Google certainly realises that even a quiet judgement will be heard by the underground elements that the network is trying to target. While small operators who click on a few of their own AdSense ads from the comfort of their bedroom may not have heard of the $75K fine, it's almost certain that organised, commercial operators would have felt the ripples within days of the announcement. Perhaps Google felt that this was a safe medium between serving as a moderate deterrent and keeping the issue out of the public eye for a few weeks.

Since G has suffered from a number of click fraud related articles during the past two months, however, perhaps they'd take a different strategic approach if the judgement had been presented in July rather than May. Nowadays, they'd surely see that a release that discusses click fraud is not necessarily going to do the company harm, as long as the release puts a positive spin on the topic by making G seem either inpenetrable (which it isn't) or determined enough to mean business in protecting its advertisers' accounts from fraud (which it hopefully is).

At least we heard about the outcome, thanks to the savvy PI work of Steve.

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