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Yahoo Settles Click Fraud Case

Yahoo today announced a $4.95 million click fraud settlement with Checkmate Strategic Group, months after search rival Google settled its own lawsuit for $90 million.

Engaged in a class-action click fraud suit since June 2005, Yahoo agreed to pay to the plaintiff's attorneys $4.95 million and implement a series of click fraud fighting tactics, Gaude Paez, a Yahoo spokesperson, told internetnews.com.

Click fraud happens when advertisers who are charged by the pay-per- click model used by Yahoo and Google pay for clicks in bad faith.

Many in the industry feared click fraud could become a paralyzing problem.

As part of the settlement, Yahoo will offer advertisers a one-time extended claims period to submit click fraud claims for clicks dating back through January 2004.

Yahoo will also name a Traffic Quality Advocate dedicated to addressing advertiser concerns about click fraud and traffic-quality issues.

And it will host a panel of individual advertisers to review their systems and provide feedback once a year.

The company agreed to work with a third party to combat click fraud industry-wide with the development of definitions of click fraud and comprehensive lists of identified bots.

Additionally, Yahoo will build a Traffic Quality Resource Center to provide advertisers with more detailed information about traffic quality issues (including click fraud) and solutions via FAQs, advice columns, best practices guides and additional access to analytics tools.

Beyond the requirement of the settlement, Yahoo is also pledging to provide advertisers who submit click fraud or traffic quality-related inquiries with a time by which they will receive the results of Yahoo's investigation or a status update.

To provide advertisers with more clarity around refunds for click fraud and other traffic quality issues, Yahoo will include additional detail in advertiser refund notices.