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Google Opens Click-Fraud Resource Center

Google today announced it's created a new Web site to serve as the single source for all click-fraud and ad traffic-quality-related information.

The Ad Traffic Quality Resource Center features an overview of what click fraud is and what Google's doing about it, a Help Center for detailed FAQs and multimedia presentations and a section called "Tech Talk," which features in-depth articles and blog posts written by its engineering team and other experts in the field.

Just over a year and a half ago, Google CEO Eric Schmidt hypothesized that click fraud might not be such a big deal.

"Let's imagine for purposes of argument that click fraud were not policed by Google and it were rampant," Schmidt said at the SIEPR conference at Stanford University in March 2006.

"Eventually the price that the advertiser is willing to pay for the conversion will decline because the advertiser will realize that these are bad clicks.

"In other words, the value of the ad declines. So, over some amount of time, the system is, in fact, self-correcting. In fact, there is a perfect economic solution, which is to let it happen."

Google eventually changed its public stance on click fraud.

Last August, the company, along with Microsoft , Yahoo, Ask.com and LookSmart, formed the Click Measurement Working Group under the aegis of the Interactive Advertising Bureau and in conjunction with the Media Rating Council.

Google's enthusiasm for such a group wasn't surprising. Advertisers sued the search giant and won a $90 million settlement that was approved a week before the formation of the group.

Since then, the company's take on the issue has more or less echoed the language found in the new resource center, where click fraud "refers to clicks generated with malicious or fraudulent intent."

Google said it and fellow members from the Click Measurement Working Group will form a panel at this year's Search Engine Strategies show in San Jose. Shuman Ghosemajumder, business product manager for Google Trust & Safety, will be speaking.