Even giants like Google and Yahoo cannot escape the click fraud issue. Google today has agreed to pay up to $90 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the online search engine leader overcharged thousands of advertisers who paid for bogus clicks generated through click fraud. The lawsuit, filed by Lane’s Gifts and Collectibles on behalf of all Google advertisers, charged Google with conspiring with its advertising partners to conceal the magnitude of click fraud to avoid making refunds. The lawsuit also mentions Yahoo!, but a Yahoo! spokesman said they are planning to fight the charges.
This latest development shows once again how vulnerable search engines are to click fraud. Click fraud has been a known issue for many years now and yet even large search engines like Google, which get most of its revenue from contextual ads, are failing at solving (or are not even willing to do anything) about the click fraud problem.
With all the spam websites in the search result pages running AdSense ads and all the low-quality traffic Google gets from their parked domain ads, we can only guess how widespread the click fraud problem actually is.