Google Starts Sharing Click Fraud Data with Advertisers

6 comments

In one of the smartest moves by Google in recent times, the company is now sharing its “invalid click” data with AdWords advertisers. Marketers who have search engine marketing campaigns with Google can now view the number of “invalid clicks” and the “invalid click rate” in their reports.

This latest development comes as a response to the mounting pressure on the company to do something about the growing click fraud problem. Now, advertisers can see exactly what Google is doing for them, as far as detecting and refunding click fraud goes.

It is also worth noticing that the company is staying away from using phrases like “click fraud” or “fraudulent clicks”, instead continuing to use the milder “invalid clicks” wording. The only question is, how exactly does Google define an “invalid click” (aside from the ubiquitous explanation that “some sources of invalid clicks include …”)? Other search engines call it click fraud … why not Google?

About the Author

Andrey Milyan was the first editor-in-chief of Search Marketing Standard, the leading print publication covering the search marketing industry. He has been following and reporting on industry developments for over 10 years. Andrey now works in the paid search sector of a prominent search marketing agency.

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6 Comments

  1. chris

    As a Google advertiser, I really was hoping that this announcement would contain a clearer definition of "invalid clicks" too. It's great that they're going to show us how serious a problem they consider this to be, but without knowing exactly what count as "invalid clicks", we're talking apples and oranges, IMHO.

  2. Andrey Milyan

    The last thing Google wants to admit is that the click fraud is a problem.

  3. chris

    I agree. I guess what I'm saying is it will be very interesting to see how much of the click fraud I am certain is going on with my AdWords account actually shows up as "invalid" clicks in Google's report. I'm sure it will be less than I know it is.

  4. Andrey Milyan

    It's difficult to say. But I wouldn't get overly excited about this new feature. Keep your third-party tracking software for a little while longer; at least to make sure Google provides you with an accurate information.

  5. Craig Danuloff

    I'll give you a definition. Invalid clicks are the fraction of click fraud that Google knows about and catches.

  6. chris

    Good one, Craig ... hehehehe

    I plan to keep my third-party tracking going no matter which search engine comes up with whatever so-called definitive feature, especially as far as evaluating click fraud is concerned. I use Google Analytics already, but I always compare it to my third-party software and the results are always, shall I say, "interesting".