Google allies with click-fraud-detection firm Click Forensics
Google has had a sometimes rocky relationship with Click Forensics
IDG News Service - In a development that would have seemed impossible two years ago, Google Inc. is cooperating publicly with Click Forensics Inc., a click-fraud-detection company with which it has had a rocky relationship.
Click Forensics said Thursday that Google has agreed to accept the electronically generated click-quality reports generated by the Click Forensics FACTr service. That means the process of documenting click-fraud instances and submitting reports to Google will be significantly automated and simplified for advertisers that use the FACTr service.
Google and Click Forensics make for strange bedfellows. The companies have sparred over the issue of click fraud, and the rhetoric has often approached ugly territory.
Google has accused Click Forensics of being inept in its methodology and misleading in its results in order to make the problem seem bigger than it is. Meanwhile, Click Forensics has charged that Google has purposefully trivialized click fraud and mischaracterized it as a minor problem.
Starring in the skirmishes have been Click Forensics President and founder Tom Cuthbert and Google's expert on click fraud, Shuman Ghosemajumder.
Click fraud happens when someone clicks on an ad with malicious intent. For example, a competitor may click on a rival's pay-per-click ads in order to drive up its ad spending. Or a publisher may click on pay-per-click ads on its site to trigger more commissions.
Google generates almost all of its revenue from the type of online advertising that is most vulnerable to click fraud -- pay-per-click ads that appear along with relevant search results or in Web pages of relevant content.
Google declined to comment for this article, but Click Forensics CEO Paul Pellman said his company welcomes Google's cooperation in the FACTr (Fully Automated Click Tracking Reconciliation) service.
"From our standpoint, this is the first opportunity in which we've been able to implement something specific with Google, which is great," Pellman said.
Joseph Cowan, senior search strategist at Outrider, a search-engine marketing agency, said it would have been unheard of not long ago for Google to let itself be identified as a Click Forensics collaborator.
"Two years ago, it was a very adversarial relationship," said Cowan, whose company helps advertisers manage campaigns on Google and other search ad networks.
Outrider, which has been in business for 13 years, started offering Click Forensics click-quality services to its clients about two years ago. It realized at the time that click fraud went beyond scammers clicking on pay-per-click ads for malicious purposes, such as inflating their commissions or hurting competitors, he said.
Outrider views click fraud as a broader problem that includes what it calls "unwanted clicks" that aren't maliciously generated but that nonetheless offer advertisers little or no value. For example, a company that only sells in the U.S. gets no benefit from clicks on its ads by people who live abroad, he said.
- It's Not Them, It's You: How Customer Experience Impacts Your Identity and Access Management Practices Customers want more online access, but they also want to do less to get there: more mobility with less hassle. More security, but...
- 5 Reasons It's Time For Secure Single Sign-On While cloud-based applications provide many business benefits including lowering capital expenditures, they can also drive up operational expenses by requiring more administration and...
- Identity is the Center of Omnichannel This paper covers the benefits of adding an identity layer to bridge the gaps of simplified access, multiple entry points and authentication -...
- How to Extend Identity Security to Your APIs This paper discusses what these standards and specifications are, how they can be composed with existing standards like SAML, and details about how...
- What Does it Take to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience? The Two Top-Rated Online Retailers, B&H Photo and Crutchfield Electronics, Share Their Secrets Discuss practical CX tools and service methods such as contact center agents and the use of realtime speech analytics to help contact center...
- Cloud BI in Action: Recorded Webinar of Customer, Kony, Inc. See how Kony, Inc., a leading enterprise mobility company, is using TIBCO Jaspersoft for Amazon Web Services and Redshift to achieve embedded analytics... All E-business White Papers | Webcasts