Google Inc. is suing a Houston-based company for allegedly clicking on sponsored links to fraudulently boost advertising revenues.
Google filed a lawsuit two weeks ago in Santa Clara County Superior Court in California against Auctions Expert International LLC. Google is accusing Auctions Expert of abusing the Google AdSense program, in which web publishers display Google's pay-per-click ads and receive a share of the revenues.
Auctions Expert joined AdSense in August 2003, according to the lawsuit. Google later discovered the alleged misconduct, terminating the contract between the companies and refunding advertisers, Google's complaint states.
"These clicks were worthless to advertisers but generated significant and unjust revenue for Defendants who were paid by Google as if the clicks were legitimate," the lawsuit states.
Google is seeking an unspecified amount of damages and restitution for the revenue-share payments it had made to Auctions Expert, according to the lawsuit.
Google spokesman Steve Langdon said that the Mountain View, Calif., company uses fraud detection technology to combat click fraud and protect advertisers.
"This lawsuit against Auctions Expert demonstrates the success of our anti-fraud system and that we will take legal action when appropriate," he said in a statement.
Talk about your all-time wimpy statements. I'm not impressed. All Google did was exercise its right to file a lawsuit. The same right any of us have. Somebody shoot off the fireworks. Woo hoo! That's some scary stuff right there!
I'm still waiting for Google to flex its considerable muscle. I want to hear a powerful statement from a powerful company. Something to the effect:
"Nothing is more important to us than our customers. They helped make us who we are today, and we will not let them down. We are determined to meet and defeat click fraud head on--no matter how how long it takes or how much it ultimately costs!"
But it will never happen. Why? Because despite its considerable power, Google is a lot like Michael Jackson in some ways. Let me explain:
At one time Michael Jackson was the biggest, most powerful star on the planet. However, as we soon discovered, he was also a wimp who was out of touch with reality.
I view Google the same way. Google is the biggest, most powerful search engine on the planet. But the way its handling click fraud is wimpish and shows it's out of touch with reality also. These are criminals we're talking about here. They're not afraid of a silly lawsuit.
Google needs to get with the program and develop a "gangsta" attitude. Hold a worldwide press conference and tell these punk click fraud thieves in no uncertain hip hop terms:
"Yo, dog, let me holla at you for a second. We are Google, yo. We are the biggest, baddest, most powerful search engine on the planet, yo. Peep this: Do NOT steal from us or our homey's, fool. Me and my posse have the means, the resources and the resolve to hunt you down like the punks you are 24, 7 and bust a cap in your ass! Peace...we out!"
Dean Phillips is an Internet marketing expert, writer, publisher and entrepreneur. Questions? Comments? Dean can be reached at mailto: email@example.com
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