More lawsuits against publishers to come?

In the recent AP click fraud article, it refers to the recent lawsuit Google filed against Auction Experts International, over the estimated $50,000 in “illegitimate commissions by clicking on the ad links that Google delivered to its Web pages.”

AP writer Mike Liedtke also has quotes from attorney David Kramer, who represents Google.

The suit won’t be Google’s last to combat click fraud, said Palo Alto attorney David Kramer, who represents the company.

So what does this mean to the average AdSense publisher or advertiser?

It means Google is going to be pursuing those who are committing click fraud. And lawsuits can be quite a deterrent for those committing large-scale click fraud, such as the case with Auction Experts International.

As a publisher, I think this is great since not only does it protect the integrity of the AdSense publisher program, but it also means that sites committing click fraud can easily be taking ad inventory and clicks away from true publishers, meaning that honest publishers may end up showing ads with lower EPC. Once these click fraud sites are suspended from the program, it opens up more ad inventory availability.

As an advertiser, this means that less of my advertising budget will be going to pad the pockets of click fraud artists, and more will be going to true visitor clicks with the potential for conversions.

If filing lawsuits against those committing click fraud is a successful deterent against click fraud, I am all for it. It would be interesting to know if the number of suspected click fraud cases has gone down since last November, when the first lawsuit was filed. Or if it has just brought the issue of click fraud more mainstream where others want to try it too. From both an advertiser and a publisher point of view, I hope it is the former.

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