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July 06, 2005

Does click fraud pay? Not if you are Auctions Expert International

MediaPost reports that the amount of money Google won from the Auctions Expert International lawsuit is $75,000. Interestingly, this is significantly higher than the estimated $50,000 Auctions Expert International actually defrauded Google out of by hiring people to click their ads.

GOOGLE QUIETLY WON A $75,000 judgment in May in a click fraud case against former AdSense participant Auctions Expert International and its two founders.

Google's lawsuit, filed late last year in Santa Clara County Superior Court in California, charged that the Houston-based Auctions Expert "artificially and/or fraudulently" generated clicks on the ads Google served to the company's Web site. Auctions Expert, like other AdSense publishers, received a share of pay-per-click revenue when Web visitors clicked on certain ads on the Auctions Expert page.
Google alleged in legal papers that Auctions Expert hired dozens of people to click on the site's ads, to the tune of at least $50,000.

Technically, Auctions Expert is out the $50,000 they earned through fraudulent clicks, the extra $25,000 added to the judgment, as well as site related costs, including what they paid to the actual ad clickers. It was an expensive lesson learned by Sergio Morfin and Alexei Leonov of Auctions Expert.

Whether Google will see the money or not is another issue. They won the default judgment because Auctions Expert International did not respond to the lawsuit.

Is this the last lawsuit against click frauding publishers that we will see? Likely not. And click fraud artists have more to worry about than just having their account suspended and losing their 30-60 days of AdSense earnings. They should also be worried about a potential lawsuit.

Posted by Jenstar at July 6, 2005 06:53 AM

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Comments

Are you an employee of Googles? It certainly appears that way after reading your Blog. According to you, based on what you have written, Adsense rules and everything else drools. To me Adsense represents the best and the worst of the internet and while you always point out the good in Adsense, I did not see a single post that talks about many of the problems publishers have had.

For instance Google uses a canned e-mail to remove publishers who have "broken the rules." No warning. Just yanking their account. Is this fair?

Then if a publisher asks why they get another canned e-mail saying that Google can't say becasue it would reveal their "technology." That's bunk. They do what they do and no one should question them.

Yahoo! may be behind them in regards to technology, but hopefully this will not be for long.

Posted by: Paul at July 7, 2005 11:55 AM

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