Click fraud in the courts

Click fraud is the search industry's dirty secret. But if two class action lawsuits against Google, Yahoo and others continue in the courts, industry executives may get more information about what really happens when a search engine is targeted by rogue visitors or bots, which click on text ads for false profit.

On Wednesday, one action against Google for click fraud in a Northern California court gained a new class representative, AIT, a Web hosting company based in North Carolina. Click Defense, the previous class representative who earlier this year brought grievances against Google for failing to thwart fraud with technology, presumably had a conflict of interest in its pursuit, given that the company makes money from helping clients detect click fraud. AIT was granted rights to take over as representative.

Meanwhile, another action against Google, Yahoo, FindWhat and AOL is still afloat in Arkansas. That one has Lane's Gifts and Collectibles as its lead representative with an unidentified number in its class. To be continued...

 

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