Seems like a good time to remind people of my disclaimer, because this post is purely my opinion.
Normally, reading court documents is nearly the last thing I would want to do on a Saturday. But if you’re a search engine geek like me, you’ll find the PDFs linked from this Google Blog post interesting:
- Google posted their Omnibus Response to Objections (PDF doc).
- An independent expert, (a professor at NYU, Dr. Alexander Tuzhilin) produced a 47-page report (also a PDF doc).
I enjoyed both. The first document discusses the proposed $90 million settlement. One excerpt:
Similarly, the California attorneys’ repeated statements to the media–and to this Court–that the $90 million settlement fund will cover “only 0.5% of the damages” is not only egregiously false, it is absurd. The California attorneys take the position that the “damages” are 200 times $90 million, or $18 billion, which is more revenue than Google has received in its entire existence. There is no conceivable theory under which anything close to all of Google’s revenue–let alone more than all of Google’s total revenue–could be attributed to invalid clicks.
The second document is from an independent expert. Dr. Tuzhilin discusses Google’s detection of invalid clicks:
I have been asked to evaluate Google’s invalid click detection efforts and to conclude whether these efforts are reasonable or not. As a part of this evaluation, I have visited Google’s campus three times, examined various internal documents, interviewed several Google’s employees, have seen different demos of their invalid click inspection system, and examined internal reports and charts showing various aspects of performance of Google’s invalid click detection system.
For example, page 17 talks about why Google prefers the term invalid clicks to click fraud. I think most search engine optimization (SEO) folks would enjoy reading both documents. Whether to do it on a Saturday or not is your call, of course.
P.S. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions for what people want to hear me talk about in the future. It helps me a lot, and gave me several ideas for future topics to write about.
Update: I thought I’d add a few extra pointers here. If you haven’t read the full 47 page report at this point, you’re probably not going to. If that’s the case, you should read Danny’s “Cliff Notes” summary of the report. It’s much shorter than 47 pages. Danny covers the report in a level of detail that you normally only see for subscribing members of Search Engine Watch.
Also, I just saw CNET’s article noting that Google is going to offer click fraud stats to advertisers:
Now advertisers will be able to see the number of invalid clicks Google found, as well as what percentage that represents of total clicks registered, said Shuman Ghosemajumder, business product manager for trust and safety at Google. …. Under the new system, AdWords customers will be able to see data on invalid clicks on a daily basis or beyond, going back to the beginning of the year, he said.
I think it’s great if Google starts showing data like this.
Update: Aha, I should have waited a few more minutes. There’s an official blog post up on the AdWords Blog, and it includes a screenshot of the UI. Check out the post.