The story is really only tangentally [sic] about nefarious use of ad-sense or ysm dollars. The story is about advertiser alegations [sic] of massive click fraud. The part that got us going on the terrorism angle happened in our initial interview with source Clarence Briggs, CEO of AIT Corporation (extra-large hosting and web-services firm based in N.Carolina), he noted a USAToday article about terrorist organization Orkut sites, noting they often contained AdWords advertising. Clarence then asked the question, “Where does the money go?”
Good question eh?
We began a long investigation into AITs various claims, most of which were extremely strong suggestions Google was allowing and charging for way too many off-shore clicks when AIT had specifically requested a US and Canada only campaign.
So a huge part of Jim Hedger’s story is that AIT requested a US- and Canada-only advertising campaign, but AIT got lots of ad clicks from other countries.
Jim sent some log files from AIT to Google, and our AdWords team checked it out. It turns out that AIT didn’t set up their ad campaigns right. They may have only wanted clicks from US and Canada, but multiple AIT campaigns were set for “All Countries and Territories”.
See how I did that? Just a quick, short rebuttal.
Disclosure: Just to be safe, I ran this post and the last post by someone from our legal and PR teams.