Industry News

Google to settle ‘click fraud’ case for $90 million

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Google Inc. said on Wednesday that it agreed to pay up to $90 million to settle allegations in an industrywide lawsuit that claims search-engine companies overcharge advertisers by billing them for false customer clicks on search-engine ads. Several plaintiffs, including Lane's Gifts and Collectibles, filed a suit last year in an Arkansas court alleging Google and other search advertising providers indirectly benefit from click fraud by doing too little to thwart it, according to media reports. Many advertisers -- real estate companies and agents among them – use Google's ad service that enables them to bid for placement in the search engine's "sponsored links" section. Advertisers must pay for each customer clickthrough, or lead, obtained from these ads. There have been reports of "click fraud," on Google and other search advertising services, where someone repeatedly clicks on an advertising link either manually or using a robot to drive up advertiser fees. Also named in the ...