Google on Click Fraud: *Shrugs Shoulders*, “Meh.”

Google CEO Eric Schmidt: “there is a perfect economic solution [to click fraud] which is to let it happen.”

His theory, essentially, is that if Google just stopped policing the flood of fake clicks originating from shady companies looking to hike up the cost of their competitor’s Google placed ads, the advertisers will eventually clue in and the value of the ads will go down.

Which is great in threory and all, except that Google has a duty not to erroneously bill their clients now. More over, is the fact that Google is overbilling their clients because of a problem in their Adsense model any less major if the amount they are overbilling goes down over time? Whether they are overcharging by $10,000 or just a buck, they are still charging clients for ads that were not clicked by customers.

Looking at the problem in aggregate and declaring it “no big deal” is crappy. Not that Google is necessarily talking about stopping their police efforts: apparently, their engineers think trying to find news ways to stop click fraud as “great fun.” How nice for all their advertisers to hear they are treating the problem so casually.

Google CEO on click fraud: ‘let it happen’ is perfect economic solution [Digital Micro-Markets]