Follow up to Click Fraud or inadvertent clicks

Follow up: posted Oct 22
I talked with a Google rep who said many sites had less data to work with on the “performance report”, evidently Google made a lot of older data inaccessible. The other interesting development is Google finally assigned an account manager to the client, so now they at least have someone to go to.
The other day there was a story about Google’s Orkut property. Basically, ads were showing up, served by Google onto Orkut, next to photos and images that were not in good taste. Some advertisers were very offended. Google has a long way to go on making sure ads are appropriately targeted!
Aug 9 original posting follows
On behalf of a client, I recently investigated what appeared to be a case of click fraud on ads from Google’s Content Network. I am interested in feedback about the approach I took, and any suggestions people have of next steps. I think I’m at a dead end: the Performance Report I used is no longer available for the time period of when the ads were running. My full writeup is here.
There are some significant implications for Google, for advertisers and for sites. I have sent the report to a contact at Google in the hope that the details will help them create a better service. Advertisers should be cautious with running ads on Content Network. Sites that are running Google Ads should also be aware of what’s going on. There are many competitors for ad dollars. Many of them are junk. The challenge for legitimate sites will be to stay in Google’s good graces and not be perceived as a bad site. This will be a real challenge, because in the case of this particular client, 70 to 90% of the ads ran on sites that were of very low quality. The full PDF is linked to from here, or read the first few pages of the report online below. Not included: suggestions for Google or detailed data tables comparing specific URLs. See the extended entry.

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