I found this by way of WMW, then on Google’s site. Seems AdSense is letting customers run reports showing “invalid clicks”, or as most of us know it, “click fraud”. While this may give some of us a ‘sense’ of security, many others will find fault after fault in the reporting. Here is a clip from Google’s site:
Today, we’re announcing the launch of a new AdWords feature enabling advertisers to have a much more detailed picture of invalid click activity in their account. The metrics of “invalid clicks” and “invalid clicks rate” will show virtually all the invalid clicks affecting an account.
These clicks are filtered in real-time by our systems before advertisers are charged for them. The resulting data will of course differ from one advertiser to the next. In addition, a much smaller number of invalid clicks may also be credited to advertisers’ accounts after-the-fact, as the result of a publisher being terminated from the AdSense program for invalid click activity. These will appear as account-level credits.
One of the most controversial issues related to the topic of click fraud has been estimating how big the problem is. Estimates from third-parties (usually from consultants who have a financial incentive to make the problem seem very large) have been both inconsistent and greatly exaggerated due to their methodologies. Advertisers have always been able to compare their log data with their AdWords charges to calculate an estimate of the number of invalid clicks in their own account. This new tool will make estimating invalid click activity much easier.
Notice the bold print part above. So what they’re saying is, even if you use a 3rd party solution, they won’t believe it. They’re not going to trust the advertiser and they’re not going to trust the 3rd party service, so you’re screwed! I have an idea, offer a neutral 3rd party solution that both sides trust. One that has no financial gain or benefit to pump one side or the other up. Not sure how that would work, but in my honest opinion, this new reporting means nothing. They say “consultants who have a financial incentive to make the problem seem very large”, yet, isn’t it a financial incentive for Google to make the problem seem very small? Hi Pot, meet Kettle.