Google AdWords have long understood that click fraud poses a more serious threat to Google than their advertisers.

Why?

Because if we (the advertisers) suspect click fraud, we walk away from Google AdWords. A great shame, but not the end of the world.

But if enough of us walk away at the same time, AdWords lose their customers. And Google AdWords is the heart of the Google money making machine.

Market forces have, predictably, produced services to stamp down on this threat. Some of whom, according to Google, have widely exaggerated the scale of the problem.

From Inside AdWords:

“One clear indication that the consultants’ results are flawed: they’re not even getting the total number of clicks correct. We have seen some instances of reports showing 1.5 times the number of clicks in our logs – for example, in one case 1,278 clicks were claimed as being “fraudulent” by the consultant while only 850 actually even appeared as clicks in Google’s logs.”

Troubling findings on how some third parties detect click fraud

A more detailed PDF of the findings may be found here.

Personally I’ve always found Google to be quite responsive when it comes to responding to click fraud. And infinitely better than Overture.

And it’s no coincidence that Google also recently introduced new features to track invalid clicks from within their reports. Details here:

Estimating invalid clicks