Google accused of fraud over AdWords on parked domains

By on July 17, 2008, 9:58 PM
A Boston attorney, called Hal Levitte, has sued Google over ads that cost him $136.11 but allegedly didn't yield any useful results. According to him, Google is defrauding its advertising customers by charging them for clicks from “parked” websites that the search giant knows are worthless.

The complaint states that parked domain and error page ads accounted for approximately 16.2% of all clicks on the plaintiff's ads during his campaign, but did not result in any conversions – he doesn’t mention however how ads converted on other pages. Levitte alleges that Google’s actions were unfair, fraudulent and resulted in an unjust enrichment.

The lawyer advertised his services before Google allowed advertisers to opt-out of domain parking in March 2008. Even now, he says, the option is buried four clicks deep within Google’s interface, where many advertisers are unlikely to notice it.

Of course, there much more to online advertising than simply buying ads and waiting for conversions. Perhaps he was using the wrong keywords or maybe his landing page wasn’t designed to convert well. In any case, while $136 worth of ads on parked domains is hardly a fair sample size, Levitte now hopes to represent other aggrieved Google advertisers by seeking class-action status for the lawsuit.

User Comments: 2

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IMinfected said:
Ummm... maybe I have a misunderstanding... but when I purchase Google Ad Words, I do it for ACTIVE domains. If I park a domain, I would either shut off Adwords if previously purchase or not purchase Adwords. Why would anyone contract for adwords on a PARKED domain?Something is wrong with this picture.
Julio said:
I believe the suit is just about that, Google providing Adsense tags to bulk ad resellers that put them on parked domains, many of which are expired domains still receiving old traffic or common typos for popular domains.
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