Google is getting a bit scared over some of the money they bring in. Why? Because of click fraud. Companies pay a sum to Google for referrals, which is how click advertisement is supposed to work. Click fraud is estimated to be as high as 12%, and many companies are saying that Google's $60 Million tribute to settle click fraud lawsuits just doesn't cut it, especially since the value of that 12% is roughly $1.5 Billion. Click fraud has been a thorn in Google's side for a while, but they claim they are doing something about it and even proactively helping companies out:
Based on a month-long analysis of the traffic that Google ads referred to Radiators.com, Thys suspects click fraud may have accounted for 35 percent of the Web site's $20,000 ad bill. After reviewing Thys' evidence, Google said its internal safeguards had spotted the suspicious activity as it occurred and never billed Radiators.com for fraudulent clicks. However, Thys said the search engine didn't provide him with any data to back up its findings in an e-mail signed simply by "Ray" from Google's click quality team.
But why would someone want to “click fraud” a company anyways? While it may not result in any direct benefit for that user, it does harm the company – and corporate espionage isn't being ruled out. Google isn't the only company plagued by this, with pretty much all big search engines and Internet advertisement companies having this to deal with. Sometimes, lots of money coming in means that things aren't working the way they are supposed to.