A group of advertisers quietly filed a lawsuit in February against Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and other Internet companies in a potentially important legal test of those companies' liability for a form of online-advertising fraud.
The plaintiffs, led by Lane's Gifts & Collectibles LLC, a Texarkana, Ark., retailer, allege that the Internet companies knowingly overcharged for advertisements they sold and conspired with each other to continue doing so. The plaintiffs are seeking to have their suit, which hasn't received widespread attention, certified as a class action.
The also named AOL, Ask, Disney, Lycos, LookSmart, and FindWhat in the suit.
The search engines have antifraud systems and sometimes issue refunds for bogus clicks. But they decline to comment in detail on the scope of the problem, exactly how they are fighting it, and any specific instances of click fraud, in part because they don't want to tip off fraudsters. That has fed some advertisers' fears that the problem is bigger than the search companies acknowledge. Estimates of click fraud run as high as 20% of all clicks on search ads.
Yahoo! has been making a strong run in the stock market for the last week, and Google is valued at 49 billion. Nobody has really challenged this issue yet. If this gets pushed it could get rather ugly quick for search stocks. Google makes 99% of their income from ads.
The launch of the campaign was timed to coincide with the beginning of the Japanese financial year, said Saito. April 1 is typically the day that large Japanese companies take in new employees. It is also close to the beginning of the school and university year, so many people are starting "new lives" at around this time of year. With the campaign, Google wants to promote itself as a way for people to get information relevant to their new lives, said Saito.
One of the biggest benefits of search engine marketing and creating your own content is that you can create products, content, and ads based on when you expect people to be at inflection points in their lives. (link found from SearchViews)
I've always had a pretty low opinion of the Search Engine Optimization industry. Though there are of course legitimate experts in the field, it seems chock full of people who are barely above spammers, and they taint the image of the whole group.
Blog comment spam is one common type that bloggers know all too well, but creating tons of rubbish content is another type of spam.
HotNacho hires writers to write low quality articles for $3 each. The articles, being of low quality, have little value by themselves. However, if you can get an authoritative site to host the articles you can make a ton of money from advertising.
Still need some work on the world markets though ;) Fast.ol
Since some of the top ranking search results are owned by competitors (such as Yahoo! Finance) it probably does not hurt Google to keep the visitors at Google by providing a bit more data in the search results.
Also, Google changed their logo for Vincent Van Gogh today. You gotta wonder if the person advertising for that term is going to see a huge traffic spike and lowered ROI on the day.
If I were an aspiring artist who had a few bucks and was trying to promote myself today might be a good day to get some exposure. One of my friends is an artist and a while ago he got to meet Pablo Picasso.