Krebs On Security took a look at the practice of click fraud that depletes a competitors ad budget. The practice is to run up the costs and maybe get them to blow their wad early in the day. I have spoken to people over the years who certainly felt their AdWords campaign was a waste of time and money. While many focus on click fraud on the AdSense side, it seems that the AdWords side is also a big problem.
From the article:
Today’s post looks at a popular service that helps crooked online marketers exhaust the Google AdWords budgets of their competitors.
One of the more well-known forms of online ad fraud (a.k.a. “click fraud“) involves Google AdSense publishers that automate the clicking of ads appearing on their own Web sites in order to inflate ad revenue. But fraudsters also engage in an opposite scam involving AdWords, in which advertisers try to attack competitors by raising their costs or exhausting their ad budgets early in the day.
Enter “GoodGoogle,” the nickname chosen by one of the more established AdWords fraudsters operating on the Russian-language crime forums. Using a combination of custom software and hands-on customer service, GoodGoogle promises clients the ability to block the appearance of competitors’ ads.
“Are you tired of the competition in Google AdWords that take your first position and quality traffic,?” reads GoodGoogle’s pitch. “I will help you get rid once and for all competitors in Google Adwords.”
The service, which appears to have been in the offering since at least January 2012, provides customers both a la carte and subscription rates. The prices range from $100 to block between three to ten ad units for 24 hours to $80 for 15 to 30 ad units. For a flat fee of $1,000, small businesses can use GoodGoogle’s software and service to sideline a handful of competitors’s ads indefinitely. Fees are paid up-front and in virtual currencies.
Read the full article here