Google click fraud costs $90 million

Google has chosen to pay advertisers a settlement of $90 million in return from protection from future lawsuits. Numerous advertisers have found competitors paying people to click on ads and/or using software 'bots to click through ads. Doing so brings more revenue to Google and can dramatically increase costs for advertisers.

Google has refused to talk about the problem much, leading to speculation that the company profits handsomely from the fraud. The company has detailed statistics on where clicks come from, and could certainly develop analytical routines that look for such fraud and throw away fraudulent click throughs. But that would reduce revenue. Google stock lost 3% after the announcement.

In other Google news, screen snapshots have leaked out on Google's "free" calendar application, which of course will be lathered with ads and will require you to provide personal information to Google to use. The company is probably drooling over the thought of getting whole families to use the application, because they can then capture young consumers and begin building dossiers on them at a very early age.

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