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April 7, 2006

Strange Happenings in Google AdWords

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Search Engine moderator Jeff Martin has loosely translated an article on the Chinese site Sina that seems to indicate a Chinese Adwords advertiser is set to sue Google China for click-fraud after his monthly Adword charges jumped from 158 RMB to 8,000 RMB.

Mr. Huang reportedly sent an email to Google China requesting an investigation into the matter. Upon completion, Google said there was ‘no suspicion of click fraud’ but refused to supply any data to support that claim. If Huang goes through with his suit it will be the first time a user has sued Google China. It will be interesting to see how Google handles the situation, after just settling a click-fraud class action suit for $90 million dollars (without acknowledging any guilt) last month.

Speaking of AdWords, forum members at WebmasterWorld are reporting ‘drastic’ and ‘incredible increases’ in the cost-per-click for their keywords. According to Search Engine Roundtable, users noticed the price jump overnight, with prices leaping to $0.05 to $5.00, $1.00 to $5 – $10, $0.51 to minimum $6.24 and $0.17 to $5.00. While it would appear Google has done some tweaking to their super secret scoring algorithm, an Adword advisor blames it on changes related to the new Landing Pages System implemented in December. Users were advised to review their pages to make sure they adhere to the new guidelines. Either way, the Google Advisor says they are looking into it.

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