Google is issuing refunds to its advertisers after detecting “larger than usual” fraudulent ad clicks, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
On being contacted by TOI to confirm the extent of the problem in Indian market, a Google spokesperson declined to give details. However, he said the company was working “to remove monetary incentives” for spammers.
The fraud was detected in ads bought through a platform called Double Click Bid Manager (DBM) over the last few months, the WSJ reported. DBM is a bidding platform for online advertisers and publishers that Google acquired in 2008. An industry report in May estimated global advertising losses through automation or bot fraud to reach $6.5 million in 2017.
The issue has been long acknowledged in India. Sagar Khatar of MouthShut com said the website shifted to a different ad management platform in 2013 after having trouble computing the number of ad clicks on DBM. “We can’t say if any traf fic is fake. But Google click numbers often did not match other relevant numbers that we were tracking.”
The WSJ has reported the refund amount to be up to “hundreds of thousands of dollars” even as some advertisers confirmed receiving repayments that amount to “less money than you would spend on a sandwich.”
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