I was just reading an interesting article over on Marketing Pilgrim about Google and click fraud. The essence of the article is that Google automatically discounts about 10% of all AdSense clicks as fraudulent. These "false positive" clicks are just thrown out and the advertiser is not charged and the publisher is not paid.
Google makes it sound as if they are being the good guy and taking the hit in the wallet for this but they are not. Once you've paid your money into the AdWords program it is only a matter of time before it is all spent. It is the AdSense publisher who is getting the shaft on this deal.
Because Google is assuming 10% of the clicks are fraudulent a publisher may be sending real clicks to an advertiser and not being paid. I track all outgoing clicks on this site and I know how many people leave via an AdSense link and let me tell you right now, my data and Google's data NEVER match up.
I have had days where I see 100+ outgoing AdSense clicks yet Google will report half that number to me. Those can't all be fraudulent clicks so what is the deal?
The deal is that Google is trying to make themselves look good at the expense of their publishers. Even if 10% of clicks are fraudulent you can't just blindly discount 10% of all clicks! All this tells me is that Google has no real way of knowing if a click is legit or not so they are just randomly (blindly) discounting clicks in an effort to appease advertisers.
Guess what Google, piss off enough AdSense publishers and you will have a hard time moving your AdWords inventory.