The company maintains that it has been trying to prevent click fraud, or invalid clicks on Internet advertisements, which falsely inflate the number of people reading ads and in turn drives up ad rates. A judge is expected to decide by Friday whether to accept Google's $90 million settlement offer in a click fraud case.
As plaintiffs -- mostly small businesses -- in the class action suit complain the company has not done enough to prevent the practice, Google announced a new AdWords feature that allows advertisers to view click fraud reports.
"One of the controversial issues related to the topic of click fraud has been estimating how big the problem is," Shuman Ghosemajumder, business product manager for trust and safety at Google, wrote in a blog. "This tool will make estimating invalid click activity much easier."
Advertisers will have to pay for reports, which are supposed to show all invalid clicks on a specific account. The reports will display invalid clicks that have been filtered out of AdWords' system. Google explains how it detects invalid clicks and allows advertisers to set up a schedule to automatically receive the reports. The click fraud information can also be obtained manually and users can select the time period (beginning January 1, 2005) they would like to examine.
According to the AdWords' blog, advertisers may be credited when publishers are kicked out of the program for invalid click activity.