In search news, it was recently discovered that, for the last two years, a Russian hacker had been caught running a click fraud service called GoodGoogle, and it was found that they were promoting it in videos on Google’s YouTube and using Gmail accounts to correspond with customers.
The scam was brought to light by Brian Krebs, an online security expert. So what was the scam offering? GoodGoogle enabled advertisers to quickly run down competitors’ daily budgets on Google AdWords.
Here is GoodGoogle’s offer:
“Are you tired of the competition in Google AdWords that take your first position and quality traffic? I will help you get rid once and for all competitors in Google Adwords.”
If advertisers gave up $100, GoodGoogle would block three to ten ad units for a full 24 hours. By spending $1,000, an advertiser would be able to run down the daily budgets of a handful of competitor ads forever. What seems a little it would have been a bit fishy in my mind is that all payments had to be made upfront.
So how did GoodGoogle manage two years without being detected by Google’s anti-fraud detection systems? The service had used a dedicated network of hacked computers that would automate the ad clicking and software that makes any clicks seem natural.
GoodGoogle had told Krebs that he could “find dozens of happy customers to vouch for the efficacy of the service.” It will come as no surprise when Google finally shuts down GoodGoogle and discovers who exactly is behind the service.