GoogleAn appeal has been won for AdWords advertisers in a ruling that denied them class-action status in their suit against Google of ads appearing on error pages and parked domains.

The 2012 ruling was overturned by the Ninth District Court of Appeals, and more specifically by a US District Court of Northern judge in appeal case Pulaski & Middleman LLC v. Google Inc. 12-16752.  It was concluded by the higher court that the lower court had erred in its decision to deny class-action status. The ruling remands the case to a trial judge.

In the Google AdWords Litigation, 5:08-cv-03369 district court case, advertisers argued that Google had misled them about what kind of sites and pages their AdWords ads could appear on between 2004 and 2008.  In March of 2008, Google had updated the AdWords interface, which would give advertisers the ability to opt out of having their ads shown on error pages and parked domains when advertising on the Google Display Network.

What the advertisers are seeing is restitution for the difference between what they paid per click, versus what they actually paid had Google told them their ads were appearing on error pages and parked domains.  The advertisers proposed three different methods for arriving at the damages, but Google argued that these methods were arbitrary.  The lower court had sided with Google.

But, fortunately, for the advertisers, the higher court disagreed, saying that the calculation doesn’t need to take into account sales that might have come from ads on those “lower quality” pages, since the focus is to be on how advertisers would have valued the service at the time of purchase if the advertisers knew where the ads were going to run.

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