Jul 17, 2008 113 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Just last month, Google Inc. was sued by a startup company called LimitNone LLC for Trade Secret Violation. Now, according to Information Week, in yet another court case, Google has been sued by lawyers from the San Francisco-based Schubert Jonckheer Kolbe & Kralowec, citing "low-quality ads". In Internet terms, low quality advertisements refer to the advertisements that generate a poor response or an unacceptable conversion rate. Such conversions can arise due to placement, audience targeting, or related factors.

The class action lawsuit has been filed in the San Jose, U.S. District Court. The primary plaintiff in this latest complaint against Google is Hal K. Levitte, a lawyer, who had advertised about his legal services through a Google AdWords pay-per-click campaign in the year 2007.

According to the complaint from the plaintiff, Levitte had placed online advertisements for 'Levitte International' using Google AdSense and his campaign carried on from June 1, 2007 to August 18, 2007. Between this period, Levitte received 202,528 impressions from parked domain pages. But out of these impressions he just received 668 clicks with zero conversions. Also, the advertisements were also shown on the 'error pages', courtesy of Google's AdSense for Errors program. This caused Levitte to receive just 1,009 impressions and 25 clicks, with absolutely no conversions.

According to Google, “Parked domain pages generally have no content; however, by adding targeted ads, we hope to help users find what they are looking for. Google's online documentation explains. "Using Google's semantic technology to analyze and understand the meaning of the domain names, AdSense for Domains delivers targeted, conceptually related advertisements to parked domain pages to improve the user experience on these pages."

As per the plaintiff's complaint, “Domain and error page ads accounted for approximately 16.2% of all clicks on plaintiff's ads during his campaign, yet did not result in a single person completing the online form on the site, or contacting the plaintiff by phone or e-mail.”

Out of Levitte's $887.67 advertising campaign, he had spent $136.11 for advertisements on parked domains and error pages, that amounted to 15.3% of his overall budget. Levitte's lawyers also intend to reel in other advertisers, that might have been allegedly duped by Google. According to his lawyers, “We believe it's a problem that affects all [Google's] advertisers equally.”

The complaint also states that, “Google includes millions of parked domains and error pages that have little or no content, and that result in practically zero conversions, in both its Content Network and its Search Network. Given the low quality of these parked domain and error pages, advertisers would not want to spend their advertising budgets on these distribution networks. However, Google designed its network in such a way that it was virtually impossible to opt out of the AdSense for Domains and/or AdSense for Errors programs."

Till now, no comment has surfaced from Google and according to one of the company's spokesperson, Google has not yet received the complaint.

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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