Ask.com is apparently being sued in a class action lawsuit for “failing to adequately detect and stop ‘click fraud’ or other invalid or improper clicks on online advertisements.” According to SlightlyShadySEO, a notification went out via e-mail informing advertisers of the lawsuit and a website has been set up to address the lawsuit.
How Ask.com could have stopped people committing click fraud is beyond me, but I guess the biggest issue here are the claims that they weren’t able to adequately detect it and reverse charges accrued due to the invalid clicks. I’m assuming that advertisers noticed some funny business going on with some of the clicks, reported it to Ask.com, and then asked for a refund, only to be denied due to a lack of evidence that they were in fact improper clicks. It’s hard to say though as no information has been given about what kind of safeguards Ask does have in place.
A copy of the settlement notice can be accessed at AskSettlement.com, where you may also fill out an online claim form to be considered in the class action lawsuit.
According to the settlement notice, class members are asking for “advertising credits to class members that certify that they were the victims of ‘click fraud’ or other invalid or improper clicks on online advertisers purchased from IAC Search Media Inc. and/or Ask Jeeves Inc. on or before August 1, 2005.”
I’m not sure how this case will stand up in court, but any decisions that are eventually made will have major implications for others in the Pay-Per-Click business, including search giants Yahoo and Google.