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Dean Gresham’s Quest for Click-Fraud Reform

Dean Gresham’s Quest for Click-Fraud Reform

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In the new issue of Texas Rising Stars, which is currently on desks in the Lone Star state and available online and in digital form, we took a look back at the work of Dean Gresham of Payne Mitchell Law Group in Dallas, who in 2008 helped achieve significant click-fraud reforms.

Gresham got involved in the issue after his client, the owners of Lane’s Gifts & Collectibles, a gift shop in Texarkana, Ark., became suspicious about clicks on their website. “They were noticing all these strange hits from China and Korea at 4 o’clock in the morning, but they were just clicks,” he says. “People weren’t really browsing their website or buying their items, … They were just clicking for whatever reason.”

Gresham found out a likely reason. In advertiser click fraud, a company intentionally clicks on its competitor’s ad in order to deplete that competitor’s daily ad budget for its per-click fee, which is paid to Google. When the budget is drained, the competitor drops from the top spot in the search engine.

“Sometimes [a company’s competitor] pays someone in India 20 rupees a day to click all day on your ad,” he says.

Gresham found others that had similar experiences and pulled together a class-action. The upshot: Google agreed to give advertisers $60 million worth of free advertising, and to let an Internet expert access its documents and algorithms and observe how the company’s click-fraud detection system functions. It was a transparency moment for the pay-per-click and search-engine industries, Gresham says.

To read the full story, go here.

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