Google Sued Over Ambiguity Of Blank AdWords Input Box
The suit claims Google doesn’t inform advertisers that if they leave the content bid CPC input blank, Google will use the advertiser’s CPC bid for clicks occurring on the content network.
A lawsuit filed against Google on Tuesday alleges that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has been defrauding its AdWords customers by charging them for ads they don’t want.
The lawsuit, filed by Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif. on behalf of plaintiff David Almeida, seeks class action certification, with the affected class being AdWords customers who left the "’CPC [cost-per-click] content bid’ input [box] blank" when setting CPC bids.
Google allows its AdWords advertisers to set the maximum CPC they will pay when people click on their ads. Advertisers can submit different bid limits for ads that appear in search results lists and ads that appear, through Google’s AdSense program, on Google partner Web sites.
The problem, according to the lawsuit, is that Google doesn’t make it clear that to avoid running ads on the Google AdSense network, one must enter a zero into the appropriate input box rather than leaving it blank.
"This action arises from the fact that Google does not inform its advertisers that if they leave the content bid CPC input blank, Google will use the advertiser’s CPC bid for clicks occurring on the content network," the legal filing says. "Google does this despite the fact that ads placed on the content network are demonstrably inferior to ads appearing on search result pages."
Attorney Brian Kabateck said that Google "is not fully disclosing what they’re doing." Most people will incorrectly assume, he argues, leaving the input box blank will result in nothing being spent on content network ads.
By Thomas Claburn
InformationWeek : Full article appears here: http://www.informationweek.com/news/internet/google/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=207401388&_requestid=162801#community
Commentary: Using a complex application of any type requires that user read the manual. Google provides very good training materials on how to get the most out of adwords. The problem is that people simply don’t read. The click buttons, leave form fields blank and as the attorney himself says "assume".
People should never assume anything.
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