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Andy Beal and Google: Think Happy Thoughts

I don’t know Any Beal, but I just read his “exclusive” report about Google’s click fraud being “less than 2%“. I think Andy Beal has been drinking too much Gool-Aide™. The “report” reads like a combination of informercial and Google Press Release. Think Happy Thoughts: Click Fraud is not a problem.

Promotional language aside, the “report” is based on graphical “data” reminiscent of a Ross Perot speech – colored blocks, big perfect circles around smaller, colored circles, with nary a numeral in sight. In the end, several paragraphs seem intent on persuading the reader that “click fraud” (whatever that is) is very, very small. Way small. Almost tiny. Really, really small, Mom & Dad. Not a problem.

Since this report comes from a very skilled online marketer and not just some blogger, I suggest we cut through the copy and simply look at the “h2” copy. That’s the bold, paragraph header text that summarizes for the lazy reader just what the “take away points” are for the paragraphs. A good marketer knows that the bold text alone delivers the desired message. What do we see when we take only the bold paragraph headers?

Exclusive: Google’s Click Fraud Rate is Less than 2%”

The click fraud rate – as discovered by most AdWords advertisers – is on average, less than 2% of all clicks through Google’s system.

Proof Google’s Click Fraud is Less than 2%

Google’s Four Layers of Click Fraud Filters

A click fraud rate of less than 2% is a world away from the 20% number given by some click fraud detection companies.

Not All Click Fraud is Click Fraud

Google Becoming More Transparent

That’s it folks. That is all of the bolded paragraph header text. That’s the message delivered by Google in collaboration with Andy Beal. Unfair analysis? What do you think?


  1. DazzlinDonna wrote:

    I completely agree with you. In fact, I just finished commenting on it over at SEOrefugee ( This is a spin job made to look like proof. Now, if someone shows us some real proof, and not just some colorful graphics, well, then maybe we’ve got a story. Otherwise, nothing has changed.

    Monday, December 11, 2006 at 2:32 pm | Permalink
  2. Richard Ball wrote:

    Interesting analysis. I read Andy’s post, too, and was a little puzzled by the lack of any quantitative data. The problem’s likely what the definition of click fraud is. I think you could make a case that any paid click from a parked domain is click fraud. Yet, according to Google’s documentation, you might get charged for a paid click on the search network (*not* necessarily on the content network) from a parked domain:
    That’s not search engine advertising so how could it be on the search network?? It’s not even contextual advertising. These parked domains often don’t have any actual content to content match. Google can’t continue to run this AdSense for domains ( program and then tell us there’s no click fraud on their system. Pretty pictures aside, something stinks. ;-)

    Monday, December 11, 2006 at 3:11 pm | Permalink
  3. Andy Beal wrote:

    Thanks for the comments. Nice job in bringing the conversation over to your own blog. I’ve never thought before to extract the bolded text and make it the basis of my own post – nice angle, I will have to remember that one.

    As for drinking the Google kool-ade, you’re not the first to suggest that. I hope you’ll stick around and read more of my posts, as you’ll see I’m quick to attack Google too.

    You should also see the emails I’ve had from Google over my post. I can tell you, it’s not a sanctioned piece. If it were, I’d have included numbers along with those pretty circles. ;-)

    John Andrews replies: Thanks for stopping by, Andy. I haven’t been reading your blog, but I’ll give it a go. I’d love to see the emails you’ve had from Google over that post. Are you sharing?

    Monday, December 11, 2006 at 3:27 pm | Permalink
  4. IncrediBILL wrote:

    Andy has become one of the Google pod people, avoid at all costs….

    Monday, December 11, 2006 at 10:24 pm | Permalink
  5. SEO Buzz Box wrote:

    Interesting indeed.

    Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at 7:21 am | Permalink
  6. xratedpat wrote:

    Did someone call Andy Beal a “very skilled online marketer”!?!? He’s ******************************************************** sheer incompetence. My friends, if anyone has worked with Beal, or had the ********* experience of being one of his clients as I have, you’d know he is nothing more than a blogging fool! If Andy was a skilled online marketer than ************************************************************. 

    John Andrews Notes: Sorry, but I’d rather my blog was not used to discredit anyone, let alone slander or defame or whatever. I think I left enough up there to show you claim first hand experience as a client, you were not pleased, and you have expressed your opinion, but I thank you for accepting my desire to limit the trash talk and keep on the topic of that Google post. By the way I called Andy Beal a “highly skilled marketer” out of basic respect because that is my understanding from his reputation. As I said I don’t know the man; but I try and start from a base of respect when dealing with all people.

    Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. […] A Google click fraud employee has posted on his blog a correction of what Andy beal said he said: Yesterday, Andy Beal posted a detailed story on Google and click fraud, in which I was quoted as saying that Google’s click fraud rate is less than 2%. Did I really say that? Not quite….Specifically, I never said that our click fraud rate is less than 2% […]