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May 03, 2004


Brad Choate

Of course there will be abuse. But Google is more than equipped to handle it. Consider the abuse that is taking place for a service like AdSense, where robots or what have you can click on ads to 'steal' ad revenue from Google. And the abuse may not even be coming from the person responsible for hosting the Google ads.

Now think about ads hosted on Gmail, where the user is authenticated. If abuse occurs, Google could simply shutdown that user. Or they can withhold the clickthrough payments for that user. Lots of remedies are available in this scenario compared to web advertising.

Peter Caputa

Thwarting robots from competitive advertisers is a separate issue. As you mention, It looks like they have that one under control.

How do they detect abuse in gmail though? What is abuse? Ads are supposed to be clicked on. What if you are a millionaire and you buy alot of stuff (click on a lot of ads)? How do you tell that person from a person that is clicking on ads to pay their rent or buy their college text books or beer? I think it'd be more prudent to eliminate the motivation for abuse. By paying consumers only when they buy something or sign up for something as a result of the ad they click, like an affiliate program.

Sidenote: In my example, I am not trying to infer that poor people are less honest than wealthy people.

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