Rollie Hawk writes "As is the case with any pay-per-click (PPC) advertising service, Google AdSense is vulnerable to click inflation, where the per-click values of ads go down thanks to excessive clicking. What is different this time is that it is not greedy webmasters clicking ads on their own site but rather the advertisers themselves. In a lawsuit filed last year, Google alleges that Auctions Expert used hired hands and automation to generate high numbers of ad clicks that resulted in $50,000 in revenues. This was done with two goals in mind: forcing wasted advertising expenses on competitors and inflating their own click values, lowering advertising costs. Industry insiders claim that Google AdSense and other PPC advertising providers are undermanned and therefore don't catch many of the estimated 20% fraudulent clicks. It certainly seems that some heuristic software could help reign-in some of these activities, yet Google seems to do a large amount of this work by hand. Often criticized for its policies of non-disclosure for many of its online services, Google claims the secrecy is justified in the case of not giving advertisers details on fraudulent clicking. They say the last thing they want to do is provide a 'road map' to would-be frauders."