Google Agrees To Pay $20 Million To Search Marketers Over AdWords “Daily Budget”

MediaPost reports that Google has settled on a class action lawsuit brought by search marketers for exceeding the daily budget within the AdWords system. The settlement means Google can pay up to $20 million, including over $5 million to the plaintiff’s lawyers.

The suit was over how Google allegedly charged advertisers 120% of their maximum daily budget. Two advertisers are receiving $20,000 worth of AdWords credits for this daily budget excess: Minnesota printing company CLRB Hanson Industries and New Jersey resident Howard Stern (not related to the radio show).

Google argued that the excess is often used in the following days. A Google spokesperson said:

Google believes the claims are without merit, but we are pleased to have the litigation behind us and to move forward with our business objectives.

I often see advertisers complain that Google exceeded their budgets. I have never seen Google credit advertisers for this.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Google: Legal | Top News

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • JezC

    Google can and does reimburse spending in excess of 120% of the daily budget. HIstorically it is listed as an “Account Budget Overrun” in billing reports – see this short 2006 blog article describing the issue http://blog.merjis.com/2006/09/14/adwords-budget-overrun/

    It is possible to manipulate an account to deliver a “free excess” of clicks. There are clauses in the Terms of Service apparently intended to allow Google to take action against an advertiser who appears to deliberately exploit that weakness.

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