Berhard calls Google Will Eat Itself an "auto-cannibalistic system." He and his pals claim that they run about 50 hidden web sites packed with Google ads and that they regularly generate clicks on these ads via an army of carefully-controlled online bots. "This isn't that hard to do if you have the technical skills. Google's system is not perfect." The trick, Bernard says, is to keep each bot below Google's click fraud threshold.
At the end of each month, Google forks over money for these clicks, they say, and they slip the money into a secret Swiss bank account. And when there's enough for another Google share, they buy another Google share. As it stands, they say, they've gobbled up 819 shares - a stake worth about $405,405.
Of course, ad funds coming from Google are first coming from Google advertisers.
"By short-circuiting Google's advertising system, we're having Google buy itself - though in the end we actually own the shares," Bernard says. "But this is not a criminal practice. We will give the shares back to the general public - general internet users."
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