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  1. #1
    Sinclair Oil Lurker Jones's Avatar
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    Is Click Fraud Really a Problem?
    I thought this article was good considering all the hooplah we had over the last thread on this topic.
    [B][COLOR=Red]I look forward to Google's demise[/COLOR][/B]
    Look who is suing Google - [URL=http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=google+gets+sued]click here[/URL] and [URL=http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=google+gets+sued&FORM=MSNH&srch_type=0]here[/URL] and [URL=http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=google+gets+sued&fr=FP-tab-web-t&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8]here[/URL]

  2. #2
    Full Member Travelin Man's Avatar
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    I have witnessed click fraud first hand! It is a problem as far as Iím concerned. But donít take my word on it, run your own PPC program. Make sure you have good tracking in place and you too will see it.

    Some people can still turn a buck even with the fraud but I wonít use PPC anymore.

    Cheers
    Travelin' Man

    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will lead you there." -- unknown

  3. #3
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I think the easiest fraud to commit and get away with is CPM fraud.

    CPC you can catch it
    CPA you can catch it
    CPM harder to detect and catch.

  4. #4
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    It's a problem. The guy wrote the article in a self serving nature. He sells a top paying keywords database for $199. Of course he's going to say click fraud is not a problem.

  5. #5
    Full Member affiliate4all's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurker Jones
    I thought this article was good considering all the hooplah we had over the last thread on this topic.

    Quote :
    Hopefully, the frivolous lawsuits and refund requests spawned by apparent click fraud will end as those in the industry recognize this undeniable fact.


    I am confused!!!

    What we believe makes sense, but surely does the article as well.

  6. #6
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    From article:
    In summary, online advertisers must focus on analyzing and improving their internal metrics (e.g., conversions) and not worry about click fraud as it is already incorporated into keyword bid prices. Hopefully, the frivolous lawsuits and refund requests spawned by apparent click fraud will end as those in the industry recognize this undeniable fact.

    This may be true for Yahoo and Google but is a false statement for virtually all the secondary PPC's. I have tried several secondary PPCs (I don't need to mention names because they ALL stink) and have watched conversions (or lack of) very closely for a program that converted very well ordinarily. Result: $50 down the drain and another $50 down the drain.

    I have had good success with Google Adwords. I have not done much with Yahoo yet but have heard that they are also worthwhile.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  7. #7
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Watch it go through the roof now the slimeball syndications get their their hands on a new PPCSE network .... Ask Jives. For years the "Ask" group has feed keywords to the BHO search bar hijackers and "get paid to click" click fraudsters. Now they have their own Adwords/Overture clone to whack the PPCSE budgets with worthless traffic.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  8. #8
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    Google is the only platform I have tried, without good results. I am amazed at the number of visitors that come through a PPC link that spend 0 seconds on the web site. That certainly sounds like fraud to me!

  9. #9
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I can think of 100's of reasons why someone would click an ad link on google and imediatly leave the site.

    1: The site looks scamish
    2: the site looks ugly
    3: the site doesn't advertise what the person was looking for (Example Search for Lawyer and Get a win a free PSP site even though the text reads free legal advice)

    The list goes on.

    I my self have clicked on some google ads after doing a search when I was looking for an online stock brocker. First two google ads were ugly and I closed them craps out before they even fully loaded. The 3rd was Sharebuilder and thats who I am with now.

    If you are going to spend hundreds of dollars with PPC spend huindreds of Dollars making a decent site before you attribute your failure to click fraud, and maybe those 0 second visitors will turn into 1 minute visitors. Not saying that anyones site here is crappy.

  10. #10
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    Good Topic!

    There are many different opinions about click fraud, and if it is really as big of a problem as soom people make it out to be. The truth is, it really depends on the industry and keywords.

    Some keywords are VERY competative, and have a higher fraud rate than others. For these industries and keywords, it can be very hard to be profitable. Other industries and keywords have very minimual fraud, and can deliver a great ROI for an advertiser.

    I really dont agree with the article, and I think you have a great point TrustNo1. It is always a good idea to check to see what article authors are pushing.

    ---Evan

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    If you are worried about click fraud don't let your ads run on content sites. You will still have people with no intention of buying click on your links, but at least you won't have someone clicking just to drive up their own income.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador danay's Avatar
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    Jane, although content sites definitely deliver more fraudulent clicks, the actual PPCSEs will also deliver fraudulent clicks thanks to sneaky, slimy advertisers who can't stand fair competition.

    They will find ways to have your campaign clicked on often enough in the hopes that your budget will run out, thus allowing their ads to show up higher at a lower rate.

    I miss the good old days of the net when then worst thing you had to worry about was porn emails. sheesh
    Danay @ LunaSolMedia.com
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  13. #13
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    I have noticed an amazing amount of problems with a certain PPC engine that was recently renamed by a popular search engine.

    My one client has been doing PPC spend on the two big ones for about 4-5 years now. So the data is there and you can see trends and patterns to track and be very intelligent with your spend. But recently after a change in name of one of the PPC folks, I have seen a horrible pattern of click fraud.

    Keywords that typically got 1,000 views a month now getting 750,000 in a month and a word that typically got a 4.5% conversion rate now getting a 0.01% conversion. Yet they say that the click fraud is impossible and it must be something on our end.

    Well let's see...in the time span of the "fraud" nothing changed on the site, and all other keywords (we market a couple hundred mind you) kept consistent on their conversion rates.

    Don't let anybody fool you...click fraud is out there, the big question is why is it condoned by the company who is supposedly "supporting" their advertisers?

    I'll save you the deep thought....they make money and most people will stay with them because there are only 2 real places to do a PPC spend.

    On that note, I will step off of my soap box and try not to sound like Mike with his conspiracy theories.
    Chris Mayr
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  14. #14
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    Thumbs down We cancelled all accounts
    with that company on about 7/15
    "Name change" and downline partners must have changed as well

  15. #15
    Full Member affiliate4all's Avatar
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    All said and done, what can you do in order to potentially combat click fraud?
    Wow, I just asked the million$$ question, didn't I?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by affiliate4all
    All said and done, what can you do in order to potentially combat click fraud? Wow, I just asked the million$$ question, didn't I?
    Here are some strategies (from an article I am writing)
    to combat both fraud and inefficiencies in PPC search campaigns:

    1. Choose Keywords and Phrases Carefully:

    More Specific: A more specific search phrase is usually more likely to result in a sale. Thus, people who come to your web site after searching for "buy widgets" are much more likely to buy your widgets, than people who searched for "widgets."

    Avoid "Bad Searches": The most obvious "bad keyword" is "free." People who search for "free widgets" are probably not planning to spend money on widgets. Words like "cheap" or "discount" are qualifiers that may be wonderful for discount resellers, but awful for other merchants.

    Change Your Bid Amounts and Tracking Codes: You will find that some search phrases are worth more than others. In most cases, you won't want to spend any amount on "free widgets" but you might be willing to pay a huge premium to present your ad to people who search for "widgets next day." You can learn that faster by using a unique tracking code for each search phrase.

    2. Watch for Pattern Variations: Inefficient (and fraudulent) search traffic can often be quickly detected by looking for "different behavior."

    Abandonment: Every web site has visitors who come to the home page, but then "abandon" the site to go somewhere else. Watch for significant variations in this rate by source.

    Path Analysis: On most web sites, there are "busy" and "unpopular" sections. For example, very few people read a web site's "privacy policy" or "about us" page, but many more people will click to view "closeouts" and "today's special." Most visitors view only one or a few pages at your site (hence an average visit of 1.7 pages is not bad), and very few view 10 or more pages during a session. If you discover that visitors from a particular source have a dramatically different pattern of activity, you need to pay attention.

    Double-Click Activity: It is fairly common for a consumer to search for something at Google, visit an advertiser's web site, and then search again at Google and click again to the same advertiser's site a few minutes later. This is a normal pattern of activity for someone who is "shopping around" or comparing prices, and it's not unreasonable to pay two "per-click" fees for this. However, if two clicks come from the same visitor within a few seconds, there should be no charge, nor should there be any charge for a third or subsequent click.

    "Echo" Activity: If you discover a consistent pattern in which the same search phrases are executed more often than "normal," or in which multiple users follow the same unusual path through your site, it is possible that the "echoed" activity is from an automated "agent." (This is one use for data from "spyware," which installs itself uninvited on consumers' computers, and records their keystrokes or web visits; the data can be sent to another computer where the same searches and clicks are repeated.)

    Phrase Surges: Unsophisticated "click fraud" operations will flood a search engine with many requests for the same search term. For example, I might discover that normally, 10% of my traffic from search engines is associated with a search for "fromitz," but then suddenly there is a huge surge in traffic through GleepSearch.com, of which 90% are searches for "fromitz." Sometimes there are valid reasons -- maybe Jay Leno made a joke about fromitzes and widgets -- but often this is a sign of fraud.

    Missing Data: Often, an increased rate of "missing data" (such as user-agent or referrer data) may reflect fraudulent activity.

    Excess Foreign Traffic: In one case where I uncovered "click fraud, more than one-third were from IP addresses in China, and 56% were from IP addresses in non-English-speaking countries. Only 44% of traffic came from English-speaking countries. This is an extraordinary pattern, when compared to typical traffic distributions.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador netnow22's Avatar
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    What if all the search engines natural listings went to a Pay-Per click Basis. I had recently heard the se's were going to abandon the free search and just have all ppc listings (where they could make 1000 times more money). Any thoughts anyone?

  18. #18
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    Either you or the person who said that are smoking something.

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