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Apology to an Adwords Advertiser for multi-clicks

Seems average people don't really understand how Adwords works.

     
1:51 am on Sep 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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My boyfriend has decided to build himself a computer. While searching for parts, he decided to click on an Adwords result. He'd never clicked on one before, having a natural aversion to ads, but I'd explained to him that really, honestly, Adwords is good. So, he clicked on it.
And he found an excellent site with the precise products he wanted for a much better price than the place he'd heard about them first.

Instead of bookmarking the site, or even remembering the URL, as he continued his research throughout the day, he simply repeated the search and clicked on the ad again and again.
Tonight, when he went to show me the site, the ad was gone.
He was upset. "The link was right there. It's not there now. There were five boxes. Now there's only one."
I explained to him what had happened-- how you set a budget and every time someone clicks part of that budget gets used up...
He probably pretty much singlehandedly blew through these people's budget.
So, I just want to apologize on his behalf to the company, whose name I probably shouldn't say. He didn't realize what he was doing, and he'll so totally buy a mini-ITX Nehemiah motherboard from you...

Do you guys in the biz think this happens much? He quite honestly was counting on the adword ad being there so he could find the site again. It kind of sets my teeth on edge to think of that happening. Fortunately he was able to remember enough details (it was in boston, it had logic in the name, etc., etc.) that he could find the site again, and not click on the ad this time...
(I always make him sound so dumb in these posts. But it's just that he lives in an entirely different world... where you never click on ads, Google just works, etc. etc.)
(Mods, if you think this is too Foo for the Adwords forum, feel free to move it... I just wanted to ask the Adwords folks what they think...)

2:14 am on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I think this multiple-clicking phenomenon accounts for a lot of extra clicks that advertisers are billed for, but by and large I bet they represent strong leads so many advertisers probably don't care. Still, I think it would be classy if Google moved toward charging for unique "introductions" rather than raw clicks -- for example by charging for a click only if its IP address doesn't match anything in the campaign's click history. Of course this is fraught with the usual problems related to using IPs to identify unique users, but for the modest click volume of most campaigns it's probably good enough. (Using cookies would be more accurate, but I suspect Google would stay away from that for privacy reasons...)

dreamcomputersptyltd

2:19 am on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I agree that Google should check at least the IP address to see where the customer is coming from, same IP in the last 120 minutes? > No charge.

Cheers
Roel

5:28 am on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I track multiple unique visitors in a day and a month from the major PPCs. On average (these are close, but I'm not looking up any more stats for the day, so this is off the top of my head), about 2% of people return to the site the same day, and 10% the same month through a ppc (and I'm sure some of these are competition). However, of those who return, over 25% become a customer.

So you want to click more than once and spend money on my site, feel free, I could use the business.

Although, I should add, I'd love to not get charged for those clicks if such a system were implemented...

7:03 am on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Are you sure that AdWords isn't aware that it is the same visitor (by cookie) and is not actually charging the advertiser (or crediting the publisher) each time?
8:38 am on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>Are you sure that AdWords isn't aware that it is the same >visitor (by cookie) and is not actually charging the >advertiser (or crediting the publisher) each time?

Yes, 100% sure. We use our own ROI Tracking tool to track Adwords and Overture traffic. When a visitor clicks an ad he/she is redirected to the target url and a cookie is set with unix-timestamp and unique id of the traffic source.

the next time that visitor clicks the same traffic source we compare the saved timestamp to current unix time. all multi-clicks within 3 minutes are filtered out. Because of the cookie it must be the same visitor/computer. We don't use IPs because many people using AOL or other ISPs have the same IP address - they use the same proxy.

Now this tracking system counts about 2% less clicks than google on average - those clicks are multiclicks. some of them even within 2 or 3 seconds.

dreamcomputersptyltd

9:07 am on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I have noticed it as well. I have placed some new ads that got a 200% CTR (eg 2 clicks for 1 impression) on the first impression. These are according to me people that hit the back key and select the ad they clicked on before again (maybe they cannot find a better ad?)

Cheers
Roel

12:43 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Well... I'm glad he's not too much of an exception, then. :D They'll be making a couple hundred bucks off him, so I guess you're right-- if multi-clickers are actual valid prospects, they're highly likely to convert. I just had to smack my forehead when he said what he'd been doing. But, to give him credit, he'd been looking from several different computers, and the name wasn't the easiest to remember, and they weren't coming up very high in the natural SERPs.
Hmmm...... I bet I could help them... :D
1:47 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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charging for unique "introductions" rather than raw clicks

Would doing this is hard, since G already has a cookie on the user? Maybe this will make Adwords unique from Over.

2:32 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>G already has a cookie

I thought Google didn't use cookies, and that was the root of all this stuff...

2:35 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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[google.com...] (for cookies)
7:11 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Woop, I stand corrected. My bad. In that case, how hard *would* it be?