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Time Magazine's article on click scam
Has anyone heard about the click scam?
preventmed




msg:1229078
 8:44 am on Dec 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have in front of me the Time's magazine article on the google game. It seems unscrupulous competitors are hiring Third World workers to spend all day clicking rival ads, destroying their ad budgets or creating a Web page and then writing software that will repeatedly click on the ads. A Dallas-based auditing firm Click Assurnce estimates that 10 - 20 percent of all pay-per-clickad revenue is phony.
Can anyone confirm this? Thanks,
Stephanie

 

shorebreak




msg:1229079
 5:41 am on Dec 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Can't confirm the 10-20% number, but I definitely think it's >10%.

walkman




msg:1229080
 5:51 am on Dec 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Has anyone heard about the click scam?"

yp, since day one. The minute banks were open, bank robberies started to happen, same with Adwords. It's human nature and as long as it's controlled it's part of doing business. It will never, ever be eliminated.

preventmed




msg:1229081
 10:12 am on Dec 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Does anyone know whom I can contact at Google?

And is this happening with Overture as well?

As a new business owner I've come to expect some sleaze here and there, but this issue really "gets" me, both in my gut and my sales expenses.

WebStart




msg:1229082
 12:49 am on Dec 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

preventmed

Click fraud is a much discussed topic here on webmasterworld. Click Fraud is pervasive, and I am not sure how much control really exists to prevent it. In my opinion: You are best advised to watch your PPC results and costs, carefully, (like every other day, if not every day) and stick to the majors: Google and OV and maybe FindWhat.

All others, no matter what they say, are suspect. And so even are the ones I mention. I have read these posts on this subject here, for years, and I don't see any hope for much more than each advertiser's own individual vigilence, and reaction to suspicious activity and charges, by lowering bids, or leaving, but little hope in getting the PPCs to react.

GameMasterM




msg:1229083
 4:51 pm on Dec 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Virtual shoplifting, no way to get around it right now. Competitors trying to bust the budget of competitors are often the culprits. Someone will invent a solid software program that will filter fraud. Think about it, does Google really want to see that kind of filter?

Merry Christmas!

WebStart




msg:1229084
 5:58 pm on Dec 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

There is click fraud software to detect fraud, you can license. Use Google with keywords like "click fraud detective," etc. I haven't tried it, but some here have, and reported on it at another post.

[webmasterworld.com...]

preventmed




msg:1229085
 11:35 am on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Many thanks for all the support. And we thought we were the only ones having problems and lost revenue!
We have contacted: Clicklabs, WhosClickingWho, ClickAssurance. Signed up for newsletters from them and hope they aren't corrupted - yet!
Happy Holidays and again thanks,
Stephanie

Freedom




msg:1229086
 6:11 pm on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Is anyone trying to block entire IPs from those high risk parts of the world? I don't do PPC, but it seems to me that real third-world shoppers don't convert well, so it's just better to block out an entire country from your website.

1Lit




msg:1229087
 3:30 am on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes, I've always wondered that. Can't they just ban entire countries? I'm sure some fraudsters will find a way around it, but it cut down on fraud significantly.

preventmed




msg:1229088
 9:19 am on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes, we block out certain countries and one particular state within the USA. It seems one of our competitors might be clicking on our ads to raise our costs. We were under the impression that Google had done something about this "local" problem by only charging for the first of repeated clicks from an IP, but can't confirm this.

thowze




msg:1229089
 5:37 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10 to 20%? I have read stories where the click fraud was as high as 50%. The PPC's we have dealt with we feel had at least 40% fraud. We were refunded when we complained on obvious fraud. Watch your click rate on your keywords and complain immediately when you know something is wrong. (Like when over a 10 day period your clicks on a keyword jump from say 100 to 750 and the conversion numbers do not change.)

preventmed




msg:1229090
 5:49 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Great info - thanks - we do watch those numbers. Whom did you contact at Google and Overture? I've emailed them but, alas - no response.

thowze




msg:1229091
 7:30 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

We contacted customer support at Overture and AdSense support at Google. Some of the refunds and credits did take 4 to 6 weeks but we did receive them.

preventmed




msg:1229092
 8:14 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Regarding refunds: do they need copies of the stats? Thanks again.

tak051




msg:1229093
 9:24 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Generally you want to have your logfiles (or something similar) so that you can point out the areas of traffic that you think are fraudulent. The more detail you can provide, the stronger your case, and the more receptive the engine might be.

One quick note on getting replies, be sure you aren't losing the support replies to a spam filter. That seems to be a fairly common ailment for a lot of users.

Good luck

thowze




msg:1229094
 10:13 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Generally you want to have your logfiles (or something similar) so that you can point out the areas of traffic that you think are fraudulent. The more detail you can provide, the stronger your case, and the more receptive the engine might be."

Well said

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