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BlowSearch Introduces PPC Program With Fraud Protection

 3:14 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Blowsearch announced today the launch of its pay-per-click search engine advertising program.

What is so unique about the program is that it allows advertisers to block competitor IP's.

Competitor Blocking tool—competitors can be deterred from maliciously clicking on paid results as advertisers can enter a competitor’s IP address to automatically prevent paid listings from being displayed to that specific IP address

Traffic Source Selection technology—lets users control their listings on a site-by-site basis across the BlowSearch network




 6:42 am on Mar 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Joe - Saying that I don't understand when I hold your feet to the fire isn't really a defense.

Here's the bottom line. You show Kanoodle and Looksmart listings on blowsearch.com. I just tested it. Even though it's confusing for the end customer to figure out where the listings come from, if you know what you're doing, you can track where every listing comes from.

I feel strongly that if you are showing results on any part of your site or on your affiliate network of any kind and it can be tracked back to blowsearch, then you are somewhat responsible for that traffic. I understand exactly what you are saying and I understand the PPC market completey... however, what I am saying is that while I understand that you can't filter that traffic for them, you are still affiliated with them and thus, you are in bed with looksmart and kanoodle.

I'm anxious to see what you have to show in the coming weeks. I will keep my eyes out for it. I also would like to see a mid-tier search engine grow... however, it's going to take quality traffic and honesty with webmasters etc. It looks like you are trying to do this... I applaud you. Still, the traffic coming off of blowsearch.com has not converted for my company. And yes, we have tweaked or campaigns.

I WILL give you a shot and I WILL set up a test account with blowsearch.com to test it out after your upcoming announcement.


 8:07 pm on Mar 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

FindIt, actually you are mistaken. As I said in a previous post. Part of our partner network is the AdOn Network of sites. To my knowledge, they do not allow sub affiliate sites to participate. That means only BlowSearch directly owned traffic is allowed to be active on the network. That is the only reason why our advertisers are no on the affiliate feed.

The billion searches per month is the volume our advertisers can be exposed to through our advertiser network. The affiliate network numbers are not figured into that mix.

Kane, I hear you loud and clear. If you have ideas as to what traffic sources are the problems for you PM them to me or shoot me an email. I'm out of the office till Tuesday though. It will get my attention if you can show me why you feel it isn't working. Look for the sub affiliate ID's they should be there. Trust me it's not all coming directly from BlowSearch and that could be the issue you're having.

I'll be taking you up on setting up an account once I have on the table what we need. I am sure once Brett gets the news he'll post it. It will be hard to miss.

I am just keeping my fingers crossed that our testing goes okay. No promises, but I'm pretty confident.


 11:06 pm on Mar 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Everyone who wants has access to a dynamic IP account, so blocking one IP doesn´t lead you anywhere. Blocking an IP range isn´t much of a solution also. Only if you want to block entire cities that doesn´t matter to your business...


 11:31 pm on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

That's not entirely true. Say your competitor has a corporate network. It's awefully hard for them to change IP's up on you. You'll have to be a little proactive to check it now and then. I believe you can also sign up for a site like WhoIs.sc and track any changes to their domains or IP's. I believe the Whois.sc system will automatically email you whenever they make a change. However that is a paid memeber function. Still it's only like $99.00 a year and it's a great service in my book.

Any dedicated IP's can be blocked.

Frankly if you know that someone is randomizing their IP's you should be getting us on the phone anyway.

There is still more work on IP blocking functionality that need to be done. As said by some before it's not everything yet that it needs to be, but it is a definite step in the right direction for the advertiser. If you have ideas for more PM thm to me please.


 8:09 pm on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

so what i hear you saying is...

You have an affiliate feed which *may* supply all kinds of phantom clicks and *definately* abysmal conversion rates.

You also have a new direct advertiser feed which is different and much better. So, we should not judge the quality of traffic coming from blowsearch upon our previous experience, but should instead give you more money to try your new feed.

This new feed has lots of great traffic coming from toolbars and IM apps which *of course* were all legitimately installed because you would never use scumware, parasite programs, or drive by download trickery.

Some of your unscrupulous partners might, but blowhard of course never would. Any affiliates found using this practice are of course terminated.

ok, where do I sign up?


 10:19 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

That is why a debate is so useful!

Of course, each side has its own version. We couldn't expect JH to admit that all traffic is robot clicks.

The good part is that these discussions shed more light on some topics and more information becomes available.

And most of all, we can also get facts, not only opinions and theory, because people have really experienced what they are sharing us.

The decision is yours!


 2:43 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Not to be rude but on your partner distribution site you have 180 solutions. Known Malware exploiters. Does a lot of your taffic come this way?


 3:06 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

OTC, to be blunt you can come at me as hard as you like but remember that I am here to be helpful. I am not going to debate you the ethics of spyware and adware.

If you do not want traffic from any particular traffic source, then TURN IT OFF. That is what Traffic Source Selection is for.

If you have an "ethical" issue with a traffic source or how they obtain their downloads, traffic, etc. take it up with them. BlowSearch did not build their application nor did we distribute it.

Let me make absolutely clear one point. BlowSearch does not, will not, and has not ever had a spyware or adware application of its own.

These companies are a part of our network for one reason only. They have been proven to produce good ROI for advertisers. Ever partner has to meet a criteria to be part of our network. Part of that criteria is consistantly producing solid ROI for advertisers. Remember we do have ROI tracking AND we do use it.

The ethics behind spyware and adware has nothing to do with this discussion. Please stay on topic or start a new thread where the spyware and malware company's can respond to your concerns. I am not an executive for 180 Soultions. I work for BlowSearch.

WatchThis, 180 Solutions is only one partner on the CPV side. They contribute no more traffic than any other CPV source can.

Mike your right:
The good part is that these discussions shed more light on some topics and more information becomes available.

The bottom line is this. We give you the ability to turn off a traffic source. If you don't like it - don't use it. It is in YOUR CONTROL. It is YOUR choice.

Overture and Google both partner with known adware companies. Do they give you the ability to turn off traffic sources? No they do not.

If you can control it then it is a non-issue. With BlowSearch you can cherry pick what you desire and boot everything else you don't want. Even if the only reason is because you don't like a particular source's ethics.


 8:54 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

"The bottom line is this. We give you the ability to turn off a traffic source. If you don't like it - don't use it. It is in YOUR CONTROL. It is YOUR choice."

I appologise for my previous harshness I didnt catch this point before.
Bearing this in mind, I wish to give your network a try. Only after trying it can i give a fair revue.


 9:26 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

"180 Solutions is only one partner on the CPV side."

BlowSearch blew it for me with the mention of 180 Solutions as a partner.



 9:32 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

"BlowSearch blew it for me with the mention of 180 Solutions as a partner."

same here


 10:58 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Guys, your missing the point entirely. It is your choice. If you don't like a traffic source, shut it off. It's on you.

I have a correction however that 180 Solutions is NOT currently a partner on our network. They were at one point however they are not any longer.

Do I personally care for adware, no I don't. However the bottomline is that that kind of software has been effective for producing ROI. Like it or lump it. I hate to be that blunt but as I've said - shut them off if you don't want to use them.

Just because we may partner with someone you don't like is not a reason to turn away from advertising with us. Especially when it is your control to spend with that traffic source or not.

Did Overture blow it for you when they partnered with Gator... er Claira? Do you still spend with Overture? Do they give you control over it?

NO. They do not. This is a non-issue.


 2:11 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

well this has been educational.
What do I draw from this?
Some say blowsearchs traffic isnt worth a cent and doesnt convert. Others have said that it works great.
Some say Joe is not giving the correct facts. But Joe seems confident in defending his traffic standards.

Conclusion: Like everything else, it works for some doesnt for others. So im going to give it a try. I look forward to advertising on your portal Joe. I hope im not dissapointed.


 2:58 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

I hope not either. Like I mentioned much earlier in the conversation, we want you to try us out and we want your feedback. If there are things we can do to improve let's "get er' done".

FYI, one of the biggest complaints I hear from SEM's is the lack of real contact with the employees at the engines. I am trying to address that issue by coming into the forums. On the advertiser side yesterday we addressed it system wide.

We put into place a new feature whereby once your account is initially assigned to a representative - that Rep's direct contact info is displayed in the advertisers account.

This information includes the Rep's name, a direct phone number, and it is linked to his/her personal email address. We hope this helps to make working with BlowSearch easier.

I always believed the little things can go a long way. Now an advertiser who has issues or problems with their account can pick up the phone and call without hunting for the information or getting frustrated by lack of contact.

In other words, the direction we're headed isn't all just lip service guys. We're not perfect but we're doing our best to address the things we've heard from the advertising community over the last couple of years. I fully intend, as a marketing professional, to capitalize on my competitor's obvious mistakes.

If BlowSearch can do that it is a win - win proposition. No we can't make everyone happy and I don't expect to - but you can bet your..... #$!... that we are going to try.


 3:12 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

BlowSearch blew it for me with the mention of 180 Solutions as a partner.

I'd think alot of Blowsearch if they discontinued use of 180. On several occasions I've had to help friends and family remove 180's aggressive and hard to remove software from their PC's.


 3:12 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have a correction however that 180 Solutions is NOT currently a partner on our network. They were at one point however they are not any longer.

Do I personally care for adware, no I don't. However the bottomline is that that kind of software has been effective for producing ROI.

However, it could also get you terminated from some
affiliate programs. I test 180's software quite often
and when I find an affiliate advertising through their
software, I report them to the affiliate program
manager. Many affiliate programs do not allow this
type of advertising.


 3:26 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

You are correct many programs will terminate relationships based on information like that. However that was not the reason the relationship with 180 was discontinued. Before you ask, I don't know the details and I know I can't discuss it anyway.

I've had to uninstall aggressive adware and spyware from friends machines. I know exactly what you're talking about and how frustrating it is.

The sad part is that the people who have this stuff installed really do buy from the ads. There's a lot of reasearch out there that shows that the kind of targeting these companies do is effective.

I'm not saying it's ethical - but it does work. It's only ethical in my book if the user gives their full permission and actively knows that the program is being installed. Full disclosure is the only way to go.


 4:55 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

I missed where Joe mentioned that 180 is currently not a partner.(hadn't had my coffee yet) Thats great. To me you're only as good as the company you keep.

I've had to uninstall aggressive adware and spyware from friends machines. I know exactly what you're talking about and how frustrating it is.

Funny enough I had to go claim back my friends computer from 180's software lastnight. It took over his machine and made it almost unusable.


 2:27 am on Apr 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

I see where the name "blow" came from in the company name as that was definitely long winded and certainly is a hands down winner for the Pontification 2005 award. The proof will be in the final PPC product performance as my "show me" state roots are impervious to the alluring claims of the carny hawker.

BTW, if the search results on your site were nearly as compelling as the claims in your article you might have a winner. However, quite a few keywords I checked were loaded with resellers instead of the actual content desired and more than a couple had 4-5 identical results in a row from Web Catalog in the top 20 which didn't impress.

Needs work.


 6:22 pm on Apr 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

Very nice treatise on click fraud Joe. Why degrade that killer article by putting it on a blog? That's a full blown treatise on click fraud.


 7:56 am on Apr 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

This type of IP blocking won't do much good if the fraudsters use other computers besides the ones that are in the competitors' registered IP spaces.


 9:26 am on Apr 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Agree with incrediBILL. Thought I'd do a quick test. The very first search I did at Blowsearch was for the term "whsmith" which is a UK high street retailer selling family-friendly books, magazines, DVDs etc.

First result goes to WHSmith's site. Good. Second result is "Adult Friend Finder Sex Personals", third is "Sex Search Free UK Adult Personals", forth "ENTER HERE FOR HARDCORE PORN!", fifth "Looking for whsmith?" which just sends people to Xuppa.com.

If I was Google, I'd be shaking in my boots.


 1:23 pm on Apr 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Gregbo, agreed. It is only part of the solution. The rest of the solution is coming faster than you think.

Incredibill and 1lit, I also see what you're talking about and the issue will be addressed. Although I don't see Adult Friend Finder in there.

Thanks for pointing this out. We'll have to do some reworking of the meta algo to get it corrected. With the recent updates we're doing something may have been reconfigured. We'll get it worked out.


 3:19 am on Apr 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

are you telling me that before he brought this to your attention you were not aware of it?

I did a search for diabetes. All search reults on page one seem to be relevant and good. But in position 16 is:

16. Adult Friend Finder Sex Personals

Good luck with your venture.


 8:47 am on Apr 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Watchthis, I still don't see that when I do a search. I'm not seeing Adult Friend Finder in there.

Could there possibly be something like adware on your machine inserting the link there? I have seen that kind of thin happen before.

Unless it is a PPC result from another engine we have meta-mixed in there and the account has ran out of funds. I'll keep looking but I see "Diabetes - Natural Herbal Product" as #16.


 6:23 pm on Apr 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hey Joe, did you guys get a free bowl of soup with that logo?



 6:44 pm on Apr 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yep, it it was really good soup too ;)


 7:04 pm on Apr 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is rather amusing to watch - it's like feeding time at the pirahna tank.

watchthis, they still have that nasty bug I reported over a month ago about identical WebCatalog results showing up repeatedly 4-5 times in the top 20 listings. Oh well, guess I didn't expect much.

I see ClickDefender is being deployed now:
BlowSearch offers a guarantee that Click Defender will work. If artificial traffic clicks on an advertiser's listings, the company will refund a credit to the advertiser in the amount equal to, but not greater than, the advertiser's loss.

The only thing I find interesting about this PR is if they're so confident about the technology why not give a customer a 2x bonus of free clicks (besides the refund) if they get defrauded. I mean heck, Yahoo and Google will refund your money if you get defrauded, I guess I didn't see the compelling marketing hook here as we have no real proof that Google and Yahoo aren't doing all the things ClickDefender is doing.

It needs some serious hook to compell me to give it a whirl.


 7:33 pm on Apr 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ah, Incredibill. I love feeding time. Click Defender is still in testing and is not launched in full until our official press release hits the wire.

Second we are the only search network who is offering any kind of guarantee. Try getting that from Google and Yahoo.

We're not doubling your money back because frankly the advertiser is not entitled to double their money back. Besides the guarantee is an assurance of quality, not a crutch we think we will need to depend on. Third parties in the click auditing industry will provide all the validation we need to insure that what we have works and keeps working.

BTW, if Google or Yahoo had technology like this and they haven't implemented it that means that they were purposely profiting from click fraud. Why have a product and not use it? Ahhh.... revenue!

Besides there are plenty of marketers out there that will tell you they still get fraud from Google and Overture. So if they had a solution how come there is still automated click fraud on their networks?

It is one of two reasons. Revenue or not possessing the technology. I'll vote for Revenue.


 7:46 pm on Apr 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Did I say it was fully launched?

No, I said "being deployed", I saw it was still in testing.

Did I say double the money?

What I wrote was "2x bonus of free clicks" - I didn't say money.

If your technology is as good as it's claiming the least you could do if someone suffers abuse as a show of good will, assuming your software is really up to snuff is give them some free clicks considering the customers they probably lost when their ad budget was suddenly drained.

If the technology is solid enuogh you may rarely ever have to do it, if it's not....


 8:14 pm on Apr 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Never mind, it was just a suggestion to lure advertisers, not start a war of words.

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