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Google Adsense - Will there be click fraud?
Ok Google, you will have to look long and hard at this one
profitpuppy




msg:1367762
 8:47 am on Jun 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

It is interesting that the cpc advertising networks that are based more on ads on small publisher websites are generally much less valuable places to advertise. I used to advertise with ah-ha, and was getting some good results at first, but every month found more and more click fraud.

I found for example that for one search phrase I had over 400 clicks in one month even though I was no 35 on the search list AND on the overture suggestion tool there was less than 400 searches in the same month. This is obviously fraud.

In fact one of the advantages of google adwords right now is that there is almost no, or at least very little chance of fraudulent clicks.

The click fraud people (many in india and malaysia but some in the USA) are getting better and better at what they do ... (generating fraudulent clicks).

I believe that google will be good at preventing fraudulent clicks, but, will they be good enough? What about the pay to click programs, where you get 10,000 people in a club who are paid to go around the web, search on things and then click. How is google going to stop one of their publishers from hiring a pay to click club to click on their links. This is not an automated click program, but real human beings, so I don't know how they can stop them from doing this? It goes on all the time, and is the reason why every month the smaller pay per click advertising services are getting less and less qualified clicks.

I think one of the solutions for Google is to only go for very large publishers. If they get too many publishers on board, then they will start to have problems.

 

bluelook




msg:1367763
 12:04 pm on Jun 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

But small publishers canīt afford to pay one of those "click clubs". Bigger companies can.
So I donīt really agree with your solution...

I have a medium site and some CPM contracts, and I donīt even have that site as my homepage, to achieve higher CTRīs. I would get more impressions, but I prefer a quality campaign, and returning advertisers, than easy money.
You canīt put all small/medium publishers on the same bag, and throw them away.

jcoronella




msg:1367764
 12:16 pm on Jun 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Click fraud, like search engine spamming, is difficult to eliminate. Eventually it will be reflected in lower prices for adwords.

Google should develop a way to make two bids on the same keyword instead of just two check boxes to remove listings altogether.

john316




msg:1367765
 12:46 pm on Jun 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Click fraud would stick out like a sore thumb on lower volume sites.

Google has some very solid CTR data to work with, if you "went off the chart", I'm sure you would be found out quickly.

vibgyor79




msg:1367766
 1:34 pm on Jun 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ah - finally a thread that talks about AdSense from the advertisers' point of view. I have never been a fan of content targeted ads - more so, if the ads are being shown in small sites, GG's assurances notwithstanding.

The main problem will be poor conversions. I strongly believe that the main reason for the success of search engine PPC advertising is that the surfers are actively looking for advertisers' products/services. This goes a long way in helping advertisers' conversion rates.

But with content targeted ads, surfers are "distracted" by the content and those who click on the ads are just curious. They are not actively looking for advertisers' products. Most of them won't be in "take-out-the-credit-card and purchase" mode

>>> The click fraud people (many in india)

Ahem! ;)

loanuniverse




msg:1367767
 2:01 pm on Jun 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Google Adsense - Will there be click fraud?"

Yes there will be.

But there is fraud on almost every business. Why would this be any better than real life? I am a banker and although not an auditor, I see things or numbers of questionable source/quality at least once a month. I also don't think is a good thing to generalize this as a mostly asian problem, although there might be a greater percentage of fraud there, a lot of US webmasters have been known to commit fraud. Granted, most of them are young, but there are others that should know better and still do it.

I am pretty sure that Google has implemented a number of safeguards that will make it difficult to get away with fraud. {ip tracking, cookies} to give an example and others that are way to complicated for a non-technical person such as myself to understand.

I started serving the ads and when I told some friends that are webmasters to go check it out, but I asked them not to click on them since I am afraid of being classified as a cheat.

aravindgp




msg:1367768
 5:51 pm on Jun 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>>The click fraud people (many in india and malaysia but some in the USA) are getting better and better at what they do ... (generating fraudulent clicks).

>>> The click fraud people (many in india)

Can you show me any stats or quotes in leading magazines or any google representative talking so?Please substantiate your statements with references.

I am from India,I do buy online using credit card,and as a company we pay google a huge amount a month on adwords alone.We have the previllage of having a seperate representative from google assigned to us purely due to volume of transactions.

Coming to Google Adsense, it's great program and I belive it helps more than kills advertisers.I am sure there's fraud control team in google, which knows which website might get into fraud and how much each website can generate on traffic basis.If you belive you can escape by any means you are just being stupid.The kinda of mechanism that a fraud control team can possess is amazing.
I have personally seen a fraud control team on online-software site, the kinda of details they tell you with analysis about traffic, sites and purchases is quite extra-ordinary, nobody can cheat them.Not for a long time.

Thank you
With Regards
Aravind
From India.

profitpuppy




msg:1367769
 12:03 am on Jun 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Apologies for the notion that click fraud is just in india ... yes it happens in many countries

I do believe that Google will be good at eliminating fraud, but my question is will they be good enough? It is a constant fight between the people conducting the fraud (thousands of individuals), and Google. Other smaller less technologically savy search engines have lost this fight. Will google lose the fight also? I don't know if Google truly realize the magnitude of the problem.

Google likes to make everything automated, which is great, but you can't make all fraud investigation automatic. Some manual intervention will be required. Will they have the manpower to investigate all the fraud? Let's say there are 50 people working in Google's fraud detection department, and there are 50,000 people working full time trying to create fraudulent clicks for various sites. Who is going to win? Some areas the CPC is around $1 or more per click. One person only has to create 500 fraudulent clicks (through masked ip's) per month and that's $500 generated (not sure how much is going to the advertiser, but let's say half, $250 per month). This might not be a whole lot in America, but in many countries it is a King's randsome. Then they tell their friends, and they tell their friends, and before you know it there are thousands of people making a little bit of money. I'm sure google will catch someone who ends up making $10k a month with click fraud, but will they catch someone making $20 or $200 per month? It is such a small amount, that it would cost more for Google's fraud detection squad to investigate than the amount of money the person is making off fraud.

The second part of the equation is, yes, ads on publisher sites are less effective for the advertiser than ads that come in response to a search query.

I think google is treading into dangerous water with this new adsense program. And yes, it would be preferable for advertisers to have a separate campaign for the adsense/publisher stuff than for the normal google cpc stuff. This way advertisers can track their ROI and see what is really happenning. Otherwise when they all get lumped in together, the effectiveness of google adwords in terms of ROI will get diluted by the less effective publisher ads. But it will not be possible to determine how effective the publisher ads really are.

Don't get me wrong ... I love Google :) ... I think that Google has better technology, a better search engine and a better advertising system than any other company out there. I think that Google will do this better than anyone else could do it, but I think they need to be careful of this move.

loanuniverse




msg:1367770
 12:15 am on Jun 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think google is treading into dangerous water with this new adsense program. And yes, it would be preferable for advertisers to have a separate campaign for the adsense/publisher stuff than for the normal google cpc stuff. This way advertisers can track their ROI and see what is really happenning. Otherwise when they all get lumped in together, the effectiveness of google adwords in terms of ROI will get diluted by the less effective publisher ads. But it will not be possible to determine how effective the publisher ads really are.

You know what, you bring a good point. Nevertheless, I think that only a company with the clout that Google has can pull something like this off. We all know that there are some very expensive keywords out there, and one can only scratch his head when he sees people bidding so much for a click. However, if they don't, the guy behind them will. The publisher can opt out can't he? I really don't know as I am not a adveriser.

I believe that the cheats will be caught easily. I have a friend that runs a banner exchange and he is an army of one and has caught many a cheater trying to get a better CTR {the exchange is tiered so that the higher CTR you have the more exposures you get for your site}. This is with simple ip logging, and for fishy situations he has other tools that he can deploy to track individual sites more closely. If one programmer can do this, I can only imagine what the googleplex can come up with.

europeforvisitors




msg:1367771
 6:38 am on Jun 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

The second part of the equation is, yes, ads on publisher sites are less effective for the advertiser than ads that come in response to a search query.

On many publisher sites (and especially small- to medium-sized publisher sites), traffic to content pages is often--or perhaps even usually--in response to a search query or browsing through the site's index.

Let's say, for example, that a person is searching Google on the hypothetical string "canoe cruises in France" and is sent to my article on French canoe cruises. If that reader then clicks on a BurgundyCanoeCruises.com AdWord link after reading or at least seeing the article, the odds are pretty good that he's genuinely interested in French canoe cruises. In fact, he may be a higher-quality prospect than the person who just clicked the AdWord on the original SERP, because he's gone through the "filtering stage" of viewing the article.

The AdSense concept (targeting ads according to the content of publishers' pages) is just too brilliant to be discarded because some advertisers prefer SERPs to content sites. It's a revolutionary concept that will blow competitors like Sprinks out of the water, and I predict that AdSense will be good for everyone concerned: Google, publishers, users who prefer targeted text ads to the usual banner and popup spam, and--yes--even advertisers who are savvy enough to recognize an opportunity when they see one.

Finally, if having AdWords on publisher sites were to result in lower-quality leads, advertisers would respond by bidding less for AdWords. The market ultimately will determine what advertisers can afford to pay.

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