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MIVA Inks Ad Deal With Google

 4:41 pm on Jan 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Search marketing company MIVA Inc. said in a regulatory filing Wednesday it agreed to exclusively use Google Inc.'s WebSearch and AdSense services for approved Web sites and applications.

Financial terms of the two-year deal, which was signed last Thursday, were not disclosed.

The Fort Myers, Fla.-based company said the initial approved Web sites are expected to be from its MIVA Direct Inc. subsidiary.

The company said it and its subsidiaries will generate revenue when consumers click through listings to Google advertisers' Web sites. An earlier advertising deal with Yahoo is being terminated effective Jan. 25.

Associated Press [biz.yahoo.com]



 5:36 pm on Jan 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

For you ol' folks like me, MIVA is FindWhat. If they were working with Yahoo and now Google, what's the big deal? I thought they were like Kanoodle or Quigo.

MIVA made all kinds of noise with newspaper publishers last year, but I could not see where they were getting any traction. The one presentation I heard they said "Talk to us, contextual ads are a good idea." Well, that's not enough reason.

Lowell W. Robinson became MIVA's Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer a few weeks ago. "Mr. Robinson most recently was president of LWR Advisors, a strategic and financial consulting services firm. He is a sophisticated financial executive with more than 20 years of senior global strategic, financial, operational and governance experience at Fortune 100 companies..." The CEO and Robinson worked together at ADVO, which is a cold "what-do-the-numbers-say" outfit (which, when you get down to it, is the only way to be.)

Calc Richmond

 6:30 pm on Jan 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Eh?!? I am confused I thought that Miva were just contracting out their own rubbish listings and making revenue off of thes..?


 6:37 pm on Jan 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

So they will be using Google CPC feeds for their backfill of PPC they sell (FindWhat) or they will be placing adsense on pages they own?


 7:23 pm on Jan 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

wasn't MIVA an ecommerce software provider once?


 8:54 pm on Jan 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Can we assume that now Miva will replace its 100% junk traffic with quality traffic from Google?


 11:43 pm on Jan 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

That's the way it reads to me, iThink, but that can't be right. Could it? Then what would MIVA's role be?


 12:23 am on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Can we assume that now Miva will replace its 100% junk traffic with quality traffic from Google?

If the Google listings are going to be shown on the MIVA network, wouldn't that be the other way around? Instead of being able to simply not advertise on MIVA and get a better overall return, Google listings syndicated on MIVA's network will bring down the performance of your Google campaigns unless hopefully it is possible to opt-out of them?


 1:11 am on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

wasn't MIVA an ecommerce software provider once?

They still are, and the link to Miva Merchant is right off their home page. If I remember correctly, a few years back they were sold for an estimated paltry sum of $5M as the company that bought them was primarily interested in the well known brand name Miva, not the software.

Most of the people I talk to these days don't know who Miva is anymore, so that ship has sailed.


 3:28 am on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google listings syndicated on MIVA's network will bring down the performance of your Google campaigns

It appears that miva are already feeding ( totally randomly and nothing whatsoever to do with the word typed into the address bar ) google ads ..on their french partners sites at least..the pages stuffed full of random google adwords ads that "Alice"( Telecom Italia who bought out Tiscali ) that I mentioned here [webmasterworld.com] come from google ..

But the first link on the page full of links ( that one gets after typing any word at all into the address bar of any browser if "Alice" is ones ISP and hitting enter ) is marked clearly as provided by Miva ..and one is redirected after 7 seconds ( if you have jscript enabled and dont click on another of the links presented ) to the ( randomly selected from their scammed advertiser pool ) advertisers page ..

The links are all of this type []

each contains the ..the rest of the link varies as one goes down the page ..

The redirect is always to the top link ..which is sometimes a banner when it is a banner the underlying link code which one sees "on hover" just before the redirect happens includes the word miva and then similar code to the other links on the page ..

the redirect always shows this domain "tracker.affistats.com" fleetingly in the address bar just before the eventual page of the advertiser opens abd the address bar then reads as their page url ..

this full url below ..is typical of what one sees


so one knows who is keeping track of the money ;-)

But the advertisers are definately not being sent interested customers ( when did Miva ever send interested real customers to any advertiser? ) ..Now they are using inventory supplied by google ..direct from the google syndicated servers ..and this is in response to random words typed into the address bar of any browser at all running on any machine connected to the Tiscali ADSL service in France ..

I ran over 100 separate words into my address bar ..from "plankton" to "beans" to "camera" via "fromage" ..and then ran in some nonesense made up ones ..such as "kyethlm" or "xcvbn" or "qsdfgh" ( taken from the lines on my azerty keyboard ) ..
each time the result was the same ( wether IE ..Opera ..or Firefox ) ..type the word in the address bar ..hit enter ..
"the browser then prefixes it with http://
and adds a trailing slash ..so you get for example [plankton...]

which immediately refreshes to the ISP's ad laden page run by itself along with miva and fed by google ..

and you get a page entitled ..


upon which is written in bold type at the top

"Aucun site ne correspond à l'adresse que vous nous avez indiquée.

Nous vous proposons de vous rediriger dans 7 secondes vers le site sponsorisé ci-dessous :"

( for those who dont read french ..that translates as "No site corresponds to the address you have given" .."We propose to redirect you in 7 secondsto the sponsored site below" ) ..

which also does not ever contain anything remotely connected to what one has typed in the address bar ..But the adverstiser ( a google adwords client ) has now paid for me to be redirected to their page ..by my ISP and Miva ..and the whole transaction was logged by "affistats" ..

So far they have only been feeding me french sites paid for by googles french adwords customers ..
Who obviously have no idea that they are being ripped off and their budget used up this way via redirects which admit they have nothing to do with the words typed into the address bar ..

this behaviour is mentioned nowhere in the contract I have with my ISP ..and Google and Miva are keeping damned quiet about it too ..it has been happening since long before this "announcement" ..

and it may well be happening with your adwords budget ..

for now they seem to be geotargetting the delivered syndicated google ads ( this is not adsense ) these are not marked ads by google ..these are presented as "sponsored links" .( but it doesnt say whois delivering them like adsense does ) .and joe and jane sixpack average surfer dont know how to watch for aff tracking codes and how to block redirects to see what is going on with their browser during this bait and switch ..

this is what miva and google and a french ISP are already doing ..
maybe other ISP's in other countries are also already doing similar things with google and miva ..

as advertisers ..and adwords customers ..who are paying for this totally untargetted "traffic" ..

how does that make you feel?

BTW before anyone asks ..no this is not a browser hijack ..this is being done via the ISP's own ADSL connection program which tries continuosly whether or not I'm actually using an open browser to connect to google syndicate server in the 82.101.8 block day and night ( I block it from doing so ) ..and there has never been any toolbar on this machine ..I tried 6 machines on this connection and the same result ..tried in the last 3 days 5 other Alice/Tiscali ADSL connection belonging to friends ..same behaviour ..except that their machines are in almost permanent contact via undeclared "phone homes" to Google ..wether or not they have an open browser ..use of wi-fi connection appears to show that it is also built into the DSL router supplied by the ISP


 3:11 pm on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

"as advertisers ..and adwords customers ..who are paying for this totally untargetted "traffic" ..

how does that make you feel?"

Getting out of content match and cutting off all ads during my early hours.


 3:28 pm on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I got a call yesterday from Miva inquiring about my account with them. I missed the call, and they left a voicemail; I have not called back. I had absolutely no idea what a "Miva" was so deleted the message.


 3:48 pm on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Getting out of content match

thing is ..it isnt even content match ..it's just burning your budget via "partners" serving your ads as landing page filler when the ISP hijacks their customers browser ( instead of allowing type ins to function as normally and legally ..in my juristiction at least what they are doing is actually fraud although the french criminal term is different ."escrocrie"...et "abus de confiance" et maybe even touches upon the laws relating to "utilisation de faux" etc ..and against various data protection acts and anti hacking legislation in the EEC aswell )..

this is miva and google and an ISP basically showing your ads on dressed up 404 pages and not saying to either the surfer who is actually serving them ( google via miva via the ISP ) ..and then charging you like it was content network ..or search ..it's neither so I doubt if you can shut it off ..or opt out ..

And it's against EEC and french consumer and contract laws ..and maybe even criminal laws too..

BTW they are doing this 24/7/365 so it doesnt depend on when you have your ads set to run ..nor on where you are buying your ads ..I just had a call from a friend here who has seen ads in english that eventually when all the redirects are done ..land on USA websites ( paid for with your adwords money ) ..

I received a PM earlier that showed that Miva used to be involved in this in the US a couple of years ago when they were "findwhat" ...and came close to prosecution for click fraud over it ...now they are teaching Google some of their old tricks ..and Google are lapping up the lesson ..

[edited by: Leosghost at 3:58 pm (utc) on Jan. 4, 2007]


 4:45 pm on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sorry to make you all go over this again, but let me get this straight.

MIVA has a deal with ISP partners so that they intercept 404s and serve ads on them. Now MIVA are going to use Google's ads on these pages. Is that right? If so,

1, This is terrible, Google must be out of their minds.
2, Why wouldn't MIVA use their own ads? Or don't they have enough advertisers any more?
3, This traffic wouldn't lead to a conversion if you gave it a map, compass and GPS device.
4, If my ISP intercepted 404s, I'd move providers in an instant.


 4:51 pm on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just an FYI...

June 13, 2005 - MIVA, Inc., (NASDAQ: MIVA) the largest independent Performance Marketing Network in the world, today announced the launch of its new website - www.miva.com. MIVA, Inc., which previously operated as Espotting and the FindWhat group of companies, also introduced various new products and features.

There is some piggybacked history there and I think it may come to haunt them in this venture. Apparently there are quite a few who are familiar with the history of these companies. :)


 5:27 pm on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

beesticles ..yes thats exactly what is happening ..!

and as I said I think it is illegal from my readings of the french laws on fraud and consumer protection etc ( however here I would have to personally start the prosecution as a surfer ( "abonneé" ) ..or an adwords buyer would have to start the prosecution themselves as having been defrauded ) ..Our consumer protections are very feeble ..have teeth only if the government and the judge choose to apply them ..that depends on whose feathers that would ruffle ..search "non lieu" :(

as to changing providers ..that is a whole lot harder in France than it is elsewhere ..where I live only two ISP's even will offer me ADSL ..one is Alice /Italia telecom /Tiscali ..the other is wanadoo ..wanadoo are nearly twice the price of Tiscali for the same service , bandwidth , voip etc ..2 megs ..2 year contract ..$50.oo per month is what I pay now ..with wanadoo it would be nearer $90.oo

Changing requires that I pay them around another $150.oo moving / cancellation fee ..and change my phone number ..and go without DSL and VOIP for maybe 6 weeks during the change over ..most of our ISP's lock us in this way ..those who dont only service large towns ..

could be worse ..I could be an adwords customer ..

More inventive very avaricious ..

[edited by: Leosghost at 5:34 pm (utc) on Jan. 4, 2007]


 5:32 pm on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Now MIVA are going to use Google's ads on these pages. Is that right?

not quite ..you used "going"

they already are doing it and have been since quite some time now ..and since long before the official announcement of their "partnership" ..

how much of your budget have they already used this way?


 3:15 am on Jan 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

My guess is that Miva is serving Google ads only to limited areas of their distribution network.

Google's fraud detection systems are good enough that if Miva were to run them on their general network the partnership would end overnight.

In Miva's particular case almost anyone's fraud detection systems are good enough :-)

The fact that the majority of Miva's traffic is bogus doesn't mean they don't have some high quality channels where any advertiser would be happy to show up.

What I wonder is how aware Miva really is of the quality of their traffic. Past performance seems to imply that their internal filtering and detection is terrible.

They may have only an inkling of how much fraud they allow to get through. If so their partnership with Google will be a speedy education.


 12:36 pm on Jan 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

It's such a shame that MIVA/Espotting's traffic has deteriorated over the years. They never really recovered since they lost the Yahoo deal a couple of years ago.

I've done business with them for 3/4 years, and I've constantly told them that they need to bite the bullet and cut out the rubbish from the network. But they've never been brave to lose the volume. It would hurt in the short term, but benefit in the long term.

I agree there are good niches to be found in the MIVA network. However, the harsh reality is that finding those niches can be time-consuming and expensive; it's just as profitable and easier to put that money into Google.


 3:47 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

What I wonder is how aware Miva really is of the quality of their traffic. Past performance seems to imply that their internal filtering and detection is terrible.

If they implement a real filtering and detection they will end up with no traffic

Maybe it will be a good time to go back to Yahoo now that Miva is moving to Google

Will they be a content partner so If I have the content off i will not receive their traffic? (I definitely do not want their traffic) Or are they going to be a search partner? (bad news)


 4:22 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

poster_boy/weeks, I asked a few people for a little more info. I don't believe that all Miva traffic is going to Google--my understanding is that it's more of the search-related traffic.


 4:46 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

and the fake 404's full of unrelated to "term" or "word" that are redirected to links not marked as "sponsored" that are servered from your Ip at syndicated ( thats still a google IP addy yes ) instead of normal type ins resulting in normal activity that happens on my ISP Matt?

what did your people say about that?

that sure as hell aint search ..thats bait and switch ..
and with the redirect that happens ..PHP and also javascript to kill the back button ..thats pure MFA ..zero content on page ..no way out ..just links via your ads ..or a redirect hijack ..thats spam ..

not saying that you personally knew about it ..( for a PR guy you always seemed straight ..here and elsewhere )..but you're the guy who is s'posed to be nuking that and cleaning the serps ..and making sure the brass doesnt do any evil ..

edited for typo

[edited by: Leosghost at 4:54 am (utc) on Jan. 9, 2007]

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