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This is 'Normal user behaviour'
Beware!
ArthurSixpence




msg:3069861
 1:17 pm on Sep 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

How does this sound as a proposal for a money creation scheme?

A user is looking for widgets so he clicks on one of our Adword ads. He looks at the widgets we have for sale but isn't sure about the range of colours available. So, back to Google, he clicks on the next Adword ad and visits the site of one of our competitors. Their range is much worse so again he goes back to Google and clicks our ad again. He now finds the widget he wants but wants to do one last price comparison before placing his order. So, back to Google again to check our price against another competitor site. Oops, no, they're way too expensive so yet again back to Googleron and click our ad again. His phone then rings and he forgets all about his widgets and goes off to play on secondlife.

So, the question is how many clicks does Google charge us for? Let's try multiple choice to make it easier.

1. None, as we derived no benefit from the clicks.
2. One, as all the clicks came from one user and presumably one IP address, and we could only possibly have got one order as a result.
3. Three, as that way Google gets a triple hit, the advertisers actually pay three times what it should cost and most of them would never know the difference anyway.
4. Four, adding one for luck.

Your answers and thoughts please ladies and gentlemen.

 

Green_Grass




msg:3069871
 1:51 pm on Sep 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

"This is 'Normal user behaviour'"

Quite likely.

One Guy , I knew, clicked on my ad daily to reach my site for a week /ten days. He did not add it to favorites and kept coming back using the sponsored ad on the SERPS. How did I come to know? He told me when he met me in search for some information on a subject he was researching. When I told him, this cost me money. He was surprised! AND He belonged to a very respected Market Research Firm!

I guess many people use the sponsored SEARCH to come back to a site they like again and again. Money for Google....

There is really no escape.. It is part of doing biz..

europeforvisitors




msg:3070035
 5:55 pm on Sep 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Based on Alexander Tulhilin's analysis of Google's click-fraud detection methods, I'd say the answer is:

2. One, as all the clicks came from one user and
presumably one IP address....

You can read the report at:

[googleblog.blogspot.com...]

Kobayashi




msg:3070100
 7:46 pm on Sep 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

According to my account manager the answer is 3. When I inquirered back in March about 3 clicks from 1 impression I was given the oftened quoted "normal/legitimate user behavior". An example was given of a user comparison shopping amoung different ads served from the same impression. I was told that Google will charge you for multiple clicks for the same impression because to them the effect is the same as if the user had searched on the keyword prior to each time they clicked on your ad.

If you have not already, try running a keyword report with a filter where clicks > 1 and impressions = 1 - you may be surprised with the results. I even got a few results when I ran a report with clicks > 0 and impressions = 0 but that is a whole other issue

[edited by: Kobayashi at 7:57 pm (utc) on Sep. 2, 2006]

gregbo




msg:3070223
 11:40 pm on Sep 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

If the clicks are spread out over longer than 30 minutes, one could very well be charged for more than one click. 30 minutes is a common measure of a "visit". IP addresses could also change during that time period, new cookies could be issued, etc.

There are several reports that going back to google a link is a common web usage method.

gregbo




msg:3070224
 11:42 pm on Sep 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

I even got a few results when I ran a report with clicks > 0 and impressions = 0 but that is a whole other issue

I could see something like that happening legitimately if clicks were processed before impressions. I'd be suspicious if impressions lagged behind clicks for more than a couple of days, however.

bostonseo




msg:3070281
 2:42 am on Sep 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

The answer is #3, even if all 3 clicks occur within 5 minutes.

Kobayashi




msg:3070288
 3:06 am on Sep 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

I could see something like that happening legitimately if clicks were processed before impressions. I'd be suspicious if impressions lagged behind clicks for more than a couple of days, however.

It was for this reason I ran the report for a period ending 30 days before the day I ran it yet they still show up. Good reminder though to those that want to try it to make sure to specify a report end date of at least a week prior to the date you run the report to rule out this possibility.

leadegroot




msg:3070474
 12:57 pm on Sep 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

As an adsense publisher, my experience is that the advertiser gets charged for each click.
Google seems to be able to tell a 'double click' (ie within a short period eg one second) and not charge the advertiser again, but when there are several minutes (or more) between clicks, they charge again.
I don't see repeat clicks very often, but when the same IP clicks more than once, the above describes the payment pattern I see.
HIH!

wired in asia




msg:3070528
 3:06 pm on Sep 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

CT auditing tools we ran in the past painted a rather negativ picture. 20% of all visitors came from more than a single PPC click, when we benchmarked PPC ads against auditing tools and inhouse stats. google showed less clicks though, i.e. negative expenses were not as damaging.

We found that also repeat customers go via the same google ad. One more reason to never change the ad and always have it at the same rank. Guess google is the default search/directory tool for most.

I guess it comes down to how sticky your site is, i.e. extensive use of 'Bookmark this page' etc features.

ArthurSixpence




msg:3070745
 8:40 pm on Sep 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes folks, all those who said number three are absolutely right. Despite what the good Doctor's research paper may say, I actually have it writing from Google.

Googleron will charge you for every single click despite the fact that they all originated from the same IP and occurred in a time window of around a couple of minutes. So, you can easily run up charges of anything up to five times the amount you think you're paying just for the privilege of having the same visitor reach your site via your ad.

It took some persistence to get them to admit this and it is what they class as 'Normal user behaviour'. This was despite their initial claims that it could be different users using the same proxy. Yes, of course and they all chose exactly the same phrase to search on! Oh, and look out if your landing page is off or your server's down. It would seem you pay for 400 and 500 errors as well despite the fact these can be easily detected.

So, you've carefully gone through all your stats, worked out the value of each click and decided you can afford to pay 20cents and still run a profitable camapaign. Except what you don't know (and won't find mentioned anywhere in Adwords info) is that you'll actually be paying between 60cents and a dollar a click in reality -which of course isn't profitable unless you're Googleron.

It's a scam and it stinks. If Google thinks it's good business practice why not be open about it and state clearly exactly what will be charged for. Don't worry, it's a rhetorical question.

Needless to say we don't use AdWords any more and we used to spend around $250k a year on them.

PS $90 million in Miller County? Talk about getting off lightly,. The bean counters must have been rubbing their hands after that one. That'll be about a day's income then, or a quarter of a day if they ever start charging honestly.

DamonHD




msg:3070769
 9:36 pm on Sep 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi ArthurSixpence,

G's charging scheme is "per click" and that is what they are doing.

The fact that users, including you and I, will do what is convenient for us rather than what might cost the advertiser the minimum is neither here nor there. Users are often inconvenient and expensive: I used to run an ISP so I *know*! %-P

Although G might *choose* not to charge you for all the clicks, it seems that the simplest reading of "PPC" is that they will.

And by no means all users will do this, so it is just an ineluctable marginal cost of doing business for now.

Rgds

Damon

gregbo




msg:3070779
 10:00 pm on Sep 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's a scam and it stinks. If Google thinks it's good business practice why not be open about it and state clearly exactly what will be charged for. Don't worry, it's a rhetorical question.

At least one point I'll agree with: G should state clearly what is being charged for. I'd hoped this was one of the things that would come out of the click fraud committee.

I may bring this up under another thread, but I think there is insufficient documentation about the actual mechanism of click processing. I don't expect the engines to release the actual details of how they determine what is/isn't valid, but I do think they should explain in some detail the (HTTP) exchanges between browser and ad server.

wired in asia




msg:3070897
 2:28 am on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

ArthurSixpence has got a valid point.

As google does not charge a fixed fee, ad expense projections are out of the window. In fact when ones site is popular, google benefits as most users will go again and again via the same google ad.

This dilemma poses a harsh reality. Our staff basically hovers over all ads to ensure that expenses stay within manageable limits. This maintenance and staff cost is an added expense.

Of course it varies by industry, but most adwords users are well advised to measure click to buy. Easily a purchase request can cost USD 40-80 plus in-house HR expenses. These numbers make google an expense ad platform.

europeforvisitors




msg:3070923
 3:09 am on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's a scam and it stinks. If Google thinks it's good business practice why not be open about it and state clearly exactly what will be charged for.

I can think of one reason: to make it harder for businesses to drain competitors' budgets with manual or automatic clicking. If Joe Scumbag knows that additional clicks within 60 seconds aren't counted, he'll know to wait more than a minute between each screw-the-competitor click.

aeiouy




msg:3070999
 5:24 am on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I suspect people who click back and forth comparing probably convert much higher than people who look once and go "pfft".

So it is probably a wash in the end. At least the person is likely serious.

decaff




msg:3071015
 6:13 am on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Of course, you can't set up landing pages that don't allow the visitor (from your adwords ad) to return to Google via their back button...so the only way to combat the inevitable comparison shopping that will go on in many sectors...is to make absolutely certain that your landing page (and site) offers all the attributes that the user will find helpful on their first visit...

Google relies on the psychological make up of the average search engine user...one who is looking for answers regarding a product or service they are seeking...and also looking at who they can trust...so the earlier you establish trust in this dialogue ... the sooner you can cut down on some of your clicks for comparison shopping...

But the unfortunate answer is:
3. Three, as that way Google gets a triple hit, the advertisers actually pay three times what it should cost and most of them would never know the difference anyway.

Kobayashi




msg:3071019
 6:28 am on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Actually, they do state that multiple clicks on the same ad by the same person during the same session are recorded. I think it is understood that if it is recorded one is charged for it.

"A visitor may click your ad multiple times. When one person clicks on one advertisement multiple times in the same session, AdWords will record multiple clicks while Analytics recognizes the separate pageviews as one visit. This is a common behavior among visitors engaging in comparison shopping."

Source: [adwords.google.com ]

gregbo




msg:3071731
 10:54 pm on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I can think of one reason: to make it harder for businesses to drain competitors' budgets with manual or automatic clicking. If Joe Scumbag knows that additional clicks within 60 seconds aren't counted, he'll know to wait more than a minute between each screw-the-competitor click.

I think Joe Scumbag has pretty much figured this out by now. Joe Scumbag is, if nothing else, savvy about the inner workings of the web protocols. OTOH, a lot of advertisers aren't, and the engines/networks in general don't provide the type of information that would enable them to better manage their ad spend.

koncept




msg:3071935
 6:19 am on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

This thread topic is exactly what has been on my mind the last few days. I have been tracking my visitors very closely lately and am appalled at the difference between unique visitors from google, and the clicks google is charging me for. Conversions from google are generally great, and that's why I pay them a higher CPC, but when the actual cost per person is sometimes 2 or 3 times that CPC, the numbers just don't make sense anymore.

My unique visitors from ysm and adcenter match their stats exactly. People here talk about fraud on ysm, but for my particular keywords/market, it seems they charge only for each unique click. Google is abusing their position, doing nothing about click fraud. I don't care if they've been honest about these double/triple charges or not... charging me 3 times for the same visitor within a short time frame is unacceptable.

I want to buy unique traffic, not "clicks".

gregbo




msg:3072729
 9:22 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I want to buy unique traffic, not "clicks".

Given that you can't (accurately) determine "visitors", and "clicks" aren't guaranteed to be "real", of all the metrics that you can realistically quantify, which one do you think would give you the best ROI?

ArthurSixpence




msg:3072789
 10:13 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

If '"clicks" aren't guaranteed to be "real"' then how can Google possibly use them as the basis for a paid advertising program?

The clicks are real enough, they are what advertisers are being charged for. It's the spurious 'visitors' I'm concerned about. As for the 'content' network - don't get me started!

First you allow any old/young scammer capable of knocking together a php script to display a page full of AdSense (NonSense!) then you allow that page to rank more highly in the serps than the genuine pages of the people paying for the privilege of advertising on it. Then you charge the advertiser multiple times when a genuine visitor clicks again and again on the ad.

Am I missing something here, other than the desire to join the party?

wired in asia




msg:3073129
 7:29 am on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Whenever I read through various threads, I can't help thinking that Ad Words is seriously flawed.

vincevincevince




msg:3073138
 7:37 am on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)


<?php
if ($fromadwords)
{
if ($_COOKIE[previously_from_adwords])
print "<blink><h1><b>Bookmark us now! Our ad might not be there tomorrow!</b></h1></blink>";
}
?>

sem4u




msg:3073171
 8:01 am on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

The answer is probably number 3 (3 clicks). You can see this in action for example if you have two clicks and one impression, giving a CTR of 200%.

We can now also see how many clicks were deemed invalid by Google with the invalid clicks report. However, this figure does not show all invalid clicks IMO, and the definition of invalid clicks is even open to debate.

I would love to see one click per IP address per phrase but I also realise that we are paying per click and not per user.

gregbo




msg:3074116
 10:18 pm on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

If '"clicks" aren't guaranteed to be "real"' then how can Google possibly use them as the basis for a paid advertising program?

The clicks are real enough, they are what advertisers are being charged for. It's the spurious 'visitors' I'm concerned about. As for the 'content' network - don't get me started!

If you believe that it is appropriate to charge per click, then it shouldn't matter what the method of origination of the click is. Someone who uses G to repeatedly search for your ad and click on it is using the medium (of search) as it was designed.

Personally, I believe this is yet another reason not to use PPC.

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