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Google Banner Site-targeted Fraud
Buyer Beware
Voxman




msg:3228325
 3:16 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Tried their site-targeted banner and had interesting results. Most of the hits came from two sites. One called example delivered most of the hits but our logs showed they never stayed long enough to load in the site logo. Google says that people comparison shop so they 'add to favorites' and then move on. Fair enough (although most people do this?)

Ok, accepting that piece of logic as hard as it is too swallow we went to the site that was supposed to be showing our banner. It was nowhere to be found. We refreshed all the pages till the cows came home. No ad. Yet these phantom clicks were coming in 'as' we were there refreshing the ad. We were told that they are such a high traffic site that it was possible that we won't see the ad while others will. Fair enough but the logic is getting more and more difficult to entertain as even remotely possible.

On the page that Google's investigating team (which in my case must consist of one very lazy customer service rep) said that the hits are all coming from their main page. The same one that not only myself but I had 3 others in our company and one friend frantically refreshing trying to bring up our ad even once. (yes we are in a country targeted by the ad) ..still no ad.

Here's the kicker. No where on their site, ESPECIALLY the main page can they even 'fit' the extra large ad that we were promoting. Not even close. It's not a skyscraper but an extra large 728x79 pixel ad. No where and I mean no where on this site would this fit. Yet as I said, as we were all refreshing for the best part of an hour and a half...no ad appeared but the clicks came rolling in and our money kept rolling out.

After blowing a lot of money this way we did an ROI test. It came up 0, zilch, nada. Not one sale from these sites. Not one of these hits we tracked from the site we mentioned went past the first page. 90% never stayed long enough to load the stat pic and NONE went past the first page.

All we did here was finance Google partners who are obviously black hat, and Google once again, showed they don't care and just try to give you a positive spin on why you are so stupid that you don't understand how the web works.

Buyer beware.

Google, when the PPC bubble bursts, I will make sure I get a PUT trade on your stocks and laugh all the way to the bank as I make money while your stocks plummit from the lofty place you enjoy right now and that day will come. Their stocks are over valued anyway.

I posted this as a warning to my fellow webmasters and CFO's not to waste your money on these banner sites.

Do no Evil indeed.

[edited by: eWhisper at 1:36 pm (utc) on Jan. 23, 2007]
[edit reason] Please don't out sites. See TOS. [/edit]

 

mzanzig




msg:3228554
 11:34 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Voxman,

I can understand your anger. Losing money (be it on PPC advertising or elsewhere) is not funny.

However, as a publisher on the content network, I would like to give you a additional information that might help you understanding the content network better. Also, I bet some advanced Adwords customers will jump in and help as well.

1- You mentioned the source of the clicks (which is BTW not appreciated here at WW, and a mod will take care of that), and I had a look at the site. The site looks legit to me. Yes, they do blend their Adsense ads, but moderately and very different from a MFA (made-for-ads) site. Visitors at least have a chance to see that they click on an ad.

2- They do have a lot of traffic. Their Alexa rank is around 13,000. So, they should be capable of driving traffic to a site.

3- You do not necessarily see the ads on YOUR computer. This depends on geolocation, and you did not mention where you are located, and whether your campaign is located. E.g. if you are in the UK, but are targetting ads for a US audience, then you can indeed refresh the pages until your finger hurts. You won't see the ad. You could try using the "Preview Tool" which allows you to see a sample of ads that may display in other locations.

4- The publisher in this case uses various formats. On the homepage I see a skyscraper (right side), in deeper content pages I also noticed 728x90 leaderboards. Maybe you should go ask Google for a detailed source of clicks?

So, in short, it still looks to me that you are receiving legit traffic.

Remains the question - why is there no conversion? This is a good question. First, let's look at the obvious questions:

- Is your site fulfilling the promise of the ad?
- Is your site attractive and relevant for the audience?
- What does a visitor have to do to actually buy from you?
- Is the price of the product right (or is it too expensive compared to others, or too expensive for the audience)?
- Is your site technically sophisticated (i.e. taking long load time or using Flash or videos)?

I could understand visitors backing out immediately if they do not get served quickly, without thinking. People click on an ad to actually get what they have been promised. If this is not the case, they hit the back button faster than you can say "good morning".

Finally, yes, there can be clickfraud as well. Questions here are:

- Where do the visitors come from (country)?
- Do you see lots of identical IP addresses?
- Is the time of the day (of the click) in line with the visitor behaviour in that country, and for the rest of your site? (e.g. hits showing up 4 am when the overwhelming majority of customers should be sleeping)

So, yes, I understand your worries, but I think you should not put all the blame on the publisher without a deeper analysis.

Voxman




msg:3228683
 1:59 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wow do you work for Google? Kidding.

If you read my post you would notice that I confirmed that we were in the Geo area of the ad, (I did manage to find it on at least one other site) and the point was the size of the ad I was promoting (only one) was too big for the space the company (who going forward will remain anonomous) alotted. Don't tell me that over hours we could not bring up the ad once and that's normal.

I'm not a rookie here and neither is the rest of our team. I've been making a good living online since 1998 and we have built quite a good company employing about 50 people, and we also maintain sites that have a lot of traffic. We have a half dozen servers using load balancing with server /bandwidth costs in the thousands of dollars per month... so yes I understand traffic and *Alexa numbers (*as useless as they are)

There were two sites involved (sorry about mentioning one, it won't happen again) but we are convinced they were playing games. Even the google rep agreed that he could not make the ad appear but he was 'sure' it was. Again there was simply NO ROOM for the size ad in the first place.

Also note what I said about how long the clicks stayed for, the 0 ROI from these sites etc. while this same ad has a 7.4% (excellent huh) conversion rate on similar sites that we pay for space.

I stand by every word I said. Some Google publishers are black hat and with Google site targeted ads, it's buyer beware.

rbacal




msg:3228937
 5:29 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

no ad appeared but the clicks came rolling in and our money kept rolling out.

At least you aren't paying per click!

You're hitting one of the problems with advertising with site targeting, here, but it has more to do with being confident that your ads are showing in places that are desireable on any give site.

Re: length of stay, we found that site targeting didn't work for us, and length of stay was short, and ROI was..well also zero. For us it was a bit different, in that we didn't suspect any kind of fraud, but the end result was the same. I figure we could have made it work if we wanted to spend 10 hours a day just on site targeting.

Google, when the PPC bubble bursts, I will make sure I get a PUT trade on your stocks and laugh all the way to the bank as I make money while your stocks plummit from the lofty place you enjoy right now and that day will come.

This is the kind of comment that both makes me laugh, and tends to discourage offering any advice or techniques to help you try to avoid the problem.

I laugh because these exact comments are made periodically. The last major set was when google introduced QS. One Webmaster world guy proudly predicted a share price of 300 by Jan. 2007, and said he was going to clean up stock wise. Needless to say, he probably got completely hosed, and he hasn't posted since his diatribes.

There ARE ways to protect yourself when using site targeted ads, but it doesn't sound like you are that interested, so I'll leave you to your plan to short the stock.

Good luck. And let's hope that google comes up with ways to make site targeting easier and more effective.

rbacal




msg:3228944
 5:36 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

There were two sites involved (sorry about mentioning one, it won't happen again) but we are convinced they were playing games. Even the google rep agreed that he could not make the ad appear but he was 'sure' it was. Again there was simply NO ROOM for the size ad in the first place.

I just wanted to add that the no room argument doesn't really fly. It's quite possible to have more dynamically oriented pages, using ad serving software, and css so that an ad space can be flexible enough to show different sizes of ads. So, one could set up a "space" where almost any size ads can be combined.

I have no idea whether they are doing that, of course, but the fact that there doesn't appear to be room doesn't mean there isn't room, per se.

As to why "youse guys" can't see the ads, there are probably other legit reasons besides geotargeting why that would be the case.

In any event it doesn't matter. Your ROI is zero. Whatever the reason it's zero.

justageek




msg:3229070
 6:59 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google says that people comparison shop

If I had a dollar for everytime I've heard that from a Google rep I'd be retired...I think that is the first bullet point on their call script!

You need to find someone who will give you a straight up answer. It's simple as that. You may have to go through several reps but keep trying. That's the only way you *may* get the real answer.

JAG

Voxman




msg:3230215
 3:13 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

There ARE ways to protect yourself when using site targeted ads, but it doesn't sound like you are that interested, so I'll leave you to your plan to short the stock.

The only way we saw that you could protect yourself is too exclude both these sites. Easy enough but we are still peeved because in our opinion we were scammed and Google would do nothing about it.

As for the person who said that using CSS they would have the room as it would be flexible. We are aware of that, but it would have made quite a mess out of the top of their site if they tried it with the size ad we were using as they wouldn't even have room for their logo.

We were cheated, plain and simple and the 0 ROI in my mind proved it beyond a doubt. Remember we are talking about an ad that usually converts over 7%.

As for relevency? These sites were the exact kind of sites that we would want to advertise on so we were excited to see so many impressions...but when money started to fly out the window and nothing coming back ...that's when we began to suspect somethings wrong. We went to the site and even then thought they must have the banner on some other page that we couldnt' get too, but Google confirmed that the clicks were coming from their main page.

ALSO the ads they do show on the main page (which are much smaller) are doubleclick / fastclick and not google at all.

Here's curious note. In looking at their ad url I see this in the string. Probaby means nothing but funny none the less to see it. Notice the part of this string that says 'forced click'. Probably a normal part of the string but a poor choice of words I'd say. ;)

mouse over [ad.ca.doubleclick.net]

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 2:39 am (utc) on Jan. 28, 2007]
[edit reason] turned into mouse over url [/edit]

Quantam Goose




msg:3230334
 4:45 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Voxman - congratulations. You have just stimulated responses from the "I love Google at any cost" group.

For some totally unfathomnable reason, certain guys on this forum can't seem to graps that a public company will try to improve revenue "around the edges" in thousands of ways.

Anybody who has worked for one of these major players, (or even minor ones), knows that in the VP of Finance office, there are young newly minted MBA's working spread sheets and trying to get next years bonus lined up, by devising little "adjustments" that increase the bottom line.

It is simply a fact of American corporate life...not evil, not bad...just a fact.

rbacal




msg:3230483
 7:04 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Voxman - congratulations. You have just stimulated responses from the "I love Google at any cost" group

Some people like to spend there time attacking companies. Some of us prefer to spend our time doing business. I understand there's a lot of frustration in trying to do the latter in conjunction with very imperfect companies, but if you take a look you'll find that Voxman has trashed, on Webmasterword, Yahoo ad system, MSN ad system, Adwords, and just for good measure Mamma.

No doubt he has his reasons, and probably good ones. I just think there's better things to do than complain here about these companies.


europeforvisitors




msg:3230509
 7:25 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think the OP's story just goes to show that, if you're going to use site targeting, you should personally vet the sites where your ads are going to appear.

Quantam Goose




msg:3230533
 7:38 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

rbacal - I could not agree more. I just think that everyone should keep an open mind about "why" things work the way they do. Revenue enhancement is what Google is about. Just admit that "Circumstance xyz" is in fact where the scales were tipped in the Company's favor - then move on. I think it would be much more fruitful for this forum to discuss ways of "beating" the system, rather than discussions about intent. The problem is, of course, anyone that discovers a "hole" in the algorithm that allows them to get massive ROI - is not going to share that. (I found one lately and google did not cut it off for 8 hours). Nuff said.

rbacal




msg:3230573
 8:02 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

I could not agree more. I just think that everyone should keep an open mind about "why" things work the way they do

An open mind is good. I know we're digressing here, but with google, there are so many "black boxes" that it's IMPOSSIBLE to know "why" things work the way they do.

I was just thinking that the large proportion of discussions about google adwords/adsense is worthless in terms of helping us increase our revenues. In the absence of facts, people speculate about motives, etc, and at least for me, it's just a complete waste of time.

The sad part is that those people who have nothing better to do than complain about things they can't control, and can't possibly explain factually, label those that don't want to play this stupid game as googleheads or googlelovers.

Some of us have better things to do than complain, or pretend to read the minds of google.

Speaking of which, it's time for me to do something useful elsewhere.

Pengi




msg:3230582
 8:14 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Could the problem be something to do with you targeting a site with an ad that doesn't have space to display the ad.

Maybe there is a flaw in the Google Algorithm ("surely not!" I hear you cry) the registers an impression before realising that it is not possible to actually display the ad. This would seem to me to account for all the sympthoms you describe.

Lexur




msg:3230656
 9:22 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

...the large proportion of discussions about google adwords/adsense is worthless in terms of helping us increase our revenues.

I do not use Adwords (just have a testimonial account) and I fully readed this thread because nobody can say nothing about Google but speculations and mere theories. Everyone must read most threads regarding Google and all of his branches with an eye and read between lines with other. Just a product of Google self obscurity.

Voxman




msg:3233033
 5:06 pm on Jan 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think the OP's story just goes to show that, if you're going to use site targeting, you should personally vet the sites where your ads are going to appear.

Of course we visted the sites. And they are just the sites we wanted to be on. High traffic and very relevent to what we sell. If they sold advertising ad we would have bought it directly from them but apparently they prefer to get paid by Google which is fine...maybe better than fine because obviously they don't even have to show the ads to get revenue from them. Did these sites cheat? Well either they did or as someone proposed maybe their adspace size couldn't fit and gave false impressions as if they were... I tend to believe the former as we have programmers who can tell you in detail how to manufacture massive impressions and not show anything at all.

Anyway, the meaning of the original forum was just to makes sure people here go into site targeting with their eyes wide open so they do not get to experience the thrill of spending gobs of money for 0 ROI.

Also, yes I have posted about Yahoo, MSN etc. When I find something that needs to be exposed I do it. If you don't like it don't read. It wasn't meant for you anyway obviously. It was meant to make sure that these things come into the light of day and exposed for what they are in a public forum. Yahoo also are guilty of fraudulent so called partners and deserve critism for it. The only time I dissed MSN was about their interface. Of all the PPC companies right now, MSN gives us the best bang for the buck in ROI.

I don't think 'ignoring' companies that wrong advertisers is the right way to go or 'accepting' it as a cost of business. Nothing changes that way. The only thing that will change the way the Big boys play is by advertisers speaking out and voting with their wallets.

Makes me wonder why the same people who say these posts are a waste of valuable business time (hey bud ...everyone's time on here is valuable).. are the same people who take the time to respond to the post. Makes you wonder who they are really...because if it was meaningless and a waste of time for them...why did they even bother to read the posts and most of all 'reply'. I would almost bet that they are not advertisers at all but publishers of adsense and want to quiet people who unmask the ugly side of PPC and Impression based site targeting ;)

rbacal




msg:3233052
 5:16 pm on Jan 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Also, yes I have posted about Yahoo, MSN etc. When I find something that needs to be exposed I do it.

My point was that some people complain and find fault with everyone, and that if you believe that ALL of the potential companies you could or are dealing with are committing fraud, then the practical thing is to find another business model.

People can certainly post what they like, but I think there is a contradiction when people criticize MSN, Yahoo and Google (and all the other even more suspect players in the game) and accuse them of fraud, BUT CONTINUE TO USE THEIR SERVICES and do business with them, in essence contributing money to the companies being accused.

I just find it passing strange. There are a number of companies out there that I have bad opinions of, but I don't do business with them.

And I personally don't make accusations about fraud, dishonesty etc, in public forums unless I have iron-clad proof that would stand up in a court, which is simple business prudence.

Voxman




msg:3233155
 6:27 pm on Jan 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

And I personally don't make accusations about fraud, dishonesty etc, in public forums unless I have iron-clad proof that would stand up in a court, which is simple business prudence.

Let me guess...you must be a publisher. Remember that's a guess not an accusation.

Your statements are fine and valid for you.....that's why you run your business and I run mine. As far as I'm concerned it would be up to Google to prove they ran the ad. We proved beyond a shadow of doubt for ourselves the ad was never running in the places we investigated. Again, if this post is a waste of your time, don't read and reply. That's also your perogative but don't please don't begin to insinuate what I should or should not do in warning others.

As you know unfortunately we have to do business with PPC and we KNOW there is fraudulent PPC that we all have to live with ...for now. It's a cost of business unfortunately but what this post was about before it digressed into who should post what etc. was that their site targeting was a complete sham. The lower and lower PPC ROI we have learned to deal with by simply voting with our ad dollars. Instead of thousands of $ per day they get hundreds and it decreases month to month as we find better places to spend the money and will continue to do so. If we could live without PPC completely we would do it in a heartbeat but that is not practical..at least not yet.

What this post was about was site targeting. I reported my findings... and I'm sure black hat is going on here... my opinion...period. (which I DON'T have to prove in a court of law but only to the company partners). I'm sure these posts would make those kinds of publishers 'nervous' as we bring attention not only in forums to their misdeeds but to Google themselves about our findings.

rbacal




msg:3233270
 8:10 pm on Jan 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Let me guess...you must be a publisher. Remember that's a guess not an accusation.

Both.


That's also your perogative but don't please don't begin to insinuate what I should or should not do in warning others.

There's a difference between presenting facts (a good thing, and something you've done) and presenting conclusions as facts (which involves accusations, speculative attacks, and are potentially libelous and misleading). You've done that too, confusing facts with conclusions.

I'm sorry man, but if you want to "warn" people, present the facts, and leave out all the unsubstantiated "conclusions". If your facts are strong, we'll all get it. If they aren't strong, then don't present your conclusions and interpretations and facts.

Then you'll truly be warning and helping others.

Instead of thousands of $ per day they get hundreds and it decreases month to month as we find better places to spend the money and will continue to do so. If we could live without PPC completely we would do it in a heartbeat but that is not practical..at least not yet.

So, you'll do business with companies you believe are thieves, BUT, you'll warn others about them being thieves.

That's not exactly holding the moral highground here is it?

shorebreak




msg:3234212
 7:07 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

As an exec at the world's largest SEM firm (we're managing US$350M in annual PPC spend, roughly two-thirds on AdWords), I can say that

a)without question no small percentage of Google's distribution partners (search, content and site-targeted banners all) are actively engaged in distribution fraud and/or click fraud of the type described by the poster. Because every single penny of the $350M we manage is managed to specific, measurable ROI goals and constraints, we can see what components of Google (and Yahoo and MSN) convert well, convert OK and don't convert at all. We also have a big enough sample set to know when large amounts of non-converting traffic mean distribution and/or click fraud, and not advertiser ineptitude.

b)Google spends 10X more effort ensuring advertisers pay their bills than ensuring distribution fraud (as distinct from click fraud) is weeded out.

c)Many of the publishers reading this sentence are guilty yourselves both in deed and in intent. I say this after having spent 3.5 years on this and other forums, getting to know AdSense publishers at PubCon, hearing what gets said late at night at search-related events by people a bit too drunk to keep their mouths shut. I'm not accusing anyone here in particular, but rather just making the point that the anonymity WebmasterWorld & other forums afford (and which so many here *relish*) leads me personally to look upon statements such as those made in defense of the fraud alleged with great skepticism.

d)Google's contextual traffic (in the U.S. at least) makes up 15-18% of their revenues, yet that traffic base justifies only 4-5% of our advertisers' Google spend *when efficiently managed to ROI goals/constraints*. Our system is managing efficiently to advertiser ROI goals, so it's the best reflection of true market value out there. That means (with no statistical wiggle room for the G-lovers here) that distribution fraud and/or click fraud are definitely occurring.

e)Likewise, the fact that Google is *so* good at detecting click fraud within search and yet *so* bad at detecting distribution fraud on their search and contextual networks means they are *at least* criminally negligent - remember, this type of alleged fraud amounts to hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

f)In the real world, though, until and unless Google is made to change its approach to distribution partners, it is incumbent upon smart advertisers and their agencies to *deal with it*. We deal with it by
-spending less or not at all on the parts of Google that have such issues. Unfortunately, though, this distribution fraud is happening more and more on the search network, which you are either in or out of 100%. Getting AOL traffic is important, though, so it hurts everyone when advertisers start opting our of search network
-managing to precise ROI goals

Yes, G-Lovers, theoretically fraud of all different types is priced into the market, and so no harm no foul, right? That, my friends, is the weakest argument you could possibly make, so don't make it.

-Shorebreak

Leosghost




msg:3234339
 10:00 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thankyou shorebreak :-)..( whose credentials are indisputable ) for adding your voice to those of us who have been saying that the current emperor of search ..G ..does indeed have no clothes ..depending on which park of his walk you are witnessing ..and extremely shabby rags , more holes than fabric in some other areas ..

The bright raiment we saw at the start ..were eaten away by the smoke and mirrors leading upto and since the IPO ..

do no evil became just words ..G forgot to walk the talk ..and now the talk and the walk are twisted ..and no amount of fanboy posts telling us to shut up or that we are delusioned or illogical ..can remove the evidence ..

justageek




msg:3234348
 10:11 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes shorebreak...thanks for the post. I've pushed millions of dollars (not $350 million) through AdWords and I can say I've seen the same problems. It seems that around billing time it is a few days of gathering info to dispute clicks and charges with Google. That's why the 'comparison shopping' etc. excuses are about worn out with me :-/

JAG

Voxman




msg:3234927
 5:23 pm on Jan 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

rbacal, me thinks you protest too much!

The goal was to warn and to tell others about our conclusions. Which is what we've done. You don't think our conclusions would hold up in a court of law ...fine. But know this. I have not put all our cards on the table as I've presented at our company board meeting. That document was more intensive and meant for internal use. This forum was not the place to post it. As I said, I had only to prove my findings to the board and not to anyone here. My attentions was to raise alarms and apparently I have. Others will not have to come to their own conclusions.
I will not reply, or respond to your posts on this matter anymore. You are a publisher so as far as I'm concerned we have nothing more to discuss.

That's not exactly holding the moral highground here is it?

If you are a publisher that takes the high road and toally white hat, I commend you, but no 'advertiser' who looks at the 'facts' as presented in our server logs and sales ROI figures are going to buy that the majority of the publishers are like you....again,..assuming you are as white hat and noble as your portray.

shorebreak, thank you very much for sharing in detail your findings and insights. It was helpful indeed to see a fresh look at the facts from 'different eyes'. Much appreciated that you took the time to post a response. We knew that others would also share the same conclusions after examining their own logs and ROI sheets. I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

shorebreak




msg:3234950
 5:55 pm on Jan 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

On my points (b) and (e) above, I should probably make a couple clarifications:

(b) To be balanced & fair, I'll note that despite how much more effort, IMO, Google should put into policing its distribution partners, it *is* doing a better job than the other search engines it competes with. To all the advertisers on the receiving end of this distribution fraud, though, that's no comfort, so I also won't dwell on relativity.

(e) I'm no lawyer, and so what defines 'criminally negligent' is a question I may be out of my league on. Also, in all fairness it's probably more accurate to say that negligence is likely as far as G's fault goes.

Thanks Leosghost, Justageek and Voxman - and promise to write me when I'm thrown out of the SEM industry...

trinorthlighting




msg:3235868
 3:17 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is a very interesting conversation. Our company is both a publisher and an advertiser so I can speak from both sides of the fence here.

Speaking from a publisher aspect:

1. I wish Google would look at sites that are very questionable. Especially when they are reported! Last week I found one site that was hacking into other peopleís blogs and link spamming to their adsense site! I reported it early last week. The site has a bunch of scraped and broken keywords that are stuffed. Adsense TOS prohibit both of these things yet the site still is running adsense. I reported it and after checking the site itís still displaying adsense ads. I have the example of the site in case anyone would like to see it.

2. Google needs to realize itís much better to have a small group of publishers that are honest verses having questionable publishers. If you really think about the bidding system and how it works Google will not lose money by having a smaller group of publishers. Instead the smaller group of publishers will make more money by sending legit clicks to advertisers.

Now speaking from the advertiserís point of view:

1. 90% of our advertising is spent on advertising on Googleís site.

2. 10% of our advertising is spent on hand picked content sites. Before we start site advertising we review each site that we target.

3. We look at content sites natural serps in Google, yahoo and msn for the keywords that people will hit the site.

4. We also look to make sure that the content site is not doing anything that would be considered black hat. Think about it, if a site is doing something shady to manipulate a natural ranking which is dishonest, what are they doing on the adsense side? Anything that throws up flags we will disqualify the site.

Overall, this means some honest publishers are missing out on some of our advertising dollars because we do not have time to review every content site. I am also sure we are missing out on some good traffic as well.

I wonder how many advertisers opt out of the content network because they are tired of seeing shady types of adsense sites.

ikkyu




msg:3235872
 3:24 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Amen, Shorebreak, amen to your insightful post. Reading through the whole thread I can definitely see Voxman's side of things, although we've felt it much more from Y than from G. Please people - if you feel like you are being taken by some sites speak up. Googleguy, Msndude and whoever Yahoo has here should be listening. Its in no ones best interest(well except for the fly-by-nighters) to accept click-fraud as written-in-stone, comes-with-the -territory crap. How do bad neighborhoods change? When the residents decide that crime IS NOT ACCEPTABLE and some are willing to speak out about it.

Erku




msg:3235922
 4:13 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

I would actually like to see your landing page.

Is it "attractive" Is it optimal?

I have seen so many very bad landing pages that blaming for content sites is not really fair.

trinorthlighting




msg:3236071
 5:38 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

The thread is not about his landing page, if you read what is wrote he is saying that his banner would not fit onto the site where he is getting traffic from.

gregbo




msg:3236512
 10:50 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

As you know unfortunately we have to do business with PPC and we KNOW there is fraudulent PPC that we all have to live with ...for now.

Actually, it is this mindset which enables the engines and networks to continue to rake in high profits.

tigertom




msg:3236695
 2:37 am on Jan 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

All that needs to be done is that Google exercise the same thoroughness in policing Adsense, as it does the SERPs.

Thousands of hits + short stay + 0 sales = classic PPC fraud. That's the word, FRAUD.

Voxman




msg:3237668
 9:36 pm on Jan 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Actually, it is this mindset which enables the engines and networks to continue to rake in high profits.

And I agree. But what can you do? Not advertising with them at all is not possible unless going out of business is how you want to protest. However we have moved thousands of dollars a day away from both Yahoo and Google and in many respects away from PPC altogether.

PPC in it's present form will not be here forever. Google rules for now but they should remember that they themselves were upstarts that took away the number one mantle from Yahoo. Only matter of time before an unknown comes out of nowhere to give them competition. Or perhaps, the first PPC site that can be 100% fraud free will take all the business away from them. Right now MSN has the best ROI. Maybe because they don't have a lot of spammy partners.. (yet?)

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