Eg, if he only wanted US traffic, why didn't he set the options in Adwords to only US visitors?
I was wondering the same thing. Some of the click fraud seemed totally avoidable if the advertiser simply targeted their geographic area better and/or targeted their keywords better. Rule number one of advertising is focus your advertising on your target audience as much if possible. If you are trying to sell insurance in the U.S., don't let someone in Nigeria see one's ads. Like Duh...
Regardless of its premise of digital doom, the article says some things that needed to be said. Maybe scammers and MFAs being outed in the mainstream will help provide the push we've been pleading for: get rid of the bad guys that cost Google, AdSense, and its publishers crediblity.
I wish something would force Google to put an end AdSense on parked domains and MFAs and scraper sites.
Me, I would've rejected it outright. The simple fact is that it is unbalanced. The sources should be challenged on the facts that they claim to present.
Agreed, it was a totally unbalanced agenda driven story. This is not good journalism.
From reading the article, the problem is that the writer doesn't seem to have a proper grasp of how Adsense/Adwords works.
Not challenging the complaints about click fraud from Botswana by pointing out that AdWords can be geo targeted is a perfect example of incomplete reporting.
My mission has always been to be a highly respected and great performing publisher. I want my advertisers to get their moneys worth and have done all that I can to accomplish this.
Same here; I work very hard to produce a very good site for my readers and advertisers. Calling AdSense publishers ad recyclers really upset me. As an AdWords advertiser, I have run ad campaigns that exclusively targeted content sites because I didn't want my ads showing up on search results right next to my own natural search listings.
So, who do I blame for this anomaly? Google? Smart Pricing, MFA's?
The continuing problem of click fraud rests squarely on Google. If they reported to the AdWords advertiser the webpage address of every click resulting from the content network, advertisers could more effectively weed out and report or block bad websites. This would improve the quality of the publisher network by helping to root out the bad actors and shutting of advertisements to really lame websites. Google also needs to allow advertisers to opt out of parked domains in mass without having to give up all content websites.
As Edge points out, perception is reality, and if the presence of AdSense ads on parked domains, PPC-arbitrage sites, etc. creates a widespread perception that "content ads" are a waste of money, we're all screwed.
Exactly, like click fraud, MFAs, arbitrage sites, and parked domain taint us all. I'm certain that if Google would crack down on these types of sites, the amount of revenue I earned from AdSense would increase by 50% or more as advertisers gained more trust and confidence in advertising on the content network.
Maybe they are trying to deflect the wave of advertisers leaving hardcopy for the net.
One must always look at the agenda of the messenger. Reporters for traditional print media have a personal vested interest in scaring advertisers away from advertising mediums that compete against their employers. This alone taints their objectivity and credibility.
An AP news story may need to be "balanced," but an article doesn't have to be: It can begin with a thesis and use facts to support an argument.
Granted, but it shouldn't ignore or exclude information that discredits the thesis. Science doesn't have to be balanced, but good science does have to account for all available evidence and can't cherry pick those details that support a thesis. Good reporting is the same as good science. It doesn't have to give equal time to all sides, but it shouldn't ignore reliable contradictory information. In the case of this article, the reporter ignored the fact that the insurance advertiser who was complaining about click fraud from Botswana could simply geo target their ads to users in the U.S., which is their target market.