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And for the record, I am having my logs pulled, so I will know by this afternoon if I am right or Overture is right.
I have a keyword group that looks a little like this...
Now all of these phrases have seen minimal traffic from either overture or adwords. But it makes enough sales to keep it profitable.
"widget" normally gets the traffic, which makes sense because people just don't type in the word "the" when searching.
Right after xmas, the keyword phrase "the widget" went to the #1 spot from #5. My clicks went from about 1 a day to over 60 a day with no increase in sales and once a week, never on the same day, clicks drop off to 1 again.
The same ad on adwords has seen no increase in impressions and actually has less impressions for the whole keyword group than I am getting clicks for this one lone keyword on overture. The other keywords in the keyword group on overture also showed no increase in clicks.
I called Overture about it and get back a condecending email about how the increase is due to the #1 spot and is "normal" traffic and how if I was using a tracking URL I would know this (which if they had bothered to look at my URL they would see that I do have a tracking URL)
Anyway, the question is, am I nuts here? This is a pretty blantent click fraud, right? I suppose I will know this afternoon but I just wanted to know if I was off, as I am new to this.
that you use a persistant cookie on each visitor that comes through -> log it to a database. Then, for a returning visitor, check for the cookie...perhaps give the cookie an ID of 'searchterm' concatenated? Or similar.
And then, you'll be able to do up a quick and dirty report on visitors, repeats, etc. from Overture...that should help immensly in your analysis to see if the clicks are legitimate or not.
Also, if they are 'fraud' they more than likely may only get 1 page view in...see the % of these 'possibly fraud clicks' that are 1 hit wonders / compare that with the number of 1 hit wonders from the other terms.
That should get you started to better ROI and easier analysis of your campaigns.
This is the first time in nearly a year I have seen anything like this on PPC. I know it happens and had been keeping an eye out for it on my really profitable ads. This one is just stupid because the product just doesn't sell that well. What was the point? And why on the one term that barely gets any traffic anyway?
I have been advertising on Overture for years and a simple move from 1st to 2nd position can cut my traffic in half. It might not be out of the question that your traffic increased so much due to the fact that your listing was among the first three so it was showing up on other search properties like MSN.