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Let me explain. I did quite a bit of research and even had a few of the places send me IP reports of the traffic that was sent to my website. About 90% of the traffic on a few of these sites comes from Asia. And the worst part of it, out of all the traffic that comes from Asia only nearly all of the visitors spent about 2 seconds on my website and didn't view a single page.
Some of the clicks I was charged for were from the same IP address. In fact, the same IP address many times searched for the same word like 10 times in a 15 second period. I was charged for all of the clicks. I also had to bring this to the attention of a few of the pay-per-click websites since they assured me they have anti-fraud measures in place.
As a result of my research, I stopped paying for the pay-per-click engines a few months back. I have lost all the clicks but my website earnings are nearly the exact same with or without them. Sure there was about 10% off the traffic was real people clicking, but I found that the money I was putting out was not coming back.
If you own a website I suggest tracking as best you can the traffic from each pay-per-click engine and finding out where your traffic is coming from, how long they are staying, how many pages they are viewing on your website compared to your normal traffic, and compare all this to what you are spending. There are a few sites like Overture that do not seem to have as much "fake" traffic and may be worth your money. I will not name names as of yet, but if this thread lives on and others want to know my exact findings I will list them.
Let me say that I have always done well with PPC. I have run into my share of fraudulent clicks, however...by doing my homework first and setting up my own tracking...I am able to CYA (Cover My A**).
Normally if you run into the IP issue, the engine if customer focused and they care...then they will make your buy right with you.
I also, don't sit and wait to see how much time a person sits on a single page or the whole site. Its good to know that they hang out at the site to get the info they want. However, if I'm acquiring traffic from a ppc and sending it to a site...I don't want them spending too much time on the site.
I've found the shortest distance between surfer intent and the "Buy" button is the best way to go. Fewer distractions or options to lose focus on WHY you are at my site.
I have optimized the Title, and Descript to prequalify the surfers intent and expectations of the site, such as: Credit Card Required!
This keeps fewer unproductive clicks off the site.
PPC is an art, as SEO always has been. It requires close attention to detail and a knowledge of the surfers where source traffic is concerned while taking into account country specific payment options.
That is my take on it, but I will state again...PATIENCE BABY!
Before our country collapsed about 70% of our business came from AdWords. We still get lots of inquiries from them which we hope will end up in income in the months to come once things calm down. The other main source has been Overture however they are much more expensive and have nowhere near the search traffic that Google brings us.
Before our country collapsed about 70% of our business came from AdWords
Although I don't have person experience ... you've got to hate it when your country collapses...Good Luck, I hope things improve for you!
Then hear it from me. We get great results, great ROI, everyday, day in and day out.
From what I have seen, most people who fail at PPC do so beacuse they treat it as a lazy way to SEO. They put hundreds of keywords on the same ad and then complain that they don't get traffic or put one EXTREAMLY vauge keyword on an ad and complain the traffic doesn't convert. They think clicks and not profit. I see my competitors doing it all the time and over the past year I have seen them drop away, one by one, while I continue to bring in the money.
Now if only other companies would listen to them about how adwords doesn't work and stop signing up. I'd be living on easy street! :)
We've done some real life analysis of PPC engines which includes many of the engines you mentioned above. With my industry we found that Google Adwords was most effective. So effective that we dropped all the other PPC engines and spend 50,000 a year on Adwords. Adwords is responsible for at least 40% of our online sales. I suggest you check out Google Adwords forum.