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Overture, Search Scout and Spyware

How Overture is using spyware to rip off advertisers

   
6:40 pm on May 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



About a week ago I noticed a HUGE increase in clicks to one of my Overture listings. So, I sifted thru my logs and found the source to be:

[results.searchscout.com...] <snip>

Here's what I found out:

1) <b>This comes from Spyware</b> made by GAIN/Gator/Claria (obvious).

2) <b>Users don't have to type my keyphrase to see my ad.</b> Rather, anything the Spyware thinks is relevant. This means anything users are stupid enough to click on will be shown, especially when clicks are expensive. When I particpate in pay for performance search, I expect my ad to be shown only when my keywords are typed in!

3)This particular spyware is in BETA, yet is driving tons of clicks to my ads that is costing me money.

4) Conversions, which were above 10%, are now below 1%. Effectively forcing me to pull my ads for the time being.

<b>In my opinion, Overture needs to do 3 things:</b>

1) Don't work with Spyware companies.

2) Since they'll ignore #1, move Spyware into the Content Match category, which is really what it is.

3) Provide a way to opt-out of spyware, so advertisers that do not want to support a malicious economy do not have to.

Has anyone else had a similar experience?

/uvince

6:43 pm on May 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member shak is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I am not gonna get into the spyware debate.

however many a PPC bid manager swears that conversions from SearchScout etc etc are superb.

Shak

10:11 pm on May 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Uvince, how about the bottom line - is this resulting in lower ROI or just lower conversion rates against more traffic?
10:58 pm on May 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



shorebreak, with this particular campaign it's taken me from about 100% profit margins to 50% or more LOSS. In this case, Spyware does not equal improved conversions or profits.

The thing that really gets me is that when I buy the Overture keyphrase "free widget with special sauce" it only shows when a user types that into Y! or another search engine.

In the case of searchscout, they just bring up my ad whenever they feel it's relevant. Again, I feel this is a contextual ad (f that) and should be categorized by Overture as one. If I wanted to buy a more general keyword like "widget", I would. I'm suprised that there aren't more complaints about this.

It's only been a week or so, it won't be long 'til budgets hit the fan and large advertisers pull out.

my $.02

8:22 am on May 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member shak is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



It's only been a week or so, it won't be long 'til budgets hit the fan and large advertisers pull out.

about a year and 1 week :)

Shak

12:15 am on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



We've looked at the quality of the traffic, and it's no different to other publishers on the network. In some instances it's better, in others it's marginally worse.

Ultimately every advertiser can vote with their credit card, but we have much evidence to support the facts.

How the traffic gets there is a whole different bag of worms (and as Shak did I'll abstain from opinionating).

I was even asked for a quote from Overure in the UK about the quality, which I was happy to provide.

Way too many superlatives, tons, massive etc. a week is not a long time.

2:53 am on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



webdiversity, you don't think ads like searchscout, GAIN, etc. should be part of Context Match, instead of PFP Search?

Seems complete BS to me that someone could NOT type "my keyword" and get listings for "my keyword" anyway.

uvince