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Clickspam help

help me solve a clickspam problem

   
12:11 pm on Apr 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The story so far

- discovered a growing volume non SE referrer in logs
- for month of March 20% of ALL uniques from this single referrer (1500 out of 6500 uniques)
- visit referrer site; conduct search for sample of my keywords
- surprise! result is exactly same wording as my o/ture PPC ads
- conduct same searches on overture
- surprise! all results on overture for these keyphrases are exactly same as on suspect referrer results (wording and positions)
- check referrer source code; search results provided by another provider (i.e. suspect referrer is the third party; o/ture supplies to 2nd prty which supplies to 3rd prty/suspect referrer)

- take screen shots to show o/ture that results are exactly same
- send screen shots, logs/stats and above info to overture and ask them to investigate

- of course in the meantime PPC account has been cleaned out

- o/ture replies that referrer is not one of their affiliates
- but I reply search results are word for word exactly same and source code of referrer site shows referrer is getting results from another party

- this referrer is an english only site, yet sends me visitors from 46 different countries from english keywords? overture doesnt send me results from 46 countries, nor does adwords or any other engine for that matter. niche market and keywords.

- overture refuses to investigate, advises me to turn on url tracking, but my log analysis software does this anyway (and better) and its too late cause i'm out of $ and am not keen on adding more till this is sorted

what do i do next? can i post URL of suspect referrer here (suppose not... but man am i %$#@!* about this). any other way to get through to overture or other evidence i could supply?

1:49 pm on Apr 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member



You cannot post the URL, because it is against our TOS [webmasterworld.com].

I would just tell them you want to file a click fraud report and that you want a refund (ask for documentation of the request). Be prepared to document everything you found and also be prepared to send your log files. Also if this is enough to prevent you from advertising with overture let them know this and threaten to move your ad spend over to adwords.

12:16 am on Apr 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



thanks for the advise, just to update you, got a reply from overture customer services that said

"we have confirmed that suspect site "#*$!" site is NOT one of our affiliates..."

yet on the overture distribution network page [content.overture.com...] it clearly states that "XXX" site IS one of their affiliates.

i have the distinct feeling that o/ture is starting to deliberately try and obscure the problem. i have always liked o/ture and it has proved good ROI, but getting 20% of total clicks as suspect clickspam changes the formula altogether.

9:50 pm on Apr 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



further update, today received email from o/ture that now admits that the potential clickspammer is actually an o/ture affiliate.

progress of sorts i suppose.