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Potential Click Fraud

Is there a way to tell. Getting frustrated!

1:29 pm on Sep 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The last three days I saw the number of daily clicks triple. I have content match off, and advanced match type on. Is there a way of measuring to see if there is click fraud? Is click fraud possible with content network off? What does it show up as on your traffic reports? Can you check where the clicks can from in one of overture's tools?

Sorry for all the questions. Just getting really frustrated with the Overture campaign. I have an almost identical campaign in Google that gets four times the amount of conversions as in Overture.

5:36 pm on Sept 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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10:22 am on Sept 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It is quite possible that there might be fraudulent clicks coming from Overture (or rather from any PPC system). I have been working with Overture with over 2 years now and have had many instances of this nature where I suspect fraudulent activity.

Best way to check is if your other online campaigns have performed well/ received equally high amount of traffic for the same days in question on Overture. If you find any discrepancy, then you could probably report the relevant keywords and d ates toOverture and they will surely try to do a check.

i have had a number of refunds (ranging from $1000 upwards ) for possible fraudlent clicks.
It also depends upon how much money has been blow. If its a significant number, then you might be just lucky!

5:54 pm on Sept 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Since you have a pretty well-defined point at which you started seeing the increase, go back to before the increase in the reports (hurry .. you only have 90 days!) and run an "Account Activity Detail" report. Then, go to just after the increase began, and again to a very recent date and run the same report for those periods. Download the reports to your system and begin to look for specific terms that may account for the increase.

Once you have identified which terms are causing your increase (and it's probably some specific terms, not overall activity), look in your server's log files for those same periods or use whatever log analysis tools you are using to find entries that match searches for those terms in the referrer. If you are using a "tracking code" to identify your PPC referrers as suggested by the engines, your job should be as easy as filtering the logs for those codes, which should match up with what you are seeing in your reports.

If there is any obvious fraudulent activity, you should see patterns that will confirm your suspicions. This is the data you will need in order to convince Yahoo/Overture to consider giving you a refund, so keep it nice and tidy. Their first line of defense against rebates is "we already credited you for those clicks with our excellent click fraud detection program" ... ahem ...

Of course, fraudsters are a bit more sophisticated than they used to be, so patterns may not emerge cleanly. You may need to look at IP addresses within range of each other, time and geographic position relationships, and other stuff like that to find a pattern.

Good luck to you. ;)

3:30 am on Sept 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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my money is dissappearing and I'm not even getting any clicks! You should feel fortunate!