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Spyware Click Fraud Article

Follow-up research traces all the way back ...

     

StupidScript

6:39 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



[benedelman.org...]

My August examples demonstrate what I call "syndication fraud" -- Yahoo placing advertisers' ads into spyware programs, and charging advertisers for resulting clicks. But Yahoo's spyware problems extend beyond improper syndication. In my August syndication fraud examples, an advertiser only pays Yahoo if a user clicks the advertiser's ad. Not so for three of today's examples. Here, spyware completely fakes a click -- causing Yahoo to charge an advertiser a "pay-per-click" fee, even though no user actually clicked on any pay-per-click link. This is "click fraud."

Damning, to say the least.

[edited by: Woz at 12:27 pm (utc) on April 7, 2006]
[edit reason] Made link live [/edit]

gregbo

7:09 am on Apr 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is nothing new and has been going on for years, as i've posted in other threads.

Sure, but this is the most in-depth proof of spyware-generated click fraud that I've seen, rather than the usual "I got #*$! clicks but no conversions from these IPs" type of complaint you usually see here.

wildbest

10:26 am on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I'd ask editors to list this thread on the highlighted posts section.

JohnCanyon

5:18 pm on Apr 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This article must have had some impact on Yahoo, as we are now in our 22nd day and counting awaiting the response from "Loss Prevention" in regards to our recent list of "unqualified/bogus" traffic.

Anyone else experiencing this as well?

J

UnitedRigo

9:05 pm on Apr 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I have cut our spending on Yahoo by 50%. The conversion rate with them is lousy. I can't believe they can't see the class-action locomotive heading their way. Irresponsible and short-term focused managment must be the problem. I wonder if they get bonuses on short-term revenue because they are selling Yahoo down the river. The stockholders will be left holding this rather large bag.

UnitedRigo

2:27 am on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi Ben,

Thank you for the great article about Yahoo!. Please let us know when your Google article comes out.

mike_ppc

10:05 am on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



As much as I understand, this article reffers to US market. Any info about other markets? I would be particularly interested in DE market.

JohnCanyon

7:25 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have cut our spending on Yahoo by 50%. The conversion rate with them is lousy.

We have stopped advertising with them entirely. I now save about $400 a day and am noticing very little difference in sales.

Go figure? Say˘nara Yahoo.

wmuser

1:11 pm on May 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Nice post,but i dont think Yahoo or anyone else can cut 100% of cheaters

ScottG13

5:59 pm on May 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No one is asking Yahoo to cut out cheaters. I think most of us are simply asking to exclude non-Yahoo.com traffic at our discretion.

wmuser

8:40 pm on May 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



"No one is asking Yahoo to cut out cheaters. I think most of us are simply asking to exclude non-Yahoo.com traffic at our discretion"

I think if they ever do that,they will rise the bids
Yes i know that OVT bids are the highest PPC bids atm but thats what i think

gregbo

5:25 pm on May 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I think if they ever do that,they will rise the bids

Yes i know that OVT bids are the highest PPC bids atm but thats what i think

I'd rather pay more per click for traffic I have control over. Click fraud is bad enough; ads going to adware, spyware, etc. is out of control.

chilty

1:43 pm on May 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I just had a one day CTR that skyrocketed from 3000 impressions to over 190,000. Needless to say this depleted my account in that one day. I can only suspect that I was victimized as the one keyword that caused this huge increase in traffic was the one keyword that cost the most ($.50per).

I sent an email to Yahoo, but have yet to hear a reply as to what they intend to do.

Any thoughts here?

Thorborg

10:13 am on May 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



My clicks sky rocketed from one day to another. So my credit card went totally dead and the conversion was close to zero.
Until the 1st of May i bought 200 clicks a day with a 25% conversion to download of our software. After the 1. of may i have bougt almost 2.000 clicks and they convert 5 %.
I have stopped all advertising with Yahoo and i have asked them to give me my money back and assure my that they are stopping this crime.

Martin

Thorborg

10:17 am on May 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The funny thing is that we also use Yahoo in Germany, Holland, Denmark, Sweden and the UK and they are not affected by this crime. They convert 25 % as always.

Martin

mike_ppc

11:31 am on May 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Referring to De... I am not so sure.
YSM refunded us a couple of thousand clicks for a period between 26 Apr - 4 May.
I wonder how big is the click fraud in reality...

wmuser

1:03 pm on May 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Click fraud should be pretty big but i am wondering why Y cant implement the same screening technology which G did

gregbo

8:10 pm on May 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



YSM refunded us a couple of thousand clicks for a period between 26 Apr - 4 May. I wonder how big is the click fraud in reality...

It's impossible to tell for sure, because fraudulent traffic can be manufactured to look "legit".

gregbo

8:22 pm on May 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Click fraud should be pretty big but i am wondering why Y cant implement the same screening technology which G did

We can't tell how good G's screening technology is compared to Y!'s because it's not being run against Y!'s traffic. For all we know, G's screening technology isn't any better; it may be that G just has better converting users.

A possible goal of click auditing would be for each of the engines/networks to submit their fraud detection code to various types of traffic including that considered to be fraudulent, and have each rated according to its ability to detect fraud. But even this is not the strongest confidence measure; it doesn't take into account fraudulent patterns that the people preparing the test didn't think of. (However, it may satisfy the courts.)

wmuser

9:01 pm on May 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



If top players cant screen 100% of fraudulent clicks then maybe they are doing their best but cant detect all fraudulent clicks in today reality?

gregbo

9:15 pm on May 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



If top players cant screen 100% of fraudulent clicks then maybe they are doing their best but cant detect all fraudulent clicks in today reality?

I didn't quite understand you here, but in general, it isn't possible to detect a considerable number of types of click fraud due to the way the Internet is designed and architected. Furthermore, what could be considered fraudulent could also be considered nonconverting. Keep in mind that there are people with big budgets who don't care about a sizable amount of nonconverting traffic; all they care about is ROI. People on limited budgets are much more sensitive to nonconverting clicks, especially if they're paying top CPC.

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