Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 18.104.22.168
I define a visit as tightly as I can, and use a session ID to do so. This means that if the user closes out their browser I will consider that a new visit. I have no persistent cookies.
In analyzing my traffic I have created a new (or at least new-to-me) metric: CTV, or Clicks To Visits. What I've discovered is that different advertising mediums charge me consistently at different ratios. So Google AdWords, for instance, will consistently charge me for clicks that I never see. I advertise in large volume (certainly statistically significant) through several systems. What I've come up with is as follows:
Overture charges me for a set percentage more clicks than I ever see. It is very consistent from week to week (we'll call it X). So, if I was to produce 1,000 visits from Overture it would result in a bill for 1,000 * (1 + X). The X represents over-billed clicks.
Google Premium Sponsorships consistently charges me for four (4X) times as many over-billed clicks as Overture.
Google AdWords charges for 5 times (5X) as many over-billed clicks as Overture.
LookSmart charges a whopping 10 times (10X) as many over-billed clicks as Overture.
Now, the response of the CPC companies would be that a certain number of people double-click, and that will cause the problem. But shouldn't consumer behaviour through Overture mirror that at Google or through LookSmart? These numbers match week-in, week-out.
Just in case I had an error in my reporting, I went back over our logs using WebTrends, and the numbers hold true there.
My question for the community is to ask whether or not they notice similar behaviour amongst the different CPC providers. My question for AdWordsAdvisor is how do you define a click, what do you do to ensure I do not double-pay for clicks, and what do you consider an acceptable CTV?
It sounds to me like they think they can get away with overbilling you.
I do remove known bots from my web logs when doing analysis of this type, so if a known bot goes through Google to my site it would throw off my numbers. But I feel that I shouldn't pay Google to run Googlebot through ads, if that's what's happening. If it's not Googlebot generating the clicks then I think everyone would have to agree that it's click fraud from another bot.
My guess is it's none of these, it's just very poor accounting on the publishers' part. I'm sure they'd fix it if it went the other way, and I only paid for 80% of the clicks they worked so hard for.
And, Google might be better at keeping the bots out than Overture, which would be why Overture would be billing more visitless clicks.
I don't block anything, and I'll definitely be checking my logs.
What kind of bot blocking do you do? Is it something dynamic? Or just the main ones? Or you just check from time to time for misbehaving bots and add them.
I'm sure googlebot does not click on their own adwords links. But the other bots may be something else entirely and I really wouldn't discount this possibility.
I just re-ran the numbers and calculated the percentage of my whole traffic that comes in with the source= URL tag that I have identified as bots or internal traffic. The bots / internal traffic total 0.1% of all traffic with a source= tag, indicating no significant volume.
And I don't block the bots, I just exclude them from my internal reporting. Heaven forbid, blocking bots!
also I had this impression that google can filter out bots, at least they don't seem to charge for googlebot "clicks" :)
what I hate is paying for multiple clicks from the same visitor, I guess this is about 50%-60% of what i pay to google
and hate paying for searches my ad wasn't supposed to be shown for
and the adwords' support response on both issues was kind of frustrating
Anyone else able to replicate my ratios?