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I thought that others might find the results useful. So here they are. This is the percentage of good (real) traffic.
Findwhat was running aroud 70% before I yanked most of my campaigns for ROI reasons.
Excelent:) I wonder how wold this statistic look across different kywords and bids.
The PPC SEs listed here do have very competent staff developers. There are several issues with the fraud protection scripts: they slow down the system, they filter off some genuine clicks etc. which negatively affects revenue. So the SEs run some filters, but allow a lot of scam clicks through.
They analize the traffic afterwords and cancell affiliates who scam them. Otherwise the number of fraud clicks would reach 100% very quickly.
On a scale of millions of searches/month with 1 quality control person it is never a problem to stop the kind of fraud that Speda's images are showing (bots).
I have also seen firsthand that quite a few of the more popular PPCs do not have anything like this implemented.
You are correct that it can't all be done in real time because of speed/resource issues and the risk of filtering real traffic.
This does not mean that it's not possible to have software which makes the fraud so obvious, so quickly, that it has virtually no effect on advertisers before being removed. A lot of engines just plain don't have software like this.
I think the difference between Speda's numbers for 1st tier and 2nd tier PPCs (and then again between some 2nd tiers and others) make that obvious.
I would desagree. It's almost imposible to filter of a good clickbot if you don't have access to logs of both the search system and advertiser. SE just redirects an http request to the advertiser's site; they can't analyze anything exept this single request. These bots don't care about the advertiser, they only want to go through the SE redirection, and that's what they do.
Bigger engines are bigger than small once :) The number of affiliates, the level of knowledge and experience of affiliates, mix of fraudulent traffic with real one in different proportions, usage of diverse and elaborate scam technologies, clickboting competitors links using SE listings on different distributors sites etc. lead to the situation when you can't always tell the difference between right an wrong. Without going into much details, I would still insist that 10% or 20% of fraudulent clicks or even more is about as good as it gets for a second tier PPC SE. They very conserned about traffic quality, but their business model doesn't let them get much better.
A couple of points...
1. As you acknowledge, there are also occasionally valid reasons not to load images. Images turned off, an image being already cached, a page download being interrupted before it's complete, etc.
2. One problem is that the 3rd-party PPC's typically don't server up any images from their own server, and therefore have no way of knowing if a bot is downloading images or not.
I guess I should just assume that you're arguing for arguments sake and not get drawn into it :-)
One thing though... If they're all doing the best they can, why do the numbers vary so significantly? If the task is so much harder for larger search engines, why are they so much MORE successful in stopping click bots?