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Time Magazine's article on click scam

Has anyone heard about the click scam?

     

preventmed

8:44 am on Dec 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have in front of me the Time's magazine article on the google game. It seems unscrupulous competitors are hiring Third World workers to spend all day clicking rival ads, destroying their ad budgets or creating a Web page and then writing software that will repeatedly click on the ads. A Dallas-based auditing firm Click Assurnce estimates that 10 - 20 percent of all pay-per-clickad revenue is phony.
Can anyone confirm this? Thanks,
Stephanie

shorebreak

5:41 am on Dec 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Can't confirm the 10-20% number, but I definitely think it's >10%.

walkman

5:51 am on Dec 22, 2004 (gmt 0)



"Has anyone heard about the click scam?"

yp, since day one. The minute banks were open, bank robberies started to happen, same with Adwords. It's human nature and as long as it's controlled it's part of doing business. It will never, ever be eliminated.

preventmed

10:12 am on Dec 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Does anyone know whom I can contact at Google?

And is this happening with Overture as well?

As a new business owner I've come to expect some sleaze here and there, but this issue really "gets" me, both in my gut and my sales expenses.

WebStart

12:49 am on Dec 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



preventmed

Click fraud is a much discussed topic here on webmasterworld. Click Fraud is pervasive, and I am not sure how much control really exists to prevent it. In my opinion: You are best advised to watch your PPC results and costs, carefully, (like every other day, if not every day) and stick to the majors: Google and OV and maybe FindWhat.

All others, no matter what they say, are suspect. And so even are the ones I mention. I have read these posts on this subject here, for years, and I don't see any hope for much more than each advertiser's own individual vigilence, and reaction to suspicious activity and charges, by lowering bids, or leaving, but little hope in getting the PPCs to react.

GameMasterM

4:51 pm on Dec 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Virtual shoplifting, no way to get around it right now. Competitors trying to bust the budget of competitors are often the culprits. Someone will invent a solid software program that will filter fraud. Think about it, does Google really want to see that kind of filter?

Merry Christmas!

WebStart

5:58 pm on Dec 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



There is click fraud software to detect fraud, you can license. Use Google with keywords like "click fraud detective," etc. I haven't tried it, but some here have, and reported on it at another post.

[webmasterworld.com...]

preventmed

11:35 am on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Many thanks for all the support. And we thought we were the only ones having problems and lost revenue!
We have contacted: Clicklabs, WhosClickingWho, ClickAssurance. Signed up for newsletters from them and hope they aren't corrupted - yet!
Happy Holidays and again thanks,
Stephanie

Freedom

6:11 pm on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Is anyone trying to block entire IPs from those high risk parts of the world? I don't do PPC, but it seems to me that real third-world shoppers don't convert well, so it's just better to block out an entire country from your website.

1Lit

3:30 am on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Yes, I've always wondered that. Can't they just ban entire countries? I'm sure some fraudsters will find a way around it, but it cut down on fraud significantly.

preventmed

9:19 am on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Yes, we block out certain countries and one particular state within the USA. It seems one of our competitors might be clicking on our ads to raise our costs. We were under the impression that Google had done something about this "local" problem by only charging for the first of repeated clicks from an IP, but can't confirm this.

thowze

5:37 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



10 to 20%? I have read stories where the click fraud was as high as 50%. The PPC's we have dealt with we feel had at least 40% fraud. We were refunded when we complained on obvious fraud. Watch your click rate on your keywords and complain immediately when you know something is wrong. (Like when over a 10 day period your clicks on a keyword jump from say 100 to 750 and the conversion numbers do not change.)

preventmed

5:49 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Great info - thanks - we do watch those numbers. Whom did you contact at Google and Overture? I've emailed them but, alas - no response.

thowze

7:30 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



We contacted customer support at Overture and AdSense support at Google. Some of the refunds and credits did take 4 to 6 weeks but we did receive them.

preventmed

8:14 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Regarding refunds: do they need copies of the stats? Thanks again.

tak051

9:24 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Generally you want to have your logfiles (or something similar) so that you can point out the areas of traffic that you think are fraudulent. The more detail you can provide, the stronger your case, and the more receptive the engine might be.

One quick note on getting replies, be sure you aren't losing the support replies to a spam filter. That seems to be a fairly common ailment for a lot of users.

Good luck

thowze

10:13 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



"Generally you want to have your logfiles (or something similar) so that you can point out the areas of traffic that you think are fraudulent. The more detail you can provide, the stronger your case, and the more receptive the engine might be."

Well said

 

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