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Bing / Yahoo Click Fraud

6:35 pm on Dec 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I joined this forum today to make people aware of the type of crap Bing and Yahoo are doing to generate revenue.

Between the hours of 2-4 am I received thousands of impressions and clicks costing me allot of money on a keyword phrase (EXACT MATCH) that normally generates this same volume over a month, not 2 hours. I called Yahoo Rep today and his excuse was the this keyword was listed under "Trending now" on home page of yahoo.com along other keywords like weight loss, Bond market, HIV treatment, Bellagio robbery. There is no way a phrase like this generates as much traffic as these other keywords on trending now. Even on my Google campaign I do not generate this much traffic in a single day with 2000+ keywords. I am glad I had a daily budget set cause I cannot imagine how much I would've spent today.

My feeling is Yahoo and Bing who both suffer poorly from sales in the PPC area drive small keywords to this front page to cause allot of clicks on there campaigns. They keep the money from all the advertisers and say they cannot do anything about it. It's also funny this happens to me on the day Yahoo is laying off 600 employees. Probably they need to seek money from advertisers for the employees they laid off.

I would be interested to know if any other advertiser has seen similar problems. I plan on pursuing this further with my attorney and anyone else I find. My PPC will stop on Yahoo and focus on Google only from now on.
8:41 pm on Dec 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Did you check the news to see if there was any popular stories recently that just happen to contain your keyword phrase in question?
9:06 pm on Dec 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Yes nothing.
10:58 pm on Dec 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I would make sure you are opted out of all of their partner traffic, or just show on MSN if that is what you want. It does sound a bit fishy to me, and I have always had issues with Yahoo, when it was running, but things have been cleaner for us now that MSFT has taken over.

Here is how to opt out of partners/control your distribution:

Click on a campaign, select all ad groups, click More button, select Bulk Edit, distribution to Networks, Apply. A dialog box pops up erroneously warning you you have unsaved changes but if you check the settings at the ad group level they appear to have saved.

Thanks to Kobayashi in this thread:
12:01 am on Dec 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The general consensus ( unless you work for M or Y in blissful ignorance ) is that the migration is a complete balls up.

Advertisers are seeing all kinds of keyword mismatching, blocked domains aren't always blocking and impressions just dry up and support have no idea how to help.

As for the partners, well some bright spark thought it would be a good idea to replace the TQ system with a new one that gives you a different random score each week and chops RPC to the bone. So they won't have any partners left in a few months anyway.

Not at all ready for prime time.
2:06 pm on Dec 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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This is an old Yahoo (Overture) trick to increase revenue.

Years ago I complained to them when a keyword that hadn't reached 100 impressions in months suddenly had 1000s.

It was the same thing - they had put the keyword on the front page. It cost me a lot of money for those days.They wouldn't consider a rebate for these useless clicks. I have never trusted them since.

The basis of my thinking then & now is that we pay for "Search Engine" clicks. If we wanted "content" advertising we would do so.

"Search Engine" implies someone with interest is specifically searching for your product or service. If it's plastered on the front page of a huge portal this is NOT a search engine click & is fraudulent.

The people running PPC in Yahoo are inherently dishonest & have been for years.