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We display ads using openx and the one's they're clicking on are image ads. At first, they would click on google adsense, who didn't pay us for those clicks. But the other ads are cpm image ads and we have been going through every possible test you can imagine trying to find what is causing this to happen. Of course the CPM ad sources are not cooperating in providing us the IP addresses or we would have the RON traffic sources block those sites.
I've read some posts here about 'bots', but this does not sound like that. How could anyone profit from clicking through on an ad on our site? They're not textlink ads, but image ads, though when we had both on our site it didn't matter.
Our site is php, so the first ad on a crawl would be in the page header. Three-column page, ads on all three columns. But CT is arbitrary.
My admin says that if it were a bot, it would be the most sophisticated he's ever heard of to do that.
I am desparate for help! Is anyone experiencing similar activity currently? This started the beginning of Sept. Can any of you give me a link to a resource that could help us identify the source? We generate 40,000 visits in a day about 5% of that traffic does this. But I noticed that when google ads were running, they were displaying related content of course so they got the bulk of it. Then I replaced google and that source, which did not display directly related content, demanded we remove their ads after three days; they got about 70% of the traffic google reported. These ads I've just described where on the first column, in an area on the page that was optimal for eyeballs to see first. I suspect (and hope) that this traffic - because its coming from RON ads - is just casual surfers clicking on related ads or ads that catch their eye. But the source that said to take their ads down said their customer (the ad displayed 'free credit reports') got 2000 clicks in one day, no additional page views or conversions!
Is it a bot or casual surfers doing this?
I'd try to do a direct affiliate ad (i.e. paid out to you for conversion) for whatever is on the ads. It sounds like these are real people clicking through, so if the people on the other end don't want your traffic perhaps you should oblige them. :)
If the affiliate stuff converts than it's a good sign that its not a bot. I don't know of any bot that signs up for these programs.
Take it as a sign that you have a successful site. Many many many people would love to have a site that funnels that many visitors onto ads.
- the type of ad media (text/banners) does not make much difference re click through rate
- google regarded those clicks as unpayable (why, fraudulent?)
- your second advertiser (an openex customer?) complained about no conversions
- you are unable to analyze the source of these clicks because of the 3rd party ad delivery method
If these are 'real visitors' could they possibly have an incentive -get paid- to click, perhaps in an automated fashion? What about the other 95%
Like BriGuy said, you can serve an affiliate ad in that position. Use your own server to display the ad and to redirect the clicks. Analyze the results...