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Where can I notify Yahoo! of fraudulent clicks?

4:44 am on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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My anylitical software is telling me that a site is stealing my Yagoo! ad campaign money. When I visit this site I see a navigation bar with five links, each to a page with absolutely nothing but 30 ads. The main page has 40 of them and not a single word of content, all ads are apparently Yahoo! ads with css coding changes.

On top of that someone is clicking rampantly (80% of the clicks come from this one site) on that site. Zero PR, it doesn't show up in any search engine, I want to report it.

Where and how?

9:02 am on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You are talking about ppc affiliate whitelabel/cobrand sites, all the ppc networks originally built their distribution networks around this model. Some partners just run feeds, others run sponsored links admidst their content while others will park domains and so forth.

These are the historical building blocks of ppc affiliation. What you should be looking at is the quality of the clicks from these sites, the fact the results are cobranded Yahoo is not an abnormality at all, in fact you should expect these sites to appear in tracking.

80% of clicks could also mean that the affiliate is simply targeting that niche. What is important to assess is whether the conversions are appearing and remember it takes a certain amount of clicks to elapse to be able to interpret the data. You can't for instance take the first 10 clicks see no conversions and assume fraud, you need more data. However if all your clicks are from the same ip/network without conversion then that could be suspicious if you allow for proxy ip use.

However you need to understand that click fraud and low quality traffic are not the same, what they have in common is that they do not convert but the latter may be good intentioned, just for whatever reason a poor match for you which maybe could be adjusted within the campaign management.

It is difficult to adopt a balanced view when your budget is going up in smoke but this is some of the info you should consider. Remember also that affiliates want good clicks as well, it keeps bid prices high as the traffic converts. But always look at traffic quality, not how pretty a page is or how many ads it has. YSM have a traffic quality centre if you still have issues to report.

5:50 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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call 866-255-0107. Mon-Fri: 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. PT

That is from their site

11:03 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hi “JS Harris ,”

Thanks for your feedback.

We created the Traffic Quality Center as an online resource center to help provide more visibility into Yahoo! Search Marketing’s traffic quality initiatives: [searchmarketing.yahoo.com...]

It’s a great place for directions on how to submit a click investigation request, news on our traffic quality efforts, tips on how to monitor your traffic, industry articles and more.

Hope this helps,

10:35 pm on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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votes: 25

"someone is clicking rampantly"

Are all the clicks coming from one IP address or multiple ones? If multiple then the clicks are more likely to be genuine. If most of them come from a single IP address or range then they are less likely to be real but that does not necessarily mean that the people responsible for the clicks have anything at all to do with the site that is being clicked on.

I have asked Y! if it is possible to block clicks from a bad IP address and the answer so far is a flat "no".

Until they decide to block bad neighbourhoods (if they ever do) your only option is to keep a careful record of all bad clicks from particular IP addresses and submit a claim for reimbursement at regular intervals.

9:07 am on Oct 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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An hour or so after writing the original post I received an Email from Yahoo! detailing how to block this site.

Thanks for the insight guys, my hunch was right however, this site was up to no good. I wasn't getting any real traffic and clicks had a 100% bounce rate. The site, if you can call a page with 100% ads a site, has now also reverted back to being parked.

Thanks for the quick reply Yahoo! tech support, much appreciated.


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