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Latest click fraud scam on yahoo

Has anybody else been getting flooded with junk clicks?

     
1:44 am on Sep 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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There's something really stinky going on with Yahoo Marketing Solutions. We are a very small company who advertise with them, and I watch our stats very closely, both on our site and the ad stats from Yahoo.
A month or two ago, they started sending traffic from a "domain monetization" network <snip>. We can't block It <snip>, there's not a choice to opt out of traffic from the network. I had been blocking the individual domains, but someone/something is constantly generating endless domain name variations based on keywords, and we have used up our domain blocking limit (500) with Yahoo, so we're getting flooded with (and charged for) crap.
But, the really new twist on it is that somehow someone is scamming the performance stats, and showing 4-5 times (and more) conversions than is even possible, coming from these parked domains. As I said, we are very small, so when they show 6 conversions on a day that we only had 1 sale, and similar impossible conversion rates show up every day, well... you loose your faith in how your ad money is being spent, to say the least. Other advertisers might not notice this, and think "Cool, these sites are really converting, let's up the bids." But, come on, suddenly getting several domains popping up with 100% CTRs along with 100% conversion rates is a little too good to be true, n'est-ce pas? Especially for junky little parked domains, like, for instance <snip> .
We have turned off all our Yahoo ads. I have been sending all sorts of requests to them for the past week thru their customer support to opt out of <snip>, and have received no response whatsoever, not even acknowledgment of the trouble ticket...

[edited by: werty at 3:58 pm (utc) on Sep. 22, 2009]
[edit reason] Removed Specifics - Please see TOS #13 [/edit]

1:14 pm on Sept 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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this has gone on for many years - they must have so many people who don't look at their roi or traffic sources that it wouldn't pay to help those of us that do.
7:33 pm on Sept 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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goodidea,

Which conversion tracking package is showing the hard-to-believe conversion #'s? Yahoo's?

8:08 pm on Sept 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Shorebreak - it's Yahoo's reports that are showing the impossible conversions, all coming from domain trolls parked on <snip>.

I just realized most advertisers wouldn't see anything about <snip> - they don't show up in Yahoo's reporting. I know about them because I actually read certain sections of our site's referrer logs every morning. (I know, I know, get a life, but hey, I hate being ripped off.)

[edited by: werty at 4:05 pm (utc) on Sep. 22, 2009]
[edit reason] Removed Specifics - Please see TOS #13 [/edit]

11:00 pm on Sept 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Y! use their useless TQ score to grade partners, its totally flawed all over and actually its only the half decent partners that end up being totally kicked in the teeth. The other lot are the ones who manipulate it and I'd say that's what could be happening here. Y! are in denial on the partner side, the TQ system is whacked, they are just letting good guys go and the clever players just abuse it. Gotta be said, sorry Y! but bout time you heard it from those who know.
1:25 am on Sept 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Well, we've been advertising with Yahoo for many years, and there have been problems all along, especially with parked domains, but what we've seen in the last 3 weeks or so is something else
1)Either <snip> or some of their domain trolls have a system that quickly generates new domains with names that are spelling variants of keywords. Most of the domains that were hitting on us were all registered to the same person.
2)Either <snip> or their domain trolls have hacked the Yahoo ad system and are pumping up conversion rates (and who knows what else), or Yahoo has some very strange technical problem...
...and why won't Yahoo acknowledge my customer service requests... we're receiving their invoices just fine...

[edited by: werty at 4:01 pm (utc) on Sep. 22, 2009]
[edit reason] Removed Specifics - Please see TOS #13 [/edit]