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The Response of Search Engines to Click Fraud

1,929 Comments · ppc

We’ve spoken briefly about PPC search engines and how they have responded to various incidents of click fraud.

Not all search engines have programs in place that routinely check ad accounts for warning signs of click fraud, but more and more are instituting such programs in light of the increasing incidence of click fraud and pressure from their advertisers to deal with the problem.

The two largest search engines, Google and Yahoo, both have publicly admitted that click fraud is a problem that is a significant threat, not just to their “business model,” but to their overall success.

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Yahoo Search Marketing

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The Yahoo Search Marketing affiliate and partnership program is not very visible on their website, and is usually limited to very large websites.

The affiliate program is in fact a referral program, where you receive a certain amount of money for referring other websites to some of the Yahoo Search Marketing PPC advertising products.

You receive $80 for each Sponsored Search Fast Track referral, $20 for Sponsored Search Self Serve referrals, and $20 for Local Match referrals.

If your volume of sales increases significantly, your commission may likewise be increased.

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Google

1 Comment · ppc

The Google affiliate program (Google AdSense) offers ads placed on your website along one side or via a Google search box on your site.

There is no additional cost to join Google AdSense, and you can opt out of content search if you wish.

Once you provide the relevant information to Google, there is usually a 2-3 day turnaround period (mostly for them to verify and check out your website) to be approved. You can terminate the relationship at any time.

Although you receive a percentage of the revenue that each click on these ads or the search box generates, Google does not disclose what that percentage is.

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Affiliate, Referral, and Partnership Opportunities

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Another aspect of pay-per-click advertising is the opportunity to actually transform it into a moneymaking enterprise for yourself.

Search engines offer affiliate programs, referral programs, and partnership opportunities that are not restricted to only those who use their advertising services.

Almost anyone with a website can become an affiliate (often now called “referrer”) or partner with a number of pay-per-click search engines.

Basically, via these type of programs, you allow the search engine to place advertising of some kind on your website in exchange for a payment made each time a visitor to your website clicks on one of the ads or conducts an online search using the PPC search engine’s box that is placed on your homepage.

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Detecting Click Fraud

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Some telltale signs of click fraud are quite obvious, while others take a little more tracking and analysis to identify.

Many PPC search engines have programs in place to audit for click fraud, but it is a good policy to periodically took at your traffic logs, or perhaps consider using a third-party tool to analyze the data further.

The main things to look for in your ad campaign’s statistics are:

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The Sources of Click Fraud

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A complete breakdown of the most prevalent sources and forms of click fraud will help clarify the range and potential impact different methods of click fraud can have.

Types of click fraud range from very simple to very complex and sophisticated. Here are some of the most common forms click fraud takes:

1. Automated Scripts-although not the simplest form of click fraud, for someone with computer expertise, this method can be very effective, and quite simple to set up as well.

The Most famous case of this type of click fraud is Still the Google Clique software. Basically, the fraudster creates a robot or automated script that is specifically designed to click on paid advertising.

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How Click Fraud Affects Advertisers

No Comments · ppc

Let’s look a little bit closer into some of the ways that click fraud affects advertisers.
In addition to draining ad campaign accounts, click fraud can result in an increase in the cost per click for keywords.

This happens because many PPC search engines base keyword pricing on how popular a term is and how many people are competing for it.

Therefore, if click fraud is directed at a certain keyword, the cost of that keyword can increase for all advertisers, not just the particular competitor who may have been the target of the click fraud attack.

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Dynamic Bid Maximizer

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Sold through Apex Pacific Pty Ltd., Dynamic Bid Maximizer is a management tool that offers auto-bidding management of Yahoo Search Marketing, covering all of the Yahoo foreign properties.

Therefore, if you arc a die-hard Yahoo client, this product is well worth investigating. There is a non-Yahoo version for Google AdWords and about 10 other PPC search engines.

The tool not only manages your campaign once it has begun, but offers assistance in building a campaign and picking keywords.

Its strong points include automatic monitoring, either once per hour or just once per day, but on a 365-day, 24-hour-per-day basis.

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Atlas OnePoint

No Comments · ppc

Atlas OnePoint (formerly GoToast) is a management tool that offers online solutions for many different aspects of online marketing, not just pay per click.

The PPC-related products offered arc BidManager and ProfifBuilder, the latter covering ROI tracking and web analytics.

BidManager is a robust tool that allows bidding control across more than 30 search engines, which includes major properties as well as a sampling of Yahoo and the foreign engines of Mirago.

Results are fed to Atlas, and then BidManager automatically reviews and adjusts your bids across all the engines you have chosen, making strategic bids that help keep you in the same position.

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Pay Per Call Online Advertising

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A new version of paid advertising emerged in 2004, with the introduction of the pay-per-call model.

This type of ad is very similar to a classic PPC ad, except that your listing includes a toll-free number to call to reach you.

Some search engines bring up a page specific to your business if the visitor clicks on the ad at no extra charge.

That is, you are not charged for the clickthrough unless the visitor actually makes the call.

The toll-free number then redirects the visitor to your actual phone number and you receive the phone call from the interested buyer at your business location.

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