|Ðð©'§ Pay-Per-Click Advertising Information Library|
PPC ClickFraud: Its a Bigger Problem then You Think
Pay per click search engine advertising is one of the most popular ways to promote a website. With Overture and Google leading the pack, the industry as a whole has grown immensely in the past few years. According to a report by PriceWaterHouseCoopers, they estimate that Internet Advertising brought in more than $9 billion in 2004 alone.
With PPC advertising you choose "keywords/phrases," then bid how much you'd like to pay for each click. When a searcher goes to a search engine and types in one of your keyphrases, your short text ad appears, and if they click on it your account is then charged. In a "perfect world" this is the way it would work, but thanks to unscrupulous people, there's a dirty little secret known as "click fraud."
Click fraud is simply the act of clicking on ads for the direct purpose of costing the advertiser money. It's similar to paying out cash for false leads. According to InternetWeek.com, 60% of those who responded to a survey conducted by the "Search Engine Professional Organization" had stated that fraud is a problem when it comes to PPC advertising.
So where does click fraud come from? Well, there are actually a few different sources:
1) AdSense Users: Google Adsense has a program called "Adsense" that pays website owners to run their Adwords ads and compensates them per click. Google does monitor this and it's against their terms of service to click on any of the ads on your own site. If they find a publishers doing this, they will lose their accounts, but some may still be clicking under the radar.
2) Your Competitors: Your competitors could be clicking on your ads over a period of several days in order to deplete your ad budget.
3) Software: There are those who use automated clicking tools, such as robot programs, to click on PPC listings.
In some Asian countries, people are often paid to click on PPC ads for hours. Many don't know why they do it, and don't care, only that they'll be well rewarded for their efforts. If you do a search on any search engine you'll see plenty of sites looking to hire people for just this purpose. For more on this see...http://tinyurl.com/2ka5g
Most PPC networks have measures in place to protect you against click fraud. Overture tracks more than 50 data points, including IP addresses, browser info, users' session info and what they call "pattern recognition." They have a "proprietary system" in place for detecting fraud and a specialized team that monitors things and works with the advertisers to stop it.
Google offers suggestions to avoid click thru fraud, such as "using negative keywords" to keep your ads from showing up for products and services that are unrelated. They also suggest adding tracking url's to your links so you can track the traffic coming from Google. An easy way to do this is to add a ? to your links along with the identifier. For example, a tracking link to identify Google would look like this:
If you go through your log files, you'll be able to see your Google traffic at a glance.
If you suspect fraud, Google asks that you contact them right away, as they have a team of researchers that will investigate. They also take action to block future impressions from anyone they identify as committing click fraud. Like Overture, they also have "proprietary technology" that distinguishes between normal clicks and invalid ones. Google never bills you for any "bad clicks" that are caught by their system.
So what's an honest website owner to do? You need to be alert to any "suspicious activity" by researching your server logs or stats. If you're experiencing a lot of clicks and no sales you'll also want to take a closer look. You need to watch for any spikes in traffic, usually on one keyword or phrase and coming from only one PPC source. You need to measure and track all of your PPC accounts closely.
If this sounds like too much work, you may want to look at an outside service to take care of it for you. A variety of new services have opened recently to help combat the click fraud problem.
1) Keyword Max: http://www.KeyWordMax.com
Offers up a service called "Click Auditor," which monitors the activity on your PPC accounts and alerts you to any suspicious activity. You can request a free demo at the site.
2) Click Detective: http://ClickDetective.net
A website monitoring service that uses sophisticated tracking mechanisms to determine whether "visitor behavior" is normal or not. Offering a 15 day free trial. Easy to use, you just copy and paste a snippet of code on your page and add a campaign ID by logging into your account.
3) Click Assurance: http://ClickAssurance.com
An Internet Security Firm that specializes in click fraud. They will audit your PPC accounts and go after any refunds you are due because of fraud.
4) Who's Clicking Who: http://WhosClickingWho.com
An independent auditing service that tracks individual users for fraud. Can also detect abuse coming from proxy servers. A one month subscription is $79.00, which includes free installation and up to 50,000 transactions per month.
5) ClickLab: http://ClickLab.com/products/click-fraud
This service isolates bad clicks with a scorecard based detection system. Pricing starts at $50.00 per month and is based on the number of sites you need to track and their page views.
ClickLab also has a nice white paper you should download while visiting: "How to Defend Your Website Against Click Fraud."
Click fraud isn't going away anytime soon. If anything, it will probably get worse before it get's any better. It's up to you as a vigilant website owner to do what you can to keep your PPC advertising costs down. You can't stop it, but with the right tracking in place, it can be managed and controlled, and hopefully kept to a minimum.
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Understanding Google AdSense
Early on Google implemented a filtering system that allowed webmasters to prevent a specific domain's ads from being served on any websites in their account. Ad blocking meant that webmasters could prevent their competitor's ads from being dynamically served on their websites. Google provides a wide variety of ad formats to match the most suitable option with a website. Webmasters can select from a handful of preformatted towers, inline rectangles, banners and buttons. The ad boxes can be modified by webmasters to resemble the website's color scheme. Examples of how different the various text boxes and color schemes appear on similarly themed sites can be viewed at: http://www.ring-tone-software.com (scroll to the bottom)http://www.ringtones-central.com (scroll to the bottom) or http://www.police-central.com (download left side)http://www.police-supplies.com (scroll to the bottom) Ads can be geo-targeted based on the visitor's location. Advertisements containing content in English, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, or Spanish are all available. ChannelsGoogle recently introduced channels, enhancing AdSense reporting. When a channel is selected Google modifies the java script to include additional tracking. The additional tracking information allows webmasters to track a variety of metrics across their sites. Channels can be used to measure performance on various domains, differences in revenue with various ad sizes, or placement. By assigning each group of pages to a specific channel and comparing results in custom channel reports webmasters can work at increasing their AdSense revenue. Optimizing Google determines the content of the ads that are shown, webmasters serious about earning revenue from Google AdSense can use the following guidelines to optimize their website and ensure that targeted and relevant ads are served. If Google's spider has not crawled the site and determined the nature of the content, public service ads may be served. Public service ads will not accrue any AdSense revenue if clicked. As a result Google allows webmasters to designate alternate ads. Alternate ads allow webmasters to utilize the ad space in the event that Google is unable to serve targeted ads to the web page. By specifying an alternate image, HTML page, or ad server the advertising space can always being used effectively. 1.) Web page content on pages that ads are served should be static not dynamic. 2.) Ensure that the robot.txt does not prevent the web page from being spidered. Robots.txt file's will need to be removed or the following text will need to bedded to allow Google's content bot to crawl the site: User-agent: Media partners - Google 3.) If the website contains frames, select the 'framed page' checkbox when generating the ad layout code for that website. 4.) The body of the page and title of the page should contain contextual words that indicate a common theme on the web page. Revenue EarnedAlthough Google doesn't disclose the exact revenue share or percentage that webmasters will earn, webmasters will receive a portion of the amount paid for clicks on Google ads on websites.
10 Inside Secrets to Google Adwords - Part 1
Let's face it... Google Adwords is not the only source of traffic on the internet, nor is it free. However, if you cannot convert the traffic you get from the pay-per-click traffic on Google Adwords, your site surely won't convert the casual visitor who may or may not be ready to buy what your are selling.
Adsense Tricks to Explode Your Profits
Lots of people say to make your ads blend in. However, some people are having a lot of success by making their links stand out. The most effective style seems to be having your links blue, while your other links are a less-noticeable color. A good example can be seen at www.lockergnome.com
Who Else Wants To Maximize Their Google Adwords Success?
By Mark Meyers
Google AdWords: Like Playing The Lottery
A "dollar and a dream," is all you need said the television commercial. The lure of the Lottery is a seductive one: plunk down a dollar and you might become a millionaire for life. The promise of "pennies from heaven" makes the Lottery a daily habit for millions. People flock to convenience stores every morning to buy a newspaper, a cup of coffee, and a lottery ticket.
Pay-Per-Click Search Engines ? The Basics
Search engine optimization can take a long time to show results. The Google sandbox alone can delay optimization results by 6 to 8 months. So, what can you do to get traffic while you wait? Pay-per-click ["PPC"] campaigns fill the time gap. This article discusses the basics of PPC advertising.
Google Adwords Guide I
You probably have already heard about the new marketing tool from Google.com on the Internet. Their advertising service is called "Adwords" and allows you use Google.com for marketing. Your ads will be displayed on Google's website when people initiate a search. Your ads can also be displayed very targeted among many thousand websites that partner with Google in a program called "Google AdSense". Adwords is the Google.com version of a pay-per-click advertising model. That means users click on your ad and will be redirected to your website or a specific URL that you have selected when creating your ad campaign.
Organic Natural Search Engine Optimization versus Pay-Per-Click Search Engine Advertising
When you purchase visitors or "clicks" from a search engine, this is called "pay-per-click" (PPC) search engine advertising (or PPCSE). Pay-Per-Click Search Engine Advertising allows you to quickly get top search engine placement by "bidding" (paying) for keywords related to your product or service.
How to Make More Money from the Google Adsense Ads on Your Blog
Numerous bloggers these days are looking to earn extra cash through the google adsense ads that they post at their sites. Actually the spreading of pay-per-click ads by leading search engines in recent times to smaller sites and blogs has had a major impact on the net. Firstly it has helped to improve on the quality of content on sites as webmasters pay much closer attention to their content so as to attract the right kind of high value google adsense ads that will earn them more revenue.
Improved PPC Marketing Performance from Time-Tested 80/20 Principle
As marketers and business owners, we're always looking for "the next big idea or strategy" to maximize our business performance. Yet, the application of time-tested principles consistently achieve greater results over efforts to create newer ideas and strategies.
Google AdSense Rewards Content with Adversiting Revenue
If you've been looking for an easy way to increase your website's revenue, Google AdSense may be your answer.
The Perils and Pitfalls of Pay-per-click Advertising
In this age of speed dialing, T1 lines and other forms of high-tech instant gratification, many webmasters find themselves tempted to engage in pay-per-click advertising. After all, if you've just designed a state-of-the-art website, there's nothing quite as gratifying as a steady stream of traffic right from the start. Webmasters with open wallets have found that pay-per-click can provide traffic within hours or even minutes of a website's launch.
AdWords Campaign Set Up Tips
It's easy to overlook the basics of a strong AdWords campaign. Without them though, your AdWords campaign can be doomed from the very start. Follow these tips and you can be sure that your campaign will have a strong foundation for both short term and immediate success.
Pay-Per-Click Fraud Exposed--Part II
According to Andy Jones, a member of the Best Practices Search Engine Forums, fraudulent clicks are just another aspect of the business. "Any of us that use AdWords or any other PPC has to pay for a certain percentage of fraudulent clicks," he said in a forum discussion. "I factor it in as a cost of doing business."
Choosing the Right Keywords for Your Pay Per Click Advertising Campaign
Are Small PPC Search Engines Really Worth The Effort?
Are Small PPC Search Engines Really Worth The Effort?
How to Increase Your AdSense Revenue Stream
Google's AdSense program is one of the best, if not the best, revenue programs for web site managers. While the program has certainly created wealth for many site owners, there are opportunities for you to increase your wealth if you follow these important strategies.
How Do You Make Money From Google Adwords?
Can you really make money from this?
The Secret to Adwords Success
It seems at the moment that everybody is telling you that the easiest and quickest way to make money online is with Google Adwords and affiliate programs.
Google Adwords: Higher Traffic and Sales in 2 Hours or Less!
There are various ways to purchase highly targeted advertising at very low prices. Google AdWords is one simple and quick way to to do this. Regardless of your budget, you can actually get your text ads appearing on search result pages within minutes! You can also target your ad to a specific language or country.
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