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Old 04-04-2006   #1
B-Double-U
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Yahoo Implicated in Spyware Click Fraud

This is all quoted from WPN

"Advertisers who expect their Overture ad campaigns to run with certain Yahoo Searches may be surprised to find their ads running in syndicated spyware applications that render each impression as an ad click the advertiser must pay."

(MODERATOR NOTE: I snipped the rest. We can't reprint articles without permission here, but you can insert a link to the full article so others can follow. We also had a blog post about this, which lead to the original study here: http://www.benedelman.org/news/040406-1.html)

Last edited by dannysullivan : 04-05-2006 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 04-05-2006   #2
Jonathan Mendez
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Kudos to Edelman

Once again he shines the spotlight on the dark underbelly of this medium.
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Old 04-07-2006   #3
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We're getting hammered by junk clicks from exactsearch via Yahoo PPC, as well as huge amounts of garbage coming from the content network in general. And it's all cropped up in the past 2-3 weeks. Prior to that, we got decent returns from Yahoo's content network. I'm not sure what's changed, but all of a sudden it's gone from decent to total crap. And much of the crap is untrackable - comes thru our log files with a referral of "others/unknown/none". I shut off content entirely today and am waiting for a call back from my rep.

The silly thing is, we don't pay huge CPC rates, and until now haven't been chosen as a click fraud target. I think the fraudsters are turning it into a numbers game - get enough of those $0.10 clicks and they start to add up. Especially if they're from fake clicks like in the article above.

Yahoo really needs to get a grip on this, and fast. At a minimum, allow opt-out on a site by site basis.



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Old 04-12-2006   #4
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Mel we have see the same increase

In the past few weeks we have seen a huge increase in junk clicks for keywords with very low bids.

Landings.overtureparking is a big conributor. I point this one out because it shows Overtures lack of commitment to stop junk/click fraud in their own back yard.

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Old 04-12-2006   #5
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I just found out that Exactsearch is adware. Unfortunately they are part of Yahoo's "sponsored search," so we're stuck with them.

Melissa

Last edited by Mel66 : 04-12-2006 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 04-19-2006   #6
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Yahoo Reps not doing there job

After my rep and their team reviewed all of our ppc campaigns for supposed click fraud, they came back telling me that they found no instances of click fraud at all.

Meanwhile, my ROI for all of my Overture campaigns had dropped significantly to the point where I am allocating almost 70% of my search budget to Google and the other to Overture.

Has anyone else seen this type of drop in ROI, and if so what would you recommend?

Thanks.
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Old 04-19-2006   #7
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Unfortunately the adware/PPCSE arena has been growing over the last 2 years from what I've seen in my own testing. I've seen an ever increasing amount of adware applications pop inventory going towards showing PPSCE listings. Overture listings certainly show in many adware applications, but Overture isn't the only one. Pretty much everyone does. Sometimes I'll see the clickstream run through a couple (2 or 3) different small PPCSE's before it ultimately lands at Overture or Miva.

Indeed Claria (formerly Gator) never showed a profit until they inked the deal with Overture. That all came out when Claria was going to go public and had to file with the SEC.

Exact is definitely adware (they actual have more than one adware application). Brainfox is also exact advertising. But several of the adware companies have PPCSE they run their listings through. Other adware companies run others feeds through their applications. Then you have the "SEM" Management companies who are pretty much just placing folks ads with all the different adware companies.

Sometimes the adware will simulate a click on the listing, sometimes they just pop listings contextually based on whatever site the end user is viewing. In the second case, I've shown where someone can wind up paying twice for the same user. For example I search MSN and click the sponsored link to a merchant. Once on the Merchant's site, I get a pop up with the top Overture listings for "merchant.com". Of course their PPC link is there again. I click on it again and go right back to the merchant's site where I was to begin with.

There is a lot of nonsense going in with many of the PPCSEs and so far they appear to be doing little to monitor this type of activity. I'm not surprised when I have some merchant's tell me about their ROIs or CTRs dropping. I do a bit of testing and it becomes pretty obvious as why, at least in part.

Also check your user logs for user agents such as hotbar and other search adware.
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Old 04-19-2006   #8
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Quote:
Also check your user logs for user agents such as hotbar and other search adware.
It isn't Yahoo, but I've got a couple of sites that have visitors showing FunWebProducts with IE - all day, every single day. I don't do any PPC on those sites, but always do wonder what's happening to those visitors.

Also, the first time I got trashed by a driveby download, a couple of years ago, it was the IBIS toolbar replacing the Google Toolbar, plus a lot of other bundled stuff along with it - and it was all PPC advert pages I got hijacked to. This has been going on for a long, long time.

Added:

It was back in 2002, when reports of this were just starting to surface a lot. I had no understanding what had happened:

http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum80/128.htm

There's more about it now, but more widespread information is still needed -and more.

Quote:
There is a lot of nonsense going in with many of the PPCSEs and so far they appear to be doing little to monitor this type of activity.
How much actual screening is being done - like when affiliates are recruited?

Last edited by Marcia : 04-19-2006 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 04-19-2006   #9
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FunWebProducts is myway (owned by askjeeves owned by IAC). They are partnered with google. Although I've never had them do any kind of pop ups myself. If I search through their toolbar it will take me to google returns.

They are very aggressive with the distribution of their toolbar. Comes bundles with tons of stuff. And it's very hard to get rid of. I know how to clean my systems of this stuff better than most folks and I've had it continually reinstall itself. They've had quite a lot of bad press probably because of many not knowing how it got on the computers and difficulty in removing it.
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Old 04-19-2006   #10
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How to deal

So what would you suggest I do when comes down to monitoring the click activity and click fraud/ad ware that is most likely being contributed to my clients decline in ROI?

Thanks
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Old 04-20-2006   #11
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Get a good analytics and/or log file analysis package and watch the referrers daily. That's how we found the perpetrators in our recent experiences with junk clicks.

Our Yahoo ROI was declining pretty sharply too, until we shut off content. If you haven't done that already, I suggest doing so. Also we've seen things decline slightly as the MSN traffic shifts to MSN Adcenter PPC ads. If you're not in the MSN program, I'd apply now. ROI there is great and, so far, no junk traffic. Without content, Yahoo is coming back to where it should be for us.

Melissa
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Old 05-03-2006   #12
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Exclamation

::bump::

There's now a class-action lawsuit filed over this very thing. I'm only halfway through reading the brief, but already I'm applauding it.

Danny has a blog post as well as links to a pdf of the brief in the SEW blog.

http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/060503-091336
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