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Click Fraud Software
Posted 21 September 2005 - 05:25 PM
Posted 21 September 2005 - 06:43 PM
Posted 21 September 2005 - 10:01 PM
Posted 21 September 2005 - 10:13 PM
I would suggest starting there, reviewing the companies listed, and asking specific questions as the need arises.
2. If you aren't traking ROI click fraud isn't your number one requirement. $150K a month on PPC and no understanding of where that money goes? You need to track ROI before you track Click fraud IMHO. You can save far more by choosing the right words than you ever can with Click Fraud. Besides, focussing on fraud is the wrong angle. Focus on making more money, more sales etc. Click fraud detection won't do that, it will just reduce your costs.
3. Come back and tell us your experience Too often, people get an answer and don't share. This issue effects us all, and our experience is something others can learn from.
Posted 22 September 2005 - 03:57 AM
I had a client a while back who was being buzzed out of the serps by a keen competitor of his, keen as in clicking on his ads almost daily with the express aim of exhausting his budget.
I hadn't any experience of identifying it at the time and there weren't that many click fraud analyisis packages on the market, so I basically grabbed 2 days worth of log files, identified the ppc referal strings, whacked them into a spreadsheet, sorted by IP address and hey presto, there was the evidence I needed. The guy clicking, visited almost hourly and just kept hitting his back button, clicking on the clients ads, 10 or so times before moving on. He even did it at home too, as their were clear daytime and evening patterns. Sad, but true.
Things might have changed but in my experience the PPC companies are a little timid with info regarding what counts and what doesn't count as a valid click. You'd think they'd use a combination of Session/Cookie/IP/OS/Browser/Timeframe data to say that if for example, a user with a corresponding data set of over 90% (or whatever was the best determinant) clicked on the same advert within 30 minutes or an hour even, then the likelihood is that it isn't a genuine independant chargeworthy click.
Given such a scenario, it really does beg the question of why would a customer focused company charge their customer for clicks that came from the same person? At best it seems like a stinky way to treat a customer, and at worst its just plain greedy.
I don't doubt that they'd argue that their methods are top secret, or that by divulging their methodolgy they'd expose their customers to more fraud, but the reality is that if people like me who look at these things can easily see it, identify it, and present reasons why a client should be refunded, then the PPC providers themsleves should also be able to do the same.
IMO if there were a little more transparency in the backends of the PPC systems, things like, "You had 1 zillion clicks, of these x% were identified as probably coming from the same user , so you were refunded blah.." then it would have a little more credibility, well, in my eyes at least.
I think the whole fraud word doesn't help either, and just engenders a spirit of secrecy and over protectionist cautiousness.
Oops sorry, that didn't really help with your original question.
Posted 22 September 2005 - 09:36 PM
I wouldn't trust Google with finding click fraud in the first place - I think a hefty portion of their profits acquired from Adsense and the content network early on in advertising were probably a result of fraud (just common sense). Especially the way it was structured, the whole system preyed on new advertisers - I don't see how they couldn't have known this.
I especially don't trust their response to the click fraud issue. We are professionals. We have professionals working on it. We have specially designed professional programs.
If the programs were any good, they could tell everyone how they work and it would save us all some time/worry. A good fraud detection system would be impervious to manipulation.
Not only that, I'm pretty sure Yahoo! has members in its SEARCH NETWORK that actively generate fraudulent clicks. I wrote them about this - and they basically said - there's nothing you can do.
The whole payment system in google is shrouded in secrecy - they don't even let advertisers know why they are being charged certain amounts for their clicks. At least with yahoo you can see what you are paying and why.
I believe that if anyone had enough time and resources, whole businesses could be made out of sinking competitors with click-fraud.
Posted 22 September 2005 - 10:11 PM
No it won't. It never can be. That is unfortunately a part of life with click fraud. The deal is to find the "sweat spot", the point at which money spent finding < than money returned.
The real problem with Click Fraud is perception. People hate feeling like they got ripped off. I understand that feeling, but that is life. No one that ever made money on the stock market never lost on a stock, but plenty of people have never dropped a dime on the stock market and are flat broke.
PPC is like that IMHO. Lots of ppl are scared of click fraud for no good reason. What ppl should be scared of is a bad ROI. Zero click fraud and no sales is far, far, far worse than heaps of "click fraud" and a positive ROI.
I know this is an unpopular view, and call me calm and unalarmist if you will, but the world is full of people crying chicken little like about things that aren't real, while real issues are ignored.
As I said above, "You can save far more by choosing the right words than you ever can with Click Fraud" and that holds true. I had a client that bid $3 a click on a term with one competitor on Overture. They would bid $3, the competitor $2.99, and third place $0.50. Telling me that click fraud is what costs them the most money, and that a complicated system is required to combat the biggest threat: fraud, and I will quietly back out of the room, making sure to maintain eye contact
My view of life is that you should spend time where it has most value. IMHO, Click fraud, in 99.9% of cases, isn't the problem, although YMMV.
Posted 23 September 2005 - 07:18 AM
Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:02 PM
I doubt a good click fraud system exists for pay per click - that is why I said it is inherent to the system. You seem to have accepted this fact. I'm not, so that one day someone might come out with a better system.
I think it should be obvious that I'm thinking about sales when talking about click fraud. I always focus on bidding so that I make profits, but when my competitor's ads are not subject to click fraud that my ads are, there's potential for making more money and my competitors have an advantage. It should also be obvious that click fraud can (and does) cause ads to have bad ROI. It is completely relevant to what you're talking about.
I don't anything else you were talking about is relevant to what I was saying.
Posted 23 September 2005 - 05:55 PM
Yes, and you weren't the only one responding I quoted you, but the rest of the response was to the other posts. Sorry if that caused confusion.
Really? How? Nothing is obvious in my book. The person asking the original questions said:
So this guy wants click fraud detection before ROI tracking. That is the wrong way round IMHO.
If you can't think of a way to develop 100% undetectable click fraud with all the nasty tools available, I certainly won't help you Really, there are soooo many ways that it isn't funny. No system could possibly ever detect them all.
And that isn't even the point. What exactly is click fraud? What are the "numbers" that constitute click fraud? If a competitor clicks once a day, is that too much? How many clicks in a 24 hour period is fraud? How many clicks fullstop = fraud? You can't measure intent for clicks, so I could click an ad once every day, and who knows if I am a buyer (a DVD nut may find you site via the same keywords everyday, and rarely buy), a tire kicker or a fraudster?
That is the problem with "Click fraud". While we all agree on what it is at the extreme, the line is 10 miles wide, and no one knows where on this line the cut off point is. The problem is exacerbated because absolutely no one wants to see the threshold set to low because many people click multiple times when searching for a thing.
So we are left with trying to decide what click fraud is without a working definition that fits well. How can any system detect that? Computers need rules. Without them, they just don't work. That is why Computers can not decide if a book is worth reading, nor a piece of Art any good.
So, coming full circle, for all these reasons "Click fraud" is hard to detect, and if you spend more detecting it than it saves, what is the point?
That said, if someone has an idea on how to detect it that is cost effective, comprehensive and generates a poitive ROI, I am all ears!
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