After getting hit with some click fraud hard in December 2013 I had to turn off all of my Bing / Yahoo advertising. I knew there was some click fraud, but I was hopeful that working with my Bing rep would help get to the bottom of the issue. Sadly, myself and several other business associates I know of using Bing / Yahoo advertising also had to turn off advertising.
Here’s a confession…We’ve been managing various types of paid traffic (pay per click) for six plus years and have never implemented any type of click fraud prevention for Adwords or Bing advertising. It was easy not to because our conversion data looked good, but that’s what click fraud scammers do…they make their criminal activity look real by completing forms with realistic looking data. That’s about to change. Furthermore, it’s one more reason anyone looking to jump into pay per click advertising with a budget of $1,000 or more per month should strongly consider having a click fraud solution in place from day one. After doing some homework and reaching out to some trusted online partners we’ve identified several solutions to avoid and will be sharing more information near the end of March on a solution that is saving some fortunate marketers thousands of dollars each month.
Fast forward to February 26th. We uncovered a click laundering network alive and active on Bing Ads / Yahoo. Unfortunately, most account reps have no idea what click laundering is. What is even more interesting is that click laundering first started making headlines back in 2006 and then Microsoft went on click laundering manhunt and filed lawsuits against several companies in 2010.
So here we are in 2014 and click fraud & click laundering are still rampant. Google, Bing, and Yahoo can barely make a dent in preventing it. I think they actually count on the average marketer not having the ability to monitor or track it on their own accord. If every online marketer used a 3rd party click fraud solution all the major search engines would be sending some major credits back to their pay per click customers.
Once I have a chance to compile all of the data, I’ll be posting it here as a downloadable PDF with regard to the click laundering network we uncovered. Next, we’ll be looking for a good click fraud attorney.
What has your experience been with click fraud with Adwords, Bing / Yahoo pay per click? Share your click fraud examples below and be sure to bookmark or return near the end of March for our follow up on this issue.
Whether you are new to Internet marketing or a seasoned veteran, you’re probably just as frustrated as I am with all the crappy reviews and information about various tracking tools. For me, I got lazy letting another company do critical tracking for me. I had looked at and purchased two of the above products and downloaded / installed Prosper202 in the past, but never really got around to implementing a solution to track all of my paid traffic sources.
For lack of the ability to split test landing pages natively, I’ll be leaving Prosper202 out of this short review.
If you are dabbling with online marketing, Prosper202 or Demon Tracking might be good options. One is free and the other could be purchased previously for about $17
If you are running a business and your online income depends on solid tracking and good customer support CPV Lab is the way to go (no affiliate link)
- AdtrackzGold – submitted a ticket over 12 hours ago and have not heard back from theses guys…this is horrible if you are running a business and need support
- Demon Tracking – Email these guys for support and was told to watch videos and ask questions in the forum
- CPV Lab – I have been in constant communication with “Mo” all day today working through some set up questions for Adwords / Bing / Yahoo tracking – while they don’t offer any paid support, their response times and willingness to help has been stellar!
I will be posting additional comments here along with “real” video tutorials and not just some dudes 10,000 foot overview to sell an affiliate click…there will be no affiliate links anywhere in this thread…this is to share information. (CPVLab vs. Demon Tracking vs. Adtrackz Gold)
I used to have a couple of desktop tools for generating my robots.txt files and had several templates that I would use, but with these handy sites offering FREE robots.txt generators why pay for software or templates as these will work for most website owners looking for a good robots.txt file.
- SEOBook Robots.txt Generator – Very basic
- Mcanerin International Robots.txt Generator – Very good / Excellent – This robots.txt generator has some basic functionality, but also allows you to block specific search engines, crawl delay, restricted directories along with some basic instruction for anyone new to using robots.txt files.
Why use FREE Robots.txt generators? Google says so:
Setting up a new Google Adwords campaign for just the “display network” revealed some interesting results. After two days of testing no impressions have been recorded on Computers…only mobile devices and tablets with full browsers. You’ll see that I had made a negative bid adjustment for mobile devices as I generated 325 clicks in about 12 hours which resulted in zero conversions.
Interestingly, tablets with full browsers has logged a reasonable number of impressions for my test with a handful of clicks and zero conversions.
This campaign was set up for the display network with selected keywords which are fairly popular and enjoy a high level of competition. I would have expected to see some level of impressions on computers, but this data would suggest that display ads are only showing on mobile devices or display network is no longer relevant to publishers with full websites.
I say or show this as it is quite obvious that the mobile clicks are all or predominately mobile click fraud. I can say this with some level of confidence as the test website in question and ads have a fairly long and successful track record over the past 5-6 years.
I’m going to continue running some tests, but wondering what other Adwords advertisers are seeing. Have you run any tests that shows computer / desktop impressions are getting less impressions and conversions than mobile generated impressions?
Share your comments below.