#1
  1. Contributing User
    SEO Chat Discoverer (100 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    156
    Rep Power
    15

    The Google Ad Words Money Milking


    Ever wonder about why Google can pay so much money to you as a publisher? The answer is simple because they milk so much money from you as an advertiser. You may be saying right now, but I don't buy advertising from google. I am in the "natural traffic business". Even so its important for you to know that as a user of any affiliate program that you should always try to ensure that the "advertisers" buying your traffic are getting great results.
    Highly effective conversions for your advertisers should be your number 1 concern if that is your source of income.

    If its not then your one of the problems that I am addressing here and should be aware that it will probably bite you in the butt before the decade's out.

    I am a HUGE believer in Pay for performance advertising. I was using Goto.com when they first hit the scene and for $40.00 a day in advertising I could make $10,000 a day in sales.

    In the past 7 to 8 years as the "rest of the world" has come online the quality of results in Pay for performance advertising has drastically dropped outside my own platforms of course. Because I don't allow affiliates into my advertising revenue network I get to compare the .01% fraud rate to the 40-91% fraud rate of todays multi-million/billion dollar revenue generators.

    It's as if it's a back door welfare program directly from American corporate advertising dollars to the eastern block and Asian developing countries.

    What most people don't understand is that corporations have been spending millions each year on magazines, radio, newspaper, and television with very low and most importantly to those venues, highly untrackable rates of return.

    The question is Shouldn't I expect the same quality ROI for my advertising dollar that I give to other advertisers?

    Damn right I should.

    So how do I know adwords is broken? Well math is an exact science and here's the math.

    Trusting that Google's numbers of ads displayed and clicks is accurate and I have no reason to distrust them. They break down like this.

    1,285,736 impressions of my ad.
    231 clicks
    $43.38 total cost

    Now Google says this is a .01% click through rate. Not according to my math. Pretty obvious that they round up just a few digits oh say 4. .00017% click through rate.

    That is pathetic and it says that the places my ad were displayed were most likely worthless placements. Those numbers DO NOT include the actual Google search engine which was a bit better performance.

    6687 impressions of my ads
    135 clicks
    $27.47

    a .5% click through rate better but still just flat out terrible for PFP advertising. That is banner click rates not targets traffic rates. I suspect that the low performance on the search numbers would come from affilate search results being abused.

    Having the same ad on other networks I am seeing a 22% conversion rate but at a much smaller display rate. less that 41 ads.

    Here's where the problem gets bad.

    Of the 40 ad networks to my New RSS directory. I recieved 9 clicks and of that 7 signed up an RSS feed and 3 of the 7 placed their banner. This would be the performance we have always expected from our campaigns with the pain staking keyword research and choices I make when I buy ads.
    Those 7 people cost me 21 cents.
    I would like more ad displays but we can't make people search more OR CAN WE.

    on that note Back to the pathetic results from google adwords. Because the disaster that is adwords today doesn't end there. The quality of customer I got was terrible both search and adsense. Keyword spamming sites (13 total) that were there for a quick dump and free links didn't even care that I may have real readers actually search the directory.
    For those worthless 13 I paid $70.85

    While this is a new start up, the viewers are starting to come in and cruise around, even do a little searching. Until I reach a critical mass point of at least 8-10,000 websites I won't put much stress on getting partnerships into my search function.

    Now I budgeted $300 per month in advertising for the start up of this directory and I am expecting it to take 8-12 months to reach my 10,000 site goal. But How can I use Google if this is the mess that I am going to get in advertising.

    So what do I think is the problem/fix?

    The problem is the blind eye thinking on several parties. Not just the advertiser who isn't paying attention to the fact that ROI is not present within the system, remember most people have no clue what to expect in the form of ROI on a PFP (PAY-FOR-PERFORMANCE) campaign.

    The poor click through performance doesn't bother me near as much as the pitful conversion rate of the 366 clicks that I paid for from the network. Remember I am NOT SELLING anything. Its a free service. To get only 13 spammers leaves me believing that those 13 probably clicked an ad on their own site.

    The problem with the spammers chewing up this money is it prevents me as an advertiser from putting money into the system. This means Google gets Zero of my $3600 budget for the next year. People using the system as revenue for their sites have their ad rates reduced when advertisers follow my reasoning.

    Google needs to eliminate all clicks to advertisers who do not accept money via a US bank or US address when i select US traffic. If the website owner is in Russia I don't count that as a US click, just because he bought hosting here.

    They really need to tie adsense performance in with search rank. The sites that delivered me a .00017 click through rate, who the hell is giving them traffic? My customers recieve a 7-14% click through rate from my pages. Sub .05% click through rates should suffer search penalities as this a sure sign of a poorly built, cluttered, or search engine spamming websites. That doen't mean that running adsense should get you better search ranks just abusing adsense just should have a penality. Get these turd sites out of the search engine gene pool.

    Google also pulls a bit of a fast one with the one bid system. I have to bid 20 cents a click to get into the search results but then that leaves my advertising budget butt hanging in the air for Adsense spam sites.

    When the clicks come from (and one of the guys who actually signed up) Look like this site.

    http://www.iceman.brasil.flog.com.br/

    NOT TO MENTION I AM ON A US ONLY CAMPAIGN. hmmm brazil

    This site offers no value to anyone yet its still receiving Google adsense to that account.

    When i filed a complaint about this with google I got a form letter telling me that I should "optimize my ad better"

    Now I ask all you SEO's explain to me why that garbage of a site was able to optimize for my keyword, yet I should be asked to change my ad.

    My only option with Google was to reduce my max payout from 30 cents per click to 5 cents per click and sacrifice the search results.

    This is a clear cut case of Google being informed of fraud on their network and ignoring it because they get half the revenue from that fraud. Another 100 guys like me and we are talking about a class action lawsuit if they don't clean up their network.
  2. #2
  3. rod@missionop.com
    SEO Chat Mastermind (5000+ posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Palm Beach Gardens FL 33410
    Posts
    16,979
    Rep Power
    0
    hmmm... your argument is flawed in many ways... the first being "you speculate" and don't have tangible proof... if you had proof you would be in court rather than wasting time freely promoting what you think is true.

    I can do math as well (e.g. $40.00 a day in advertising, making $10,000 a day in sales)... that suggests $3+ million a year for a mere $14,600...

    Hire a lawyer and hand him you logfiles and prove to Google you have been defrauded - I'm sure they will listen...

    SEOChat membership can't really help you.

    Comments on this post

    • PRNewsNow : There is no speculation in the math that I displayed or the actions taken by me or Google.
  4. #3
  5. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6
    Rep Power
    0
    Fathom,

    The math is fuzzy perhaps (but he is right, so is G's), but the underlying complaint deserves more than your dismissive response: the G system is increasingly broken as a real means of gaining customers.

    I don't make my money as PR does, but use adwords to advertise my business (providing a service), and I need to spend most of my time doing what my clients pay me to do once they hire me. However, I am spending increasing amounts of time comparing my web logs to G's results (Yahoo's too) and actively excluding content sites from which the clicks are obviously fraud and complaining to G about the quality of the clicks they send me from search and the veracity of their data.

    An open and honest discussion of this situation, even if just to vent or to warn others but hopefully to engender change (I don't make big bucks and so can't hire the lawyer you suggest for PR) seems completely valid in the forums.

    And by the way, speculation is all we have in many ways because G's operations are opaque and their answers to most queries canned, putting the onus back on the person who made the complaint with no proof on their part that the complaint is without merit.
  6. #4
  7. Contributing User
    SEO Chat Discoverer (100 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    156
    Rep Power
    15
    fathom,

    The length of the post, your experience with 8 year old systems, or lack of business experience has left a bit of confusion.

    I can do math as well (e.g. $40.00 a day in advertising, making $10,000 a day in sales)...
    First that was in reference to Goto.com when they first launched. There was no "fraud protection" because quite frankly there was no fraud yet. This is what gives me a basis of what would be "possible" in today's PFP world if fraud filtering actually prevented fraud.

    Secondly when actual products are sold and shipped there isn't a 100% profit, which is what suggested your lack of brick and mortar business experience. I believe net profit that year was around $93,000.

    Your comment came off as just hateful for no reason than your own lack of understanding. But I am happy to clarify so others will understand.


    As for Just launching into a lawyer frenzy, well there you need to understand your legal standing. First you have to prove negligence on the part of the company. That means that only have to have "Tried" to prevent fraud, not actually succeeded. This would be a one on one automatic loss even proving you were wronged beyond doubt.

    However in class action status you would need to prove that Google routinely ignores complaints, or doesn't use known effective asset's at their availability because of their financial benefit.

    Remember that cleaning up 30-50% of the fraud would cost the company between 110-180 million dollars a quarter and that's if the fraud is only at a mild 20% fraud rate. Most search engine experts agree its above 35%.

    Googles combined Search/Adsense trigger levels suggest that they are aware of the fraud and actually seek to take advantage of it. If your retirement account was tied to Google's income what would you let slide?
    Last edited by PRNewsNow; Oct 3rd, 2006 at 01:51 PM.
  8. #5
  9. Contributing User
    SEO Chat Discoverer (100 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    156
    Rep Power
    15
    I don't make my money as PR does, but use adwords to advertise my business (providing a service), and I need to spend most of my time doing what my clients pay me to do once they hire me.
    The businesses in my signature are free services and not the business I am referencing in break down of the problems I am seeing.
  10. #6
  11. B afraid.. B very afraid!
    SEO Chat Mastermind (5000+ posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Land of enchantment... deserts of the Southwest
    Posts
    9,697
    Rep Power
    2402
    As long as Google's advertising clients are not totally up in arms and affecting G's revenue stream Google will do basically nothing. In business, most companies (many I have run as the CEO) will project failure rates or customer churn rates. It becomes a financial decision, i.e. will we make more by leaving things as they are or do we have to change or fix any given perceived problem(s). Your decision depends upon your business model and projected impact of your actions and the actions in the marketplace.

    You, rightly so, perceive that Google has a major problem, but until Google believes that it is better financially to fix it... guess what?

    Comments on this post

    • PRNewsNow agrees : Exactly
    ...Never mistake activity for achievement...

    ...Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it....
    Benjamin Franklin
  12. #7
  13. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6
    Rep Power
    0

    G's response


    As noted, Google's responses to these complaints are often canned, but even when not, they sound exactly like the enormous corporation they are.


    I recently complained about clicks from a single dns that were obviously bogus (tons of clicks from the same search to the same page, one right after the other). I was just informed that these clicks were in the realm of "normal user behavior" and I was reminded that "as stated in our Terms and Conditions, we require that all parties using Google AdWords services accept our metrics." Translation: no complaints allowed apparently. So, I complained again, of course, but as SEO points out, until it is more profitable to fix than not fix...
  14. #8
  15. rod@missionop.com
    SEO Chat Mastermind (5000+ posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Palm Beach Gardens FL 33410
    Posts
    16,979
    Rep Power
    0
    Originally Posted by Pro Editor
    Fathom,

    The math is fuzzy perhaps (but he is right, so is G's), but the underlying complaint deserves more than your dismissive response: the G system is increasingly broken as a real means of gaining customers.

    I don't make my money as PR does, but use adwords to advertise my business (providing a service), and I need to spend most of my time doing what my clients pay me to do once they hire me. However, I am spending increasing amounts of time comparing my web logs to G's results (Yahoo's too) and actively excluding content sites from which the clicks are obviously fraud and complaining to G about the quality of the clicks they send me from search and the veracity of their data.
    Fair point.

    Counter: Click fraud is but one explanation.

    Base on what I read here it would seem to be the "only answer" and be that as it may "if the only answer" I would say there is irrefutable proof.

    I had 5 cases of irrefutable proof for clients - and all 5 cases were met with a credit from Google.

    An open and honest discussion of this situation, even if just to vent or to warn others but hopefully to engender change (I don't make big bucks and so can't hire the lawyer you suggest for PR) seems completely valid in the forums.
    If you are venting then you aren't thinking.

    And by the way, speculation is all we have in many ways because G's operations are opaque and their answers to most queries canned, putting the onus back on the person who made the complaint with no proof on their part that the complaint is without merit.
    It is a given that fraud occurs, it is also a given that you you need to prove this since if you don't and Google just accepts your word at face value - that is seemingly just changing the version of fraud and the "clickers" that are the problem continue. The advertising medium you seem relucant to walk away from (with a problem is so prevalent).

    In context: you suggest that click fraud is - The act of purposely clicking ad listings without intending to buy from the advertiser.

    I suggest that click fraud is - A competing strategy with the elicit intent to consume an advertisers' available budget prior to buyers becoming aware of their ads.

    Surely in this context such "irrefutable proof" is easily obtained.

    If not - window shoppers are not commiting fraud IMHO - therefore if you can't afford to setup shop in downtown New York where you have 10 million window shoppers (and a small comparable customer-base) maybe you are targeting the wrong phrases.

    I don't know your situation but odds are "click fraud" isn't the only explanation.
  16. #9
  17. rod@missionop.com
    SEO Chat Mastermind (5000+ posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Palm Beach Gardens FL 33410
    Posts
    16,979
    Rep Power
    0
    Originally Posted by PRNewsNow
    Most search engine experts agree its above 35%.
    If even remotely true IMHO MOST experts are wrong.

    I had one account worth $130K/month in the adult chat industry.

    The company created 2 full time staf positions just to keep a handle on click fraud... in the end they were pay $60K/year for a average $500 problem (or about 0.004% fraud rate).

    It's a given "most people just look" - and that isn't fraud.

    In the real world put together a "free to participant" knowledge conference with learing sessions, free food, drinks, and gift. The intent is to sell them on using your services for a fee... but they can come in learn, eat, drink, and leave with a gift and not use your service... is this "fraud on their part"...

    The "idea" is a good one "if you target the right market"... equating to PPC - the money terms never have volume usage.
  18. #10
  19. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6
    Rep Power
    0
    Counter: Click fraud is but one explanation.

    Yea, well this is part of our problem. Google does not adequately address complaints, but instead sends canned answers that assume we are certainly wrong (actually, that assume we are either stupid and have not checked our own records adequately, much as your assumption about keywords in your final assertion, or that we don't even know what question we are asking). And you might read my previous post regarding the "terms of service" statement and accepting G's metrics. Proof is proffered but does not count, because only G's metrics count. Hence, there is no such thing as "irrefutable proof," apparently. You say you have pulled off getting some kind of admission from G, and I honor you for it, but there are lots of us who are frustrated by our attempts precisely because we have what should be said irrefutable proof.

    And no, you do not know my situation. The crack about not being able to keep up with the big boys and targeting the wrong words is both as dismissive as G's responses and off point. The point is not getting what you pay for, and not being able to engage the corporation in any kind of meaningful conversation about discrepancies. Yes, however, size matters here, because I don't have endless cash to throw at PPC if a sizable percentage is faux. I am not saying it is, merely that the system has issues that the big engines are seemingly not willing to address--and that the answers so far have not been satisfactory.

    You jumped on the original post with both feet, but PR's point that these companies have no vested interest in making it work as advertised has to at least be acknowledged in the absence of discernible attempts to do so (and canned answers that do not address the issue are not such attempts).

    I know G is a big place, that they are busy because lots of folks are complaining, that many complaints are without merit, and etc; but I give my clients what I say I will, and I address their concerns, and I have the right to expect the same from those who accept my ad money.

    And no, we can't simply abandon PPC because it is the model du jour, and moreover, your precious market has only a few big players, with G bigger than the others combined. This is by definition a catch-22, but then I guess your advice is to shut up and take non answers for answers, or better yet, not to complain when they take my money (since my proof is trumped by their proof every time). You are probably right too--at least my blood pressure would go down.
  20. #11
  21. rod@missionop.com
    SEO Chat Mastermind (5000+ posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Palm Beach Gardens FL 33410
    Posts
    16,979
    Rep Power
    0
    Actually that wasn't a crack.

    Gary Beals has done alot of work in curbing "unwanted clicks" (many people would conclude these are click fraud - IMHO they are not)

    http://www.distinctseo.com/blog/seo/ppc-marketing-and-long-tail-analysis-rebuttal

    $90K savings by not doing what everyone else does and increasing sales in the process.

    I conclude that 90K would normally be suggested to Google as click fraud and in the end Gary didn't need to ask Google for it back - he just started working 'smartly'.
    Last edited by fathom; Oct 3rd, 2006 at 08:49 PM.
  22. #12
  23. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6
    Rep Power
    0
    Originally Posted by fathom
    Gary Beals has done alot of work in curbing "unwanted clicks" (many people would conclude these are click fraud - IMHO they are not)

    http://www.distinctseo.com/blog/seo/ppc-marketing-and-long-tail-analysis-rebuttal
    Thanks for the info. While I believe I have done my homework regarding the biz I am in and possible key phrases, I don't claim to be an expert and will certainly look at the resource you mention to see if I can do this any better.

    I am quite certain some of what I am seeing is fraud, but I made some bad assumptions when I made my complaint and now know I should have sent my web logs to G immediately. At least I would not have had to ride the merry-go-round I have been on even if they disallowed the claim.

    But you may be right on a broader scale. There might be a way to work around even this nonsense rather than expecting G to take care of it. Thanks again.
  24. #13
  25. rod@missionop.com
    SEO Chat Mastermind (5000+ posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Palm Beach Gardens FL 33410
    Posts
    16,979
    Rep Power
    0
    Not sure if you have seen this but:

    http://googleblog.blogspot.com/pdf/Tuzhilin_Report.pdf

    A good read.

Similar Threads

  1. Jagger,Google Analytics,+Future of Search & SEO
    By cunning_stunt in forum Google Optimization
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Feb 10th, 2006, 06:06 PM
  2. See your sandboxed site's rank if it weren't sandboxed
    By dazzlindonna in forum Google Optimization
    Replies: 306
    Last Post: Feb 5th, 2006, 10:01 AM
  3. Googleguy speaks! Some good clarifications
    By thewormman in forum Google Optimization
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: Jun 4th, 2005, 02:01 AM
  4. Using And, In, or etc.
    By Jasontnyc in forum Google Optimization
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Sep 2nd, 2004, 09:42 AM

IMN logo majestic logo threadwatch logo seochat tools logo