My PPC advertising experiment reveals very questionable incoming clicks.

In 2005 I started experimenting with pay per click advertising. I deposited 1500 into an account, set the daily limits low, and directed all traffic to an affiliate travel site I set up for the experiment. I’m now analyzing the results which suggest almost all the activity from enhance was worthless, and some may have been fraudulent. This is especially frustrating because I’d had similar bad experiences with Enhance’s previous incarnation – “” but thought I’d give the new Enhance a chance.

I can’t be sure yet of anything other than the extremely low return on the $500 spent, but I’ll be posting more over the next few weeks from my logs about the sites that sent traffic.

I just sent this to Enhance Customer Support:


I’ve had no responses to my request to refund the 1500 I invested in Enhance advertising in 2005 as part of an experiment in using PPC to send traffic to a Travel affiliate website I set up for this purpose.

$1000 remains in my account.

I’ve been examining my log files and it appears that most of the clicks I’ve had from Enhance were from very questionable, possibly fraudulent sources. I’m happy to share this information with you.

What is *certain* is that I’ve had effectively no business come in from my $500 investment in Enhance Clicks.

This Washington Post Article
explains the approach taken by “pay to click” schemes. I suspect much of my traffic came from this type of scam, though all that really matters is that the clicks were effectively worthless.

I’d also like your permission to publish your responses to me at my blog:

Thank you. Please contact me immediately at 800-872-3266 or by email.

Viacom to Google – YouTube aren’t the boss of me now!

Viacom’s ditching YouTube, and says they are glad they did.   This  FT story suggests that we may seeing the beginning of what could become a monumental shift in content distribution online.   Viacom has forced YouTube to delete Comedy Central and other popular clips, and says these deletions have resulted in people heading over to the Comedy Central website to find the content rather than YouTube.  This was exactly what Viacom wanted.

Key questions are shaking out about online video:
*How much  of the video traffic is to the “professional” content like that produced by  Viacom vs amateur content?

* How important are search engines / major video sites to finding clips?    The Viacom statement suggests that people will seek the clips they want away from YouTube.   However if they are using Google search to find the alternative locations of the clips Google may have successfully covered both these bases with the YouTube aquisition.

* The most important question is about $money$ and it is simply this – can video be monetized well?   Nobody knows yet.   I predict the answer is going to be somewhat complex, but basically no, you can’t monetize it nearly as well as pay per click advertising, where the information experience can be integrated well with the buying experience.    With Video this match is going to be more difficult and usually impossible.   Somebody watching a “Daily Show” clip is primarily interested in a quick laugh, and seems unlikely to wind up clicking off on an advertisement and almost totally unlikely to buy something as part of the Comedy Central clip watching experience.

Sure there will be some room to market clip specific advertising like Comedy Central hats, but that type of thing is not much of a market for the burgeoning video content industry.    Even junky clips take a lot more time to produce and and bandwidth to distribute than text content, so the revenue equation is simply not as favorable and probably will always be a challenge.

I think a major challenge with Video is that many think the online video experience and advertising will be similar to Television content and monetizing.   It won’t.   Decentralized control and the fact almost anybody can and will produce content are changing things rapidly and globally.

The video fun, junky content, and advertising experiments have only just begun.