SES San Jose – click fraud session

The intro talk by Tom Cuthbert is listing click fraud numbers that, at over 16% for overall and over 25% for content PPC, are dramatically higher than the few percent normally cited by Google. I’m anxious to hear Shuman’s take on this. Excellent slides…. will try to link them up later.

Erin Sheedy-Owen from Yahoo on catching fraudulent clicks. “We err on the side of the advertiser”. You’ll see these in your logs but won’t be charged for them.

Outright fraud vs Low converting vs unwanted clicks. 12-15% of the clicks are filtered and advertiser not charged. Large recent rise in bot fraud. (this was also noted by Cuthbert).

Yahoo goal is to respond to click fraud reports from advertisers within 10 days. Erin’s making the case that advertiser feedback is very important.

Waiting for Internet Advertising Bureau guidelines.

Deborah from Outrider, a Search Marketing agency managing 1.3 billion in search advertising.   [wow – wouldn’t this be approaching 10% of the market if it is annual? – I’m skeptical of this number’s relevance – maybe this is over a long period of time, though still….an impressive data set].

Client opinions vary from huge concern to little.

ClickForensics is their click fraud application.   Interesting – she just mentioned parked domains as a click fraud issue.  Traffic from a highly relevant parked domain name would probably be good.

Matt Greitzer from Razorfish: They manage 300 million per year in paid clicks.

Virtuous cycle of quality clicks [hmmm — IMHO the optimal revenue model for Google and Yahoo is probably not optimal for advertisers.
I don’t think folks understand this well yet and for agencies overbids are money in the bank too, but standards are coming too slowly because search profits will go down as standards go up.   That said, I have a lot of faith in the next speaker’s sincerity ]

Shuman Ghosemajumder from Google:

Google’s Proactive approach:   Filters – automated.  Invalid click reports available to check these out.    Less than 10% filtered this way.

Offline analyis – leads to credits to account.    Click quality adjustments.  Statistical anamolies.

Finally, reactive approach involves investigation and report.  Very, very tiny.  <.02% handled this way.

[yikes – so why were Cuthbert’s numbers so much higher?]

Smart pricing:  Google gets same ROI by adjusting cost per click according to conversion metrics – ie lower performing publishers command less PPC. [But how do they measure the conversions?]

Google Placement reports and other performanc metrics allow you to track your own campaigns with great precision.

Google competes on basis of ROI, so their incentive is to keep it high and kill fraud.

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