“Actually Do anyone knows the benefits and disadvantages of PPC? Do you?“
I’m not here to debate whether click fraud is a problem or isn’t although personally I think it is.
I’ve recently had the opportunity to speak with several people in the underground who, quite understandably, do not want to be mentioned. Some of what they told me, as well, I won’t mention. However, I can let some information come out.
I’ll mention some of my favorite quotes from the discussions below and then dissect what they mean (these guys can be cagey sometimes):
What is click fraud?
Ahh yes, you want me to say it’s illegal don’t you? I’ll admit that it’s against the terms of service of most companies but you’d be surprising at the number of them that turn a blind eye to it even when they know about it.
The basic definition that most would agree on is clicks without an actual human visitor who is interested in that particular topic.
To be honest, however, this definition really doesn’t cut it because some people would define blind links as click fraud.
While it might be splitting hairs, most of these guys do not believe (or have convinced themselves otherwise) that what they’re doing is not fraud but is simply something that’s against the TOS of the Page Per Click companies.
When I questioned them in-depth about the “when they know about it” comment, I found that while the majority of companies do have some type of click fraud prevention in place, how they handle it varies.
After doing a bit of research, I came up with the most common types of click fraud that the PPC companies are checking for. Note: Many companies will not tell you exactly how they do these checks although, in some cases, it’s obvious.
CTR – This should be one of those no-brainer ones. If your clicks are too high comparing to your impressions something might be wrong. What’s the trigger value for fraud? It varies but my guess is this is using conjunction with other methods.
Invalid Referrer – Yeah, this one is actually counts. The only thing I can think of what they might be checking here is to see if the referrer url is valid or not.
Open Proxy – Some folks will use open proxies to send bazillions of clicks on to the PPC engines. This particular method is rather “old skool” from what I’ve said so it’s not using as much anymore. Nevertheless, once you’ve started checking for a certain method, you can never go back!
Blocked IP – All of the PPC companies have a long list of IPs that are to be bad. In some cases, they’re entire subnets or countries.
Expired Clicks – Bet you thought you were gonna to pay on all of your clicks weren’t you? This is where you would be wrong. The PPC company might send you a result and you have a valid user who clicks on the link.
Unfortunately, before the user is able to click on the link the advertiser’s account is suspends, bann or (more likely) out of money. Since the PPC company isn’t going to pay they don’t want to pay you.
Double Clicks – Doesn’t it annoy you to watch your dad use the computer and see him double click on the links on the web pages? I know it annoys the hell outta me.
Well, these types of double clicks are not counter.
Bot Clicks – You hears about em but never have been able to find much detail. There’s a whole subculture out there who is using scripts to click on your links.
Bad Clicks – Anything that doesn’t fit into the categories above.
So what happens when any of these methods detect? That varies from company to company. In some cases, the company will ask you to fix the problem and still give you credit for the clicks!
In other cases, they’ll flat out ban your account with no recourse for you to get your money.
The scary thing is that, in many cases, it’s not too hard to figure out what?.PPC company you’re using and get you banns – whether you’re cheating the system or not.
The final thing that’s interesting about this particular question is the mention of blind links. There are at least one (and maybe more) companies out there who don’t care where your links come from. They’ll pay you a flat 2 cents or more per click. You can put a link on images, a text designed to get people to click, etc. They’re called “blind links” because the user has no idea where they will be going when they click on them – even if they think they do.