Home – New Forums Tech talk I know I’ve got click fraud but I just don’t get it?

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  • #984166
    Steve_Minshall
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    I got a large increase in traffic, starting in April and building to a 50-60% increase by the end of May which then collapsed back to normal on the 5th of June.

    Unfortunately when I googled 5th of June I found out that there were mutterings of another pandora release on this day and I rather glibly assumed that what G had given G had taken away and never gave it much more thought.

    However, I had another look at this today and what I also did on 5th of June was reduce my Yahoo spend to just a $1/day (for budgeting reasons).

    This prompted me to take a closer look at the traffic sources in my analytics and came up with large traffic numbers from about a dozen sites that were all very similar and don’t seem to link to anybody let alone my website. A couple of examples:

    xploreinfo DOT info
    cliqhouse DOT com
    auslisting DOT com
    webnudze DOT com

    Now I know that these sites, Yahoo and my Yahoo budget are related through studying patterns but I just don’t understand how the scam works as the sites in question are nothing more than 1 or 2 pages of BS content with no apparent method of collecting money from clicks.

    So can any of the learned folks here throw any light on what they actually think is going on here?

    #1146235
    Divert To Mobile
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    Hey Steve,

    It may be more domains than you have found. This discussion lists some of the domains you mentioned as well as possibly other useful info.

    http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/black-hat-seo/566711-what-kind-scam-yahoo-search-marketing-au-trying-pull.html

    Interestingly the op of that thread also seems to be auto orientated. Its possible something nasty could be going on in the online auto market.

    Steve

    #1146236
    Steve_Minshall
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    Divert To Mobile, post: 167523 wrote:
    Hey Steve,

    It may be more domains than you have found. This discussion lists some of the domains you mentioned as well as possibly other useful info.

    http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/black-hat-seo/566711-what-kind-scam-yahoo-search-marketing-au-trying-pull.html

    Interestingly the op of that thread also seems to be auto orientated. Its possible something nasty could be going on in the online auto market.

    Steve

    Thanks Steve,

    yes I had found that thread which confirmed for me it was Yahoo related. I just don’t understand how these sites were driving fake traffic to my site while driving up a yahoo bill.

    #1146237
    Divert To Mobile
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    Hey Steve,

    Who knows, but on the surface it appears to be someone targeting retail automotive parts businesses advertising in yahoo.
    I would lodge a formal complaint to yahoo, and see if you can have their site blocked from hitting your adds.

    Steve

    #1146238
    JamesNorquay
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    File a complaint with your yahoo account manager, I am sure their is a SMB account manager in Sydney because I met him at an even a late last year, that would be my advice. I would also link it up with the Black Hat thread above as it is evidence others have been ripped off.

    #1146239
    Steve_Minshall
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    Follow up.

    I am now able to access my Yahoo dashboard (by switching to IE) and have done more digging.

    This graph shows my campaign performance since the start of the year. I completely ignored it 😮 because to be honest the $s involved are negligible in comparison to what I do with google. The only change I made was when I pulled the budget at the end which killed the ‘clicks’.

    graph.jpg

    Its really disappointing that you can tell instantly from this graph that something drastically has changed. Yet Yahoo/Overture’s ‘sophisticated’ click fraud mechanisms are doing nothing to detect it. The sites that did this from as far back as April are still there and still at it.

    There were multiple sites with click through rates in excess of 30%. Surely this should have triggered alarm bells with Y/O.

    I was confused that these BS sites were delivering clicks without actually displaying my ads. I now realise that they all have a search box and when you enter in a term (eg: roof rack) the answer that comes back is a Y/O advert. So I think it really could be as simple as getting someone offshore to enter a search term and click the resulting ad as many as 1 in 3 times (maybe even click 1 of 3 resulting ads).

    What I have learned:

    • I am astounded at how such blatant click fraud can go on for months without Y/O doing anything about it. This must be a huge scam over their entire network customer base.
    • I am really disappointed that the websites doing this are actually Australian based (otherwise they would be excluded by campaign settings)
    • When you set up your google campaign to block their affiliate network don’t forget to do it on your Yahoo account as well (Whoops)

    I contacted Yahoo 3 days ago via their contact us page in my dashboard and they are yet to respond.

    As a final ethical conundrum. I have done some searches on the worst culprits on the keywords they were targeting to check that I am no longer showing. I am not but one of my competitors is. Do I tell them?;)

    #1146240
    MatthewKeath
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    Steve_Minshall, post: 167708 wrote:
    Follow up.

    I am now able to access my Yahoo dashboard (by switching to IE) and have done more digging.

    This graph shows my campaign performance since the start of the year. I completely ignored it 😮 because to be honest the $s involved are negligible in comparison to what I do with google. The only change I made was when I pulled the budget at the end which killed the ‘clicks’.

    graph.jpg

    Its really disappointing that you can tell instantly from this graph that something drastically has changed. Yet Yahoo/Overture’s ‘sophisticated’ click fraud mechanisms are doing nothing to detect it. The sites that did this from as far back as April are still there and still at it.

    There were multiple sites with click through rates in excess of 30%. Surely this should have triggered alarm bells with Y/O.

    I was confused that these BS sites were delivering clicks without actually displaying my ads. I now realise that they all have a search box and when you enter in a term (eg: roof rack) the answer that comes back is a Y/O advert. So I think it really could be as simple as getting someone offshore to enter a search term and click the resulting ad as many as 1 in 3 times (maybe even click 1 of 3 resulting ads).

    What I have learned:

    • I am astounded at how such blatant click fraud can go on for months without Y/O doing anything about it. This must be a huge scam over their entire network customer base.
    • I am really disappointed that the websites doing this are actually Australian based (otherwise they would be excluded by campaign settings)
    • When you set up your google campaign to block their affiliate network don’t forget to do it on your Yahoo account as well (Whoops)

    I contacted Yahoo 3 days ago via their contact us page in my dashboard and they are yet to respond.

    As a final ethical conundrum. I have done some searches on the worst culprits on the keywords they were targeting to check that I am no longer showing. I am not but one of my competitors is. Do I tell them?;)Fasinating. Thanks for sharing. This is a warning to all whom use the Internet in any capacity that there is always somebody ready to scam you.

    I would tell your competition.

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