New Form of Click Fraud Discovered Written by Joel Walsh
If you use PPC advertising and are in a highly competitive market, you can't afford not to read this.
You already know that if you're adventurous enough to run your own pay-per-click advertising campaign--e.g., Google Adwords, or Overture--you should watch your site traffic like a hawk, and keep all server logs for inevitable day when you get a flood of suspicious hits that don't convert, and you need to get your money back. But just when you thought it was safe to go back in PPC waters, a new shark has been sighted.
According to a recent article in theregister.co.uk, you now have another kind of click fraud to worry about. Or perhaps we should start calling it "no-click fraud." Unlike every other kind of click fraud where nefarious website owners click advertisements on their sites or nefarious competitors click on your advertisements to try to bankrupt you, this new breed of click fraud doesn't click at all. Instead, fraudsters launch thousands of searches on a specific keyword you've bid on--and don't click. This drives down your click-through rate, which eventually leads to all advertisements targeting that keyword getting pulled. With all competing advertisements pulled, your competition can then waltz in and get top billing on a competitive keyword for five cents a click.
MSN PPC Advertising Behavioral and Demographic Targeting: Killer App. or Achilles' Heel? Written by Joel Walsh
Privacy advocates, bloggers, and many people's own low tolerance level for creepiness may damage not just advertising program but MSN itself.
MSN PPC Advertising Demographic & Behavioral Targeting Features Overview The coolest thing about new MSN PPC advertising network is that it will incorporate demographic information and "behavioral targeting"--at least that's what many bloggers in marketing field seem to think. MSN will be only search engine advertising program that lets advertisers know roughly what proportion of users who search on a particular keyword are interested in certain market segments, as well as those searchers' demographic breakdown. For instance, MSN might tell you that most of searchers on keyword "monster truck rally" appear to be women aged 50-65, and that they also generally appear to be interested in auto racing and auto parts, but are not more likely than other searchers to buy an automobile online.
Potential resistance to MSN's demographic and behavioral marketing Now, if you use MSN Search, and you also have a .NET passport and/or Hotmail account (as you probably do, even if you've forgotten ever signing up for it back in 1998 when you wanted a free email address to sign up to read New York Times online), all your searches may be matched up with your user information from your .NET passport or Hotmail account--and will be, even if information is kept separate from your personally identifying information.
If you actually were honest on your application to those services, that information may include your address, average annual income, personal interests, and a lot of other juicy bits of information any self-respecting marketer or voyeur would love to have. Even if you weren't honest, at very least it might include addresses of people you have exchanged emails with, your IM buddies, and just which newsletters you've signed up for and whice you're sending to junk email folder.