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  • NorCalSEM 12:40 am on January 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2nd tier search engine, , click fraud settlement, content networks, miva, , ,   

    MIVA sets fire to 2nd Tier 

    miva_logo-thumbUnless you just haven’t been paying attention,  you already know that there’s a fire burning in the 2nd Tier.  These are the search firms that are outside the Big Three (Google, Yahoo, and MSN – who also syndicate search results) like Looksmart, Marchex, MIVA, Kontera, eZanga, etc.   Yes, I’m talking about the knee-deep web, land of bots, spiders and Indian sweat shops.  Second tier engines are more vertical, niche, and include things like local search sites.  If you’re a publisher looking to optimize your page views, then chances are you’ve probably tried the 2nd Tier by now.  Purchasing ad space on more than just Google makes good sense if:

    1. You need volume.
    2. You need low cost traffic.
    3. You have a CPM model in place.

    Good deals can be secured on these low cost, high volume traffic providers but only for the proper business model. I’ve used this traffic to monetize a CPM model, and it works great.  But at the end of the day, you are expecting that traffic to be legit, and so are your advertisers.   But at $.01, .02, or even .03 per click, you know you are taking the good with the bad and if you don’t, well…you’re just naive.  So for some it can be a necessary evil, with the power for good.  And to some, it can be a lifeline to riches – dirty deeds done dirt cheap.

    Here is an excepert from a former MIVA employee…

    “I used to work for Miva. The problem lies in the sub affiliates. if they have an affiliate that is supplying lets say 200 good clicks a day; they likely have a sub affiliate supplying another 150-200 bot- clicks. When you remove the sub affiliate from the net work.. it takes the primary affiliate that was supplying some decent clicks along with it.

    “Once you do get a campaign to convert; it has been optimized down to the point where there is simply put, no traffic, i.e. not scalable. aside from the management team being a joke; most of the players they are generating traffic with are disreputable and the type of guys you would like to kick the shit out of at the pub. I was there 7 months before resigning.”

    steamenginerobot1

    How do you think they fulfill large traffic volumes?  Well, if you are willing to pay $.03 and someone else can create the traffic for $.01, everyone gets paid.  To do this nefarious publishers and affiliates create bots that simulate real clicks, even performing actions once they land on your site so they appear to your analytics as human in nature.  As you can imagine if you are a spammer sending bots out and they are clicking on Google AdSense, which is a popular revenue stream for many, then money is exchanging hands at an alarming rate.  In other cases, there are reports of actual sweat shops where people are getting paid pennines to generate traffic by clicking on ads.  And also, your competitor can be clicking on your ads in order to spend your money.But some do their jobs very well, causing “spikey” activity, like abnormal high CTR on things like Google AdSense or banner ads.    On the surface everything looks copacetic, but an analysis of variance reveals the source.  A best practice is to channelize your traffic, so you can isolate sketchy activity.

    All of this is called click fraud, and we all know that your at risk of getting burned when you leave the Big Three.  And the content networks just can’t say no to money (who can these days?).  So they fill the requests, and then get busted.  Like MIVA – which ignites the whole tier.  MIVA’s $4MM click fraud settlement has sounded the alarms – We’ve got a full blown mess up here! (And this isn’t the first for them.) Now the engines will tell you that they are working to curb this type of activity, but the fact of the matter is they aren’t really.  Any smart player knows that these types of content networks are in the business to provide traffic, any which way.   If you spend significant money, you may not get the cold shoulder when you ask for a refund, but don’t count on it.  And since the people who profit the most from the fire are the internet lawyers, every engine that doesn’t start with the letter G better start forming a bucket brigade right now, because fires spread really fast.

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    • Mike 5:23 pm on March 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

      ______________________________
      Don’t pay for your electricity any longer…
      Instead, the power company will pay YOU!

      • norcalsem 4:10 pm on November 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for stopping by. New content coming soon. Come back now, y’hear?!

  • NorCalSEM 8:01 pm on August 13, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2nd tier search engine, adsense, big lebowski, , google adsense, incentivized clicks, incentivized traffic, lebowski, , run of category, ,   

    Every business has its outlaws. 

    As of late, I have had a small love affair with getting large volumes of traffic from the 2nd and 3rd tier search engines.  If you are getting the volume you need from the Big 3 (no, not the US, UK, and Russia), then typically these engines aren’t worth the time.  But for certain revenue models they can be very handy.  By purchasing traffic products, such as run-of-network, run-of-category, or run-of-vertical I was able to lift my AdSense revenue by close to 500% !  Well now I am a man-scorned.

    Google AdSense has deemed a large portion of some of the traffic I have purchased as incentivized trafficIncentivized traffic is when people are paid to visit a site.  Typically you are purchasing traffic from someone who is also purchasing traffic from someone else.  As with any business there are outlaws.  Through no fault of the search engine, they are passing on incenitivized traffic to you.

    Well, the Google Bot will find you and destroy you.   Contractually, Google must protect people who are putting ads onto their contextual network and make sure that the clicks they pay for don’t come from bogus sources with no interest in their ads.  According to Google, they aren’t taking MY money back and keeping it, they are returning it to the advertiser, so that includes Google’s cut as well.

    Fine.  Great.  Grand!

    Well, shouldn’t the person who sold me the traffic be responsible for this?  I mean if I went out and bought a bicycle from a bike shop and then found out the bike was stolen, well I’d point the police in the direction of the bike shop.  Same deal here.  Only this is not what is happening because the incentivized traffic ends up on my site and leaves on an AdSense ad from my site.   Also, AdSense has been monitoring this for some time.  Hey Google, how about a heads up somewhere along the way!  That’s like firing someone at 5pm on a Friday.  At least let em go at 10am so they can catch a matinee or something, geez!

    Well, the Dude abides and will swallow this tough pill, but this aggression will not stand, man!  (dont you just love Lebowski quotes?!)  Me too!  You can’t beat Google though, so let’s just have a drink and try to forget about it.

    White Russians all around!

     
    • Ken 2:01 pm on October 14, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I think I know what you mean. I was recently dropped from the eBay “EPN” network because I used some incentivized traffic. I don’t get it, the people went to eBay and bought allot of stuff but that does not matter…I bet most of the sellers don’t mind.

      • norcalsem 11:19 pm on November 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        It’s a sordid world when you are the middle man. That’s for sure.

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