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Monday, December 24, 2007

Oh, It's Gonna Be A Click Fraud Christmas...!

It was during a quick search of the New York Post's online edition that I discovered something both funny and disturbing - and definitely controversial.

The article for which I was searching was already controversial enough. It was,

(story found here)

and, not totally surprising, I was initially greeted with a typically annoying audio popup for Toyota Corp. It looked like this...

I really didn't mind it... ONCE. But what made it so annoying was that it re-appeared on EVERY... SINGLE... PAGE.

Now That's a Little Odd, Wouldn't You Say?

I mean, surely, any business with the money and staff of the New York Post should have been able to hire competent advertising firms who would have a firm grasp of "cookie technology" and, therefore, been able to limit their one same ad to just one showing per visit... even per-hour, let's say.

But Nope, There It Was, Over and Over Again.

Naturally, I started "X"ing out but the X, and the accompanying word "close" were faint red and very tiny, indeed.

Ok, Something's Not Right Here...

Why would a sleazy tabloid with enough money to fund every presidential candidate's campaigns combined want their cheesy video popup to not only appear AS MANY TIMES AS POSSIBLE but also have a "close link" about the size of a hamster's pubic hair?

Oh I Don't Know.... Could It Beeeeee.....


(anyone who can't figure out how I got it to say click fraud, just ask)

It honestly didn't occur to me until, accidentally, I'd missed the tiny X and clicked on an ad for a credit company who I would comfortably presume had just had anywhere from $15 to $45 neatly subtracted from their ppc advertising account. So, naturally, in the inimitable style of Sam Freedom, I found their contact form and, on behalf of the New York Post, promptly thanked them for having generously contributed to the New York Post's "Executive Lunch Fund."

Merry Christmas Everybody!
And a Happy New Year!

Sam Freedom"s Internet Marketing Controversy Blog

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Woobie said...

i see these sites sometimes, but I just didnt mind it. eye opener though... needs a lot of research before I grasp everything....

(and i gotta sleep off this buzz from too much Christmas Champagne)


Marty said...

Is your point that the POST was displaying the ad in excess in order to mine as much affiliate PPC revenue as possible by sowing seeds fertile for click fraud abuse?

Help me out...I want to understand...

Sam Freedom said...

Hi Marty,

My point is that showing that ad over and over and over and over made no sense until I went to click out for the 15th time and accidentally clicked on someone's ppc ad.

Then it made sense.

I lay it out pseudo-prosecutorially without making an accusation but I leave it hanging out there for the viewer to decide.

Look at how many times that same ad keeps repeating. Once, I can understand. And if it's "pay per play" then Toyota would not only be getting ripped off but resented, as a result of such overplaying.

Look at how small the exit X is and look at where it lands up EVERY TIME.

It's enough to raise an eyebrow and bring the valid argument that maybe, just maybe, the New York Post has found a "grey area" in fraudulently producing clicks. As such, they deserve a mention on my blog, those beautiful bastards! ;-)

Scott McGavern said...

Hi Sam.

I gave up on ppc advertising quite awhile ago, as my competitors were always clicking my ads. It's a simple matter of reviewing my server logs.

I also gave up on AdSense, as I was always getting into trouble for invalid impressions, despite having done nothing wrong. Anyway...

Also, I believe your 'Can't Block This' banner, (which I CAN block), has been hijacked. Check it out.

Your friend,

Scott McGavern