Submit Express Newsletter


Submit Express Newsletter #57
October 1, 2002



1- Intro and NY Internet World Convention
2- Lycos Announced New InSite Adbuyer Program
3- Click Fraud - Is It Happening to You?


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1- Intro and NY Internet World Convention

A hearty hello from Submit Express! Not too much to report on the
search engine front. No major changes to report however Google has
been indexing very consistently for some time and that has made
many people happy.

Lycos is making the news with the very recent implementation of
their CPC ad auction service. We are excited that Lycos is taking
measures to make their engine's offering a better place to search.

We want to take this opportunity to invite any interested parties
to the Fall Internet World trade show October 1,2nd and 3rd at the
Jacob K. Javits convention Center in New York City where we would
be exhibiting. All visitors who mention this invitation will
receive a free gift. You can download a free pass below and save
(You will need Acrobat Reader to open this file)

Submit Express will be at booth #753. We will be offering some fun
gifts and as always good information and answers to marketing
related questions. For information about events, directions and
participants, go to:

We are featuring an article that deals with the issue of Click-
Through-Fraud. The article touches on the problem of wrongful
clicking on top bidded sites. The article primarily focuses on the
Overture Pay-Per-Click system but much of the information is
applicable in Google as well as lesser engines like
We hope you find the information useful and informative.

Feel free to forward this email to all your friends that have websites
who may benefit from this information.

Subscription is completely free and can be obtained at:

Submit Express


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2- Lycos Announced New InSite Adbuyer Program

On Tuesday, Lycos formally announced the launch of its new CPC ad
auction. This program is very comparable to other ad-bid programs
such as Google's AdWords. Lycos is offering the inclusion of this
new program at introductory prices. The prices are $50 to open the
account, and minimum bids start at .05 cents per click.

The sign up process is very simple and easy to navigate. Ads will
be displayed along the right margin on both Lycos and Hotbot.

The program contains the following management amenities: Complete
bid control, Ad creation tips and tools, Access to frequently
change ads, Keyword suggestion tool as well as proprietary account
management tools.

We intend on supporting this program as we are fans of Lycos,
however, only time will tell if this program has value for


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3- Click Fraud - Is It Happening to You?

Navigating the pay-per-click search engines can be truly exciting
from a business owner's standpoint. No other form of advertising
rivals the interactivity of being able to turn your web site's
advertisement on and off like a light switch.

Bam! Your number one in Yahoo - what could be easier.

What new advertisers don't know, and its not listed in the fine
print, is that there is an inherent downside to PPC engines. A
downside, that only gets bigger as time goes on.

Let's say you set your account up in Overture and you place $500
to buy keywords for the next month. You are happy with your
purchase and you can't wait till the next day when the phone will
start ringing and the e-mails will come flooding in.

You go to your computer the next day, log on to the advertiser
interface and notice that you have gone through all of your monthly
budget overnight and have not received one e-mail or phone call.

You have most likely just been a victim of click fraud.

Click Fraud is when a business receives invalid clicks on paid
listings by a competitor or individual who has no intention of
using your services. A click is invalid when an individual does it
for the sole purpose of costing you money or financial harm. Click
Fraud may occur from competing advertisers or simply individuals
just wanting to harm or frustrate others.

What typically happens in all pay per click engines is that where
people are making money, there is some form of monetary
predation. So in a nutshell most advertisers experience some form
of click fraud, even if on very low levels.

This advertising flaw stems from the competitive nature of the
bidding system. For an advertiser to take advantage of the maximum
benefits from Overture's pay per click system, a company must bid
in the top three positions of Overture. When a company can
maintain one of the top three positions, their ad is displayed
throughout the Overture network, which consists of Yahoo, Alta
Vista, MSN and Lycos among others.

When a web user goes to Overture directly or any of the Overture
partner sites, the user cannot simply hit a site repeatedly on the
same keyword and accumulate chargeable clicks. Overture's system
monitors the usage through an elaborate proprietary filter that
looks at the click to determine its validity.

Mischievous individuals will often execute click fraud through
Overture's partner sites so that it is harder to detect the
fraudulent activity.

For instance, take the keyword "health insurance," for example. If
you were to go into Overture and click any of the sites bidding
for position, you will cause the business to pay for that click.
On the other hand, if you back out and click the site again (from
the same page) the second click will not accrue money on the
client's account.

However, when that same user goes to another network partner like
Yahoo or AltaVista, types in the same keyword, clicks on the same
web site, it can and usually will count against the bidding
clients account.

Sites that are most susceptible to fraud are usually the companies
that are in the top five or better listings - as well as
industries where frequent bidding wars occur.

Overture and Google are both well aware of this problem and have
taken technical measures to determine and identify improper use of
their systems. Overture addresses the issue by distributing the
following information to interested parties:

"Our Click Protection System is sophisticated software that
evaluates each of our advertisers' clicks. This software makes
decisions as to the validity of any click. Our (Overture's) Click
Protection System uses search and click data to make both rules-
based inferences and pattern recognition-based inferences about
which clicks are valid clicks. We have two patents pending related
to this technology, so we cannot currently disclose too many
details about the methods we use. While the details cannot be
disclosed, the core mechanics involve many data points. Each click
is evaluated along 20 to 50 data points. Some of the data points
evaluated are:

- IP address
- User session information
- User cookie information
- The network to which an IP belongs
- The user's browser information
- The search term requested by the user
- The time of the click
- The rank of the advertiser's listing
- The bid of the advertiser's listing
- The time of the search
- The time of the click

If the data points indicate that the click is not a valid one, our
Click Protection System marks the click in our billing system, and
the advertiser is not charged for it. However, we are unable to
remove the click from the advertiser's own Web logs."

The software will detect some, but not all fraudulent activity. If
you the bidder- are suspicious of the activity of your account,
you should contact Overture's client services department where
they have click activity specialists that will do an investigation
of your account activity. If they determine that the suspicious
activity may be valid, they will conduct a more thorough and
detailed investigation.

The single best way to help Overture help you - is to be
prepared with raw data when making a claim.

There is really no way to prevent click fraud. As competition
increases and more companies turn to PPC advertising, this problem
can only get bigger. Overture's click protection system is not
full proof, so you as an advertiser must take some responsibility
in your hand and check for suspicious activity.

The first step is to obtain your website's server logs if you
don't already have them. Your web host should usually be able to
provide them.

The items to look for when analyzing your logs are:
- Repetition of IP Addresses
- An irregular or large number of clicks coming from the same
geographic region or country.
- IP addresses belonging to cloaking software companies
- Keywords that normally do not get any traffic are now getting
an unusually high number of clicks.
- Your click throughs have doubled or tripled without having
had any bid changes or rank changes

Google's distributed information is very similar as their web site

"Google closely monitors all clicks on AdWords Select ads to
ensure that there is no abuse of the program. This includes
analyzing all clicks to determine whether they fit a pattern of
fraudulent use intended to artificially drive up an advertiser's
clicks. Google's proprietary technology automatically
distinguishes between clicks generated through normal use by users
and clicks generated by click spamers and automated robots. As a
result, we're able to filter out clicks you don't want and ensure
they don't show up on your reports or bills."

Both Overture and Google want to preserve the integrity of their
engine's bidding environments. After all, when it becomes too
discouraging for a business to effectively bid the advertiser
will pull up stakes and leave the system.

The following is some solid information that will help people
identify and rectify the problems if and should they ever surface.
While this information is basic, it has been proven to work for
companies to have some recourse to mischievous activity.

1. Get your data ducks in a row. Compile statistical data so
when making your claim to Google or Overture, you provide
very concise information for them to pursue.
2. Don't make claims based on speculation or suspicion.
3. Have a good statistics program like Web Trends.
4. Monitor your bids daily and set aside some extra time for a
weekly and or monthly review. Keep an eye out for new top-
level bidders and document their appearance in the lists.
5. Stay on top of Overture/ Google. If your claims have
credibility and you do your homework, it will be easier for
you to develop long-term contacts inside.

The bottom line is you've got to do some of the investigation yourself
and not rely 100% on the pay-per-click companies catching all
suspicious activity.

Copyright 2010 Submit Express.
No part of this article may be copied or published without prior

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