The Downward Spiral of Google's Search Network

16 comments

With all the hoopla over Google's newest "search" partner, it seems we've overlooked a new major player on the scene in the Google search network, SearchFind.com. You might be saying, who? But at closer glance, they've actually been able to send double the traffic of Google all in the course of a 24 hour surge. The folks at Microsoft and Yahoo! would love to be able to add that market share overnight.

Monday Stats:

Tuesday Stats:

Wednesday Stats:

Besides nearly doubling our traffic overnight, SmartFind.com has been able to increase our CTR by over 3% as well. That's where the good news ends though, as none of their visitors converted. They didn't seem to have much interest in the site, didn't bother to grab the CSS file, or do much of anything that we're accustomed to the fine searchers of Google doing. It was almost as if they weren't actually human.

All kidding aside, WTF is going on in the Adwords click fraud prevention department? An obscure, unheard of domain suddenly sends double the traffic of the largest search engine in the world and a red flag isn't raised? Is there any oversight of their search partners? Can domain parking companies literally do anything they please? If so how can I get my own feed?

This is just one small case, but a case that has become the norm of late. It's becoming clear why their standards are so poor. Is it only going to get worse before it gets better?

Comments

why do you say it is a

why do you say it is a domain parking company?
just looks like a partner search feed to me

thats

pretty alarming.

I keep getting 'Sorry...No results found. Please try another word.'

Perfectly simple explanation

If I had to guess, all of these new visitors were using visually impaired and using verbal browsers (thus no css file requests). And since these folks aren't likely to be interested in the porn pictures you're selling, no conversions.

Occam's razor and all that.

Seriously, thanks for keeping up the pressure. The vast majority of advertisers have absolutely no clue about tracking for click fraud. All the folks that are paying Google for this type of traffic, and never complain. It's like the urban myths about car manufacturers paying off the one or two loud death claims - because it's cheaper than actually fixing the problem.

The site used to

The site used to work:

Result from Wayback

Good network partner, good for jacking revs when needed.

If you just got the clicks...

...then isn't it too early to say whether you'll actually be charged for them or not? Perhaps G's click fraud detection system will identify and remove them over the next few days?

I fully buy into distribution/click fraud increasing on the search network, BTW, but just wanted to ask the question.

Here is some more info.

GerBot, if you research the whois it ends up all going through a domain sponsorship company. Also for further fun check out this referring url: http:***//www.smartfind.com/click.php

Wheel...thanks for your explanation and encouragement (c:

Shorebreak: Last month on that account we spend around 17k and received one "Adjustment - Click Quality" for a whopping 15 cents. Which took place on the 29th.

Here are the details for this campaign:

Jan 29th - 1620 clicks, Ctr 9.01%, Avg CPC .05, Cost $83.56
Jan 30th - 1810 clicks, Ctr 9.59%, Avg CPC .05, Cost $90.95
Jan 31st - 2718 clicks, Ctr 12.1%, Avg CPC .05, Cost $128.15

If you look at the average spend per day over the course of the month, we float around the $80 mark, so things in the last 2 days have been screwy. Today it appears we are on a course to spend around $120

I still think the big point that needs to be addressed is that we are getting fucked by one of googles partners...we have identified them as a bullshit source of traffic, and we want the option to opt out of our ads displaying on that site. We have gone through the standard complaint channels and get incompetent support on the google side telling us to opt out of content partners... this is a search partner.

After they realize it's a search partner, we get a form e-mail explaining how great their click fraud prevention is, and our "case" is closed.

it's completely legitimate.

it's completely legitimate. Everyone knows that click fraud on Google is only 2%.

Case Closed.

;)

YPN

YPN explicltly allows you to block out sites...

Its spelled wrong as searchfind.com

Werty,

"It seems we've overlooked a new major player on the scene in the Google search network, SearchFind.com"

It is smartfind.com and not searchfind.com which leads to some parking page!.

looks like

Adwords rep has confirmed that 'most' parked domains can be excluded now.

http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/007374.html

They're still scamming

This entire fiasco is a very scummy move by Google.

Until it's opt-in instead of manual opt-out by domain, they're still scamming the search network advertisers. Almost nobody wants any of this crap traffic, so why is it defaulted on? Because it's what Google wants and they're slipping it past most of the advertisers who don't have a clue. These silly advertisers assume that 'search network' means advertising on search engines. Change the text to 'search network and domain parking' and you'd find a whole different ballgame being played. In short - they're not effectively disclosing what they're doing with their advertisers money.

Advertisers have to watch their logs, check all the incoming traffic, visit the site, determine that it's a parked page, then manually opt out. And then possibly find out they can't opt out, so try and contact Google. And Google's trying to tell us this is reasonable? What a crock of crap.

nope - can't exclude

Adwords rep has confirmed that 'most' parked domains can be excluded now.

actually that seoroundtable post leads to the sourcing SEW discussion where said Adwords rep is clueless.

The SEW poster states the site exclusion tool will NOT remove the one site that acts as the collection funnel for most of the parked domain sites burning up 11 percent of total clicks in obvious fraud on the SEARCH network, and what's the answer to that?

That post is here: Google 11 percent click fraud proven

Rep's response is here: Google click fraud boilerplate response

so this is rubbish?

Essentially, it is possible to exclude most parked domain sites using the site exclusion tool. For technical reasons, however, some sites will currently require the assistance of the AdWords support to exclude, as you have noted.

just not the answer

rubbish, I don't know about that. But even if accurate it doesn't answer this situation: the man couldn't remove the one site he wanted out, and Google people haven't helped him.

My point was that the Rep's answer was the standard boilerplate response, because that was all he had to fall back on. So there is no break in the clouds yet. Click fraud is not being addressed by Google, or even admitted as a problem. So far it's all spin.

agreed

It wasn't meant to answer this situation, just useful to know.

We all want transparency, better quality 'partners' which can be chosen, rather than simply opted in.

Will this ever happen?.. Not anytime to soon. They are making a LOT of money right now.

Adwords rep has confirmed

Quote:
Adwords rep has confirmed that 'most' parked domains can be excluded now.

Even if you could exclude parked domains, they are redirecting all the parked domains through one central domain so you never know who is sending you the traffic. So finding out what domains are displaying your ads is near impossible.

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