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Don’t Get Ripped Off By Click Fraud

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Author: Joe Rispoli
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One of the most serious issues that online marketers face is click fraud. A recent issue of Newsweek (Oct 6, 2006) contains an article on click fraud which has cast some doubt on the many pay per click services that are offered on the Internet today.

Pay-per-click advertising allows marketers to gain website exposure by paying only when someone clicks on their ad or search result. Search engines such as Google let advertisers place bids for placement of paid links or ads. These links will then appear when certain keyword searches are done.

Click fraud is getting to be so pervasive that search engines such as Google have created teams specific to combating click fraud. Since 95 percent of Googles profits are derived from advertising it is important that they keep their customers happy, so Google offers refunds to advertisers when click fraud has been discovered.

Click fraud involving human operators can be much more difficult to detect. This type of fraud involves many people clicking on ads from different computers across the country. This does not provide any type of pattern that can be analyzed. The India Times reported that people are being hired to click paid links from home allowing them to make up to $200 a month.

What an impact click fraud could have in the future on pay for click advertising since it’s estimated that up to 15% of all clicks are fake. It’s also estimated that up to 500 million dollars of advertising expenses are being wasted due to the click fraud industry.

What should you look for in a “guaranteed click” service?

1. If they claim to be able to send 20,000 hits to your website, then find out where these hits are coming from.

2. Do they allow sites with pop-ups? If they do not then it may be because they are using an automated click system that does not work on sites with pop-ups.

3. Monitor your site to determine if the clicks that you paid for are coming from unique visitors and not from one machine clicking your site 20,000 times.

4. Make sure you know the conversion rate for your site. You should be making one sale per so many clicks.

5. Check the Better Business Bureau for complaints. You can also Google the company you are thinking of buying your clicks from and search for any online complaints.

6. If you think you are being cheated then contact the company and request a refund. If you do not get it, then file a complaint with the BBB or threaten to.

There are three methods of click fraud.

1. The most common method is the use of online software that is programmed to click on links that are found on websites or that may be listed in search engine results.

2. Another method that is becoming more common is to employ low cost workers from third world countries to click on test links and classified ads.

3. One source of fraud can be much closer to home. This happens when company employees click on their rivals ads to deplete they’re marketing budgets and skew their search results. Eventually, such bogus clicks can add up and dry up a competitors budget.

Paying for traffic to your website may seem like a good idea when you are not experiencing much success, but this is when most people become vulnerable to click fraud. You may want to consider these four tips before handing over your credit card.

1. Make sure you take plenty of time to consider and research the credibility of any offers. Sleep on it.

2. Developing traffic to your website takes time and persistence. Traffic can be found in many different ways, and for free or low cost. Quick fixes do not usually work.

3. Get recommendations from reliable sources on what methods work and what does not. Visit marketing forums.

4. Keep in mind that when you come across a sales page for paid for clicks that they are designed to sell you, whether their service really works or not.

Everyone wants to get more traffic to their website whether it is to increase sales, memberships, or subscriptions. Just remember not to be in a hurry to spend your money, and just be a lot more careful.

Copyright 2006 Joe Rispoli

About the Author:
Through years of research Joe Rispoli has put together the most relevant of free advertising resources to get you started on the right path to accomplishing your online marketing goals. Before wasting your money on guaranteed click services visit his site, UcanTo.com for online marketing information such as safelists, free classified advertising, traffic exchange programs, and much more.[divider]

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