Sorry for the lack of updates lately; been real busy.
As much as we wanted to try and work with Overture and make money alongside of them, it has become apparent to me that Overture cares nothing about the quality of their "partner" sites. After sending blistering email after blistering email to them, imploring them to do something about their "partner" sites, it has become apparent that we can no longer spend money in their PPC network. Maybe it's a problem in just the UK, which is where we are spending most of our money, but I doubt it.
We are supposed to be buying quality traffic from sites such as Yahoo.co.uk, Lycos.co.uk, and others. Last night was the straw that broke the camel's back, as we bought 19 clicks total (for a fair cost, not cheap) and received nothing but garbage traffic back in exchange. We got one click that I would deem to be "quality."
In addition to the usual garbage clicks from sites such as "gasta.co.uk" and others (which NEVER convert btw), we have also started to receive clicks from suspicious looking "blogs" that are nothing more than one page of useless info following by nothing but ads. The terrible thing is that not only are we getting clicks from the same IP's for these ads, but the IP's are being traced back to addresses in New York, India and other such places. Why is this allowed to happen?
Here are some of the quality "sites" that we are buying traffic from. This is for "secured loan" traffic (which is pretty expensive):
I wanted to give Overture the benefit of the doubt, but now it appears as though they are just turning a blind eye to this fraud. I mean, Overture could easily:
a) vanquish the offending sites from their network immediately
b) give advertisers the option of opting out of their "partner sites", like Google does.
The big question is: why does Overture not allow advertisers to opt out? I mean, search for "Overture UK Fraud" or "gasta.co.uk fraud" in Google. You can see that hundreds of people out there feel the same way about this traffic.
Just look at the conversion numbers. With Overture, we convert about 1 out of every 100 clicks. With MSN and Google, it's 1 out of every 15-16 clicks. Google would never be caught dead with this kind of garbage in its partner network; I am not sure why Overture allows it (well I know, $$).
I mean, we got three clicks from a site that was nothing more than a bunch of ads, and a picture of an East Indian fellow holding up a check for over $6000 from the "Adbrite" network! Adbrite seems to be serving Overture ads according to my chat logs. Maybe I'm jumping ahead, but it would seem to me that this gentleman is showing off the fact that he is proudly defrauding us. No more.
Overture is not getting one more cent out of me until they either:
a) Banish offending sites from its network.
b) Allow advertisers to opt out of their "partner" sites.
Advertisers are the lifeblood of Yahoo. Why would they treat them with such blatant disregard? We are advertisers that would gladly spend hundreds of pounds per day, assuming that the traffic was quality and there was some kind of fraud control in place.
I would love for Overture UK to sue me. Maybe then I could get some kind of a response to these questions:
1) How rigorously do you pre-screen partner sites?
2) What kind of fraud control do you have in place?
3) Why are you serving so many clicks to IP's around the world, when I am just targetting the UK?
4) Why don't you let advertisers opt out of the partner network like Google does?
I am at the point of being completely disgusted with Overture. I have shut down our accounts, and we will gladly spend more money with Google and MSN. At least they have some accountability.
Filed under: Making Money Online