Sorry Overture, We Can't Do Business with You Anymore
Overture's steadfast refusal to do ANYTHING about the bunk "partner site" clicks that they serve has resulted in us finally pulling the plug on our ad campaign there (or at least until they make some fundamental changes.) Now that it affects our ROI that much anyways; we were breakeven at best there lately anyways. Compare that to a ROI of 200% at MSN and Google Adwords and it was an easy decision.
Overture's problem is that they have become too attached to the dollars that these "partner sites" serve up. I mean, I have searched this thoroughly on the Internet, and has seen literally hundreds of complaints about partner site traffic. All Overture would have to do is create a simple opt-out plan for partner site traffic, similar to what Google as, and the problem would be solved. However, they don't want to do that, as they would take a revenue hit over the short-term. The problem is that Overture is not thinking towards the long-term; if they provided clean traffic, many more advertisers would spend money there. Who wants to pay for clicks that NEVER convert that come from shady spyware sites and blogs that have NOTHING to do with the topic that you are advertising for?
And clearly Overture knows that this is a problem. If you compile a list of shady looking clicks, they will always refund you. However, the onus is on you, the advertiser, to compile a list and send them in. Then, Overture reviews it for a month, and sends you a refund back, everytime. The problem is that this takes time, and I simply don't want to spend two hours a day compiling a list of bogus clicks. So, the easy answer is, shut off the Overture traffic until they create an opt-out plan for partner site traffic, or severely discount partner site traffic. It's not a ton of money, but Overture is going to be missing out on 100 pounds a day of clicks from us. That's over 36k pounds per year, and I can only hope that this helps to hurt their bottom line, because they deserve it. In my opinion, they are knowingly in bed with scamsters and refusing to do anything about it. Can you imagine Google letting this happen? No way. They have business ethics.
If I were Overture, and I was serious about cleaning up my traffic, the first place I would look is Adbrite. Overture obviously has some kind of partnership with Adbrite, whereby Adbrite is serving Overture clicks to their publisher sites. These clicks never convert, and come from unabsolutely unrelated sites. I am pretty sure that the site owners are just sitting there, randomly clicking ads that pop up on their sites, or using proxies to generate clicks. I mean, you have a personal blog with one post, and I am getting 3 "home equity loan" clicks per day from this blog, that isn't even about home equity loans? Come on.
Luckily, I do have one weapon, and that's the "Off" button on our Overture campaign. We'd rather spend our money on MSN or Google Adwords.
Filed under: Making Money Online | Internet Companies