Lot of stuff showing up recently about click fraud, online partnerships and whose watching the store, so this one should come as no surprise, Doing Business With A Controversial Partner part of the big click fraud story on Businessweek titled Click Fraud: The dark side of online advertising which I talked about here.
Yahoo turns ads over to a company associated with suspicious clicks, inflated bills, and “rogue” software. The relationship between Yahoo! and an obscure Web site called Oemji.com illustrates why a growing number of companies are worried about where their online ads are turning up and who’s actually clicking on them.
Yahoo recycles ads to Oemji even though several leading Internet security firms claim the site’s owner also distributes software that can deceive and annoy computer users. Yahoo’s own correspondence with Oemji’s parent, Oemtec Ltd., confirms that the online giant knows about the controversy. Yet Yahoo continues to send ads to Oemji that advertisers and online experts allege result in dubious clicks and inflated bills.
Questions about Oemji have arisen elsewhere. Computer security firms Sunbelt Software Inc. and Aladdin Knowledge Systems Inc. have posted consumer warnings, calling Oemji Bar a “browser hijacker,” meaning software that can replace unwary PC users’ search engines without permission, sometimes as they download other software from Oemtec.
Four other security firms, including giant Symantec Corp. (SYMC ), have issued alerts about a different Oemtec product called SpySpotter. Available until last month at spyspotter.com, this program is supposed to clean computers of spyware — programs that can track users’ Web surfing and send them pop-up ads. But Symantec and the others say SpySpotter is actually a “security risk” or “rogue” product, because it can install itself without permission and send exaggerated spyware warnings to entice PC users to sign up for a $29.95 annual subscription. “SpySpotter for a very long time has had a bad history of being force-installed or stealth-installed on people’s PCs,” says Eric L. Howes, who heads research on pernicious programs at Clear-water (Fla.)-based Sunbelt Software.
This is why advertisers need to demand accountability from advertising firms like Google and Yahoo, they want to keep all of their information a secret and tell you click fraud is no problem, nothing to see here, move along. They run their little reports and just give everyone the basics, and act like we should all be happy, but with online advertising pulling in billions and billions of dollars, their word is just not enough.
Yahoo and Google ads end up on to many websites that are just crap and there just to get people to click on links, and lots of people will either hit the back buttons, or they will click on something just to get away from some of these pages. Not to mention all of the click fraud scams going on with paid to read clubs, etc, online advertising can make you lots of money, but it can also cost you lots of money if you aren’t careful. Always check your return on investment and test campaigns before you start marketing “big time”. And a good suggestion is to just let your ads run on the search engines network and not the content network where most of the crap and the terrible ROI comes from, if you are going to let your ads run on the content network, then you should price your clicks CHEAP!