The Axandra newsletter archive - 18 January 2005
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're telling you how to avoid click fraud.

In the news: Yahoo and MSN close the gap with Google, Looksmart sees a dreary Q4 and more about click fraud.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your web site. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Facts of the week: How to avoid click fraud

Click fraud is becoming a major problem for online advertisers. If you advertise your web site on pay per click search engines such as Overture or Google AdWords, chances are that you pay way too much for your clicks.

What is click fraud?

Click fraud is the practice of artificially inflating the number of clicks in a pay per click online campaign.

Overture defines click fraud as clicks arising for reasons other than the good-faith intention of an Internet user to visit a web site to purchase goods or services or to obtain information.

Google defines click fraud, or invalid clicks, as any method used to artificially and/or maliciously generate clicks or page impressions.

No matter how you define it, click fraud means that someone is cheating you and that you pay too much for your pay per click campaigns.

Who are these people?

There are three main groups that click on pay per click ads without real interest in the offered goods:

  • People who joined Google AdSense or other per click affiliate programs click on the ads on their own web site to make a little income. Often, these people cooperate with other webmasters to click on each other's ads.

  • Some unethical companies click on the pay per click ads of competitors to drive up their advertising costs.

  • Companies (often in India, Russia and China) hire people who are paid to click on ads.

Is this really a big problem?

No pay per click company denies that pay per click fraud exists. According to some web analytics companies, as much as 50% of all click activity is fraudulent.

This means that your pay per click marketing activities are half effective as they could be because of click fraud.

What can you do to save money?

The best way to lower your pay per click advertising costs is to optimize your current ads so that they deliver a better return-on-investment.

There are many things you can do to improve the effectiveness of your pay per click ads. Details can be found in our Google AdWords eBook.

In addition to useful information that helps you to lower your advertising costs while increasing your profits, the eBook contains a list of keywords that attract click fraudsters and information on how to avoid click fraud.

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2. Search engine news of the week

Yahoo, Verizon ink Web tie-in

    "Yahoo and Verizon Communications on Monday inked a multi-year agreement to package the Web portal into the nation's largest phone company's broadband Internet services"

Yahoo! Search and MSN Search close the gap with Google

    "Google is the king of customer experience in the search engine industry, but Yahoo!, MSN and Ask Jeeves are improving. [...] Yahoo! showed significant improvement in the ranking of the quality of its local search results, tying Google in leading the industry in this key category."

LookSmart sees dreary Q4

    "LookSmart will lose more money than anticipated in the fourth quarter thanks to sluggish advertiser demand [...] It likely will lose $1.4 million to $1.7 million."

Google adds features to Picasa photo service

    "Google [...] has added a variety of new features to its Picasa digital photo service, including the ability to e-mail pictures via its Gmail service. [...] Picasa's rivals range from Yahoo Inc. to Microsoft Corp., to online photo service Shutterfly and software maker Adobe Systems Inc."

Google broadens business offerings

    "Google has unveiled a miniature search appliance aimed at small and medium-sized businesses [...]. The Google Mini [...] searches data stores behind a company's intranet, or as the search engine for a public website."

Search engine newslets

  • Google has added local versions for Indonesia, South Africa, Tonga, Bolivia, Krgyszstan, Jamaica, Belize, Seychelles, the Virgin Islands and the Cook Islands.
  • Filangy is a new search service that watches where you go and creates your own web index.
  • MSN Maps sometimes suggests strange routes.
  • A Romanian couple named their son Yahoo.
  • Some pictures of big Google fans: 1, 2, 3
3. Articles of the week

Caveat beta, Google fans

    "Google's innovations are popular and effective. So why does the company find it so hard to pronounce them finished? [...] Google is taking the art of the public beta to new levels. Its popular Google News service was launched in beta form over two years ago: it's still there."

When mice attack - Internet scammers steal money with 'click fraud'

    "After spending weeks complaining to Google about the problem and getting a partial refund, he finally yanked the ads. It was really bad [...] estimating that he lost $50,000 in potential business."

A foxy browser scores in search

    "There's a player on the scene that started attracting buzz [...]. Interest in the Mozilla-developed Firefox has spread to the point where the browser consistently ranks in our top 500 searches."

Apple v. Google: A matter of timing

    "The two companies will be competing to be in control of the next generation of digital media life, when entertainment and information from personal computers is blended with broadcast and cable signals onto a single screen."

Google wants 'dark fiber'

    "Is Google planning to build a global fiber optic network from scratch? And, if so, why?"

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4. Recommended resources

My web site is on the first result page on Google!

    "I wanted to let you know about our results with ARELIS. We are an engineering training provider, when we started about 3 weeks ago, our linkscore in LPC was around 1400.

    Now, 3 weeks later, after implementing ARELIS, our link score is around 2200 and climbing daily. Based on link score, we will become the leader in our industry.

    We have had great responses to our link requests, to the point where we
    are getting backed up. At this rate, we should have a link score of 10,000 this year.

    Our Alexa traffic ranking has gone as high as 50,000, our competitors' Alexa score is in the millions.

    ARELIS is an essential business tool, there is no alternative.

    ARELIS has also helped us to network in the engineering industry, to establish contacts and to give our company international exposure. Thank you for a great product."
    Faisal Ali, President & CEO,

Lower your advertising costs and make more profit

    If your AdWords pay per click campaigns don't return a positive return on investment (ROI) or if you're paying too much for your PPC ads, take a look at our new Google AdWords eBook.

    Find out how to lower your advertising costs while increasing your profit.

Want to be mentioned in this newsletter?

    Just send us some words about your successes with IBP or ARELIS and you might get featured in this newsletter along with your web site address.

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5. From the developer's kitchen: The next IBP version - part 2

Although the next IBP version is not ready yet, we cannot wait any longer: We must start to tell you about the great features the next version will bring.

More features and many improvements

The new IBP version will have many more features and it will have many improvements over the current version. No other web site promotion tools offers as many features as the next IBP version.

Every week, we'll reveal another great feature of the next IBP version. Of course, we're starting with the less important features first. One of the smaller new features in the new IBP version is the manual web search feature:

Manual ranking checker

The manual web search feature is an addition to IBP's automated search engine ranking checker. It allows you to quickly check the rankings for any given keyword on a selection of more than 350 search engines.

You can switch between search engines and results with a single mouse click. This is not only a great tool for online research but also a great way to quickly identify your competition on different search engines.

Get the new version for free!

Of course, the new IBP version will also offer improvements in the Search Engine Submitter, the Ranking Checker, the Top 10 Optimizer and much more.

The next IBP version will be a free update to all current IBP users. It will be released in the first half of 2005. If you buy IBP now, you'll get the new version with many more features for free.

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6. Previous articles

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