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Your comments on the fact this is just lack of understanding of content networks is completely offbase.

The article specifically acknowledges Google performing better than Yahoo because they had content turned off. The commentary on Yahoo is directly acknowledging their search distribution, which by the way, is invisible. Yahoo has lowered the bar to accept "domain parking" websites and that is where rubber meets the road. There are thousands of Yahoo Distribution Network partners delivering more traffic than feasibly possible.

Please be careful in making statements which you are not completely knowledgable.


I don't agree with your comments at all. Domain parking is bad as is the rest of the fraud in the article. The point of my post was that BusinessWeek could have done a better job educating people on how to turn off content or make adjustments to their search plan instead of just keep pounding away with their content turned on.

How is that offbase or show a lack of understanding in content networks? For the most part I keep my content turned off and don't experience these problems in the article - on Yahoo or Google. The reason for the invisibility and unknown nature of content is why I've kept it turned off for years.

I think BusinessWeek is trying to throw the Search baby out with the Content bath water.


Nice post, Eric. I, too, was amazed at the lack of sophistication displayed by the advertisers portrayed in the article. I blogged about the differences between search ads and content ads and how the article didn't address the core issues of click fraud adequately.

Was just looking at the clickfraud tag on Technorati post and saw your blog. Nice commentary. Note that I've created a tool that lets advertisers see where their Google content ad clicks are coming from. No one should run content ads unless they know exactly where the traffic is coming from.

Thanks Richard. After my first comment, I was wondering if I was missing something so I was glad to have such a noted search marketer comment back. I will indeed check out your advertising tool to see where their traffic is coming from. Thanks again.


Hi Eric, I like the sound of that: "noted search marketer." ;-)

What's interesting is that someone from MostChoice responded via comments to my blog post about the BW article. I think they realize the article made them look foolish. I wonder if there'll be some letters to the editor.

Perhaps Carrie who posted to your blog works at MostChoice? I doubt it, though, as the MostChoice poster on my blog was quite cordial.

I work at MostChoice and I manage much of the online marketing and worked on the story with the CEO of our company, Martin Fleischmann.

I wanted to clarify some of the comments on here. First, there is no Carrie who works at MostChoice, so that wasn't from anyone here :)

Second, we are well aware of the problems with content targeting and turn that off. The problems we had were with the search partners that are included in the Yahoo network and a few within Google. While it may not come through in the article, most of our issues have been primarily with Yahoo recently and not as much with Google, given that Google has more control and allows you to opt out of distribution. With Yahoo you are forced to have your ads shown on their "search partners," many of which are parked domains and sites of a questionable nature. If we could have just gone for Yahoo traffic we would have done so, but that is not a possibility.

I look at it like buying a dozen eggs. If you buy a dozen, you want all of them to be good, you don't want to expect that you are going to get bad eggs each time. Currently the search engines bundle "bad eggs" with the good and you are paying the high price for it. It is not that you don't want to eat eggs, but you don't want to be forced to pay for bad eggs each time, or in this case, clicks.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that pay per click is totally worthless and we should just stop -- that is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. That said, until these issues are addressed and cleaned up, the trust in the marketplace will be diminished and many advertisers will be losing money to fake domains and questionable affiliates when they really shouldn't have to pay for it. If the search engines weren't making money from this they would be far more inclined to deal with the issue.

Real content partners should be rewarded for their quality traffic and visitors and not fraudsters who set up fake domains and pump clicks through the system for cash. Stories like this help to raise awareness and help clean up the pay per click market which in the end benefits everyone, including the search engines.

Michael Andrew @ MostChoice


Thanks for clarifying. It wasn't clear in the article whether you had content turned off or on. Most of my commentary was directed at BW who I thought should have done a better job clarifying and educating people on content and search.

I'm disappointed that you are seeing bad traffic off Google. Have you tried just limiting it to Google.com only? Yahoo doesn't surprise me and I agree with you that there needs to be visibility. If only Yahoo had the same traffic selection that Google has then we would have more control.

I don't think that you want to throw the search baby out with the content bath water; I do however firmly believe that was BusinessWeek's slant on the article. I've been a subscriber for years and I've seen them educate people on different subjects. They chose not to position it that way (ex - the paragraph highlighted in my post that got me so fired up).

Good luck to you. And, thanks for posting.


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