Internet Users Hbk - Chapter 13f. How to Advertise Your Business
Chapter 13F. How to Advertise Your Business
13.26 Advertising ScamsTo introduce you to the subject of advertising Scams read this short email from one of my sites
“Hello, First of all, I highly recommend not using traffic packages! Believe me; most of these traffic packages simply have software in place where they send "hits" to your website not actual visitors.
Most of these "guaranteed traffic websites" are scams. They take your money and never actually send you any visitors at all.
We strongly advise our affiliates to not use these forms of promotion and use search engine advertising instead. Advertising on search engines may seem more expensive at first but they will result in much higher conversion rates and more referral commissions.
It's not the quantity of visitors that counts, but the quality of traffic.
Thank you for your patience and please do let me know if there is anything else I can assist you with.
Regards, Morgan A. Client Support” Affiliano
We have already discussed some Advertising Frauds such as Click Fraud and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Frauds. However, their importance in our advertising campaigns requires more elaboration in this Advertising Section
Click FraudClick fraud is an illegal practice that occurs when individuals click on Web site click through advertisements (either banner ads or paid text links) to increase the payable number of click through to the advertiser. The illegal clicks could either be performed by having a person manually click the advertising hyperlinks or by using automated software or online bots that are programmed to click these banner ads and pay per click text ad links.
Research has indicated that click fraud is perpetrated by individuals who use click fraud to increase their own personal banner ad revenues and also by companies who use click fraud as a way to deplete a competitor's advertising budget. Webopedia
Exposing Click FraudInternet marketers facing higher advertising fees on search networks are becoming increasingly concerned about a form of online fraud that was thought to have been contained years ago.
The practice, known as "click fraud," began in the early days of the Internet's mainstream popularity with programs that automatically surf Web sites to increase traffic figures. This led companies to develop policing technologies touted as antidotes to the problem. But some marketing executives estimate that up to 20 percent of fees in certain advertising categories continue to be based on nonexistent consumers in today's search industry.
The persistence of click fraud has exposed a fundamental weakness in the promising business of Internet search marketing, but most advertisers aren't sure how to address the problem. In one recent example of the problem, law enforcement officials say a California man created a software program that he claimed could let spammers bilk Google out of millions of dollars in fraudulent clicks. Authorities said he was arrested while trying to blackmail Google for $150,000 to hand over the program. He was indicted by a California jury in June.
Click fraud is perpetrated in both automated and human ways. The most common method is the use of online robots, or "bots," programmed to click on advertisers' links that are displayed on Web sites or listed in search queries. A growing alternative employs low-cost workers who are hired in China, India and other countries to click on text links and other ads. A third form of fraud takes place when employees of companies click on rivals' ads to deplete their marketing budgets and skew search results.
Although the extent of click fraud is impossible to measure with any certainty, its persistence has exposed a fundamental weakness in the promising business of Internet search marketing. Google's pending initial public offering has been widely anticipated as a barometer of online advertising and the post-apocalyptic dot-com climate in general.
Unlike advertising in traditional media such as billboards and print publications, "cost per click" Internet ads displayed with specific keyword searches have been promoted as a definitive way for companies to gauge their exposure to potential customers. As a result, U.S. sales from advertiser-paid search results are expected to grow 25 percent this year to $3.2 billion, up from $2.5 billion in 2003, according to research firm eMarketer. From 2002 to 2003, the market rose by 175 percent.
As more advertisers have competed for desirable keywords in their industries, the cost for clicks has risen too. On average, advertisers are paying 45 cents per click this year, according to financial analysts, up from 40 cents in 2003 and 30 cents in the second quarter of 2002. In certain sectors, such as travel, legal advice and gaming, the cost can reach several dollars per click.
But marketing executives say click fraud is pervasive among affiliates of search leaders Google, Yahoo-owned Overture Services and FindWhat.com. In a typical affiliation, any Web publisher can become a partner of these large networks by displaying their paid links on a Web page or within its own search results and then share in the profits with every click. “There’s a fatal flaw in the cost-per-click model because a ton of marketing dollars can be depleted in a fraction of a second," said Jessie Stricchiola, president of Alchemist Media, a search-engine marketing firm based in Los Angeles that specializes in fraud protection. "Technology is continuing to be developed that can exploit this pricing model at incredibly high volumes.”
Google's Fraud SquadThe company said in a statement that it has been "the target of individuals and entities using some of the most advanced spam techniques for years. We have applied what we have learned with search to the click fraud problem and employ a dedicated team and proprietary technology to analyze clicks."
In recent documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company also acknowledged the problem as a threat to its revenue, of which 95 percent is derived from advertising. Google and other search networks provide refunds to advertisers when click fraud has been discovered.
"If we are unable to stop this fraudulent activity, these refunds may increase," Google said in its SEC filing. "If we find new evidence of past fraudulent clicks we may have to issue refunds retroactively of amounts previously paid to our Google Network members."
Google and Overture employ "fraud squads," or teams of people dedicated to fighting click schemes. But at least two marketing executives say such countermeasures are missing fraudulent clicks that are responsible for between 5 percent and 20 percent of advertising fees paid to all search networks.
Overture spokeswoman Jennifer Stephens refutes that estimate, saying that the numbers likely represent acts of fraud that are ultimately caught. She added that Overture filters most fraudulent clicks with the best antifraud system in the industry, which combines technology and human analysis. "We take this very seriously; it's the foundation of what we do," Stephens said. "If an advertiser has a question about it, we look into all matters."
Cost-per-click advertising comes in many forms, but it essentially lets marketers gain exposure on a Web site and pay only when people click on their ads. Google and Overture let advertisers bid for placement of paid links, which appear when certain keyword searches are conducted on the networks' sites or those of third parties that partner with them. Keyword ads can also be distributed according to the content of partners' sites and displayed on non-search pages. (CNET Networks, which publishes News.com, partners with Google for shared advertising revenue.)
Most advertisers are aware of the click-fraud issue but have not delved into it because of the technical complexities involved. Others are concerned that they could jeopardize their relationships with the powerful search networks if they complain too loudly.
Covert ClicksHuman operations can be more difficult to detect because a wide network of people can click on ads from different computers across many regions, without a steady pattern. According to a report in the India Times, residents are being hired to click paid links from home, with the hopes of making between $100 to $200 per month.
In other instances, the source of bogus clicks can be much closer to home. Joe, the chief executive of an Internet marketing company, enjoys clicking on his rivals' text ads on Google and Yahoo because his competitor must pay as much as $15 each time he does it. Eventually, such phantom clicks can add up and drain a rival's budget. "It's an entertainment," said the executive, who asked to keep his name and company anonymous. "Why do you run into a store without dropping a quarter in the meter? You know it's wrong, but you do it."
SEO Fraud and Scams – Beware!Top 400, 2,000, or 5,000 SE and Directories or whatever. There is no such thing! Anyone who advertises they will submit you to more than 12 search engines and directories is submitting to what are known in the industry as FFA's (free for all’s), classifieds, 404's (errors), not founds (pages which no longer exist), or foreign language sites. It is well known amongst online marketing experts, there are less than 12 working search engines and directories on the Internet today.
Some companies take advantage of the uninitiated website owner promising top rankings for $29.95 or something similar. Beware of such promises - if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. That $29.95 will typically buy an automated submission to 10,000 "engines" that nobody ever visits or possibly even result in a domain ban for over submitting. Once the $29.95 campaign is finished, so is your domain. There is no such thing as #1 ranking in all search engines or "it only takes 2 weeks and $29.95". Getting top search engine ranking doesn't "just happen".
SEO fraud is obvious when they guarantee rankings. No one can guarantee rankings. Some people are better at SEO than others, but no one has direct control over how search engines rank (unless you want to pay for top listing).
Half of SEO is content. If you want a higher ranking, you need content that people want to read. If your SEO firm doesn’t provide this, and they won’t find the proper keywords, they really aren’t SEOs. SEO is an ongoing process. No one can SEO your website within a month, and expect it to receive high rankings. Don’t be fooled. High ranking is not easy, and one-time fees are a waste of money unless you or the SEO Company plans to make weekly changes. Beware Of Fraud!
Watch Out For Search Engine Optimization Guarantee Scams!Don't be fooled by so-called "optimization guarantees" that sound good in the headlines but have enough small print to be virtually meaningless. Having your web site rank high in the search engines is a science and the rules for search engine optimization (SEO) are always changing.
These companies give true search engine optimization professionals a bad name. Therefore, even if you do not choose us as your website solutions company, we urge you to keep an eye open and stay clear of companies that guarantee #1 positioning. Nobody can guarantee a top search engine placement, you better be sure you're not trapped by unethical SEO services, spam and doorway pages that might jeopardize your website investment. What could appear to be excellent results could sooner or later get your website penalized or banned by a search engine.
Carefully inspect the all details about the 'no cure, no pay" SEO guarantee. You should also check when the SEO guarantee expires! The truth is that they are guaranteeing you a #1 position but not necessarily for a keyword that is competitive. For example, it would be easy to get your site to the #1 position in Google for the term Colorless Pink Chocolate. Due to the volatile nature of search engines there really is no way to guarantee specific rankings in any one particular search engine for any one particular phrase.
Affordable Search Engine Optimization Service.com guarantees it will make the strongest effort to achieve top search engine placement for your chosen targeted keyword phrases on the top five search engines: Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL and Ask.com.
Our primary goal is to increase your sales, not just rankings and traffic. We know that our success as a marketing agency depends on your success. In order to keep you as a satisfied client we will do everything within our control and within search engine guidelines to make your online marketing efforts a success. Click this link for more information about SEO’s AffordableSEO Click This Link to Take Your Own SEO Course
Internet Advertising Scams - Guaranteed Sign UpsAre you an affiliate marketer who is interested in paying for guaranteed sign ups to help grow your downline? This article will explain what you will receive in return for your money. You have seen the advertisements before where you are guaranteed to receive 100 sign ups to your affiliate program, all for $199.
Guaranteed signups are offered by companies online who promise to deliver leads or new sign ups to the affiliate program or MLM opportunity you happen to be promoting in exchange for a fee which they say goes into advertising and promotion of your affiliate link. Primarily they are offering these advertising services for those requiring free sign up programs and not paid programs. This article will take you through what happens after you pay these companies.
Guaranteed sign up companies may actually deliver all of the sign ups they say to your affiliate program or MLM opportunity. The only problem is that you are likely to get space fillers. Meaning, that none of the new signups will ever take any action once they join or the leads were not targeted, and therefore are of low quality. You see, it's not enough to get sign ups, they have to be active in order for you to make money or benefit in any way. Even though the company guaranteeing sign ups have lived up to their obligation, all too often the consumer doesn't reap any benefits.
The reason that these new sign ups don't take action is because the majority of guaranteed sign up companies have deals on the other end where they pay people per sign up to join your program. It might be a small fee paid for each person who signs up at your site. It is sort of like being paid to take surveys online. In this case they are paid to sign up to your affiliate program or MLM opportunity. These sign ups only interest might by the small amount of money they are paid to sign up. In fact, they may have created the e-mail address they signed up with for the purpose of collecting spam. Which includes any e-mail you might be sending to assist them with the affiliate program or business opportunity?
If you still want to go forward with purchasing guaranteed sign ups then testing is definitely in order. A simple way to test whether the new sign ups you receive are active is to send a welcome message to each new sign up (this may already be part of your affiliate marketing strategy). Add a link to a resource or free e-book in this welcome e-mail, but use a tracking URL to count how many times the page has been viewed. You will find that your sign ups from targeted marketing such as article marketing and blogging actually click the links you send them. Those who are space fillers will never click your links because the company was not reputable in the first place.
Overall, guaranteed signups are not a viable solution to for any affiliate marketing or MLM business opportunity. In fact, truthful marketers will tell you that there is no quick fix and that it takes consistent action and effort to create sign ups that are responsive and active in your organization. Depending on proven marketing strategies such as article marketing, blogging, and search engine optimization is a proven path to success. Guaranteed sign up companies know how to advertise to those who are desperate to see their affiliate list grow as soon as possible, but patience and the learning of strategies that work is a smarter choice that will cost you much less of your hard earned money.
If you have your own website or blog, you MUST promote it to achieve visitors and more importantly sales. Visit our site today and learn exactly how you can best promote your website using methods that have been proven to work for millions. Buzzle
Directories and Advertising (False Billing)False Billing Scams Involving Directories & Advertising
A directory entry or unauthorized advertising scam is a scam that targets small businesses, trying to bill you for a listing or advertisement in a magazine, journal or business register/directory.
The scam might come as a proposal for a subscriptions disguised as an invoice for an entry in a bogus international fax, telex or trade directory. Sometimes they are doctored to look like those used by genuine directory publishers.
Alternatively, you might be led to believe that you are responding to an offer for a free entry—but in fact, the order is for entries requiring later payment. Another common approach used by scammers is to ring a firm asking to confirm details of an advertisement that they claim has already been booked. The scammer might quote a genuine entry or advertisement your business has had in a different publication or directory to convince you that you really did use the scammer’s product. If you refuse to pay, the scammers might also try to intimidate you by threatening legal action.
- You receive a call from a business directory or other publication you’ve never heard of, ‘confirming’ your entry or advertisement.
- You receive a document in the mail that appears to be an invoice from a publication you’ve never heard of.
- The caller claims that the government requires you to be registered in their register.
- The caller reads out your listing or advertisement and you recognize it as a listing you put in a different publication.
- Make sure the business billing you is the one you normally deal with.
- Always check that goods or services were both ordered and delivered before paying an invoice.
- Never give out or clarify any information about your business unless you know what the information will be used for.
- Try to avoid having a large number of people authorized to make orders or pay invoices.
- Never agree to any business proposal on the phone: always ask for an offer in writing.
- If you are unsure about any part of a business offer, ask for more information or seek independent advice.
Protect Yourself from Directory and Advertising (False Billing) Scams
Do Your HomeworkIf you think that the publication is a legitimate one and you may have authorized an entry, ask for proof of its existence. You should also make sure you keep written records of authorizations for advertising or directory entries so that if you receive an invoice or a telephone call, you can go back to your records to check it.
Always get proof of the entry before paying anything. You do not have to pay for any directory entry that you did not specifically authorize in writing.
Another way to look into the legitimacy of the directory is to ask for details of other local businesses who have previously advertised and check with them that they received what they paid for.
DecideNever pay for an advertisement or entry you didn’t authorize. If you receive a telephone call or an ‘invoice’ that comes from a publication you have never heard of, or that you don’t remember putting an entry in, don’t pay or give out your details until you have looked into the matter further.
Report ThemIf you have received a fraudulent directory entry or advertising invoice or phone call, or if you have sent money to pay for an entry or advertisement which you now realize is a scam, you can report it through the SCAM watch website. You should also spread the word to your friends, family and colleagues.
SummaryAdvertising your business is one of our larger chapters and for some the most important.
We have provided you with a broad range of advertising opportunities, how-to’s, tips and guides to both free and paid advertising strategies. A number of opportunities exist for you to select and promote your online business.
While we have covered a number of Scams throughout this Guide, but the impact of Click Fraud and SEO Scams on your advertising budget justifies additional coverage herein.
Proper Keyword selection and SEO make of the majority of successful online advertising. However, they are also the most costly and the scammer can eat up your budget overnight.
What is so sad is that your competitors can click away your budget.