Here are five great ways to deploy budgets to PPC search that are currently allocated to display advertising and may be victim to the bot impression and click traffic.
Several recent studies have focused on the rampant levels of display advertising impression fraud and click fraud within our ecosystem. Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the IAB stated: "About 36 percent of all Web traffic is considered fake, the product of computers hijacked by viruses and programmed to visit sites..."
Other reports have put estimates even higher, for example, SolveMedia's estimate of suspicious traffic is 46 percent for desktop traffic. Regardless of whether you believe the conservative or aggressive reports that nearly half of desktop traffic is bogus, it makes pay-per-click (PPC) search clicks look like a great investment.
Sure, the PPC platforms also struggle with bots, but click bots are a bit easier to filter, and the larger search players have huge teams dedicated to filtering (and not charging for) suspicious traffic. I'm not yet convinced that the social media PPC platforms have invested enough in bot click filtering, nor bothered to take the time, energy, and risk to open up their click measurement process and get IAB/MRC certified for clicks, but that's another story.
The good news is that the larger U.S. search players - Google, Bing, and Yahoo (which recently re-entered the PPC market with mobile clicks delivered via Yahoo! Gemini) - have all gone through an audit process to certify that they are taking industry standard steps to monitor for bogus clicks and filter them out of the billing statements marketers receive. Are their systems perfect? No, but the vast majority of marketers buying PPC search clicks are putting a lot of weight on last click when valuing the click stream from a particular search engine, and if the clicks aren't converting, the bid usually goes down.
If you find yourself losing faith in the CPM display markets, perhaps now is a great time to look for opportunities to spend more in PPC search. The following are some great ways to deploy budgets that are currently allocated to display and may be victim to the bot impression and click traffic:
If and when you lose faith in other ad channels, it's good to know you can always move budgets back into PPC search, your safe haven during turbulent times.
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Kevin Lee, Didit cofounder and executive chairman, has been an acknowledged search engine marketing expert since 1995. His years of SEM expertise provide the foundation for Didit's proprietary Maestro search campaign technology. The company's unparalleled results, custom strategies, and client growth have earned it recognition not only among marketers but also as part of the 2007 Inc 500 (No. 137) as well as three-time Deloitte's Fast 500 placement. Kevin's latest book, "Search Engine Advertising" has been widely praised.
Industry leadership includes being a founding board member of SEMPO and its first elected chairman. "The Wall St. Journal," "BusinessWeek," "The New York Times," Bloomberg, CNET, "USA Today," "San Jose Mercury News," and other press quote Kevin regularly. Kevin lectures at leading industry conferences, plus New York, Columbia, Fordham, and Pace universities. Kevin earned his MBA from the Yale School of Management in 1992 and lives in Manhattan with his wife, a New York psychologist and children.
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If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.
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