Why do all search partners suck?

by Werty on November 20, 2006

It is roughly 3:00am, my stats program updated for the day about an hr ago, and I am already about 8x as profitable today as I was yesterday. That is kind of weird eh?

The only 2 variables in the advertising that I was doing was 1- day of the week, and 2- opting in to Googles Search Partner network of SHITE.

I do not think #1 was the issue, since we usually do pretty well on Sunday, so I am going to go with #2 being the culprit for yesterdays narrow margins.

To start the morning off we decided to try the Google search network to see if we could increase traffic and sales to one of our sites. We usually spend about $30 an hr, and today spent nearly 4 times that per hr. Our ROAS (return on ad spend) is usually around 75% and today we were running at a sweet 3.2%. I would have been better off putting my money in a fucking ING saving account to get that rate. To give you a better idea of how much we got p4wn3d by google, we spend $1525 to make $49.

The biggest source of new traffic was an amazing “high quality” partner searchportal.information.com. These assholes have more sophisticated robotic clicking than your run of the mill rip off companies. They were actually passing the user agents of numerous cell phones, which is a new fun trick, since we are not opted into the mobile market.

So I give props to both google and searchportal.information.com ganging up and giving me some sweet double anal action.

Tomorrow I get to waste 2 hrs requesting a refund for the shitty traffic you sent. The worst part about this is that the only true source of decent traffic at the moment are the following companies/settings:

Google – google network only
Yahoo – none/some with hard work and numerous complaints.
MSN – does not let me buy adult traffic, low volume for non adult sectors. PURE traffic and highly recommended.
ASK – a joke

So in the sectors I work in my only real choice is Google, and with that only the Google/google partner sites provide conversions for me.

I guess the ‘good news’ is that we are not the only ones dealing with the click fraud. Here is another guy over at SEO Chat.

What sites do you get the most fraudulant traffic from?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }


Gemme 12.20.06 at 12:58 am

Maybe I’m missing something here, I probably am but you mention you normally have a ROAS of 75%. Later on you mention you only ha 3.2% that day which has made you $49 on an spend of $1525

Wouldn’t his mean that even with a ROAS of 75% you still loose 25% of your spent money.

I can hardly imagine that though.

Anyway, interesting to once again getting confirmed that GG publishers network is not very attractive to use.



Werty 12.20.06 at 2:16 am

Gemme, you are missing a little something. On a good day we hit 75% ROAS which means if we spend 1000, we make 1750, 1000 is spent on advertising, bringing us down to 750 profit.

On my example we must have had the followin gnumbers for that day:

made 1574, spent 1525 on advertising, $49 profit.


Jeff 02.21.07 at 7:35 am

Check out my review of ROAS% on my blog. At some point in the not too distant future content networks will have to put some serious thought into the value generated by their distribution.


PPC King 03.31.07 at 8:32 pm

I have found that ROAS is an awful indicator for performance. Try using the pure ROI equation. Calculating the ROAS is a basic equation of revenue/cost.
To calculate PPC ROI:

First get the contribution: (Revenue x Margin) – Ad Cost
So using these numbers with a presumed 50% margin:
(1574 X .50%)=787)) Then – 787-1525=-738
contribution is -738

The to calculate PPC ROI Use: Contribution/Cost

-738/1525= -48% ROI

Yeah that is awful…

Another one you might be missing in the post is the Miva match option which sucks you dry. I gave up on Jeeves a while ago and have found they suck on so many levels, I read on another blog that they make more money backfilling listings from Google. Barry Diller is dipshit and that engine is completely ass backwards, 3 months billing cycles, using the looksmart interface, it goes on.


Rose Sylvia 10.01.07 at 3:50 am

If ALL Google Search Partners “sucked” we could just opt out of the Google Search Partner Network. That isn’t the case so is we opt out of the Search Partner Network we have to give up the good (high converting) traffic with the bad traffic.

I tested opting out of the Search Partner Network in some campaigns that were borderline profitable on the theory that restricting all ad buys to google.com would reduce costs and clicks and increase conversions. I was surprised to find that is NOT what happened. Conversions WENT DOWN. Not good.

So for now we have the equally ineffective choices of having to try to block bad traffic OR giving up good traffic. Many of us are calling for the option to opt out of parked domain and specific site traffic. Opting in to specific sites is probably a more useful idea that could also be considered.


JP Russell 10.24.07 at 8:50 pm

Sorry if this seems unrelated, I was doing some searching on PPC programs and came across this site.

I noticed it has no new postings since Nov 2006, has this blog been abandoned.

What I find if more interesting tough is if it has, then why are there such recent comments on it?


Joe 11.28.07 at 3:30 pm

There is a lot of buzz lately about searchportal.information.com, the biggest opponents actually suggest that this is a fraudulent practice by Google as many advertisers suggest that this traffic is from parked domains in the Adsense for domains program. You would be hard pressed to classify this as search traffic inventory, which is what advertisers think they are getting themselves into by opting into the “Search Network”.

However, you don’t have to shut off the Partner Network entirely to stop getting traffic from this particular domain. You can request that Google exclude *.information.com from the Search Partner network.

With Ask (and potentially AOL) also selling search inventory separately of Google, there may be other venues to continue to get the “good” partner traffic.

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