Monday, July 31, 2006

Google Revealing "Click Fraud" Numbers

A post on the Google Inside Adwords blog announces that you can now see the number of invalid clicks as a part of an Adwords report. The report can show you both “invalid clicks” and the “invalid clicks rate”.

Most people seem to be jumping on this as a number that shows the level of "click fraud" - people intentionally clicking on ads multiple times for fraudulant reasons. But that is not the complete story. For example, there are times when I've clicked on an ad, read the page, moved on to something else, and then wanted to go back to the ad landing page. Maybe another question has come to mind or I need to clarify some of the information on the landing page. The easiest way to get there is to do the search again and click on the ad again. Google counts this as an invalid click. They only charge for the first visit, they do not charge the advertiser again if that same visitor returns within a reasonable time period.

There are other sources of invalid clicks that are not fraudulent clicks. So, although this new Adwords reporting feature gives you some insight into the potential click fraud your Adwords campaign is experiencing, don't count these numbers as "hard" click fraud numbers without another source of information such as your landing page logs. (Landing pages I create always include a lagging feature that logs each hit on the landing page.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Deleting Search Engines From Firefox

Firefox is the browser to use, but it does have one thing I find irritating. It is difficult to find out how to remove search engines from the Search Engine Bar. I'm not interested in searching EBay or Creative Commons and I like to simplify my life by removing things I don't need or want. But I could not find a button or menu option to remove search engines.

That's because there isn't one.

Removing search engines is actually very easy, but it involves deleting the search plug ins for the search engines I don't use. This is how it's done:

Go to the folder where Mozilla Firefox is installed and then go to the "searchplugins" subfolder. In most cases you'll be looking a path that looks like this:

C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\searchplugins

Then delete the search plug in files associated with the search engines you want to remove from the list. There will be two files for each search engine. A PNG image file and a SRC file. Delete both files. When you restart Firefox those search engines will be gone.

Guaranteed Top Spot in Google

Here's a web site that uses an interesting approach. The web site is: . Scroll down toward the bottom of the page where you'll find three links for free guides. But instead of going to a page that offers the free guides, these links go to Google searches. The web page boasts that you'll find links to the free guides offered by this company at the top of the Google rankings... and you do. Isn't that taking a risk that their pages, at some time in the future, might not rank in the #1 position. How do they get Google to always show their pages as #1 in the search results?

It's not that hard.

There is a search phrase built into the link that is specific to a unique phrase found on the web page they want to be in the #1 position. If you check the total number of pages found for these searches, it's a very smal number... 20 or 30 pages. There's no competition for the search phrase and it's so specific that the pages they want are just about guaranteed to top the rsearch results.

There is a risk in doing this. A competitor could put the target search phrase in one of their web pages and possibly take the top spot away.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Exclude DMOZ Descriptions On Google

Last Thursday Google annouced a new tag that allow web markerters to indicate to Google they do not want DMOZ descriptions used to describe their web site in Google search results. Google calls the descriptions they use "snippets. The post on the Inside Google Sitemaps blog said:

"One source we use to generate snippets is the Open Directory Project, or ODP. Some site owners want to be to able to request not using the ODP for generating snippets, and we're happy to let you all know we've added support for this. All you have to do is add a meta tag to your pages.

To direct all search engines that support the meta tag not to use ODP information for the page's description, use the following:


DMOZ, also know as the Open Directory Project, is a volunteer edited directory of web sites. It is probably the most respected web directory, but as a human edited directory it has some characteristics some web marketers do not like. One of those is that it is difficult to get the description you want for your web site. DMOZ has non-commercial guidelines editors follow that result in descriptive, but at time rather dry descriptions.

Having your web site listed in DMOZ is important both because it provides a quality link to your site, and DMOZ provides information to many other directories on the web. Now, with the new Google META tag, if you do not like your DMOZ description, you can have Google find a description elsewhere. This does not mean you'll get the perfect description to promote your products, nor does it mean the description in the description META tag on your page will be used. It just means the DMOZ description will not be used.