Another click fraud case study, this time focusing on PPC engine → Kanoodle (who are, as an aside, still featuring a “powered by Inktomi” logo on their search results page – don’t get to see that very often anymore): John Cunningham of Hamptons Bride Magazine spills the beans in no uncertain words and offers the traffic stats to prove their point:
After reviewing our stats we noticed a HUGE problem with the clicks coming from the Kanoodle network. 100% of all traffic coming from them stayed for a whole ZERO seconds. Our readers stay over the last few months has averaged around 2.5 minutes and up to 4 to 6 hours. At first I thought maybe it was because we were new to the network and gave them the benefit of the doubt, but as days passed the results were the same; not a single click from Kanoodle ever had a visit length over Zero seconds.
Check it out here:
→ Kanoodle – Computer Generated Clicks
And this is their PDF file documenting the pertinent → traffic data.
It seems that John Cunningham may be off on a bit of a wild goose chase here: we certainly don’t subscribe to his suspicion that those bogus clicks were generated by Kanoodle themselves, though we have no doubt that the problem he is depicting is quite real. But click fraud being such a pervasise issue wherever PPC is implemented, we deem it more probable that there was either a hyperactive click fraudster affiliate of Kanoodle’s, a hard hitting competitor or possibly even some badly behaved and programmed spider at work here.
What this example does show, however, is how fast wrong conclusions (“fraudulent PPC provider”) can hit the Net, creating yet another PR nightmare for the engines concerned. And you really don’t have to be psychic to predict that we’re bound to see a lot more of the same in the coming weeks and months.