Found: Click Fraud Paid Clickers – Chat With Them If You’d Like

By admin

Interested in reaching deep down into the bowels of the underground click fraud gangs? Wanna meet and hang out with who’s being paid to click on all those parked domain page ads and paid search engine results?

Take a look at what I’ve been tipped off on:

Getpaidforum threaded discussion

This thread is such a sad, pathetic, twisted story. I’ll explain it as briefly as I can and as best as I can understand it.

  • Two get paid clicking programs are run by one owner. These programs are team1players.com and agroupeffort.net. The OP of the thread is asking general questions about them, basically what the referral rates/percentages are as a member.
  • These two programs operated on an owner/member profit split. Whatever the earnings accumulated are, the owner takes a cut and then the rest divvied up among the members.
  • A member of these two programs was actually ‘spying’ and reporting all paid search ads and incentivized advertisements that went to domain parking pages and other ppc engines. He ended up inadvertently reporting the program owner to himself. It’s very amusing and confusing :P .
  • The thread started as a general query that imploded into paid clicker infighting as to whether or not it was legal or moral to accept payment for clicking and performing searches on ppc ads.

Some quotes (the thread is a freaking 36 pages already):

Quoting the Program Owner

Many members have requested to know what qualifies as a valid search So I have written this short page to tell you.

For a search to qualify as valid these 2 steps must be followed:

1) Click a search term, word or phrase on the portal or parking page and let the results page fully load.

On portals with search boxes you may also enter a search term, word or phrase of your own.

2) click a result and let the page fully load.
You may click up to 3 results from one search without going over search limits. After following these 2 steps you have completed a valid search.

Searching is fully voluntary. Nobody can beg, ask, or make you search. Searching is fully voluntary.

I have only provided this page for people who do not understand what a valid search is.

Thank You.

*Remember, members know they only make money if there’s money in the pot to split. The more valid searches that are made, the more money members split. These how-to-search instructions are mighty helpful, aren’t they.

quote

Yeah, as the membership Rises at a profit sharing site, the share lowers, that’s how they go.

In this light, the ‘forced search’ site, is a superior variation of the basic model.

ptr is Extremely well suited to ripping off ppc/cpc. Megabucks in it too…

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You do realize that someone up the click fraud line had money stolen from them by the click fraud system set up in these two programs in order to pay you don’t you? Just because you got paid from the proceeds of theft doesn’t make it right because someone DID get ripped off in order to pay you. $190 worth of valid searches for the sake of searching had to come out of someone’s pocket in order to pay you right? Do you even care who’s pockets that money was taken from? Or is it ok as long as it went into yours?

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Grumpy, he’s Sending You Parked Domain Ads, with Google adsense on them, or with Yahoo Search Marketing Ads on them, lol.
The Very ACT of Sending Them, is Fraud!

The only reason it lasts as long as it Does, is because Goog and Yahoo have to Verify the Fraud, via the Parking Companies where their ads are displayed on. So it takes some time for it all to get Kanned.

He’s Lost Parked.com and Trafficz.com so we’re getting there, lol.

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It is fraud because he is sending you Parked Domain ads fed by google or yahoo at a ptr site.

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I do not see what all this crap is about. Wah I have to make a search *sniffles* grow the hell up ######. That’s what we get paid to do. If you don’t search, you get fractions of pennies. Who wants that?

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Poor Yahoo and Google. Google stock is only selling for $400 a share. Isn’t that just a crying shame

lol

Talks about 0iframes and auto searching in the background:

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0 iframes now contain over 100 auto searches where they used to contain only two or three. Ever wonder why this is happening? It’s crumbling fast, they’re getting caught faster, the bids are drying up faster.

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did a google search on click fraud and found this:

Google CEO on click fraud: ‘let it happen’

Link: http://blogs.zdnet.com/micro-markets/?p=219

*Hey google says it’s ok, we’re good to go!

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Let’s steal from the people with a lot of money, not ourselves.

*Can you believe it??? :P

This discussion is in a thread regarding two paid programs, but there are hundreds of these kinds of programs paying thousands of people to click on search ads. Sure they’re eventually shut down, but not after raking in some big cha-ching. It’s my understanding that more and more are moving underground to avoid this kind of attention.

Dig around that forum if you’re bored. All kinds of activities being participated in and discussed. Alexa ranking jimmying, scripted Autosearching, Pyramids, hyips, ponzis, and the always juicy click fraud mania :P .

The perfect quote to end with, happens to be from a moderator of the forum:

Quote

Very true. That is what I learned about advertising as well. Normal company’s do get their “win” out of advertising by getting KNOWN by repeated exposure – so that a customer remembers them if they need a product…or want to purchase a product/service. And when I become a member at a PTR site, I opt in for Paid To Read = PTR. I read the email, click on the link and get credited. Done.

Let me put it this way. Normal company’s trying to SELL a product and getting ripped off by PTR searches, I bet they will change the way of advertising immediately. If they don’t do that…jeez…what do they do then in business? The people buying keywords for exposure and making their win other then selling a product or a service…to be honest I don’t feel that sorry for them. They are milking the system just as the others do in the chain. And some sites which do actually sell something, and stay in the system, I have the feeling these Viagra – Insurances – Medication…whatsoever make still enough money to make it worth. Probably less these days.

Did you know as an advertiser you could stop paying Google or Yahoo! $1, $2, $5, $25 a click for exposure and simply go directly to these incentivized advertising ‘businesses‘ and just pay a buck or two for thousands of exposures. So-Silly ;) .

21 Responses to “Found: Click Fraud Paid Clickers – Chat With Them If You’d Like”

  1. It’s hard to believe if you haven’t seen it with your own eyes, but there are thousands and thousands of these people happily chatting with each other about which programs to join to make the most money for doing hundreds of searches a day.

    I was a member of that forum for over three years, and I’ve seen first-hand the damage that be done once the feeding frenzy begins. It ain’t a pretty sight!

    Anybody who uses PPC advertising, including Google Adwords and Yahoo Search Marketing, needs to be aware of this!

    Great post Terry!

  2. I fixed the links to the quotes, seems I messed them up darn it! Now you can click the quote links and be taken directly to the quoted post.

    Also forgot to mention how huge this forum is:

    Our members have made a total of 4356695 posts
    We have 68844 registered members

    Those numbers aren’t something one can discount or ignore. That’s a hell of a lot of paid clickers.

  3. Did you know as an advertiser you could stop paying Google or Yahoo! $1, $2, $5, $25 a click for exposure and simply go directly to these incentivized advertising ‘businesses‘ and just pay a buck or two for thousands of exposures. So-Silly .

    And that’s the crux of it. Any advertizer of SEs could and quite a lot do just that. And they do it without flinching. They make money this way. They pay near to nothing for advertizing and human click bots do “valid searches” day in day out. Who’s money is it that these advertizers, POs and human bots pocket? How many sales were recorded from those human bots?

    That forum is full of human bots who think about one thing and one thing only: their pockets. They do gang together and slap each other back about making money doing “valid searches” about nothing they need, nothing that interest them. It’s all for the money in their pockets.

    At least one good thing happened in that thread: one human click bot saw the light and understood what “click fraud” was all about. As the saying goes: one done, many many more to go.

  4. PAY PER CLICK IS DEAD!

  5. Kill PPC, Long live organic SEO!!

  6. I am concerned that these types of fraud are going to ruin it for advertisers and those of us that run ads on our sites as well. Google now allows advertisers to block sites they don’t want to run ads on and I say “Block early and block often” when you see a site you don’t want to be on. It’s not a good solution, but at least advertisers are not powerless.

  7. This is extremely unsettling to read. Talk about scum of the earth. I use PPC for my own sites and some of my client’s sites as well.

    Some people on this planet need to leave the planet.

    -Dennis

  8. Shame.

    Well, for the good ones, I actually wrote a post about what affiliates want.

    I think it would be best for merchants to follow suggestions that their own affiliates give them, thus creating profitable affiliate programs that would pick the interests of our \”shameless friends\” out there.

  9. You know this has been going on for some time. Many of us have tried for months to get someone outside of PTR to listen and it fell on death ears.

    I myself wrote to numerous places trying to get someone to look at exactly what you have linked to and no one even bothered to respond back.

    Not everyone in this industry is in agreement with the way things are running. Things have been bad but this is just low.

    Many of the program owners fighting it have gone through being shunned, told to shut up it is none of our business and even been mail bombed, sites attacked and threatened.

    But where was anyone in January when 100′s of emails were sent out asking if you would be interested in seeing an ugly side of search fraud within the PTR industy?

    Many have been trying to get someone to take notice and to sit up and hear our side of it. But still it continues and gets worse on a daily basis.

    So my question here is where does someone reach someone who will sit up and pay attention to what is going on that can do something about this?

  10. I don’t know who you’ve tried reaching out to Suzanne, I’m going to assume you have reported it to Google and the companies that manage the monetized parked domain services. That should have been sufficient but…

    The key to getting someone’s attention (who is in a position to change things => Google) is to get mainstream airtime so they’ll be forced to address it and fix the problem.

    As far as the blogosphere goes, you have to remember that a high percentage of people in the ‘biz’ rely on Adsense for some sort of income or are investors of Google. That translates to keeping the perception of Adsense as strong and minimize the click fraud problem (ie. the ever favorite stamping of Hysteria). In other words–don’t count on bloggers in this corner of the net, too many are invested in Adsense success IMO.

    If you do have a portfolio of proof put together, I personally would go to the press and other areas that are more neutral to the issue and aren’t financially tied to goog’s and adsense success. Look for news outlets that have reported on Google’s click fraud problems in the past. I believe Wall Street Journal is one. Look for ways to contact reporters directly.

    You can also try bloggers in the investment areas that track Google news and performance. Also some tech bloggers may be interested.

    Good luck!

    Anyone else have suggestions?

  11. Terry,

    Google was contacted it fell on deaf ears. Newspapers were contacted again it fell on deaf ears. The Wall Street Journal was one I did write to with no email back. I have proof of what is going on. I have invited them to contact me and view it and to see for themselves and there is very little interest in how deep the click fraud goes in PTR.

    I wish someone would be interested because it hurts honest people in PTR as well and it has made the PTR industry a laughing joke to most who might even consider it. But the worst part is so many feel it what they are doing is ok and they aren’t hurting anyone and to shut up and go away and leave thier cash cows alone.

    What is happening is not clickbots, or a few people it is a huge fraud being committed and it is deeper then anyone wants to even see but getting someone to even listen is the part that is hard. No one seems to care. I couldn’t even get a local paper to respond.

    I am not sure what else to do but I am to the point of how do you fight something no one seems to care about?

  12. how do you fight something no one seems to care about?

    That’s probably what will kill it all in the end Suzanne.

    Have you tried contacting Anderson Cooper on CNN? I love that guy! :lol:

    has made the PTR industry a laughing joke to most who might even consider it.

    True. And the forum linked to above doesn’t help either. It’s crazy what people will do for a penny, and it’s all laid out for everyone to see.

    I take it you’re one of the program owners?

  13. Just had a thought Suzanne. If you want to write up what you see going on, I can post it here as a blog post. Upload your proof on your domain if you’d like and link away. You can include your contact info and full article credit if you’d like.

    Not sure how much attention it will get, but it may catch someone’s eye who can do something about it.

  14. I am one of the program owners who has been trying to bring about some change as fruitless as it may seem.

    I cannot post links but to the forum and the other info would have to be shown to someone. If someone is interested I am more then willing to give them access to it.

    It is sad though as the forum you link to shows how open it is to blantantly cheat others and find it acceptable.

  15. lol, thats just too funny. It’s really quite sad though :( I just can’t believe the things people will do to avoid some real work…

  16. Update:

    Cover Story on BusinessWeek

    This click fraud scandal did indeed end up in mainstream news after all. Suzanne if you’re still reading here, looks like BusinessWeek just picked up the story ;) .

  17. Yes Terry after some time managed to get back here. Real life gets the best of me at times. Although I was glad to see that newsweek picked up the article I was sad to see the light that it painted of PTR. There is a serious problem in PTR with click fraud and ptr but in my opinion the article focused on all sites and members and all incentive advertising was fraud which saddened me. Good news I found 800 and some blogs and articles on this. Perhaps something will be done now.

    It saddens me that I fell into an online business with so much fraud and deception and perhaps I am the eternal optimist beliving that some can make big changes. But after this article I am so disheartened I have considered shutting down my sites and finding a more reputable online venue.

  18. I think the kind of incentive traffic gptr offers is commonly looked at as empty clicks Suzanne and that was before the article on click fraud. I’m not a fan of it myself.

    But if your business has proven itself to be of some value to your advertisers and more than just empty clicks, I don’t think an article is going to chase them away.

    Everyone’s hungry for converting traffic (sales, signups, leads, etc.) and they won’t be run off because of some article ;) .

  19. I would like to make the comment. I have been a member of PTR for about 5 years now. I am only a member of Paid To READ sites not Paid to SEARCH sites and trust me if you are in this industry you definitely know the difference. I had to make a comment on your comments and quotes about our industry, why do you only show the evil side of a few idiots in our forum. You failed to mention I notice how they are almost immediately attacked for their actions of utilizing those Paid to SEARCH sites. You also forgot to mention how many many many discussions and debates we have on how to purge this industry of these cheaters. Of how we ourselves have inflicted bans on 0-Iframe sites on how many people spend endless amounts of their own time finding and exposing cheaters. We ourselves have been contacting search engines and letting them know of the click fraud sites.
    It is just a bit sad and a bit maddening that all PTR’s a gettting a bad rap for this click fraud. Why not try and work with the honest PTR’s to rid this industry of these sites instead of labeling all of us as bad or cheaters. In one ear and out the other I am sure but worth a try anyways. Most of us are on your side.

  20. Thanks for your comment Scott :) .

    Actually on my end it doesn’t matter how many forum posts are from Team Evil vs. Team Good.

    All I’m focused on is the amount of people accepting payment to click on ppc ads. And that Google, Yahoo! and ppc ads are widely available to be clicked by paid clickers.

    Google, Yahoo and the rest should never have allowed their ads to be displayed in those programs to begin with. And shame on them for letting things get this far.

    Scott I noticed a comment in one of those threads that there were just 34 programs that didn’t advertise ppc results/ads–out of several hundred programs! That’s not impressive.

    Get Paid To Read, Get Paid To Search, doesn’t matter. “Get Paid To” has no business displaying any ads from the ppc industry. Goog, yahoo, etc., need to haul ass and get the ads of their paying advertisers out of there.

  21. I am part of a forum that is removing sites off the regular section of posts and moved them into the Closed/Scam section of the paid to read sites. We have removed a lot of cheating click fraud sites and 0-Iframes programs to to that section and any other programs that are scamming. This is more than any other forum would do. It is a slow progress, and I have opened some eyes with all the news articles, and people commented that they did not realized that what they were doing was illegal. Some of them are mods. I have been very busy cleaning up these types of programs and maybe it is a start for all the forums involved to start doing the same by naming and shaming these programs. It will show all the members from that forum that this industry means business, and be turned around back into the right direction.