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Click Fraud at Youtube

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I've produced numerous videos which have received over 51 million views at youtube without benefit of advertising. I've often checked analytics at youtube, so I understand my audience which is about 90% male, and how long they view a video (70-80%) on average.

 

On January 13, 2017, I created a new video, about Mars, examined the analytics (90% male) and viewing time, about 75% of the video on average.  I decided to advertise this video, just on youtube (using adwords) on January 23. In less than 3 hours of the video-ads approval, the ad for my video received nearly 18,000 clicks. Upon checking the analytics, I saw that the average viewing time for the 18,000, was less than a minute, and nearly 40% of the those clicking were female, and not one of these 18,000 hit the "like" or "not like" button for the video. 

 

They did not watch the video, they (or a google bot) just clicked on the ad for the video which they did not watch.

 

What this means is: Massive click fraud, which must be widespread at youtube/google. Google, of course, has no interest in preventing click fraud, because they get paid for each fraudulent click. In other words, Google/Youtube knowingly promote click fraud; because they certainly have the means to prevent it just by tracking IP--but, they fail to do so because, this is how they make money: by stealing from us. 

 

 

 

1 Expert replyverified_user

Click Fraud at Youtube

[ Edited ]
Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

@Rhawn J

 

I think you are jumping the gun on your conclusion here.  First, let me say Google is most certainly interested in stopping click fraud.  I have seen evidence of this more times than I can count.  Many times on the search side, when I catch suspicious activity with a third party tool, it's already been accounted for in the reporting before I get a chance to report it.  Google makes a lot more money from happy advertisers that advertise year after year than they would allowing bots to run up charges and have those advertisers go away.

Instead of assuming the worst, let's see if we can figure out a more logical explanation.  I suspect user error (yours) may be at play when setting up this campaign.

Can you answer these questions?

1)  What kind of video campaign did you create?
2) What kind of targeting did you select for this campaign?
3) Is it YouTube only or did you include the entire GDN?

Click Fraud at Youtube

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

The youtube ad was very explicit: Fungi Contaminate the Mars Rover.

The ads were (1) Display to the upper right (2) skippable overlay.

 

In less than 3 hours, the skippable overlay received over 15,000 clicks--no one left a comment, -no one chose like or dislike, -and less than 60 seconds of the 5 minute video was watched by these 15,000. I realized this was click fraud, and I cancelled the ad after 3 hours.

 

The display ad to the right, received close to 3,000 clicks in less than 8 hours. Again, -no one left a comment, -no one chose like or dislike, -and less than 60 seconds of the 5 minute video was watched.

 

And, around 40% of these clicks, were attributed to females, when the vast majority of females have no interest in this subject, and whereas my other science vidoes have a 10% female audience.

 

Come on: 15,000 clicks in 3 hours and another 3,000 in less than 8 hours, and no one watches the video? No one leaves a comment? No one choose like or dislike? Impossible.  The clicks were most likely produced by a bot--and if we follow the money trail, it leads right to google.

 

Click Fraud at Youtube

[ Edited ]
Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star

@Rhawn J

 

Okay, this is all explainable, and it's not click fraud. By "skippable overlay" I think you mean an in-stream video ad.  It is not possible for you to receive any comments or likes/dislikes because it is not occurring on your watch page.  In-stream means it is occurring before another video on its watch page.  


You have to think about the user. They have searched/clicked for that specific video. They are interested in watching that video, not yours.  5 minutes is way too long for an in-stream in my opinion. I have found that 15-30 second ones perform best, and I actually lean towards the 15 second side because it gets better reach.  I'm not surprised at all most people skipped well before the end.

 


As for "display to the upper right" I'm taking that is a video discovery ad?  These do land on your watch page. No comments or likes and dislikes is going to be relative to the audience you targeted.  

 

You have not given details on the kind of audience you targeted.  There are many options available to dial in the right audience.  For example you say that your main audience is 90% male. It would make sense for you to target male viewers only. You can do this in the demographic section. Due to the technical nature of this video, it seems specific keywords related to space exploration, life on mars, etc. would be the way to go. Perhaps maybe one of the Interest lists related to science.

By how quickly you accrued views, it sounds like you had this campaign wide open to the entire YouTube audience.  If this is not the case, I would like to hear specifics on how you targeted these ad types.

Another consideration for comments, likes and dislikes is quality of the video.  The video in question is a slide show with rather jarring music. There is no narration or actual video. I checked out one of your other more popular videos and there is narration and actual video.  The two are not comparable in quality in my opinion.


Re: Click Fraud at Youtube

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I am an attorney currently investigating issues with video ad fraud. I would be happy to speak with you if you would like to know more facts about what I am finding.  You can reach me at dean@stecklerlaw.com.

 

Thanks,