Abuse of Cost Per Click (CPC) Marketing?

Cost Per Click better known as CPC advertising is one of the most popular ROI (return on Investment) driven model in online world. Google has build in a complete empire revolving around this model.

This model provides a win-win situation to publishers (websites), ad-networks (like Google, Komli etc) and advertisers (sellers). Advertisers pays to the ad-networks only when a visitor (prospective buyer) clicks on the advertisement (thereby presumed he expresses interest in the advertiser’s services) on the publisher’s website. Thereby justifying the advertising cost as paid by the advertisers. On the same hand ad-networks are in position to calculate and display the ROI and compensation for publishers.

Now in a fair game, a visitor will click on the advertisement to know more about the services and contact the buyer subsequently (If he is interested). On every such click publisher get paid certain amount by ad-networks and advertisers are charged for that click.

Wonderful concept, so where is the abuse?

Google AD - Abuse of CPC Model

Now few advertisers are abusing the ecosystem by removing/reducing the requirement to click the advertisement in order to know the contact info etc. Thus avoiding the charges payable to ad-network and subsequently the publisher.

This short-term strategy will surely have long lasting impact on the ecosystem of publishers, advertisers and ad-networks. I am sure ad-networks would have all the systems and checks in place to avoid such content going live in the advertisement. Ad networks would spend more energy on building more checks to stop abuse, which would have otherwise gone in more constructive activities. All said and done, I believe there is an equal responsibility to be shared by the advertisers also for not abusing the product.

PS : I just found one more and this one is interesting. Skype installed on my system prompt me to call on the number displayed on ad for FREE and again without even clicking on the ad. Google Ads - Abuse of Cost Per Click (CPC) Marketing

17. March 2009 by Amit Gupta
Categories: Google, Internet & Mobile, Marketing & advertising | Tags: , , , | 5 comments

Comments (5)

  1. @Pushkar Thanks for the feedback.

    The ads are created to get the responses so chances that the number given is fictitious are minimal but this would be for commercial use for sure. The point is people can reach the advertiser without the publishers or ad network making any money.

    btw you were very true about the font-size. I have reduced the font size

  2. As you said some are playing the spoilsport, agree with you in the first case as the contact details or personals are displayed & they maybe enough that a client would want to know.
    But in the 2nd case its different since Skype is a calling application. The name & number displayed in the ad maybe fictitious or commercial. And any ways that Mike ( a stranger) will not be the one people will be calling so that number is irrelevant.

    Don’t you think the font size used in post is a bit high, smaller size could do?

  3. Google can check for 9/10 digit numbers in ad descriptions and reject them. Simple solution.

  4. @Ankur I was tring to highlight the issue of disturbing the ecosystem and breach of trust. Visitors may or may not click the link but the number is given upfront with the intention of reaching the prospects. Once everyone starts doing same ads will end up as directory (am I streching a bit too far…maybe)

    also, as a natural human instinct we like to hear from the human voices (so very true for all the customer care calls also where we eventually regret to speaking to a exec.) rather than scrolling and going through multiple pages. So displayed number may actually work as a deterrant to click.

  5. I think people would still want to click through and find out more about whatever’s being advertised before calling any person. Google text ads are very brief and I don’t think people would want to ‘waste’ time calling an advertiser without clicking through to the ad and finding out more.

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