Boy, do some people hate them and their traffic. Others don't see the big deal. There is a thread on SEW Forums about click fraud and second tier PPC companies that has been going on for well over a year now. The creator of the thread, posts some data in regards to the companies whose traffic is rampant with click fraud. The rest of the thread follows with people giving input on the data and their own experience. The result: People hate second tier search engines. They simply don't trust them to not fraud them out of their money. Why so bad, you might ask?
Well one of the members Nintendo, posted some of his log file as to why he believes some second tier engines are nothing but 100% click fraud. You can see the stats here. It doesn't take a scientist to tell that all the clicks come from one domain. But this is a simplistic view.
One of the owners of these operations (Infoseek) came to post on the forums to protest the abuse he was getting from the thread creator. He had to say:
I operate an affiliate & partner program I have canceled allot of members for cheating, I do not condole cheaters. there for your opinion of my site is an under statement. I have spent a lot of time on my website and my scripts get updated every 2 months with anti cheat software. ...it is unfair for you to quote me as a fraud farm. ...You have caused my allot of pain & suffering.
Apparently he was pissed!
To be fair, not all second tier search engines are click fraud wastlelands with crookbots running around. There are some that are fair and deliver meaningful traffic. People are working to make it a better oppourtunity to advertise in. Places like Kanoodle, Searchfeed, and Verizon Superpages are some places I think doing that already.
Interesting thread to check out on a Friday - SEW Forums