Microsoft Admits To Clicking On Their Own Search Ads

Aug 13, 2009 • 8:14 am | comments (0) by | Filed Under Bing Search

Yesterday, I had a quick chat with a Microsoft Bing webmaster representative, where I asked him several questions that have been recently buzzing around the webmaster community.

One of those questions was, is MSNbot clicking on Bing adCenter ads? The answer, he said, was yes - they are. He was quick to explain that any of those clicks are not being charged to the advertiser.

Again, no advertiser should be charged for MSNBot clicking on their ads. They are all filtered out and have no chance of being charged to the advertiser.

That is great, right? Well, no. What about the analytical data that skews the numbers. If these bots are clicking on and indexing (I've seen examples of tracking URLs being indexed) then it can terribly skew your analytical data. Click through rates, impressions, conversion metrics and so on, will be all skewed. There were recent studies that showed Bing ads convert higher and drive a higher CTR. But honestly, if you have bots messing with data, and clicking on ads, that CTR value can be greatly skewed.

I asked Microsoft what they are going to do about this? I said, can't you go through your index, match up any adCenter URLs and replace them with maybe the landing page URL? I know that often won't solve the issue, but I want to hear solutions. Microsoft said they will get back to me on this issue.

Forum discussion continued at Bing Forums.

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