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Old 28th July 2005, 10:55 AM   #1
tearles
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Default Kanoodle (?!) vs. Adwords and Yahoo SM

I recently posted in this forum about Adwords vs YSM, stating that I couldn't get YSM nearly as productive as Adwords. At the time, I was only able to get about 10% as many clicks from YSM.

After much fiddling, I now have YSM generating around 50% as many clicks as Adwords. I still have some work to do on the conversion rates (25% for Adwords, versus 11% for YSM), but I decided to start investing in a third PPC provider to generate more clicks.

I had read a reference to Kanoodle somewhere on this forum, so I decided to give them a try. I copied over my Adwords and YSM keywords, turned it on, and it's been running like a firehose ever since! I am getting 4 1/2 times as many clicks as Adwords, and about 9 times as many as YSM. Better yet, my average CPC is about 5% of Adwords and 3% of YSM. Kanoodle doesn't provide conversion tracking tools (I'm thinking of using Adwords' cross channel tracking), but even if Kanoodle's conversion rate is very low it would be at least as profitable as Google and YSM.

So, my question is why is Kanoodle so successful at generating (very affordable) clicks for me? Does anyone have any info as to their target audience? Their search market share? Their syndication relationships?

There was another reference to Kanoodle in a thread on this forum in which the poster stated that Kanoodle "was on its way out." What does that mean?

It just seems too good to be true ...

Tracy

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Old 28th July 2005, 12:46 PM   #2
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You need to get conversion tracking set up for Kanoodle immediately.

I've heard cases (depending on the industry) where people had success with Kanoodle. They were able to offset the very low conversion rate by the lower cost of obtaining those visitors.

But, without conversion tracking you are flying blind and those clicks may be just that... clicks (without sales).

Quote:
I'm thinking of using Adwords' cross channel tracking
I think that is a great idea. Especially because it is free!

I use Conversionruler.com and love it. But, it's about $20 a month and from what I've read, Google's cross channel tracking can do everything it does.

Oh, and great job on your YSM improvements!

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Old 28th July 2005, 05:13 PM   #3
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Default Another Kanoodle Question

What is the minimum bid at Kanoodle?

Is it .05 or .01?

.01 would be SWEET!!!!!!

Any other important details like $20
monthly mimimum spend or anything
like that?

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Old 28th July 2005, 05:52 PM   #4
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Kanoodle has a $50 minimum initial deposit and a $.05 minimum bid. In some cases minimum bids can be set to less than $.05.

Don't overlook this:
"All accounts are subject to a $10 per month minimum fee, regardless of the number of clicks on your Listings."

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Old 29th July 2005, 11:49 AM   #5
tearles
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Default

Well, I did some more research on Kanoodle and found a couple of interesting things. First, I found several articles that mentioned that Kanoodle is targeting 'second tier' or 'midmarket' sites. That could, at least in theory, explain why my results differ so much from GAW and YSM. My customer base *may* be more likely to use such sites than to use Google or Yahoo, although I have no other reason to suspect that this is the case.

I also found some troubling information, such as this posting that describes what appears to be computer-generated click fraud. I found another couple of examples referring to this problem. The weblogs that I have easy access to don't indicate duration of the visit, but I'm digging some more to see if it's happening with my site.

Coincidentally, I notice that now my uncharged clicks at Kanoodle are rising steeply. For the first week or so, my uncharged clicks (those that Kanoodle suspects are fraudulent) were less than 10 a day. They have now jumped to more than 60 a day. If it is now catching 60 clicks a day that are fraudulent, I wonder how many it misses.

Last night, I put in place Google's cross-channel conversion tracking. It hasn't started reporting yet, but it will certainly be the last indicator I need in deciding whether to keep paying Kanoodle.

tracy

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Old 3rd August 2005, 08:52 PM   #6
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I'm curious to hear your results....



I was considering using them myself....

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Old 4th August 2005, 04:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tearles
Last night, I put in place Google's cross-channel conversion tracking. It hasn't started reporting yet, but it will certainly be the last indicator I need in deciding whether to keep paying Kanoodle.
Please keep us posted on your findings! This has been a great thread.

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Old 5th August 2005, 12:09 PM   #8
tearles
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Thanks for your interest, everyone.

I'm having problems with my Google cross-channel conversion tracking. It was working for about half a day, then stopped. I'm working with Google customer support to resolve it. I hope to have it resolved by Monday, and I'll let you know what happens.

In the meantime, I did another experiment, sort of as a byproduct of testing my Google conversion tracking. I typed my keywords into Kanoodle four times, and not always from the same IP address (i.e. same computer). Three of the four times that I clicked through my ad, I landed on a 'gateway' page before my landing page. The fourth time I was sent directly to my landing page.

The gateway page explained that it was a fraud deterrent tool, and asked me to identify the four-digit code shown. (There's probably a technical term for this process, but I don't know it.) After submitting the correct code, I was redirected to my landing page.

Of course, that raises a couple of additional questions in my mind:

1. How does Kanoodle decide how frequently or when to insert the gateway page?
2. If they're using gateway pages to prevent automated clickfraud, then I shouldn't see a lot of fraudulent clicks in my campaign, should I? My CPCs are so low, I can't imagine that it's profitable for anyone to be paid to fraudulently click through manually.
3. What algorithm are they using to identify fraudulent clicks that show up as "uncharged" clicks in my account? Currently, these uncharged clicks average almost 30 a day, or 10% of my total click volume.

Curiouser and curiouser ...

tracy

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Old 10th August 2005, 08:43 AM   #9
tearles
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Well, I got Google Adwords cross-channel tracking working, and it showed me what I suspected all along. Exactly zero conversions from Kanoodle traffic. As I mentioned before, I average about 25% conversions on Google, about 15% on Yahoo, and after 330 tracked clicks on Kanoodle, zero.

Separately, we reviewed our weblogs and found that all Kanoodle-generated clicks remained on our site for less than 4 seconds, with the majority staying for only one second.

Sounds like click fraud to me. Needless to say, I have suspended my ads on Kanoodle. I'll now spend some time checking out other second- or third-tier search providers to see if there are any ones of value out there.

Live and learn,
tracy

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Old 10th August 2005, 11:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tearles
Three of the four times that I clicked through my ad, I landed on a 'gateway' page before my landing page. The fourth time I was sent directly to my landing page. [ ... ] How does Kanoodle decide how frequently or when to insert the gateway page?
It could be that, on the fourth instance, your browser pulled a copy of the landing page out of its browser cache, which would not give K the opportunity to insert the challenge-response page. That's just a guess on my part.

Another question: are you comfortable relying on reports from Google on the efficacy of a competitor? Just playing Devil's advocate here, as I have no reason to believe there's anything sneaky going on.

At the end of the day, though, you're right. I wouldn't want to pay for 1-second-long visits to my landing page. That's what banner ads are for.

Keep posting details! Will you present Kanoodle with the results of your investigation? Which Tier II operators will you investigate next?

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