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Black hat PPC is rarely discussed in the industry, especially not as much as black hat SEO.

Pay-per-click is a competitive process simply by design, so there’s always going to be people who choose to use dirty tactics rather than having to pay the higher bid prices.
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from jellymeli 2619 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"One of many reasons affiliates use this technique is that it allows them to show a different display URL to the actual click-through URL on the ad." I’ll admit, I do this. Not to the extent they argue in the article, but if I’m doing SEO for let’s say a real estate website, instead of having the plain URL, I’ll spice it up with domain.com/listings. It does seem to help. As for copying competitors ad’s, I can’t see that as converting really well. My goal is always conversions. Users expect to go where they clicked on.

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from evilgreenmonkey 2619 Days ago #
Votes: -1

"As for copying competitors ad’s, I can’t see that as converting really well. My goal is always conversions. Users expect to go where they clicked on." A nice work around for this is to send the user to a domain similar to your competitor’s, and display a page saying that their website is down and to use Company X instead :o)

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from flyingrose 2619 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I keep debating with myself whether to respond to this or not. This is a perfect example of providing exposure to unethical behavior. I was very surprised to see who had published this article as it goes against my sense of the type of site they are. Do we really want more people to know these tactics - especially that last one? How about a new feature at Sphinn: the ability to Anti-Sphinn stuff like this? If you have put a Sphinn on this and what I say makes sense to you, perhaps you will consider Unsphinning it so it goes away quickly. At least the author provides us a clue with his nickname: evilgreenmonkey. Since this is the first time I’ve come across his writing, my first impression is the emphasis is on the evil.

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from ChrisOD 2619 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I think Danny is considering a bury function a la Digg. However, one benefit of this type of article is to make PPC professionals monitor their ads and keyphrases closely. Do that, and then as soon as you spot something naughty, report to Google and in many cases that could be a competitor out of the way for a while.

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from Sem-Advance 2619 Days ago #
Votes: 0

To be honest none of this is new. I had a partner who used multiple Adwords accounts and multiple sites (albeit each completely different) for years to corner the market a bit. Google now has become a competitor of mine since the account went over $10,000.00 per month in spend, they offered him free SEM services for his account with them. However I am not sure if Google knew he had multiple accounts or not, once they took over. You are also able to use non-english characters in Adwords Ads as well, for another trick you can use.

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from flyingrose 2618 Days ago #
Votes: 0

While it is wise for us to be aware of this type of thing, it is not wise to make it easier for those who wouldn’t figure this stuff out on their own. Google is known to solicit advertisers and they will offer to "optimize" accounts on request for free (and free optimizations pop-up voluntarily off and on in many accounts). Some agencies charge clients for "optimization" and then have Google do that. Two tips about Google optimizations: 1. If they offer you an optimization and you know what you’re doing it doesn’t hurt to see if there might be any good ideas in there. If you don’t, run - or better yet just decline or delete. They are almost always full of keywords far too broad that will not convert and implementing their suggestions will severely injure your ROI. 2. It is an obvious conflict of interest to allow any PPC engine to create or manage your advertising account. Their goal is to maximize traffic and spend; yours should be to maximize revenue, sales, and especially profitability. These two goals are not compatible. Google optimizes accounts for Google; your PPC consultant optimizes accounts FOR YOU. I’m going to duck behind a sturdy wall for this one. Does it make sense to pay PPC consultants a percentage of ad spend? Providing an incentive to increase spending and no incentive to improve results (unless you have specified goals or are threatening to change managers - not something to take lightly as change can be far more harmful than helpful) is unwise. That said, I know SEM companies who use this business model who I would trust because they are of extremely high integrity. I still don’t believe it is the best pricing model though. It probably originated because that was how media buyers were compensated and then carried over into paid search when it was introduced. I propose that as soon as accurate analytics can be implemented, the best model is to pay a percentage of increased profits driven instead of a flat rate, hourly rate, or percentage of ad spend which are common today.

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from flyingrose 2618 Days ago #
Votes: 1

P.S. In case it may not be obvious to some, it is very likely that allowing the search engines to manage your PPC spend will cost you a lot more (in both advertising costs, revenue potential, and profits) than paying a PPC manager. Exceptional PPC managers will have more life and business experience than the average search engine employee or entry level workers in a large PPC shop. (Obviously there may be exceptions so YMMV.)

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