A post over on SearchEngineJournal.com today was talking about his experience with click fraud and the second tier engines, in this case Miva. Second tier engines have a reputation of poor low converting traffic that is riddled by click fraud and this case is no different. SEJ noticed referrer sources coming from notorious spyware sources and contacted the engine with data to prove his point. While he was promptly issued a refund, there was no explanation on how this publisher got into the network and was able to display the ads. After a month there has been no response which throws up a huge red flag for me.
So you want to know the one reason why you should use 2nd tier engines like Miva, LookSmart and Findwhat? There isn’t one. Under no circumstance can I recommend using a 2nd tier engine over any of the majors (Google, Yahoo, and MSN). If you can’t get accepted to the majors and you need to use a supplementary traffic program, id rather recommend an affiliate program, but if you must use 2nd tier advertising be sure to pay explicit attention to referral reports and use as much technology as possible in hopes to identify click fraud before it gets out of hand.