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eZangaClick Fraud

A representative from eZanga had cold called me to encourage me to try out their platform for third and fourth tier search engine paid marketing. The representative had wanted me to increase my daily spend budget with them although I was hesitant. He had insisted, but I stuck to my daily budget. During the course of the campaign, I had noticed that the ads that eZanga was showing had a remarkably high Click Through Rate (above 20%, where industry norms are between 0.5% and 1.5%). However, the quality of the traffic was abysmal. The representative had made some tweaks to the account and the quality worsened. I had judged the quality by two metrics: -Time spent on my site -Pages viewed per source eZanga visitors time on site was 14 seconds over a 2-week span. The only reason it was this high was because on ONE of the days, the average time on site was 52 seconds. Discounting this outlier, the average time on site drops significantly. There were several days where the AVERAGE time on site was 0, 1 and 3 seconds. This is a STRONG indicator of clickbots and fraudulent activity. They refused to refund the amount spent on this fraudulent traffic.

Responses

  • Ri
    Richard K. Kahn Oct 08, 2009
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I am the CEO of eZanga.com, and being in business for almost 7 years we have not had any complaints about us. We have a very good reputation among users as well as advertisers. Now, no product works for everyone, however, we work hard for every client to make sure we get the most out of our system for them.

    Anyhow, I have reviewed all of the data and have spoken to my Account Manager, his Sales Manager, and the Director of Sales to see what happened on this account.

    The client spent $900 over a 2 week period. We optimized the campaign per the directions of the client. Over the two week time frame the average time on site continued to increase and get better as we optimized the campaign.

    The campaign was getting better and better as we continued to optimize the account for the client.

    As many of you know, that are familiar with campaign optimizations, it takes time to fully optimize a campaign. Two weeks is not enough time to lock a campaign down. However, two weeks is enough time to show positive growth on a campaign as well as moving towards the ultimate goal of a campaign. We did this, and did this well.

    I am sorry that the client stopped prematurely and did not let us continue to work on the campaign, as I know this campaign would have met its goal and have been a positive campaign for the client.

    Thank you,

    Richard K. Kahn, CEO
    eZanga.com, Inc.

    -1 Votes
  • No
    No More Spam Feb 12, 2010

    Richard,

    Your sales team is now cold-calling numbers listed on the Do Not Call registry in a blatant attempt to fish for clients (just leaving a toll-free number saying that it is vital that we call back).

    Pretty sleazy tactics... also reported as a complaint to the National Do Not Call Registry.

    "Do not call complaints will be entered into a secure online database available to civil and criminal law enforcement agencies. While the FTC does not resolve individual consumer problems, your complaint will help the agency investigate the company, and could lead to law enforcement action."

    1 Votes
  • Ma
    Mark_NotAHappyCamper Mar 12, 2010

    Really not worth the money. Does not convert.

    6 Votes
  • Ri
    Richard K. Kahn Mar 17, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Mark,

    I am sorry you feel that way, however, we abide by the Do Not Call Registry as we are a business attempting to solicit business from other businesses. You can read it for yourself on ftc.gov:

    http://screencast.com/t/NjdiMzc2

    If you run a business on the internet, then it is safe to presume that it is a business, and the Do Not Call Registry does not apply.

    My team rarely leaves voicemails, but when they do, they are taught to leave it in a professional manor. I can't listen to every call made by my team, but if you have something that does not sound right, please send it to me so I can get that situation corrected immediately.

    From your comment, I can only imagine you are trying to tarnish our reputation from inaccurate information.

    I invite you to call me to discuss this with you...I can be reached at [protected] Ext. 7001.

    Richard K. Kahn, CEO
    eZanga.com, Inc.

    -3 Votes
  • My
    myprime9 Jun 20, 2011

    i attended a trade show back in august of 2010 and ezanga was there as a vendor with an exhibit. the owner or manager was there and i spoke to him in the middle of the day while he was ridiculously smashed drunk. he claimed to be able to get me traffic from some "other sites" that they owned and that it would create hundreds of leads for me each month. he had his little assistant email me the domain names of some of those sites. i looked in to them and discovered that they just buy up a bunch of expired domains that used to get traffic for one reason or another and they put up those stupid pages with 10 links each (you know, the ones none of us ever stay on and we always instantly click back to google - the real search engine.) let's face it, there really is no such thing as a 3rd or 4th tier search engine. real people only use google, yahoo or bing - period.

    anyway, so here it is june 2011 and i received a random phone call from ezanga. let me review that phone call for you:

    hi, this is so and so from ezanga. that name might not ring a bell (first clue), but you stopped by our booth at a trade show a little while back. we were the ones with all the frogs (thank God she said that or i wouldn't have known who they were.)

    we debated back and forth for about 20 minutes while i asked several questions and tried to gain a little more understanding our ezanga and their operation. unfortunately she couldn't do anything but keep telling me that i was a pessimist (really? ya think? you called me!) I told her that i found it interesting that they decided to wait this long to call me after a show that was almost a year ago, and that it jogged my memory of the owner/manager being completely sloshed on booze at that event. and that he made some bs claims about what they could do for me. she also told me that they were "partners" with google, yahoo and bing (second clue) and that they could get me tens of thousands of additional visitors to my site through their system. I was of course on Google looking up reviews of ezanga and ezanga scams etc while we were on the phone. this is of course how i found this site, which i found quite interesting. so i mentioned it to her that she should google ezanga scams or ezanga reviews. she said, go ahead! i know that there is nothing out there! hahaha - are you kidding me? this page alone has several poor ezanga reviews from this week alone!

    anyway, i just thought i would put in my 2 cents to help save anybody from making a money losing decision. unfortunately, if you want to pay for clicks - the best way is still going straight to google or microsoft. i'm not saying that can't change, but for right now - that seems to be the case. other than that - organically optimize your site. besides, supposedly less than 40% of people click on PPC whereas over 60% click on organic listings. and another research shows that only 14% of people trust paid ads.

    0 Votes
  • Ri
    Richard K Kahn Jul 11, 2011

    Myprime9 (aka: Phillip Cory),

    I am the CEO, and one of the owners, of eZanga.com and would like to respond to your comments, as I take offense when someone tries to tarnish our company’s good reputation with lies.

    Let’s start with the Trade show in August 2010 that you are talking about. I was there and NONE of my guys were “ridiculously smashed drunk” as you claim, let alone drinking for that matter. At the end of the trade show, drinks are served and my guys are allowed to have one, if anyone of them did get drunk at the trade show, they would no longer work for me.

    Everyone that knows us knows that we run an above board company and work hard for each and every client.

    Were you drinking during the show? Were you throwing back some of grandpa’s brew? When you were asked by my account manager on the phone to describe our booth you could not, you didn’t remember. Our booth is unforgettable. Would you like to hear the recording…I have it. Furthermore, you stated that “…[he] told one of the girls working there; get his email address…” there were no women at our booth. Are you sure you were thinking of the correct company?

    During your call you mentioned that you live in, and I quote, “South Florida, scam capital of the world”. Really…what are you up to there? Should we be careful when we come across your site(s)?

    You go on to make ignorant comments like “You need me more than I need you” or “Nobody knows you”. Comments like this only prove my point and people should know their source of information before trusting it.

    Now, let’s looks at complaint boards, many users complain about many things. A quick google search (as you request) for companies like AT&T, APPLE and Coke-a-Cola will also produce results like:

    -> AT&T scams loyal customers with "Free Upgrade" SCAM
    -> Apple scams us again - no FW connector w/mini - iLounge

    Heck, Coke-a-Cola even made it to this complaint board:



    Does that make them bad companies out to scam people? Not at all, any company that is out there for a while will eventually get someone complaining about their company in some way or another. Why? People like to complain…it’s just human nature…kind of like your post.

    Finally, you want to talk about SEO getting 60% of clicks versus SEM getting less than 40%. If you want to go there check your math. SEO, which is organic listings, only accounts for 10% of Goggle’s total volume; where as SEM has access to it all. I wrote an entire article on SEO vs. SEM and documented my proof. I have spoken on the subject across the country and SEO experts even agree with my findings.

    To wrap this up, please don’t attempt to spread lies about a solid company just because you live in the, how did you put it, “scam capital of the world”. While you are out scamming people and telling lies about good companies, the rest of us are trying to make living.

    0 Votes
  • An
    Andrew Sauter Feb 15, 2012

    I like Richard's "Other companies have been accused of scamming, therefore we're innocent!" defense. No, stay far away from this company. Similar experience as everyone else, this is bot traffic.

    It’s not an assumption, it is definitely fake traffic. You know one way I can tell? People usually only click “view cart” at the top of the page when they have stuff in their shopping cart. When they do click cart, I can see what amounts were added. This way I can track drop-off and conversions. The top most clicked link with Ezanga was “cart” with $0.00 worth of items. That means a ton of bots came and just started randomly clicking things on the front page, one of those being the very first link “view cart” .

    The other giveaway, the views of my terms and conditions (also listed at the top) was clicked almost as often as “view cart” do you realize how rare it is for my terms and conditions to be clicked? In the past 6 months, I may have had 10 visitors to it. Ezanga's over a day and a half: 60 views.

    Oh and exactly 30 seconds on everything. Almost all the links on the front page were evenly clicked with exactly 30 seconds being spent on random pages. No items actually ever added to cart despite "cart" and "checkout" (with $0.00 in the cart) being clicked and viewed multiple times.

    It’s all bot traffic. Oh, and then they auto-refilled my advertising, which I don't remember, ever, clicking auto-refill. When I complained that I wanted my money back because the traffic was fake. The response I got from their customer service was:

    >Fake traffic huh. Lol

    Yeah, fake traffic. Way for Ezanga to be professional with sarcastic use of “LOL”. Is this company run by 17 year olds? Are we on Facebook? They use talk like this in a business setting? Yeah, I’m pretty sure no-one wanting a legitimate source of PPC advertising traffic should be doing business with this company, despite the defense "Coke has a complaints board complaint also!", stay far away from these scammers.

    -1 Votes
  • El
    Eli Martin Feb 15, 2012

    Andrew,

    My name is Eli, a sales manager with eZanga.com. I wanted to address your comments. We take claims of click fraud very seriously and make sure we address any issue as they arise. In fact, to make sure we remain one of the leaders in the industry when it comes to click fraud prevention we have our traffic monitored by both ComScore and Adometry.

    Now, both ComScore and Adometry are third party traffic monitoring systems who work with many other major search engines in the same capacity to seek out and remove fraudulent traffic from our network. In the past 5 years we have sent hundreds of millions if not billions of clicks through this monitoring system and have seen that less than .05% of our traffic comes back to us with any type of suspicion.

    Taking a deeper look into your campaign, I see you spent a total of $35.54 and received 99 clicks. This occurred over less than a two day time frame. Unfortunately with such a small test and without being able to optimize the campaign at all it is difficult to determine the effectiveness any campaign at any level. Typically if you are getting traffic that does not fit your needs we can simply block those sources of traffic and move on to more effective traffic that fits your needs.

    As far as our responses to your displeasure with our traffic, our customer service was actually an experienced senior account manager who has worked with many different advertisers with great success. He takes pride in watching every one of his customers grow and make money regardless of the initial investment. That level of support is hard to come by these days as I am sure you have experienced. Perhaps if you are unhappy with the level of support you can speak to a sales manager like myself so we can discuss the multiple ways to resolve the issue at hand.

    1 Votes
  • So
    Sonjit Mar 09, 2012

    Bots or not, this is not traffic you want. In addition to the suspiciously repetitive browsing and clicking behaviors Andrew described, you only have to do a quick look at your web logs to see that their user base consists mostly of old Windows XP machines running IE7 browsers. In fact, in the time period we monitored, less than 10% of the traffic was using a modern or non-Microsoft browser, with less than 1% using an Apple product. This is way off the demographics and proportions seen with organic traffic. Even if this wasn't suspicious in and of itself, is this the audience you want to target? In the end, none of the traffic converted and to ad insult to injury, Google withheld the bulk of ad revenues for that time period citing a sudden spike in bad traffic.

    0 Votes
  • Ad
    advertiser49 May 05, 2012

    A few weeks ago, i meet the guys from eZanga in San Francisco at the Ad:Tech Conference.
    After a few test, i must say what they offer is from a-z fraud traffic! This Guys just send you Bot / Spider Traffic that follows the links on your Website. Nothing else! This Traffic is totaly fake. I made different tests, with different topics and keywords - but there is no difference at all in the results. MAYBE some Traffic (less than 10%) is real, all the rest is generated.

    Maybe if you mix this traffic with other sources you cannot see that clear how fake this traffic is.
    But if you are sending eZange Traffic to a specific Site just to track and analyze the traffic > you will see it immediately.
    You could ad a link to your website and name it: Don't click here - and you would have hundreds of Visitors on that link - just because the bot of eZanga follows every link you have. Trying to look real...

    Horrible! Worst Traffic ever.

    1 Votes
  • Sc
    Scamzanga May 26, 2012
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    “The Lady Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks.”

    Just reading the aggressive responses to complaints from the CEO of this ezanga crap-fest is enough to convince me to avoid investing any further of my ad dollars for visits from their FAKE TRAFFIC BOTs! What a sleazy business, taking money from small business owners to market them, and then using it up by generating fake traffic. He may be riding high now with this money for nothing scam, but his day will come.

    0 Votes
  • Em
    emontoya Jul 24, 2012
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have used this company in the past. Personally, I had hits with a high bounce rate. Am I upset? NOPE! I advertised a hosting company affiliate link and made enough sales to pay for my ads and make a profit. Then I found out that I can't advertise my affiliate link on PPC type campaigns.

    If the hosting company didn't get on to me, I would still be using eZanga.

    1 Votes
  • Al
    aleaa Dec 05, 2012

    I am doing some research and came across this board. I have never used/heard of Ezanga but after seeing the comments from the CEO and other upper level execs, I would never use this company. You are ruining yourself by trying to defend yourself. Choose your battles.

    0 Votes
  • Ea
    Earl Jaques Jan 21, 2013

    I am in complete disgust of this company. I had a friend that worked there and he told me it was a complete joke. Now he owns two businesses. I hope this company falls in flames.

    0 Votes
  • Br
    Brad A K Apr 24, 2013
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    We tried an experiment with eZanga and it was similar to the original complaint. 3000 clicks, <13 seconds viewing the site (vs. minutes on normal traffic), and zero new member registrations. We also had an aggressive sales person trying to get us to spend more money. This really came across to us as a scam...a bot factory. Something is amiss with eZanga.
    --Brad Kayton, CMO of 1World Online

    2 Votes
  • Te
    testeroftraffic Jan 24, 2014

    I monitored my google analytics when running some traffic with eZanga. It was very odd, cause alot of the links get clicked, including the viewing 'members' and 'registration' pages. Alot of clicks to those pages...but at the end of the day there were no actual real registrations. It seems very suspicious. and it was evenly timed for each link. So I stopped traffic and going to request refund. Also What I thought was weird was all this traffic was 'direct' traffic...no referrers...like people just typed in the URL in the browser and surfed from there...which is very odd...when you click on an ad, there's usually a URL referrer, but this is all direct traffic. Not every single person types in the URL seeing the ad. This is bot traffic with lots of clues to substantiate it. Stay away from eZanga.

    4 Votes
  • Ad
    AdamBrant Sep 29, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Wow, can't believe this company's entire team is on this thread defending themselves. Lets call out eZanga's bull crap and scam. I worked for a publisher doing marketing and this company started off showing results in a manner that were being masked by "AdForge" (a middle man platform that uses IAS, MOAT and Forensiq filtering). These guys figured out a way to hack their code. So in Oct 2015 we started marketing with this company, we started small, and watched the feedback from our clients, but didn't say much, cause it was too early to say anything. In Dec, our company got an email from Google Adsense, about invalid click activity. Yes we all know about Google. But every week after that, all of our publishers advertisers and ad networks had an issue with the traffic. Our sources were eZanga and Facebook. And before working with eZanga, we were only working with Facebook and had no issues with any of our advertisers or ad networks. Our company in Dec signed up with IAS, MOAT to get our numbers audited. And they were sitting at 30% bot traffic from eZanga. Google paused our earned revenue of over $500K, and they eventually after 2 months of review took it all back. And they went further a few months back and put my publishers Adsense account in negative $100K . I'd never seen a negative Adsense account, usually Google just disables the account.

    From other advertisers and networks, we lost over $400K. In all the company lost over $2M and got its reputation ruined because of eZanga. And I lost my commission. Yeah, I was mad. What does this Richard guy do to prove his innocent, he dumps a massive database file and says, see its all there! Internally we all were like; what the heck is this guy smoking. This company has in a cleaver way put itself in a spot to take no accountability at all. If something goes wrong, they point the finger at Adforge and say, its their algorithm, or they point to their terms and conditions. Internally we could never prove it, but what they guys did with the clicks on our site; was just very strange. Once client watched with a heat map while doing a test and discovered the same areas of the website being clicked exactly in 1 min intervals. That is not human. And when we told eZanga of this finding, they changed the timing so we couldn't find their new pattern of click fraud they were doing.

    We spent up front with eZanga over $400K, never got a cent back. And at the end, they did give our company a credit line of $75K and when all the crap hit the fan, they came knocking on our door asking for payment. The publisher never paid their scam butt. And yes they should get what's coming to them. And this forum I just found searching on the internet is a good thing. To warn others not to use their service.

    Can't believe the fat balls on this guy Richard to be going out of the way to comment on this thread. Does he really think everyone is stupid. Its like he just throws up bull crap non stop. I'm surprised they don't have their children commenting on this thread.

    NEVER, EVER USE THIS COMPANY's SERVICES. You have been warned, stay the heck away! These are clever little con artists.

    16 Votes
  • An
    anon_antifraud May 05, 2017
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Looks like things haven't changed. Found this after I saw this thread. https://www.slideshare.net/ShailinDhar/ad-fraud-in-our-own-backyard

    12 Votes

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