Bing Ads Partner Network = Fraud for Dating Site Marketers

If you’re marketing a dating site via Paid Search no doubt you’re using Bing Ads in addition to AdWords and others. As with AdWords, Bing Ads allows your ads to be shown beyond just Bing and Yahoo! search — via “partners”.

The problem is, from my experience, this network of partners has a lot of bad apples. We’re talking click fraud. Normally click-fraud shows up with a high number of clicks and zero conversions. Thing is, the fraudulent Partners on Bing’s ad network are a bit smarter than that. Meaning that, for dating sites, they will actually click on the ads on their site (after they perform a search) and also follow through with the sign up process to have the result be a really nice conversion rate in terms of clicks to sign ups. Of course, the membership payment rate will be zero, but short term the traffic appears to be excellent quality.

The refer URLs for these Bing Partner sites will be sites that have absolutely nothing to do with online dating — financial, real estate, you name it. A dating-type term will be searched on the site, and the click and sign up will take place from there. The username of the dating profile created is usually complete gibberish.

Once you figure out that no payments are happening, you’ll look into the details and will approach Bing with said details. A low level support person will toss you a few bucks as a refund (nowhere close to the actual amount of fraud) and hope you’ll be on your way. I suggest you counter with the details you find from the profile sign ups:

  • meaningless usernames
  • refer URLs that have nothing to do with dating
  • ridiculously high click-to-sign-up conversion rates

Take that data and go back to them and have their next level of support pick though it. You should eventually get the refund you deserve.

From what I’ve seen, Bing Ads doesn’t take any of this serious enough as months and months later I saw the process repeated, but with another dating site.

So, definitely TURN OFF the Bing Ads Partner traffic (select Bing and Yahoo! only). It would be helpful to be able to select a few more beyond Bing and Yahoo! as there are some good quality Partners in their network — but you can only opt out of all or none.

Have you experienced the same type of results? Let us know in the comments below.

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