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Click fraud or high visits from India and Nigeria
But ads only displayed to US

 6:41 am on Jan 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Noticed in the web stats interface that the highest number of visits (4000+ pages) in December from a unique IP address was from a Mumbai-based ISP. The client site does not sell outside the US, so it is pointless for someone in India or Nigeria (previous month) to be the top visitor.

The three days before Christmas day were the busiest, yet this is not a seasonal business. This also corresponds to unusually high Adwords spend and a terrible conversion ratio.

Now here's the catch - the ads are not visible to anyone outside the US unless they use a proxy server.

202.88.178.**** (the Indian IP address) shows up in lists of anon proxy servers (not the actual final octet). My main theory is that a competitor in the US was clicking away using an open server in India.

I won't have access to the server logs until next week, so I can't check yet whether the visits show an Adwords referral ID or are direct hits.

Any suggestions or other theories? Any way to block by entire A class - what I mean is that we can't stop someone from calling up Google through a proxy server but can we prevent the click from being counted (since the landing page won't be seen by the clicker), or is the click counted at that point?




 9:05 am on Jan 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

That sucks.
But if the clicks were coming from an open proxy in India your ad shouldn't show up anyway, cause the adwords system sees this indian ip and not the real ip behind the anon proxy.

Btw, it scares me that google doesn't filter out open proxy clicks. I think most fraud on the internet is coming through open proxy servers.


 1:47 pm on Jan 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Now here's the catch - the ads are not visible to anyone outside the US unless they use a proxy server

you're completely wrong here. if you add "&gl=us" to the URL, you can see ads targeted for the US, no matter where you're.


 2:13 pm on Jan 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

..and if what ninhld has said is correct .. he might have hired some one in India to do this job $5 per hour .. or even pay per click (no pun intended)


 4:23 am on Jan 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

if you add "&gl=us" to the URL

I knew that technique but completely forgot to think of that because I was looking at the web site stats (which don't tell me where the high usage came from - PPC or bookmarks or free searches) and separately at the high Adwords spend. Will soon find out once the staff are back at work and can get to the detailed server logs.


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