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Fake AdWords clicks
Does google do anything about it?
bcc1234




msg:1130910
 1:34 am on Sep 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi, I ran a test campaign on adwords select last night.
Got 187 clicks, 86 of them were from 5 IP's.
There also were a bunch of IP's with 2 or 3 clicks which I didn't include in those 5.
And of course those IP's didn't do any site browsing :) Did not even bother to load the images on the home page.

So I wasted a large portion of the money on nothing.

Does google do anything about it ?

I mean, any low-life can get an app that just keeps clicking and following a redirect and then even do some browsing.
Spoofing IP, on the other hand, is impossible with a tcp connection.

Obviously, I'm not going to run any more campaigns on adwords.

GoogleGuy, any thoughts ?

 

deltakits




msg:1130911
 2:44 am on Sep 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

I tried and tried to create fake clicks to test adwords (on my own site :)), and none of them ever showed up...Not even the FIRST click!

bcc1234




msg:1130912
 3:31 am on Sep 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

Not even the FIRST click!

That means you didn't do it right, and not that AdWords is low-life proof :)

GoogleGuy




msg:1130913
 4:49 am on Sep 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

We got systems in place to prevent abuse, and we're always improving the ways that we check for real surfers. One thing to bear in mind is that many ISP's route things through a single IP, so you can always do an nslookup or traceroute on those IP addresses and see what type of system did those clicks. Click spamming doesn't happen to us very much, but if you think something serious is going on, you can always write to adwords support and ask them to check it out.

bcc1234




msg:1130914
 5:57 am on Sep 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the reply GoogleGuy.

The fact that some providers use proxies is true.
But I see one IP that only requests the home page and not images.
Not even the first time.
Another weird thing is out of 50 clicks - I get at least 5 people to click any link on a site and go to some secondary page. Not a single one from that IP.

deltakits




msg:1130915
 10:54 am on Sep 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

That means you didn't do it right, and not that AdWords is low-life proof

Are you calling me a low-life? :)

I wasn't doing it wrong, kind of hard to mess up "search term then click," and i've had it charge me before when i've just done one or two clicks. I think that when you do a whole bunch, Google realizes it, and removes charges for ALL clicks associated with that IP for that time...Make sense?

bcc1234




msg:1130916
 3:16 pm on Sep 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

Are you calling me a low-life?

I'm calling those who waste my money low-lives.

Shakil




msg:1130917
 3:29 pm on Sep 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

From experience Google are quite responsive to fraudulent clicks, unlike certain other PPC companies.

I am sure some secretly encourage the whole process, as they are making money.

The other fashionable thing taking place is dodgy webmasters creating a page > becoming affiliates of PPCs and showing results for a keyword > then submitting that page to PPCs and Search Engines under the specific "search word".... now what the heck is all that about.

PPC is a mess at present, glad google seem to be having some control.

Shak

bcc1234




msg:1130918
 6:59 pm on Sep 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

The other fashionable thing taking place is dodgy webmasters creating a page > becoming affiliates of PPCs and showing results for a keyword > then submitting that page to PPCs and Search Engines under the specific "search word".... now what the heck is all that about.

I've seen some .edu referrers in my adwords campaign.
That page pulls stuff of altavista, google, and a few others along with all ads.

That was weird.

clickclick




msg:1130919
 12:10 am on Sep 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

bcc1234 - I agree, being a bit of a programmer, a list of anonymous public proxy servers and the vsocks component or similar must be able to drain away somebody's advertising budget in no time at all.

I tried ppc with overture and was 'suspicious' to say the least.

bcc1234




msg:1130920
 9:55 am on Sep 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

I tried ppc with overture and was 'suspicious' to say the least.

Haven't tried overture but with google, got it up to 347 clicks and still 0 sales.

Only one guy has actually made it to the shopping cart :)

TallTroll




msg:1130921
 10:27 am on Sep 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Stick with it man. Maybe you should review the process a prospect has to go through to get from the landing page on your site to making a buy

Even the most unexciting sites in the lowest traffic sectors can do it. Example figures from one client, who I personally never thought should have done this :

Last month : Impressions 4914, clicks 243, CTR 4.95%

Month to date (9/9/02) Imp 1261, clicks 62, CTR 4.92%

The keyword list was expanded a bit at the end of last month, so I am expecting slightly higher impressions and clicks, at the expense of CTR, which is on track so far. I've been very impressed with the CTR performance, and the sales are doing well too, a steady stream of small orders, (60 - 300), with the odd 2k - 5k one thrown in, averaging about a dozen a week, for a clicks/sales conversion of about 20% (a small Overture campaign is running also, but traffic is frankly negligible, even by these standards)

bcc1234




msg:1130922
 3:27 am on Sep 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

Maybe you should review the process a prospect has to go through to get from the landing page on your site to making a buy

That is exactly why I used adwords !
To see the patterns and then optimize the site.

But most of the clicks were only one hit - the home page.
No even the images from the home page, just the /.

Kinda hard to analyze that :)

andrewg




msg:1130923
 1:23 am on Sep 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Speaking of fake, what proof do we have that GoogleGuy *really* works for Google?

No offence GG, but I've seen stranger things happen. It would not be a huge stretch for some nut to worm his way onto a message board and sound authoritative and fool everyone.

Did you guys check his badge at the door?

ciml




msg:1130924
 11:04 am on Sep 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

> what proof do we have that GoogleGuy *really* works for Google?

People posting here from search engines get checked.

Anyway, I rather doubt that the membership of WebmasterWorld would be duped for eleven months in over 380 posts by an imposter.

Mark_A




msg:1130925
 3:34 pm on Nov 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Interesting post / thread.

Just had the same guy click my ad 13 times from the same IP within 28 seconds.

Google Adwords has counted each of these clicks as valid plus a few further clicks that do not show in my logs as ever having reached my server.

Concerned - but glad I did not accept the recommended max click through price Adwords recommended.

If I had done I would be really angry about it.

Mark_A




msg:1130926
 3:43 pm on Nov 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Aha, check again before I speak / write. That may not have been true in fact.

Logs show greater google referrers to that page than the adwords program has counted so it may have discarded some of "multiclicks" attempts to deprive me of my money after all :-) Interesting that the numbers do not seem to tally exactly. I need more data to be able to tell.

BTW: Anyone know can Adwords force a referrer to appear even if users browser is set up not to display one?

cminblues




msg:1130927
 9:26 pm on Nov 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

GG wrote:
>>We got systems in place to prevent abuse, and we're always improving the ways that we check for real surfers.<<

Sorry to say that, but if a browser do something, also a well-coded script can do exactly the same, from the server's POV.

About the IP issue, think of this:
- I want to damage a competitor.
- I use, for my scripts, a bunch of proxies, or, much better, various free ISP dial-in accounts.

Sure this issue is'nt at all only related to G PPC.
And, IMO, the Google PPC are the best-protected.
But not impossible to spoof he. :)

Little personal note:
I've never filled a Google spam report.
For the same reason, I've never made such a trick to my competitors, and I'll never do.
I think it's better for me to spend time in building my home than in attempting to crash other people's homes. :)

cminblues

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