Google doesn't reveal its methods, but the number of recurring "My account has been banned for invalid clicks" threads on this forum suggest that some publishers aren't as clever as they think they are. :-)
Remember, too, that Google has vast quantities of data on traffic and click patterns that can be analyzed and used as benchmarks for fraud monitoring. Simplistic example: If a thousand forums about widgets have an average CTR of 2% and Joe Scumbag's similar forum about widgets suddenly has a CTR of 10%, Google's fraud-detection software is likely to flag the account for a closer look. And if Joe Scumbag generates a few hundred thousand phony impressions to mask the spike in CTR, that jump in traffic isn't likely to escape Google's notice, either.
IMHO, only very sophisticated criminals can hope to outsmart Google for very long. The average mope who goes "click-click-click" with his mouse or uses an off-the-shelf clickbot may soon find that he's dealing with people who are smarter (and far more technically sophisticated) than he is.
I agree with EFV that Google will have thought of this, and most likely have solutions including booting people that do it.
But with all that technology and data available to them you would have thunk that they might have made a token effort to get quality scores to work, they might have used the data to realise that bumping off most of the ads that actually have historically paid well in favour of MFA's was a dumb idea, and they might have used it to reduce the MFA problem. But hey-ho, life goes on. Seems a waste having all that data that could be used to enhance adsense AND Google's profits, but they do know best - apparently.
google has some of the smartest people working for them, most with PHD, they have billions in the bank, go ahead and try to out smart them
Proxies won't help cheats for long. Even an IP address through a proxie can reveal a lot about your computer's hardware.
i think a lot of people don't realise that most proxies aren't actually anonymous and can still reveal your real IP if the right software is used to determine it.
a true 100 % anonymous proxy is difficult to find and even more difficult to get a good connection speed with.i imagine google blocks all those anyway, i remember once trying to log on to my adsense account using a proxy anon setting and it refused to open the page.
Why did this pop into your head? Cheating Google and their advertisers will surely get you banned. Better to build a real business based on Google as your partner and stay away from the click fraud.
The question: "Do people surf through proxys clicking their own ads?"
The answer: Almost certainly!
The consequences: Google isn't stupid. Any cheats who use this method to try and defraud Google and the advertisers will get caught, and banned.
Miguelito is right. Proxies aren't as anonymous as one might think. I use one sometimes to see what ads are showing on my site in other parts of the world. If AW stats is smart enough to know it's me, surfing via proxy 123.456.7xx.yy, you can bet your bottom dollar Google will know too :)
>> Why did this pop into your head? Cheating Google and their advertisers will surely get you banned. Better to build a real business based on Google as your partner and stay away from the click fraud <<
Why it popped into my head is pretty obviuos - this would be one of the most easiest ways people use to cheat Google.
I fully agree with staying away from click fraud - that's why all my sites comply to Google TOS, what I don't agree on is if people are doing this un-noticed.
Thanks for comments and I wasn't asking because I wanted to do it, but because this is the place to get correct answers. Cheers.