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This 34 message thread spans 2 pages: 34 ( [1] 2 > >     
Here we go another fraud
Just the fraud email!
cramalot

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 11:29 pm on Jul 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

To me there is something wierd about this. I myself have never nor has my partner clicked on any ad. I don't know how or where they get this claim but it would be interesting to find out how this goes.

The only difference to the site is that we had a design change and it did affect our click rate. But that is about it.

What I don't understand is if they track clicks by IP address why do they not just exclude them and not charge for the click. I can and do the same when needs be. It isn't hard to do.

If a visitor click on 40 ads, so be it. Google could also limit the amount of clicks a certain person could have. That wouldn't be hard to do either.

I did email them and hope to hear back real soon. My log files alone can't tell me enough unless I know where the "fraud clicks came from. Clicking on an ad does not show up. I did request them to clarify and give me more info so I can find out what the problem is.

 

TravelQuest

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 1:54 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good luck my friend! I am not very happy with Google right now, they kicked me out and will not tell me why. I have never click on my own page nor have any scripts running. As far as email,, don't hold your breath, it took 3 emails and 10 days to get a reply, they claim that they did not get my first 2 emails.

Here is the story as I see it,, Google has the cards, they make the rules and change them to make more money for them. If the clicks are fraud, then who gets the money they collected,, is it refunded to the Adwords owner, I have never got a refund on my adwords statment.

I think Google should do business as they would do business with other. What I mean by that is this. They would never do business with you on the terms that they have made for us!

I would love to hear from anyone about this. On this board or to my email. tonym@parrett.net

Thanks,
Tony

Imaster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 6:21 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I would really love to know how Google tracks such frauds, as otherwise it would be very easy for competitors to ruin our relationship with Google. Not only could this result in account termination, but perhaps our sites could also come under scrutiny as Google might think that we are involved in fradulent activities.

Jenstar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jenstar us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 6:29 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I would really love to know how Google tracks such frauds

If Google told people how they track fraud, that would just lead some to circumvent Google's tracking methods to make fraudulent clicks through other means.

I think we can add this one to the list of things that AdSense will never tell us ;)

Imaster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 7:39 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think we can add this one to the list of things that AdSense will never tell us

You are right, Jenstar.

Iguana

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 8:53 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

cramalot

I also got the same email this morning - and like you I can guarantee that I haven't clicked on any ads. In the past 2 days there has been a sudden increase in my CTR and earning - maybe the email/investigation has just been triggered by this increase. Considering how many charity ads are showing on my site (the targetting is up the spout at the moment), I am surpised to get any paying clicks.

Google certainly have the people who can figure out what's happening - whether they are used to investigate this possible click fraud is another matter. They should be able to figure out country (if not organisation) from the IP - but then they have to decide if It was me and they don't know whether I have a friend somewhere who clicks on my behalf.

Imaster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 10:13 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

One point I have is: If those who have received such emails from Google say that they are innocent and they haven't caused this fraud, then who could have done it? Could it be the competitors or could it be that the targeting has been very accurate and more and more users clicked on them, thus creating an image that the ctr suddenly rose and it could be fraudulent.

But on the other side, we have google who would have fool-proof testing methods to verify the authentic nature of this fraud and whether it has been commited by the owners or others, or something like that.

If the owners claim innocence and google cannot be wrong, then what is wrong?

Iguana

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 10:30 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I just checked my logs for the 23rd and there was no suspicious activity for any IP that pulled more than 10 pages - so it doesn't look like anyone is calling up lots of pages and clicking through. I suspect the email was sent because the CTR doubled - when they investigate the actual clicks they should see it's okay.

Why my CTR should jump is an absolute mystery - but it could be as simple as a bands tour is announced and people click on ticket ads having looked at the tour dates (from the timings it looks like get a lot of clicks in UK work time)

mayor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 10:35 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Imaster, maybe Google is trying to scare the livin' "H" out of everyone and you've been selected a patsy. The cuetsey Google may be more predatory than many envision. Maybe it's called the scare algorithm.

Imaster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 11:10 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Imaster, maybe Google is trying to scare the livin' "H" out of everyone and you've been selected a patsy.

You could be right. I am lucky that my sites get decent ctr and I am not a target yet :)

Poweroid

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 11:30 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Imaster, it's precisely because your sites get a high CTR that you WILL be a target! (I hope I am wrong)

We get a high CTR and I believe that's the only reason we got one of the "fraudulent clicks" emails. The fact that the CTR is consistently high 24x7 does not seem to figure in Google's calculations. Presumably if someone is getting more than 10-15% clickthoughs they must have an army of recruits sitting in different countries, on different IPs, just clicking away 24 hours a day to boost our revenue past the $20 per day figure.

>> If those who have received such emails from Google say that they are innocent and they haven't caused this fraud, then who could have done it

I don't believe that there has to be a fraud for Google to send this email out. I believe they even send it out for sudden (even small) increases in CTRs. Especially if the CTR then drops backs down again.

That does raise serious concerns as a publisher already on Adsense will have to be very cautious about adding or removing Adsense from pages for fear of affecting CTR.

Imaster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 11:51 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi Poweroid,

My sites get standard ctr and the ctr's you mentioned are way way too high. Perhaps my post above suggested that I was worried about my sites, which I am not

Not only could this result in account termination, but perhaps our sites could also come under scrutiny as Google might think that we are involved in fradulent activities.

By "our sites", I meant any general site that registered a high number of CTR. I didn't refer to my site. I am just saying that Google should have solid checking tools to verify fradulent activities so that innocent sites don't get in trouble.

Poweroid

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 12:47 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Imaster, as discussed on another thread you are contributing to - genuine CTRs can vary widely depending on the type of site you have, the subject topics etc.
[webmasterworld.com...]

You are incorrect in your assumption that a certain CTR is "way too high". There is no absolute high or low. It can only be too high in relation to other sites in the same "category".

>> I am just saying that Google should have solid checking tools to verify fradulent activities

I'd vote for that 100%

Imaster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 1:04 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Poweroid

You are incorrect in your assumption that a certain CTR is "way too high". There is no absolute high or low. It can only be too high in relation to other sites in the same "category".

You are right, I guess. Different topics can yield different CTR's and some topics can yield high ctr's too :)

loanuniverse

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 1:17 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

IMHO, the following can trigger a flag:

1- Several clicks from a single ip or a range of ips.
2- High CTR.
3- Sudden increases in CTR.
4- Sudden increases in impressions.
5- Spider detects a word that might be considered innapropiate.

I hope that the email is not triggered automatically, and that all the flag does is alert someone to do a spot check on the site. However, the posts from people claiming to be innocent leads me to believe that the net to catch fraud is too wide and that the process might be more automated than it should be.

mayor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 5:08 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Based on my early test results, I could easily turn AdSense into a four figure per month source of revenue. But until I'm confident I won't get hosed, and the rules are well established and understood, and their behavior is demonstrated to be consistant with professional business practices, I'll sit on the sidelines.

Google's AdSense is buying my lunch for now, and I thank them graciously for that.

eraldemukian

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 6:05 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

mayor: I would not be so certain about that lunch. I thought so too at some point.

One theory could be, that google compares CTRs to conversions.
If that ratio is bad then they kick you off. For that they would need
to get feedback from the advertisers.

Certain ads/term have a very high price. If you happen to attract those for while, but nobody buys AND if there is a feedback loop, then this could explain some of the observations here.

Or 'Fraudulent Clicks' is just a generic way of everything that google
does not like.

As said in a another thread: A generic email and a blocked login account is all you get from google when they disolve your account. No specifics.
At least in all cases that I know off.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 198 posted 6:13 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Why my CTR should jump is an absolute mystery - but it could be as simple as a bands tour is announced and people click on ticket ads having looked at the tour dates (from the timings it looks like get a lot of clicks in UK work time)

Small sites are likely to have more problems with "CTR jumps" than larger ones are, simply because a larger site's AdSense ads will be spread over so many pages and keywords. So bulding a large, comprehensive, high-quality site will offer multiple advantages:

1) More traffic.

2) More ads to display.

3) Less likelihood of triggering a "fraud alarm" at Google if you've got a page about Harry Potter that generates a flood of clicks when the next Harry Potter book comes out.

cramalot

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 7:19 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well I got a response!

To bad it was an automated response. Stating that we are still investigating the matter but "In the interim" my account will stay open.

Ok that was helpful.

I want to know what is going on with my website, my visitors, my business. I do not appreciate the vague response nor do I appreciate the fact that I am not given a timeline to when this matter will be taken care of.

Poweroid

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 7:30 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I do not appreciate the vague response nor do I appreciate the fact that I am not given a timeline to when this matter will be taken care of.

That means that the longer it takes the more you lose. I'm in exactly the same position. Perhaps the best route is to replace the Adsense ads with another paying program till they decide whether they are going to pay you or not. OK, it will probably make you less money, but a bird in the hand...

loanuniverse

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 7:39 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

One theory could be, that google compares CTRs to conversions.
If that ratio is bad then they kick you off. For that they would need
to get feedback from the advertisers.

I would be surprised if this is implemented in no more than a hundred advertisers as a sample. I think the whole fraud detection is more automated than that. It might be that Google is conducting some tests to measure effectiveness. But, I doubt it if these numbers are ever released.

I think that overall, the ads are well priced. But some companies might be paying to much to be #1. Google benefits from being a per click network much better than a per action network and that will not change IMHO.

cramalot

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 7:46 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am considering taking them down. Looking around for something else. I am finding it hard to be associated with a company who treats their "business partners" in this fashion.

I really do feel as if I am prison stating over and over "I didn't do it" and of course nobody believes me.

If they go by IP and I am on a dial up (server assigns IP) can another person from my town with the same Internet provider get assign the same IP address as the one Google loged. Just wondering. We are from a small town and many people visit our site.

mayor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 7:57 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm not used to dealing with dictatorial advertisers. The ad space on my websites is of great value and I have reliable advertisers that work with me as a business partner.

I'm very sad to see Google treating people the way they're treating you, Cramalot, and I don't want that to happen to me.

Search engines grew up having an adversarial relationship with webmasters. I guess that's all they know.

daugava

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 8:06 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

>One theory could be, that google compares CTRs to
>conversions.
>If that ratio is bad then they kick you off. For that they
>would need to get feedback from the advertisers.

That might work, but I don't think Google really cares
about conversion rate - it's really advertiser's problem.

Besides, I am an AdWords advertiser myself and I don't see any option for this kind of feedback in my control panel.

Andy

Iguana

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 8:10 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi cramalot

I got the same reply and for the moment I am quite happy with that. I think the first email was a warning not to do it again - 2 counts and you're out. This email says they will investigate further and remove the warning from the account if found innocent. Since I know I'm clean I am glad they are going to look into it more.

I only access the internet through 2 organisations - both of which have huge numbers of users on their proxy. If it was multiple clicking on an ad then the odds are still that it wasn't from the 2 million or so users of these services.

Wasn't there a problem with stats yesterday for a few hours? Perhaps the clicks registered but not impressions?

Poweroid

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 8:17 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

cramalot, we believe you. I - and other webmasters here - are in exactly the same position as you.

I'm not used to dealing with dictatorial advertisers. The ad space on my websites is of great value and I have reliable advertisers that work with me as a business partner. I'm very sad to see Google treating people the way they're treating you, Cramalot, and I don't want that to happen to me

Big money does talk and Adsense is paying the big money (or in some cases not). Everybody is a Google partner but for Google to think of you as a "business partner" you'd need to be pretty big.

Perhaps they are not planning an adverserial relationship, that can't be in their long term interest. Perhaps it's teething troubles. Time will tell.

Iguana, I hope you don't find out that being clean is not necessarily a protection against getting bumped.

Iguana

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 8:31 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, Poweroid, I don't think being clean is necessarily a protection (except for my own sense of integrity). I know that click fraud could be done in a sophisticated way (from another country? DLLs in freeware programs)

But I don't rely on the money and the ads seem to be getting badly targetted recently so I wouldn't get upset. Plus I had to get off my high horse a long time ago and chop it up for firewood to keep the kids warm.

cramalot

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 8:34 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I did find two things in my stats that were unusual.

pagead2.googlesyndication.com/
Total Total 304's
Requests (NoMod Req) Bytes sent Referrer URL
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 0.00% 0 0.00% 13573 0.00% /pagead/ads
client=ca-pub-############## format=120x600_as
random=############## hl=en url=http://www.mysite.com/magname[...]
1 0.00% 0 0.00% 719 0.00% /pagead/ads
client=ca-pub-############## format=120x600_as
random=############## hl=en url=http://www.mysite.com/magname[...]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2 0.00% 0 0.00% 14292 0.00%

and this

freshchoice5.adz.google.com/
Total Total 304's
Requests (NoMod Req) Bytes sent Referrer URL
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 0.00% 0 0.00% 22317 0.00% /ics/detail

These in no way should show up in my stats. I emailed Google with them (return receipt). They haven't got to it yet it seems.

I guess it is the American in me, but I hate the "guilty until proven innocent thing." Knowing that if they did drop my site, I won't be getting the $$$$'s of dollars that are rightfully and honestly mine.

We do 140,000 visitors per month- about 200,000 - 500,000 pageviews. A click rate from other ad sources have produced a consistent 16%CTR for the site as a whole. Individuals ads as much as 50% or better. We don't need to spam or produce fraud clicks!

cramalot

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 6:30 am on Jul 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just to let you all know we have been cleared!

Clark

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 198 posted 6:39 am on Jul 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

The advertisers are treated very similarly with that minimum clickthru rate or you are put in the penalty box and need to pay for reinstatement. A childish (yet dictatorial) way to treat a customer.

This 34 message thread spans 2 pages: 34 ( [1] 2 > >
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