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This 38 message thread spans 2 pages: 38 ( [1] 2 > >     
Account Disabled after huge increase in traffic
What should I do?
rlkanter




msg:1418687
 12:30 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Last week I increased a lot of content on my website and got noticed by some bigger sites in my field. This increased the traffic I was receive almost 4x it's normal rate, and it has maintained about 2x normal since then. Today I received 4 emails within an hour from google saying my account was disabled for invalid clicks. I replied to one of the emails but simply received a form reply saying that they re-reviewed my account data and that it would remain disabled. They said they won't elaborate further because of the "proprietary nature of our monitoring system". I'm guessing the increased traffic had something to do with the account being disabled.

Are there any suggestions? Should I start looking for a new ad provider (any suggestions for good one for a content site)? I'd really like to stay with google, I've been with them for about 5 months without any trouble. I have never clicked on my own ads except maybe once or twice when I first started using adsense.

Thanks.

 

ganderla




msg:1418688
 12:50 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have never clicked on my own ads except maybe once or twice when I first started using adsense.

You did violate their TOS. You deserve to be booted.

rlkanter




msg:1418689
 12:52 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I emailed them after I did (in January) and got a reply back to not do it again. It was only 1 or 2 clicks. Maybe I should re-forward them back the orginal letter.

Never_again




msg:1418690
 1:03 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

rlkanter: You may want to review this thread:

[webmasterworld.com ]

irock




msg:1418691
 1:38 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

rlkanter,

May I ask how many clicks you get daily? Your own few clicks may not be significant at all if you have like 700 clicks a day. If you only get like 100 clicks a month, a few clicks amount to quite a bit... IMHO.

rlkanter




msg:1418692
 1:44 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Previously I was receiving approx 15k clicks a month but the per day clicks about doubled with the increase in traffic recently.

[edit: fixed wording to make more sense :)]

[edited by: rlkanter at 1:47 am (utc) on May 26, 2004]

irock




msg:1418693
 1:46 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Has click-through rate (in percentage) substantially increased?

rlkanter




msg:1418694
 1:49 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Last week when I got a ton of incoming hits by being linked from a large site the click rate was much higher then average ( about 35% higher ), but 2 days later it moved back to about it's average. I assumed it was because of a lot of new visitors all at once.

irock




msg:1418695
 1:57 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am so sorry that your account was disabled, but I couldn't offer more explanations... however, it's difficult to believe the influx of new visitors is the cause of your account removal.

BTW, Google sent you FOUR account removal notification within the same hour?

jomaxx




msg:1418696
 2:03 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I doubt a simple increase in traffic would do it. Every website has considerable fluctuations. Google must have seen something that looked like invalid activity of some kind.

Did you buy the traffic or the links? Is the source site independant, or were you funneling traffic from one of your own sites? How come the traffic dropped off again - was it a "cool site of the day" type of thing? Was the new content you added along the same theme as the rest of your site, or targeted towards higher-value ads?

rlkanter




msg:1418697
 2:10 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

BTW, Google sent you FOUR account removal notification within the same hour?

Yes, I received 2 the same minute, and 2 more about 40 minutes later, all with different reference #'s.

Did you buy the traffic or the links? Is the source site independant, or were you funneling traffic from one of your own sites? How come the traffic dropped off again - was it a "cool site of the day" type of thing? Was the new content you added along the same theme as the rest of your site, or targeted towards higher-value ads?

One of the large sites that covers the same topic I do featured me as a "New" site to checkout. I'm still on their main page, but not "New" anymore. The new content was an extension of what was already on the site. It had the same ads, and was on the same topic as the rest of the site.

nuevojefe




msg:1418698
 6:38 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Is it possible that a competitor or a competitor of someone who's ads show on your site launched a click attack?

I'm really curious how they handle that situation.

blaze




msg:1418699
 6:44 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

If google was pay by conversion, this sort of thing wouldn't happen.

Take a look at CJ Evolution. They are setting up an AdSense type solution.

Fortunately, it's pay by conversion so they probably couldn't careless how many fraudulent clicks you send through..

ChrisKud5




msg:1418700
 7:06 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Once again, paying by conversion is a horrible idea.

What if people buy adwords but have nothing to sell? How would you charge them?

Adsense is just fine, no need to suggest a conversion payment method anymore, it is this way for a reason.

jim_w




msg:1418701
 7:23 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Something is funny here. (and Iím not talking ha-ha)

I removed about 150 filters I had set on various sites so the percentage of clicks and payout went up a lot. But I didnít get a letter from (G). Assuming that you couple of clicks were not the problem, is it possible that you logged into your adsense account on a computer that someone may have used later and clicked on some ads?

dvduval




msg:1418702
 7:38 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes, I received 2 the same minute, and 2 more about 40 minutes later, all with different reference #'s.

I really believe Google is using a mathematical formula that takes several stats into consideration, and once you hit a certain score, you are automatically shutdown.

Is there any possiblity that someone you know may have been trying to "help" you by clicking on ads?
(ex. a moderator at your forum)

blaze




msg:1418703
 8:00 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yeah it this way for a reason - which is why Google is pretty much already pay by conversion, and that's what CJ Evolution is.

Bluepixel




msg:1418704
 8:23 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I guess the sudden spike of traffic hit you out. Most cheaters are greedy, and if they start cheating, they can't hold back to click lots of ads an generate lots of traffic from one day to the other. And since your CTR also rised, I bet your traffic pattern seemed really suspicious to the google alogorithm.

Edge




msg:1418705
 12:26 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Yes, I received 2 the same minute, and 2 more about 40 minutes later, all with different reference #'s."

Have you analyzed you server log files? Seems you recieved some sort of automatic notification. I would research hard to understand what has happened and maybe help GG and yourself to better estimate what has happened.

I read about these sort of things all the time here on WW. I am absolutely terrified to even come close with my curser to a Adsense ad. I would like to understand how one can be removed from the program by no fault of theirs. This would help all of us to combat fraud!

Post your research here!

richmondsteve




msg:1418706
 1:29 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

rlkanter wrote:
Previously I was receiving approx 15k clicks a month but the per day clicks about doubled with the increase in traffic recently.

I would be very surprised if your account was disabled solely because clicks doubled and impressions increased by a factor of 2-4 (according to the first post in this thread).

jomaxx wrote:
I doubt a simple increase in traffic would do it. Every website has considerable fluctuations. Google must have seen something that looked like invalid activity of some kind.

I agree with jomaxx that it's likely due to something other than a simple increase in traffic. In a post of mine from October [webmasterworld.com] (scroll down to msg #5) I noted that one of my sites running AdSense had page views and visitors increase by factors of 15 and 20 respectively over a 3 day period. On a number of occasions the same site had daily AdSense impressions, clicks and earnings increase by factors of 10-30, 5-15 and 3-10 respectively due to links from popular sites, mention in a popular 6-figure distro newsletter and additional linking from other sites that resulted. To put it in perspective, prior to these spikes the site was serving daily impressions in the high 4-figures and clicks in the 3-figures. There was never a warning email or banning of the web site as a result. It was legitimiate traffic and had it been analyzed for fraud I suspect that it would have looked legitimate as well. YMMV.

Freedom




msg:1418707
 2:08 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Wait 3 months, apply under your wife's name on some benign website, get it approved, then slowly introduce your cash cow to adsense with your spouse listed in the WHOIS for that $$$ domain.

blairsp




msg:1418708
 2:56 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Unless his wife stays at a different address then that won't work. I was disabled because my brothers account had suspicious activity(their term) on it. Different site topic, different site address (obviously), I had very low earnings (hadn't reached threshold in three months) etc

Sanenet




msg:1418709
 3:29 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Once a site is banned from Adsense, doesn't the server refuse to display ads on the URI?

jmbishop




msg:1418710
 4:50 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

When I first put Adsense on my site I clicked on one of the links because I found the product advertised interesting. I ended up subscribing to the product.

However, I did get a warning from Google about clicking on my own banners. So I emailed them back and mentioned that I had clicked on it and actually purchased from the site and they said ok, but not to do it again...

I worry about employees clicking on the Adsense banners on our site. I've told them not to but since most have our site set as their homepage it's just a matter of time before someone gets intrigued by a banner ad they see...

dvduval




msg:1418711
 4:57 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sounds like you need to disallow google ads in the host file on all the employee computers.

irock




msg:1418712
 5:32 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I guess the solution is pretty simple.

Just isolate your computer on which you check AdSense ads from other employees' PCs. Get a dedicated internet connection or whatnot.

rlkanter




msg:1418713
 6:43 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Is it possible that a competitor or a competitor of someone who's ads show on your site launched a click attack?

I guess it's possible but I really don't know where to begin looking for that. I checked the logs over the last month or so and didn't see anything suspicious from any ip's, but I don't have who is clicking.

Is there any possiblity that someone you know may have been trying to "help" you by clicking on ads?

I don't have any forums, and the people I have told about the page I've told to make sure they don't click more then once every few weeks if that often. After reading horror stories I was trying to be overcautious just in case.

I guess the sudden spike of traffic hit you out. Most cheaters are greedy, and if they start cheating, they can't hold back to click lots of ads an generate lots of traffic from one day to the other. And since your CTR also rised, I bet your traffic pattern seemed really suspicious to the google alogorithm.

That was my assumption as well. I attributed the increased CTR to a large amount of new unique hits all at once, but then again I really can't tell.

Have you analyzed you server log files? Seems you recieved some sort of automatic notification. I would research hard to understand what has happened and maybe help GG and yourself to better estimate what has happened.

There wasn't anything suspicious that I can see. I carefully combed through the log files for the past few days just in case and it all appears normal. Any suggestions of what to look for? No single ip had more then about 5 visits a day and not more then 30 page loads per day.

I'm still waiting to hear back from google, but from what I've heard going back through older threads I couldn't find many specific examples of them reversing their decision.

Thanks for all replies, I'll keep you informed if I find anything concrete or hear back from them.

Rodney




msg:1418714
 6:56 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't have any forums, and the people I have told about the page I've told to make sure they don't click more then once every few weeks if that often

This part stuck out to me.

When you told people about your site, did you tell them to click the ads, but just not more than once every few weeks?

If so, this might have shown up as a pattern on Google's end. If the same people are clicking ads on the same site from the same IP addresses (which ever ones they have), then it could be seen as fraudulent activity.

You would probably have been better off telling people to NOT click on the ads at all.

They may have thought they were helping you out, or they may have just clicked more often than the thought. Either way, it doesn't "sound" good.

cornwall




msg:1418715
 7:08 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> I was receiving approx 15k clicks a month but the per day clicks about doubled with the increase in traffic recently<<

At, say, 2% CTR, you would get 300 clicks a month. or more pertinently 10 clicks a day.

Not difficult to see how Google could spot even a couple of friends clicking!

rlkanter




msg:1418716
 7:11 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> I was receiving approx 15k clicks a month but the per day clicks about doubled with the increase in traffic recently<<

At, say, 2% CTR, you would get 300 clicks a month. or more pertinently 10 clicks a day.

No, I receive 15k clicks, not impressions.

This 38 message thread spans 2 pages: 38 ( [1] 2 > >
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