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Account suspended
got email today from google
qwerty123




msg:1394417
 6:27 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

I got an email saying that my account was suspended due to invalid clicks :( It reads:

<snip>

It must be someone else purposely clicking on the ads to get me into trouble. I never got a warning from google about it. Can someone tell me if this is better than an account being terminated (no hope for reinstatement?) I hope they will unsuspend it because I have not done anything wrong.

[edited by: Jenstar at 6:50 am (utc) on Aug. 6, 2004]
[edit reason] No email quotes as per TOS, thanks! [/edit]

 

martinibuster




msg:1394418
 6:28 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Never show your website to your parents. They might try to help you.

rish




msg:1394419
 6:34 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you read the email it's quite clear that "invalid clicks" can only come from a person if that person is the publisher. All the other means are automated (robots, clicking tools or deceptive software).

I think that's important and a point that is often missed. Google is smarter than to allow publishers to sabotage each other.

qwerty123




msg:1394420
 7:06 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

"If you read the email it's quite clear that "invalid clicks" can only come from a person if that person is the publisher"

What do you mean, what about competitor's clicking on the ads? Wouldn't that be invalid also?

trillianjedi




msg:1394421
 7:11 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

What do you mean, what about competitor's clicking on the ads? Wouldn't that be invalid also?

In an ideal world invalid, yes. But it's not going to get you booted from the google program.

TJ

blairsp




msg:1394422
 7:33 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

qwerty123

Always "take it as read" that most people on this board will assume you are guilty just because G has said you are. G must have webcams on every computer in the world so that they can see that ti was you and only you who were trying cheat them and it wasn't some glitch, someone else trying to get you into difficultites etc.

Of course one other option is that someone has coipied your coide onto another website and people have been clicking on that. Before anyone says PSA's will only show. THEY DON'T and I have the proof. Don't use any form of php includes etc. Straitghtforward html is your only safe(and even then it isn't that safe) way

Back to your question, from my own experience you have little chance of being re-instated.

cdkrg




msg:1394423
 7:49 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

trillianjedi,

That contention is not true. I still have an email from Google acknowledging that the clicks were not my (the publisher) doing but that (paraphrased) "because the clicks occured on your website we are terminating your account. Please understand that this is to protect our advertisers".

qwerty123




msg:1394424
 7:59 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Blair, but they didn't say that my account was terminated though and I've read some posts that google gave them another chance, saying something along the lines of "we previous notified you blah blah blh". I've only had this ad running for only 3 weeks.

rish




msg:1394425
 8:15 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

qwerty123, if you were making big money in adsense and suspect someone clicking on your ads has got you thrown out of the program, sue them for lost and potential income! You can probably get a court order forcing Google to reveal why you were booted from the program if it supports your case.

Why would someone click your ads to get you in trouble? (your specific situation, not in general).

If you weren't making much and Google has discovered invalid clicks after only three weeks I'd say you've got no chance of getting back in. Google has no reason to bother with you.

trillianjedi




msg:1394426
 9:11 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

cdkrg,

So what you're saying is I can go to any AdSense website, create fraudulent click activity and get them kicked out?

TJ

alika




msg:1394427
 10:20 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

trillianjedi - that's the common belief in many of these "invalid clicks" posts.

"It's not me, therefore it must be my competitors."

trillianjedi




msg:1394428
 10:33 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

that's the common belief in many of these "invalid clicks" posts.

But I haven't yet seen one thread like this that hasn't ended along the lines of "OK, I clicked on a few ads" or "I realise that someone else clicked on my ads from a PC that I used to check my AdSense control panel and stats".

That's the reason for my scepticism.

I wonder how many people followed Brett's advice of clicking on all the ads at least once a day!

TJ

blaze




msg:1394429
 11:04 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I hear the PhDs haven't figured out how to record IP addresses or set cookies yet and ignore clicks from them.

qwerty123




msg:1394430
 5:05 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ok, I forgot to mention that I clicked on my ads accidentally a few times during July. But then, I read from this forum that many others have done this. I didn't email google right after it happened though. I did notice that there was a spike in the number of impressions and clicks for like 6 days straight.

freeflight2




msg:1394431
 5:20 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

they probably analyze all the data at the end of the month and if they find a certain percentage of clicks "clicked by owner" they'll kick you out.
Since they can prove with 100% certainty via cookie/IP that the owner clicked ads they might also automatically terminate the account right away without further investigating.

Rodney




msg:1394432
 5:25 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

trillianjedi wrote:

But I haven't yet seen one thread like this that hasn't ended along the lines of "OK, I clicked on a few ads"

then a few hours later qwerty123 wrote:

Ok, I forgot to mention that I clicked on my ads accidentally a few times during July.

Yes, there does seem to be a trend showing here.

I'm curious, qwerty123, what you consider "accidental clicks"?

You said you did it a "few times" during July?

Does that mean you clicked them to check out the ads and didn't realize that you weren't supposed to?

Does that mean that you were trying to click somewhere else on your site, several times, and accidently clicked on the adsense ads?

I'm interested to hear what your definition of accidental is in this case.

expert_21




msg:1394433
 5:51 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

I guess people should learn not to click their own ads, 'accidental', or not.

alika




msg:1394434
 5:55 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

I guess people should learn not to click their own ads, 'accidental', or not.

... and when terminated, learn to accept responsibility and not blame "something/someone" else.

alain_bonaf




msg:1394435
 6:00 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

>cdkrg,

>So what you're saying is I can go to any AdSense website, create fraudulent click activity and get them kicked out?

>TJ

I'm surprised that you are surprised there can be vicious and unhonest guys on this planet :D

trillianjedi




msg:1394436
 6:05 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

That's not the part that surprises me.

europeforvisitors




msg:1394437
 6:25 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's certainly possible to click an ad by accident, though I doubt if it happens very often. I accidentally clicked one of my own ads last month when I had two browser windows open: one with my home page, the other with a page from a news site. A pop-up window from the news site displayed almost directly on top of my AdSense leaderboard, and I clicked an ad when I tried to close the pop-up window.

That's the only time I've clicked an ad accidentally or otherwise in 13+ months with AdSense. Since I've had millions of impressions during that time, I doubt if Google thinks I was attempting fraud. :-)

As far as clicks from competitors or other mischiefmakers are concerned, I once had a spike of about $1,300 above normal during a single day. I e-mailed Google to report the anomaly, and they thanked me (although they said they'd already detected it themselves). Notifying Google is probably a good idea if your AdSense report looks too good to be true, because someone who's trying to cheat Google and advertisers isn't likely to say "Hey, look at this really strange jump in revenue."

Broadway




msg:1394438
 6:56 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

If most of the problems stem from invalid clicks from the publisher themself, why isn't there some sort of "IP" blocking offered by AdSense. I'd gladly for go profits from all clicks from users of my internet service provider if it meant that it would make it less likely that I might get kicked out of AdSense. I'd just pick some small local internet service provider. Someone who statistically speaking probably provides me with no traffic anyway. Am I missing something here? Is there something related to "IP" addresses that I don't understand?

By the way, in the early months of AdSense I did get an "invalid clicks" letter. Nothing ever came of it but I can without question tell you that I did not make any clicks. At that time absolutely no friend (or even acquaintance) or relative knew I had the site, so they couldn't have make the clicks either.

mquarles




msg:1394439
 7:54 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's certainly possible to click an ad by accident, though I doubt if it happens very often.

I agree. I did it once. Only once. It isn't exactly easy to do it frequently or many times.

MQ

CernyM




msg:1394440
 8:00 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've got a purely personal site that I link to my hobby/semi-pro sites that run Adsense. I do a quick referer check in my PHP script to ensure that ads don't show for visitors from my personal site.

I'd rather not have my friends try to "do me favors" by clicking on the ads. If you are worried about misclicking your own ads, its easy enough to block the ads from showing to your IP in PHP (and I imagine, other scripting languages).

qwerty123




msg:1394441
 8:07 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

I wanted to check the urls of the ads and the other time, I clicked it accidentally while i had too many windows open, there's a menu under the banner.

tombola




msg:1394442
 8:23 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ok, I forgot to mention that I clicked on my ads accidentally a few times during July. But then, I read from this forum that many others have done this.

The Adsense TOS is clearly about this.
Do you believe everything what others say?

Maybe you can thank Brett [webmasterworld.com] for his good advice (see msg #15)...

Rodney




msg:1394443
 8:24 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

qwerty123 wrote:
I wanted to check the urls of the ads

Were you unaware that clicking your own ads was against the terms of service?

I'm not sure that deliberately clicking an ad after not reading the terms of service that prohibit this activity would be considered an "accident".

Maybe you can keep the lines of communication open with Google and they may show some leniency (explain to them exactly what you did and why you did it, and why you know it was wrong).

For future reference, google now has a tool that allows you to check the URLs of ads that may show up on your site. The adsense preview tool is here: https://www.google.com/adsense/previewtool (you can also click the "Ads by Google" link under the ads which won't cost advertisers money)

yosemite




msg:1394444
 8:40 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

I clicked on some of my ads on the very first day I signed up. After reading this forum and realizing what a complete moron I had been, I immediately wrote Google, told them I was a moron (well, in so many words) and asked them to have pity on poor, pitiful, newbie me. They did.

This is all very new to me so I don't know how things will pan out for me, everyone else, or Adsense, but it appears like your best bet is to apologize, say that you'll never do it again, and try to do all this before you are busted. Good luck to you.

birdstuff




msg:1394445
 12:43 am on Aug 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

I looked up at the monitor one day and saw the mouse cursor jumping around like crazy, then all of a sudden the browser went to one of the AdSense sites displayed on the page.

The batteries in my cordless mouse had drained to a level where it was acting flaky. I contacted Google and told them what happened and they said don't sweat it. The cordless mouse went directly into the trash.

As far as I know that's the only time I ever "clicked" an ad on any of my sites, accidental or otherwise.

cdkrg




msg:1394446
 2:07 am on Aug 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

cdkrg,
So what you're saying is I can go to any AdSense website, create fraudulent click activity and get them kicked out?

TJ

That is not what I was saying. I was saying that according to their TOS and according to my experience the publisher does not need to have any complicity in the invalid clicks.

In my case I do not know what caused them but am nearly certain it was not a competitor. I think it was just my sticky community traffic flagging some kind of algo (e.g. when they introduced teh related search feature some users thought the whole thing was a search feature and their behavior may have flagged some criteria). It may have been something so simple as that many of my users literally spend all day on my site and may have looked like bots, they search for new posts and go to threads and then repeat.

While I think it's possible for a competitor to get someone's account terminated in theory I'm sure Google attempts to spot such activity and recognize it for what it is.

Of course, if someone really lets loose on a competitor with a high volume of invalid clicks I suspect Google may just terminate the account, as they are not in dire need of publishers and at some point it becomes a hassle that outweights the good.

But I am aware of no situation in which this has been documented to happen.

I am, however aware of terminations without complicity, which is what I spoke of.

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