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Pay To Click in my stats!
Scam or what? Advice needed
Sweet Cognac

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 2:52 am on Jan 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

When I checked my stats for one of my websites, I have a bunch of urls like www.widget.com/pay-to-click.emailblabla When I went to the website, my link was on their page with a brief description of my site! At the top it says: "Click on the links below to get paid. You'll be paid for every website you visit." They put that my website was worth an $0.08 I freaked and sent them a email and told them to take my URL off their website. What else can I do? Who are these people and what is the scam?

I feel like I need to take all my Adsense off my pages, to stay out of some kind of trouble. Advice needed!

(Sorry if there is a thread about this somewhere else, I did a search and nothing came up. Send me a link if there is.)

 

mack

WebmasterWorld Administrator mack us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 3:40 am on Jan 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Do you operate any form of affiliate program on your site? it sounds like some form of pay to click program, similar to those sites that offer "Get paid to read email".

If you dont offer any affiliate opertunaties on your site, I would be very interested as to why they pay people to visit?

Mack.

Sweet Cognac

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 3:48 am on Jan 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

No, I don't have any affiliate programs on this site. It is an informational "How to" site, religious in nature. I only run Adsense on a few pages where I know the ads would be somewhat relevant.

I was wondering the same thing as you asked. Where is the money coming from to pay these people who sign up and click? Shall I go back to their website and cut and paste a couple phrases here?

Sweet Cognac

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 4:19 am on Jan 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Okay, I went through all my pages and took the Adsense off. It's a 50 page site and I had Adsense on about 25 of the pages, but not the index page.

This pay to click website has sent me 170 visitors today according to my stats. And even though most do not even venture past the index page, this has really put a scare into me.

Adsense does not pay much for religious ads, so it is really no big deal to take the adsense off, but the sheer nerve of these people, gets to me.

Maybe the Lord is telling me I would do better without adsense on it? Hmmm...

hyperkik

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 4:37 am on Jan 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

It is possible that the site added you in order to try to convince potential advertisers that people were paying for its services. I've had sites listed in "pay for inclusion" directories where that is obviously what the webmaster was doing - trying to entice others to pay, by insinuating that some of the established sites on the subject were already paying.

dvduval

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 4:44 am on Jan 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

definitely send adsense the url of the site that was sending "pay to click" visitors.

Do that ASAP. Please.

Sweet Cognac

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 5:46 am on Jan 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

hyperkik, that is possible that they would add my site to intice others, but this is not a directory, it is one page with links and banners. Few related. The description for my site is written very well, I did not write it. What are the chances that my site out of billions of sites on the web would show up on this one page?

According to my visitor stats, the visitors are coming from China and Hong Kong. Is it possible that someone in China is so impressed with my website, they are promoting it without even telling me?

Sweet Cognac

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 5:27 pm on Jan 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

After reviewing the website with the pay to click advertisers, I found on page 2 a website that belongs to a lady who did some translating work for me. So I will have to email her and find out if she is advertising my site and tell her what a waste of time it is.

Is there an htacess I can write to redirect this (untargeted) traffic to another page?

Powdork

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



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 5:55 pm on Jan 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes, you can even put up another version of your site without adsense. You'll find the answers in the apache forum (assuming your running on an apache server).
[webmasterworld.com...]

Sweet Cognac

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 6:51 pm on Jan 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks, Powdork. But, I'm stumped now. Here's what has happened. I emailed the lady that did the translation for me, and she replied that yes she did put the advertising on the Pay To Click site, but made it clear she is not making money off my URL, and the advertising costs are coming out of her pocket.

She said she was trying to do me a favor my sending traffic to my site. She also said she can remove the listing, however... she said has submitted my site to MANY of these Pay to Click sites. :(

And even though she did not say it, her return email suggests that she also "owns" this Pay To Click site.

Help

Powdork

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



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 7:23 pm on Jan 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

There probably is some sort of unique string in the referrals from these sites that you can base your htaccess redirects on. The apache forum is moderated by jdMorgan, who generally is one of the most helpful folks around. You should be able to find the answers there. Sadly it is beyond my capabilities because if you mess things up with htaccess it can have some miserable unintended effects.

topr8

WebmasterWorld Senior Member topr8 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 7:56 pm on Jan 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

are you sure your log files are locked down?

this seems to me like some kind of log spamming where the site is not using a bot but is encouraging its users to click the referal links instead (for some reason possibly to avoid some kind of filtering)

or possibly to get links from other sites to the "get paid to click" website.

i'd be sure that the site will not actually pay the clickers - why would they, you are not paying them.

i don't think this has anything to do with adsense.

if you are not paying and you are not linking back, then i don't see how this is damaging you except in terms of lost bandwidth - if this is an issue redirect the visits based on the http_referer headers

MrAnchovy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 8:27 pm on Jan 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

i'd be sure that the site will not actually pay the clickers - why would they, you are not paying them.

It's a site religious in nature... so it very well could be someone who really liked, and is paying to share it with others.

I agree that this has little to do with AdSense. Based on what we've been told, the visitors are supposedly being paid to visit the site, not click on ads.
From Google's POV there should be nothing wrong here... even if those users are clicking on ads.

Sweet Cognac

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 9:18 pm on Jan 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all the input. Personally, I still have no idea what to do. Today my stats show 32% of my visitors from China, 27% USA, 15% unknown, and all the rest from all over the world.

I just spent the last 2 hrs in the Apache forum, and really, I might as well be taking a class in Greek. I didn't find anything to redirect the visitors to another page, and if I did what good would it do?

I could create an index2, move all the content from my index to the index2 and then make the index a entry page or something. But I don't really want to do that.

And I have no doubt, offended the translator of my book by sending a "not so nice" email, and demanding the removal of my link. (Her not even knowing anything about Adsense, was trying to do me a favor by sending me some traffic.)

So, now what? What does a person do with a huge amount of untargeted traffic?

Powdork

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



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 10:07 pm on Jan 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

You could redirect them to a copy of your site that does not have adsense if you like. Or to any page you can create or imagine.

Try this search [google.com] or something similar.

Rodney

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 4:45 am on Jan 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

So, now what? What does a person do with a huge amount of untargeted traffic?

You could do nothing.

If they aren't hurting your site in any way, why not just forget they are coming. 170 visitors isn't too much to worry about in the grand scheme of things.

Who knows, maybe one of them might be enlightened by your book.

kenshin

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 5:15 am on Jan 24, 2005 (gmt 0)
You could deny traffic from that site in your htaccess, like:

SetEnvIfNoCase Referer "^http://www.widget.com/" BadReferrer
SetEnvIfNoCase Referer ".*(widget).*" BadReferrer
order deny,allow
deny from env=BadReferrer

Then point your 403 to other sites you want? I don't think you can point it to a page within your domain though.
There are probably other ways to do it so just check the appropriate forum on this site.

HarleyGuy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 12:25 am on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree with Rodney

Sweet Cognac

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 1:55 pm on Jan 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks all for the reponses, great suggestions and the .htaccess code. The translator replied to my email and apologized for not informing me of what she was doing.

Her purpose, "Using the Internet to lead people to Christ."

I suggested her the that Pay-to-Click was sending only untargeted visitors and people not interested in Jesus and that it was probably a waste of money. She replied that if 1 or 2 people could be saved out of 1 million visitors, it was worth it.

So... the past three days I have been thinking about this whole situation. She says the people that are visiting the site from China and Hong Kong know English, and are middle income college grads.

After viewing my stats for the past three days, I notice some are actually returning, even up to three times. (But are they thinking they are making more cents by clicking?)

I still don't feel comfortable putting Adsense back on the pages. For now, I think I'll just leave it and watch what happens for awhile. I just don't like seeing those words "Pay to Click" in my stats, it's disconcerting and kind of strange.

bnhall

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 3:23 pm on Jan 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Have you written to Adsense support explaining the situation and asking for their recommendation?

HughMungus

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 3:37 pm on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Could someone explain to me what the problem is here? The only thing I can think of is the buying of links being a problem. Is that a problem? Isn't it like buying advertising? And why would Adsense care?

TNJed

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4928 posted 4:30 pm on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Adwords is no different. They are both paid visitors right? But, on the other hand I would not want untargetted visitors even given to me. It will of course lower your CTR and who knows what else.

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