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Google AdSense Forum

This 36 message thread spans 2 pages: 36 ( [1] 2 > >     
Adsense: a dangerous job
We are all putting efforts in something that is too fragile
frox




msg:1325016
 3:56 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

After a couple of months on Adsense, after reading of so many cases of being banned from Adsense, and after some considerations on the workings of Adsense, I have come to this consideration:
If Google does not find a way to protect the publishers, we are too exposed to malicious behaviours.

Three things that would be quite easy to implement, and that would offer us some protection from being banned because of someone else's behaviour:

1) List of URLS that are allowed to contain ads
2) Some form of statistics on the IPs generating CTR
3) List of disallowed IPs

In detail:
1) List of URLS that are allowed to contain ads
I MUST be able to say to Google which are my pages/domains.
If ads with my publisher ID appear on other pages, I don't want their revenue, and it's up to G to decide if real ads should be shown or not.

Example of abusive situation
Publisher A & Publisher B have two sites about widgets.
Publisher A suspects that Publisher B is "eating away" his profits.
He copies the google-code for publisher B on a phony domain and launches a massive click fraud on these pages, thus exposing Publisher B to a possible ban.

2) Some form of (even crippled) statistics on the IPs generating CTR
If we are responsible for invalid clicks, we MUST have a form to monitor this.
G has tools to monitor this, and has people working at this.
Well, I would be glad to volunteer for this, monitoring my own account, even with a crippled tool that would not show real IPs, keywords, publisher but "aliases".
I mean that I don't need to know that IP 123.123.132.123 has generated 1000 clicks on the ads of Mr Joe Advertiser.
It would be enough for me to see that there is a certain IP that is generating clicls on the ads of a certain advertiser. Then I could take measures.

3) List of disallowed IPs
i.e. a list of IPs and IP ranges that I say that should not generate revenue for me.
First of all, I would immediately put my own IP there. Now I keep begging to all my colleagues "Please don't click on my ads!" for fear of invalid clicks
Second, if I see that there is a certain range of IPs that is generating an unusually CTR I can say that that is a "click farm" and isert that IP range in my List of disallowed IPs.

(excuse my lengthiness!)

 

loanuniverse




msg:1325017
 4:26 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would like to add

4) Do not pick a fight with anyone that knows a little about how ips and the internet work :)

martingale




msg:1325018
 4:29 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

What's the problem with giving us the IPs anyway? We already have the users IP in our own weblog. We just don't know which of them clicked. I can't see any privacy concern around giving us an IP we already have.

frox




msg:1325019
 4:33 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

loanuniverse: good general point!

martingale: I can't see either but after all G is the one that forbids giving around OUR OWN CTRs and similar..

trillianjedi




msg:1325020
 4:36 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

after reading of so many cases of being banned from Adsense

I've only ever read about, maybe a dozen? Out of that dozen, at least half either subsequently explained how they had actually been in breach of the TOS, or later in the thread realised how it happened (checking stats on a mates PC etc).

That leaves, say, 6 "unexplained" bannings. Out of the many thousands of AdSense users who are WebmasterWorld members, I think the risk is ultra-low isn't it?

I would place more concern, and higher probability, that you're going to get run over by a bus, than you're going to get unfairly booted out of AdSense.

That said, the data you mention would be handy for statistical analysis. And understanding your own users clicking patterns. I'd also want to know which ones converted, though, which is my #5.

TJ

numbchuckskills




msg:1325021
 5:10 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

"checking stats on a mates PC" - are you kidding me?

I bet in the last month or two i've checked my stats on over 100 different PC's around the world. If there are people out there who believe this is grounds for being banned from adsense please have a little more common sense. You're allowed to check your stats from where ever you like!
The widespread paranoia related to being booted from adsense is only furthered with comments like this.

trillianjedi




msg:1325022
 5:13 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

"checking stats on a mates PC" - are you kidding me?

No, I'm not kidding at all. Think it through. You check your stats on a mates PC and then your mate, thinking he's doing you a favour, starts clicking on all your ads later that day (not realising the potential flag for google).

TJ

[edited by: trillianjedi at 5:16 pm (utc) on Mar. 2, 2005]

numbchuckskills




msg:1325023
 5:15 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

checking stats from the same IP as some clicks will not get you banned. Fraudulant click detection is much more complicated then simply matching up login IP's with clicking.

[edited by: numbchuckskills at 5:17 pm (utc) on Mar. 2, 2005]

trillianjedi




msg:1325024
 5:17 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

checking stats from the same IP as some clicks will not get you banned.

I would advise against it, but that's just my opinion of course.

It's been the concluded reason for a ban on at least two threads I've read here. That's not to say it's *the* reason, but I would still advise against it.

TJ

trillianjedi




msg:1325025
 5:20 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Fraudulant click detection is much more complicated then simply matching up login IP's with clicking.

If I were google, I'd probably start off with the easy ones.

You can always test your theory of course.

I don't think I mentioned IP address?

TJ

[edited by: trillianjedi at 5:20 pm (utc) on Mar. 2, 2005]

GoldFish




msg:1325026
 5:20 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Not advisable to check your stats on 100's of different PC's in my opinion.

I've seen this advice on the WW-AS forum many a time. Still, I wonder if's myth or truth that you shouldn't check your stats from any PC other than your own. Are there any people that have been kicked out of the program for this very reason, that anyone knows about? Perhaps AdsenseAdvisor could comment? (If he's still around, that is.)

GF

no9t9




msg:1325027
 5:25 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't really think people get cancelled that often. Those peeople who do, are usually committing quite a bit of click fraud.

the bigger problem with adsense is really the uncertainty of the income. Unless you are in the UPS club, I don't think anyone can consider Adsense earnings as their PERMANENT job.

Many people have seen earnings in Feb drop by 60% or more. (read the two bad days thread). If you aren't in the UPS club (or close to it), you may not be able to take these wild fluctuations.

jomaxx




msg:1325028
 5:37 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't think anybody really knows why they were kicked out, although there have been a few of threads here where managing one's account from another PC was a possible factor.

In general I keep this to a minimum, partly because I don't like exposing myself to unknown risks and partly because strange PC's can be infected with keystroke loggers, spyware, etc.

I would place more concern, and higher probability, that you're going to get run over by a bus, than you're going to get unfairly booted out of AdSense.

"Run over", maybe. "Run over by a bus", probably not. In any case, most people try to minimize risks, such as by looking both ways before crossing the street.

Jon_King




msg:1325029
 5:53 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>I don't think anybody really knows why they were kicked out

Sorry Jomaxx but huh. They don't know why they were kicked out?

Sounds to me like they don't want to know why, as the TOS is way more clear than some would suggest. IMHO

Livenomadic




msg:1325030
 6:19 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

The problem is that it is impossible to determine how "fragile" adsense is because there is no way to compare sites.

I run a large (300+ articles) content website. My site is in a microscopic niche and I provide great information. My SEO techniques are completely whitehat and I do not sell links.

When I read about someone getting kicked from adsense I always catch myself thinking their site is just like my own, but in all probability it isnt.

It could VERY LIKELY be a 6 page herbal viagra ecommerce site with large chunks of duplicate content and cloaking. Or a 305,342,623 page crap directory on free mp3s.

From these examples you can see how when both my site and their sites get invalid clicks, google has to make a judgement call: "Do I really want this site in my publisher list?"

jomaxx




msg:1325031
 6:28 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

What I meant was that Google doesn't ever give specifics on why you were kicked out. I've met people who can't explain why they were ejected and I tend to believe them.

btas2




msg:1325032
 6:38 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you got booted out of Adsense for just logging into your stats from the same IP as had been used for clicking on the ads, there wouldn't be a single AOL dialup user left, and very few users using other dialup accounts, all of which share a common IP pool.

jomaxx




msg:1325033
 6:43 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Nobody is saying it's the only factor in red-flagging invalid clicks or connections between dodgy sites. Besides, with all the PhD's Google has hired, I imagine someone has already considered that AOL doesn't provide fixed IP's.

Rodney




msg:1325034
 6:54 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

after a couple of months on Adsense, after reading of so many cases of being banned from Adsense

I think "so many cases" is quite a bit of exaggeration, and it's the kind of thing makes this misconception of publishers getting kicked out right and left continue to pop up.

It has been said before, but it's worth repeating.

For a lot of webmasters, Google Adsense is their first attempt at "real" advertising on their sites. By "real", I mean using an ad network (like fastclick, burst, etc) to serve ads from other companies (and not affiliate programs).

For this reason, these publishers will do things that others who have been using ad networks for years wouldn't dream of:

  • Click their own ads for any reason.
    (even to test it, check the quality of the ads, etc)

  • Ask people to "support" them by visiting their "sponsors"
    (this might be ok with affiliate programs or other ad situations where you aren't getting paid per click)

  • Try to "game" the system by coming up with some scheme to get more clicks.
    (trying to outsmart the Ad Network is a losing proposition. What you've thought of has already been tried 1000 times. You might even get away with it for a while, but in the end, you will get caught, and lose out on that long term legitimate income)

    Top that off with Google Adsense simply accepting WAY more of a variety of sites than any other ad network would before, and you're going to get a lot of new folks trying it out (without reading or understanding the TOS), seeing a little bit of income, and then doing things (with or without malicious intent) that more seasoned publishers wouldn't do.

    I know the above doesn't explain every "banned" situation, but I think it helps to understand why the perception seems to be that a lot of accounts are getting kicked out.

  • hunderdown




    msg:1325035
     6:59 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

    I agree that the real point is the need to diversify. Before AdSense came along, virtually all my site's income was from the Amazon Associates program. Adding AdSense has more than doubled my income, as it does well for me while Amazon has kept going up.

    But's still just TWO streams of income. Now I'm adding in a third program and looking at direct sales of ads--which AdSense helps me do, because I not only see some potential advertisers, but I know what x amount of traffic to a given page or pages is worth to me...

    freeflight2




    msg:1325036
     7:01 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

    Ask people to "support" them by visiting their "sponsors"
    this in particular I see all the time while advertising on the context network, also adsense on logout pages - one of my "favorite" sites shows adsense on the logout page saying "You may leave the site now by clicking on one of our sponsors" with adsense banner beneath that.
    JuniorOptimizer




    msg:1325037
     7:14 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

    I think the biggest risks are:

    1) You can get filtered out of Google's organic results at any time
    2) Google can, and probably will, lower AdSense payment to publishers over time.

    Jon_King




    msg:1325038
     7:54 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

    >>I think the biggest risks are

    There is no thinking about it, you are exactly right. No control over your profit destiny is no control over your profit destiny.

    dmz17




    msg:1325039
     8:26 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

    frox, I like your 3 suggestions and second them.

    btas2




    msg:1325040
     8:57 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

    You have no control over your profit desitiny with any advertising or affiliate program. Any one of them could kick you out tomorrow or lower the rates they pay to publishers.

    Diversification is your only safe bet.

    Adsense used to be double my affiliate sales. Now my affiliate sales are double my adsense income. Both have increased over the last year.

    If I could find another contextual advertising program I'd be using it along with Adsense. Unfortunately the other advertising programs I've tried have been dismal failures. They don't supply sufficiently targeted ads to attract my rather specialized and focused readership. I'm hoping that the rumors of Yahoo coming out with an AdSense like scheme turn out to be true.

    ronburk




    msg:1325041
     12:58 am on Mar 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

    2) Google can, and probably will, lower AdSense payment to publishers over time.

    Interesting theory. Oft-quoted.

    But there's a problem with this theory. The time to cut payouts is when you have a virtual monopoly, not when there is a strong #2 competing for the same ad publishers. So, why has Google maintained a high ad payout all this time, even though there's no serious competition?

    Counter-theory: Google will continue to maintain much higher payouts than they have to. The reason is to prevent entry to the marketplace by competing ad-serving systems. Competitors must beat Google's payout long enough to attract enough customers to achieve the economies of scale (and expertise at maximizing those economies) that Google already has. To Google, the cost of paying more-than-strictly-required per click is more than compensated for by the value of continuing to have no serious competition.

    arrowman




    msg:1325042
     1:17 am on Mar 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

    Counter-theory: Google will continue to maintain much higher payouts than they have to.

    Anti-counter theory.

    Demand for ad space is rising (well, it still is in my country). At some point, the money spent on web ads will stabilize. After all, it can only be a certain percentage of the economy.

    Supply of ad space will continue to rise (why not?). At some point supply exceeds demand and prices drop.

    This will stop only when prices are so low that it's no longer worthwhile to develop new web content. Then prices will stabilize.

    But at what level? At the price level we'll be forever whining about. After all, if there's no new content left to develop, what else can we do but whine?

    loanuniverse




    msg:1325043
     2:00 pm on Mar 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

    anti-counter anti-counter theory

    Demand for quality internet ad space will continue to outstrip supply for the foreseeable future.

    europeforvisitors




    msg:1325044
     2:18 pm on Mar 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

    I agree with loanuniverse, especially if you're talking about niches where inventory for a given keyword or keyphrase may be in short supply.

    Also, contextual advertising (or Internet advertising in general) still represents only a tiny percentage of total advertising expenditures. That means there's tremendous room for growth even if total ad expenditures remain static.

    trillianjedi




    msg:1325045
     2:31 pm on Mar 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

    Supply of ad space will continue to rise (why not?). At some point supply exceeds demand and prices drop.

    I would have thought in turn that would push prices up on authoritative sites.

    If the market truly saturates (google's bad for being too lax on their acceptance policy) then I as an advertiser would want my own form of quality control. So I would demand that Google allow me to control on which sites my ads were displayed.

    Or would that be unreasonable?

    TJ

    This 36 message thread spans 2 pages: 36 ( [1] 2 > >
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