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This 255 message thread spans 9 pages: < < 255 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 > >     
Fraudulant Clicks
it wasn't me!
papamaku

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 8:29 am on Jul 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi all, I got this email from Google Adsense saying that they'd detected fraudulant clicks with my account and that they were investigating!, but in complete honesty it wasn't me!

I've only had the ads on my site for a few days now + may have made 2 or 3 test clicks on the first day, but that was it.

Do you think they're trying to get out of paying me?

Thanks

Maku

 

RobbieD

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 1:53 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I will say it one more time...

Pretty scary stuff for honest people that don't try to cheat!

valortrade

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 2:12 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Now how on earth could that be worked out as whether they are fraudulent impressions or not?

As I posted before, this "fraudulent impressions" is a "grey area" and questionable sometimes. But compared with "fraudulent clicks", this would not be the priority item for Google right now. Because:

1) Even they would be "fraudulent impressions", they would not directly incur costs for advertisers.

2) Webmaster's unintended "fraudulent impressions" should be the minor part of the whole traffic. As publishers, we have the responsibility to make sure the content complete and functional before available to public. So, once the page is accessible to everyone, we just simply monitor them occationally, not test/debug them.

3) Or when Google would think "fraudulent impressions" becoming a serious issue, they could add more clearer regulation in TOS.

Just some thoughts.

JollyK

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 3:28 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have to agree with RobbieD.

Has anyone actually emailed Google and said, "Hey, guys. On the WW forums we're seeing several people say that they got suddenly kicked out of AdSense for "fraudulent impressions and/or clicks" that they knew nothing about. Some got warnings, others were just permanently banned. This is really nerve wracking. Is there any way we can try to keep an eye on our sites to make sure this doesn't happen to us? We don't really have any way of knowing who's clicking on or viewing ads in general other than from our logs. Can you give us some tips on preventing fraudulent impressions or clicks on our sites?"

Does anyone think it would be worth doing so?

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 69 posted 3:31 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I really don't think Google spends a lot of time counting impressions from the publisher's IP address. It may reserve the right to cancel an account for "fraudulent impressions," but that doesn't mean publishers are going to get dumped for reading or checking their own pages.

As for getting cancelled because of fraudulent clicks, this has been discussed in other threads. It's important to remember that fraudulent clicks are bad for the advertiser and Google no matter who's doing the clicking, so whether the publisher or guilty isn't the issue--the issue is whether keeping an account with a history of fraudulent clicks is more trouble than it's worth for Google. I suspect the powers-that-be at Google consider a number of factors when determining whether an account with fraudulent clicks should be retained or cancelled, such as:

1) How much revenue does the publisher earn? (An account that's only earning $10 or $20 a day may not be profitable enough to justify the expense of monitoring it closely after a fraud incident).

2) Is the publisher's site optimally suited to the AdSense program? (Google may view a strong niche information site more favorably than one that shows few targeted ads or is primarily an affiliate or e-commerce site.)

3) Would the AdSense network be poorer, in terms of quality and revenue potential, if the site were gone?

Ultimately, the decision whether to keep or cancel a publisher's account is a judgment call, and the best way to minimize your risk of a thumbs-down judgment is to have a site that adds value to the AdSense network.

RobbieD

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 3:33 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes I think this is a really good idea.

RobbieD

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 3:39 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, but I think the main concern from webmasters is that if Google do find cause for the fraudulent impressions and/or clicks email what happens to the other income made.

If a site was on the program for a month and 1 day their was fraudulent activity what about the other 29 days of income? It's not right just to say sorry but bye without any compensation!


1) How much revenue does the publisher earn? (An account that's only earning $10 or $20 a day may not be profitable enough to justify the expense of monitoring it closely after a fraud incident).

2) Is the publisher's site optimally suited to the AdSense program? (Google may view a strong niche information site more favorably than one that shows few targeted ads or is primarily an affiliate or e-commerce site.)

3) Would the AdSense network be poorer, in terms of quality and revenue potential, if the site were gone?

Excellent points!

JollyK

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 3:45 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Heck with it. I went ahead and emailed Adsense support to ask them if there were any way we could keep an eye on possible fraudulent impressions/clicks on our sites, and if they had any tips.

If they respond, I'll post a summary here.

:-)

RobbieD

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 3:47 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Heck with it. I went ahead and emailed Adsense support to ask them if there were any way we could keep an eye on possible fraudulent impressions/clicks on our sites, and if they had any tips.

Thanks, I'm sure I speak for everyone in this thread.

JollyK

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 3:50 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Heh.

I have to admit that after all these threads, I'm a little leery of anything that brings me to their attention, even though I haven't even ever test clicked and I have stuff that blocks the AdSense code from even appearing to anyone on my IP.

Paranoid?

Naw. :-)

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 69 posted 6:20 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

RobbieD wrote:

If a site was on the program for a month and 1 day their was fraudulent activity what about the other 29 days of income? It's not right just to say sorry but bye without any compensation!

I certainly wouldn't disagree with that.

mosley700

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 7:02 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>As for getting cancelled because of fraudulent clicks, this has been discussed in other threads. It's important to remember that fraudulent clicks are bad for the advertiser and Google no matter who's doing the clicking, so whether the publisher or guilty isn't the issue--the issue is whether keeping an account with a history of fraudulent clicks is more trouble than it's worth for Google.

Europe, as I've said before, Google is soley responsible. Before Google serves the ad, Google knows precisely which IP it is serving the ad to; and whether that IP has clicked before. Google is in control - not the webmaster. We just put the code up - the rest is up to Google.

RobbieD

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 7:09 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have an idea!

What about Google track the IPs that login to AdSense and discount all the clicks and impressions from that IP. I think this would help. I understand that webmasters will login to their account from remote places but maybe provided a few IPs to Google in the AdSense Admin might help Google out.

I would be happy to provide Google my main IPs that I login to my account for and wouldn't have to worry about someone on my site (competition, troublemaker etc.) getting me banned in the future.

Visit Thailand

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 7:28 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Problem with that RobbieD is for those on dialup by blocking one range of IP's you could end up blocking entire countries!

chiyo

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



 
Msg#: 69 posted 7:57 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Im guessing that fraudulent click flagging is far more likely to be due to visitors rather than the webmaster himself. so just flagging the IP of the webmaster will not solve the major problem.

Im guessing that those who run community sites, or those with visitors who are say younger and immature, or internet-savvy enough to know the mechanisms and implications behind PPC, (say people in computer/web related jobs) just need to be more careful. Maybe also those are in close competition with another site or are in a competitive area, or who attract high CPC adsense listings.

I would also guess that sites that have a lot of new visitors every day are far less susceptible than those Community types sites like forums who have a large percentage of "regular" visitors or members.

[edited by: chiyo at 7:58 am (utc) on July 30, 2003]

PolishGuy



 
Msg#: 69 posted 7:58 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Has anyone actually emailed Google and said, "Hey, guys. On the WW forums we're seeing several people say that they got suddenly kicked out of AdSense for "fraudulent impressions and/or clicks" that they knew nothing about. Some got warnings, others were just permanently banned. This is really nerve wracking. Is there any way we can try to keep an eye on our sites to make sure this doesn't happen to us? We don't really have any way of knowing who's clicking on or viewing ads in general other than from our logs. Can you give us some tips on preventing fraudulent impressions or clicks on our sites?"

Does anyone think it would be worth doing so?

yes, it is worth doing! ask google.

I really am not doing any fraudulant acitvities and if google would kill me just because some #$* is making fraudulant clicks on my websites, then it would be simply not fair! let's say: I have a website like "fansite of macintosh" and some Linux fans don't like it and click on banners like crazy. should then google kill me just because somebody (not me) is behaving not-right?

chiyo

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



 
Msg#: 69 posted 8:05 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>should then google kill me just because somebody (not me) is behaving not-right? <<

Well it's not personal. It's just that the type of site and visitors you have may lead to more fraudulent activity than is acceptable and google cant afford to investigate so many smallish sites.

I dont think the feared Google email ever lays blame on the owner of the site. It's not a matter of blame, but whether given a higher fraud profile makes it worthwile for google to continue with it, and spend money and time investigating beyong fairly simple things.

What did you do for revenue generation before Adsense? it may well be that those methods fit better with your visitors.

PolishGuy



 
Msg#: 69 posted 8:31 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well it's not personal. It's just that the type of site and visitors you have may lead to more fraudulent activity than is acceptable and google cant afford to investigate so many smallish sites.

it's not fair! google should provide mechanism or solution to prevent this from happening: banning site owners who are not guilty.

does it mean that to bann some site of my enemy it is enough to go there and click 1000 times from the same IP? this is pure nonsense - because in this way google would promote criminal activities! people who are not-guilty - penalized. and people who are guilty (for example some malevolent guy from my competition) are promoted by google!

don't you see that in this way google behaves not ethically?

Jenstar

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



 
Msg#: 69 posted 11:25 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

What about Google track the IPs that login to AdSense and discount all the clicks and impressions from that IP.

Google's point is still that no one who is being paid to show those ads should be clicking them at all. Period.

I would like to see them have some sort of filter for impressions by the publisher though. Once it was determined WHY they would consider impressions fraudulent, I think many of us have been a little worried about impression fraud just from going about our daily business of checking on our own sites throughout the day.

But then, maybe we just aren't giving Google AdSense enough credit - they could have some sort of filter set up for this reason and we are just not aware of it. It certainly isn't something they are going to publicize.

When AdSense launched, we were seeing plenty of people complaining about receiving the dreaded email from Google, and who claimed to have "only clicked on ads a few times to make sure they were working." Google could already have some sort of filter that after a third click from the same IP that logs in to AdSense, a warning email for fraudulent clicks will be sent. It seems to be effective in scaring the pants of many publishers ;)

RobbieD

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 11:31 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good points... I'm not going sweat it anymore :) Thanx

Visit Thailand

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 11:37 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google could already have some sort of filter that after a third click from the same IP that logs in to AdSense, a warning email for fraudulent clicks will be sent. It seems to be effective in scaring the pants of many publishers

That is a very good point although am not sure it would work because of dial ups, cache removal etc. but ultimately it should also be said that I am sure (and I am not one of them) but this thread will be giving many some very bad ideas.

Poweroid

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 11:38 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

PolishGuy, it may not be seen as fair ...especially to the publisher who is bumped for alleged fraudulent activity which he never committed.

I suppose Google is leaning too much in the other direction because there is fraud out there. Some people think it's OK to provide incentives for visitors to click Google Ads in the form of "Please support this site and click on the ads".

When it's pointed out that the TOS do not allow this they are then looking at ways to work around the TOS and/or find other - and more subtle ways - to incentivise their visitors to click on the Google Ads.

If everyone played fair then we probably wouldn't have this problem in the first place.

Jenstar

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



 
Msg#: 69 posted 11:46 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

That is a very good point although am not sure it would work because of dial ups, cache removal etc.

That is true, it wouldn't be perfect by any means, but it would be a start - especially in the first day or two when publishers would be most like to "test click" and jump right back into their AdSense account to check and see if their impressions and CTR went up in the process ;) That wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who the clicker is. But it would mean it would be a little tougher for Google to catch those on dial up who don't log in to check their stats during the same dial up session.

Visit Thailand

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 12:59 pm on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

With regards to fraudulent impressions in the email someone posted - I have just read this on the Adwords FAQ, from this I can only presume that someone else's suggestion above that Google is monitoring impressions to perhaps evaluate sites with Adsense in the future:

Q- How does participation in the ad network affect my account performance?

A- To ensure your advertising is as effective as possible for you and your users, we require that your account and individual keywords maintain a minimum CTR. However, because we only consider the CTR on Google search pages when evaluating your account and keywords, the performance of ads distributed to our ad network do not affect the CTR Google uses in evaluating your performance.


PolishGuy



 
Msg#: 69 posted 1:53 pm on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

However, because we only consider the CTR on Google search pages when evaluating your account and keywords, the performance of ads distributed to our ad network do not affect the CTR Google uses in evaluating your performance.

this is about AdWords, not about AdSense! I have no idea why you quote it here in AdSense forum... could you explain what was your deeper idea behind it?

Visit Thailand

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 2:11 pm on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Polish Guy - Adsense and Adwords are in ways one and the same, in the sense that Adsense displays adwords. Now in the email that has been shown here from Google about people being warned or discontinued from Adsense it clearly states impressions and or clicks.

As my post above mentions my post is about fraudulent impressions. Now the bit I quoted from Adwords clearly states that only Adwords on the Google searches affects CTR which means impressions don't really count on Adsense for the Adwords user. Now if that is the case then perhaps there is after all a reason that Google says 'impressions and clicks' in the email and as my post above says perhaps that lends some weight to speculation that in future Adsense may have min impressions otherwise why would Google even mention or bring up fraudulent impressions.

Of course you need to remember as with this entire thread it is pure speculation.

[edited by: Visit_Thailand at 2:13 pm (utc) on July 30, 2003]

cornwall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 2:12 pm on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>this is about AdWords, not about AdSense! I have no idea why you quote it here in AdSense forum... could you explain what was your deeper idea behind it?

If you as a publisher cause a large number of impressions to be served by checking your site on a regular and pagewide basis, and nobody clicks on those impressions, then the guy whose ads they are will, by definition have a lower CTR (more impressions, same number of clicks)

If Google judge AdWords advertisers by CTR, then an adveriser could be penalised by having a reduced CTR :(

PolishGuy



 
Msg#: 69 posted 2:25 pm on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

If Google judge AdWords advertisers by CTR, then an adveriser could be penalised by having a reduced CTR :(

but how it relates to AdSense? I don't care how Google judges AdWords advertisers, I care only about AdSense things... it is not important to AdSense publishers...

valortrade

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 3:20 pm on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

However, because we only consider the CTR on Google search pages when evaluating your account and keywords, the performance of ads distributed to our ad network do not affect the CTR Google uses in evaluating your performance.

It clearly states that Google only evaluates CTR based on its search pages, NOT CONTENT PAGES. So, it should NOT have direct impact from Adsense program.

I have to agree with PolishGuy!

Jenstar

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



 
Msg#: 69 posted 3:36 pm on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

With regards to fraudulent impressions..

Fraudelent impressions are likely done by those who would have a high CTR (through fraudulent clicks or otherwise). Once a publisher starts doing fraudulent impressions, it will bring the CTR down to a level that would not raise any flags at Google AdSense.

This was mentioned by someone in another thread, which of course I can't seem to find now to give credit due.

This is the only likely reason I can think of why Google AdSense would think that impressions could be fraudulent.

kennebec

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 3:49 pm on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

After reading through this lengthy thread, I'm starting to think that the folks at Google must fire off their dreaded "fraud" letter to everyone who tries the program.

By way of background, I'm the owner/publisher of a small (2 million page views per month), tightly-niched content site. We're a Forbes "best of the web" selection and we've been the subject of feature stories in the New York Times, a variety of national magazines, and a bunch of other newspapers.

Like those of many publishers, our content pages keep people coming to the site -- but don't generate much direct revenue. Recently we decided to give AdSense a try after being directly invited by Google to do so: ("We are pleased to invite you to try a new program …We've already confirmed that your site complies with our program policies ..)

So we dropped their code into a few of our pages, generated about 100,000 impressions over a five-day trial, and promptly received e-mails from Google accusing us of fraud and threatening to drop us from the program, withhold any payments due us, etc.

We typically sell our own ad space and ad packages. This is our first experience with a national network of any type like this. What a nightmare! (Dunno, by the way, how this will turn out … but if there is interest, I will let people know.)

valortrade

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 69 posted 3:50 pm on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree. No "fraudulent clicks", no needs for "fraudulent impressions". That is what I said right now Google's priority is to catch "fraudulent clickers".

This 255 message thread spans 9 pages: < < 255 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 > >
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