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Getting Unknown Clicks

 5:39 pm on Jul 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Over the last 15 hours my adsense account shows hundreds of clicks being credited to my account that can't possibly be mine. I use a program to track the clicks on each of my pages and it doesn't show any where near the number of page views and adsense clicks that my adsense account shows.

I've emailed adsense and told them to check their reporting on my account but they haven't replied. Anyone else seeing this type of error?



 8:13 pm on Jul 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you have emailed them leave it in their hands, if you dont see any changes to your account in the following days, maybe email once more and ask for confirmation that all is ok, then be happy ;)


 8:36 pm on Jul 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

No word from G yet but the clicks have been rolling in all day. It's almost as if someone is using my ID in their AdSense ads on one or more of their high traffic pages.


 8:46 pm on Jul 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Maybe someone liked the look of your ads, copied the code for the color combos and forgot to change the other information to their account's information.

That would be classic and you get the (legitimate) dough. I wonder what their (the other site's) recourse would be since technically Google wants you to cut-n-paste their code from the AdSense ad generation tool.

This could be interesting. Hopefully it is not someone trying to get you flagged or banned.

Good luck.


Or as some poster(s) on WebmasterWorld would say in their witch hunt: You know you are responsible for the clicking. Defrauding AdSense is wrong and you know it. Shame on you. You are hurting...

haha! Sorry. Couldn't resist the naughty humour.


 8:55 pm on Jul 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm wondering if someone has put one of my articles on thier website and didn't take my AdSense ads out of the article?

I've seen several AdSense ads show page views from various peoples computers C: drives where they had copied my page to their hard drive. I assumed it was just one of the off-line browser functions that had copied a page but maybe someone is then copying some of my content to their website.

"Take my content (with my ads), PLEEEEEAAZZE!"


 9:09 pm on Jul 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Try running a seach using an obscure sentence, or unique phrase, from your articles and see if it turns up anything.

If you have more than one domain on which you are running Adsense from the same account, you might want to send G a list of all the domains and aske them to check if clicks are coming from any domainsthat are not on the list.

But yeah, if someone copied a whole page and left your adsense code in place that could account for it.


 9:17 pm on Jul 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing something similiar. My total is about 10% more than the sum of the channels. The channels definitely cover all my domains. So where is the extra coming from?


 9:20 pm on Jul 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's conceivable someone copied your article. I do see some pretty flaky cases where people copy my entire webpage into a blog or forum posting. Lord knows how or why.

Take a look at your logs. If that happened then it's very possible that IMAGES from your webpage are being loaded from the same place. Look for any external image referrers.


 9:55 pm on Jul 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Of course it could be CPM ads. Which would be nice.


 10:05 pm on Jul 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't know what you mean by CPM ads.

I looked at my logs and don't see any odd site referrers of this magnitude which would mean images being shown.

Also, if it is someone copying an article with embedded AdSense ads they didn't copy enough of the page to pull in my tracking script which is at the end of my pages. A table with AdSense ads is embedded right after article titles on those pages so someone could have easily copied the article and title and included my ads.

I really would like to know where this is comming from though. Especially if Google decides I'm doing something that violates the TOS. The CTR on the ads is well over 50% wich is unusual in itself.


 10:07 pm on Jul 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Over the last 15 hours my adsense account shows hundreds of clicks being credited to my account that can't possibly be mine.

Are your impressions also way up or just the clicks? If someone copied your code and got that many clicks it would seem like your impressions would be a lot higher.

ex: 300 clicks could mean 3000 impressions with a ctr of 10%

/added/ <I was typing my post while Wally World was posting>


 10:12 pm on Jul 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes, my impressions are way up too when looking at my AdSense account although the CTR is very high.

I don't see how it could be CPM ads since Google is reporting tons of clicks and impressions.


 1:51 am on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Somebody did probably copy your article at the HTML page level. I know I was playing around with colors and copied someone's one time and caught myself forgetting to change the channel code (during testing only though). I forgot to consier the dubious side of things (which is odd considering where I have been hanging lately). ;-)


 5:27 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well, I heard back from Google and they just gave me some general statement basically saying they already check for click fraud to protect us both. So I asked them if they can give me a list of domains that are generating clicks for my account.

I'm still getting the mystery clicks although they are slowing considerably. Strangely, after deducting my known page views and clicks from the reported totals, it seems the CTR of the mystery clicks is nearly 100%!


 9:31 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google replied to my request for domains publishing ads with my ID. At first they told me they couldn't give me info on their alogrithm so I explained further that I just needed to know what domains where showing ads with my ID so they sent me info about how to create channels.

I guess I've done all I can to try to prevent a problem with them. I'll just take the extra money and run (keeping copies of their emiails should this blow up at some point).


 11:04 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you don't have a very large amount of channels, you might want to try a 2nd copy of each channel, and moving ads on your site to it.

This way, you can see if clicks and impressions still flow into the old/unused channels, which would confirm someone copied your adsense code verbatim.


 12:50 pm on Jul 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Exactly same thing happened to me a few days ago, and the MAGIC continues. Probably some search engine has listed you in the top results with some keyword and you are getting traffic form there.

MSN listed me on the top a few days ago with a major keyword, and the *MAGIC* still continues.

I am sure you will find the answer to that in your Server logs. Check from where you are getting traffic and from which keyword. if you dont have something like that installed on your Server, better get AWStats - Its working for me.

Enjoy! :)


 10:34 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is really weird. After abating for a couple days, my AdSense clicks started going crazy again at around 3 PM today. They're not originating from my websites so I've alerted Google again about them.

Who would do something so bizarre? And do they just post your AdSense code somewhere and start clicking on it or what? So far G hasn't said they are fraudulent so I'll just wait until they say something.


 11:27 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would take another hard look at your raw lags, looking for any unusual referrers, unusual browsing activity, unusual browser ID's, possible spiders, etc.

If that doesn't pan out then you should insist they advise you of any domains generating a substantial number of clicks on your account (if that is in fact what is happening). This has nothing to do with any algorithm they need to protect; it's simple factual information you have a right to know.

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