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Click through rate increasing too fast?
matthew288

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 9:12 pm on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think someone is trying to do me in. My CTR (which was pretty low as most of my ads are on forums), doubled a few days ago and then doubled that amount yesterday and today it was about 4 - 5 times the normal amount. I removed the code from one of my forums that I suspect the culprit frequents.

Should I e-mail Google and tell them I'm trying to take corrective action and to ask for any suggestions they might have on combating this? Am I overreacting (I don't think so)? I can feel an invalid clicks e-mail coming in the near future and I'm trying to head it off at the pass. Anybody have any suggestions? I don't want to lose AdSense because some kid (or competitor) is getting click-happy. :(

 

Blue_Fin

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 9:19 pm on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm sorry this is happening to you and I do not think you are overreacting. I would feel the same way.

I do think it would be a good idea to give Google a heads up on this and ask if they could provide any IP addresses to you that their logs may have flagged as fraudulent clicks so that you could ban the IP(s).

Please let us know what type of response you get.

2oddSox

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 9:39 pm on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

By all means take the initiative and contact Google. There have been a number of webmasters who apparently have had their accounts terminated from what would appear seemingly less sinister events.

I'm not trying to scare you - I'm just suggesting it's better to be safe than sorry, and Google, from all accounts, appear to be quite receptive to such approaches.

Good luck,

2odd...

[edit]Welcome to WW, btw [/edit]

DaveN

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 9:45 pm on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Have you checked your logs and position in the serps, are you getting more un targeted yes UN-targeted traffic, we had one site which ranked quite well and had nothing really to do with the search query the ads where a quick way out, if you know what i mean. ;)

If you have been targeted by click fraud, report it and remove the code hopefully G will sort it out.

Good Luck

DaveN

matthew288

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 11:46 pm on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks. I'll contact Google. BTW, I have the code on a couple different forums and I check them daily and there has been no discussion of the ads so I'm at a loss as to what's going on. Hopefully Google can supply some IP's that I can block.

matthew288

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 12:08 am on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

OMG. What is this? I was looking through my logs as you guys suggested and found a referral from a domain. I typed in the domain and it brought up a cloaked version of a page I have made AND IT HAS SOMEBODY ELSE'S ADSENSE ADS at the top of it. They're not targeted to the page's content! I usually have my Adwords at the top of the page and they are targeted. This guy apparently stripped out my Adwords and is showing his, making money off my content.

Needless to say I'm telling Google. Could this be in any way related to the CTR increase I've seen over the past few days? Could he be causing my ads to be clicked when he strips them out? This is blowing my mind!

Maybe this had nothing to do with the forums. These are static pages that I'm talking about in this post.

[edit]If anyone would like to look at the URL I'm talking about and share their thoughts on this, PM me.[/edit]

Blue_Fin

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 1:06 am on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Anyone who would steal your content could certainly be expected to click on your ads because as an AdSense publisher himself, he knows it's against the rules. I would notify Google about this immediately, giving them as much detail as you can.

matthew288

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 7:05 am on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

To update, I'm still waiting to hear from Google but, upon closer examination, he's framing my page so it's my AdSense code showing under his domain. I can only guess that because they're on his domain it is throwing the targeting out of whack somehow when people type in his domain.

I now have no idea why he's doing this. I don't see how he's profiting off it. Could he be "priming" the domain for the search engines somehow (this page of mine he's referencing ranks well in SERPs) before using the domain for his own content? I still have no idea why my CTR is skyrocketing.

Sense_able

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 7:43 am on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Excuse me for being thick

(this page of mine he's referencing ranks well in SERPs)

What is SERPs

Thanks

tombola

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 7:54 am on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Most frequently used terms in these forums are explained
in the glossary (see link on top of this page):

[webmasterworld.com...]

percentages

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 8:11 am on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Could he be "priming" the domain for the search engines somehow (this page of mine he's referencing ranks well in SERPs) before using the domain for his own content? I still have no idea why my CTR is skyrocketing.

If he is framing your page it will give a little SE advantage to your page not his.

His site will be ranked based upon whatever is in the <noframes> section of the page doing the framing.

If his entire site consists of your site framed I can't think of many reasons why he would be doing this. One reason might be an attempt to get a listing in a directory for his domain name before having to develop any content.

I would do a couple of things.

1. Look at your logs to see how many referrals are coming from the other guy's page.

2. Implement some Javascript to remove the frame, thereby making your site top even when his domain is used.

3. Keep Google informed of the situation and tell them what you are doing with regard to this other site.

BlueSky

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 8:40 am on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Lots of people take pages off others' sites and frame them in theirs. This guy may either like the info or wants to make it appear as his own. If this is what he is doing, it's a totally different motive with your ad clicks increasing as a side benefit.

I recommend percentages #2 suggestion. Very easy to do and it'll stop the framing immediately. If he has honorable intentions, he may get pissed at first but continue to send traffic your way.

dillonstars

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 11:40 am on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Lycos.co.uk do a simliar thing to this with their search results. If you do a search and click on one of their regular results (not ppc), then the page opens in a frame with lycos banner ads at the top of the page, and the site in a frame at the bottom.

I was actually thinking that this would be a good strategy for having adsense ads on pages i link to (although i know the ads would be targetted to the frame and not the linked page).

It wouldn't technically be double serving ads either as the 2 ads would be on seperate pages (albeit in the same browser window.

I would be interested to hear what google have to say on your problem - if they think it is a problem or not. My guess is that the only problem would be that the frame has little or no content on which to base it's ads.

But in relation to this thread what percentages said

If his entire site consists of your site framed I can't think of many reasons why he would be doing this.

I agree. And i find it strange that he is using your adsense code... in fact it is against the Adsense TOS for him to use your adsense code on his site.

From the FAQ:

However, you may only display AdWords ads on sites that you own or on sites that you are legally authorized to act on behalf of for the purposes of Google AdSense

I think this would cover using someone elses adds on your domain.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 790 posted 2:00 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Lycos.co.uk do a simliar thing to this with their search results. If you do a search and click on one of their regular results (not ppc), then the page opens in a frame with lycos banner ads at the top of the page, and the site in a frame at the bottom.

About.com and TripAdvisor also frame third-party content, with ads in their top frames.

kittykat

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 4:18 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

SERPs = search engine results page

Macro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 4:28 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I recommend percentages #2 suggestion.

So do I.

I am tired of people nicking content :-(

too much information

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 5:24 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I vote for #2 as well. I put a frame busting code on all of my pages, not because anyone was trying to steal my content, but I have a friendly site that gave me a link and their design would open my page in their frame and it just didn't give the user the full 'experience' of following the link.

I have since noticed that hits from that link actually spend more time on my site and explore the site more throughly.

loanuniverse

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 5:51 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

One point:

I have heard that some frame-busting script was causing endless reload problems for some adsense publishers a while back, don't be surprised if that is still happening. *not sure if it is fixed*

Everyone feel free to frame my pages in a 100% frame on their sites... :) In fact, replace your homepages with it

matthew288

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 7:42 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google replied and agreed the cloaking didn't have anything to do with the sudden increase in CTR. They are now forwarding to the tech department to have a closer look at things.

I believe someone was asking how many hits there have been to his domain. This month I show about 40. I looked and it appears there was a legitimate site associated with it until a month ago when the domain expired and he bought it up. Perhaps he thinks by getting some content on there he won't be removed from the search engines. But I believe Google removes you from their index if the domain expires.

matthew288

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 6:56 am on Oct 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

The techs looked into it and said they don't see anything fishy so I feel a lot better. Whew! Maybe it had something to do with the broad matching they just implemented and they're showing better-targeted ads? CTR seems to be settling below the high but above the previous norm so perhaps it's just reached a new plateau. Thanks all for your help.

I would use the frame-busting script but if it might cause endless reload problems it isn't worth the risk.

Jenstar

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



 
Msg#: 790 posted 7:02 am on Oct 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have heard that some frame-busting script was causing endless reload problems for some adsense publishers a while back, don't be surprised if that is still happening. *not sure if it is fixed*

It was still happening a week or so ago [webmasterworld.com]

But it doesn't appear that all of the scripts for this make it reload. It might be the difference between on-page javascript and javascript called from an external file which is causing it to endlessly reload for some yet cause no problems for others.

percentages

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 7:14 am on Oct 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

matthew288, I'm delighted to hear that Google has given you a clean bill of health.

In my experience communicating with your partners is always the best course of action. Be honest, be pro-active, be straight forward and upfront, and most partners will appreciate it.

I have no idea why the frame busting code would cause an endless reload.....I suspect some have a few bugs in their Javascript!

Anyway....nice to hear that it all worked out for you....so many Adsense horror stories floating around that I'm pleased your's is not another one. Congrats on the increased CTR as well, a bonus well deserved for being diligent :)

Macro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 790 posted 8:54 am on Oct 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have no idea why the frame busting code would cause an endless reload.....I suspect some have a few bugs in their Javascript

I had a reload problem. I contacted Google saying that only when I put your code on I get this. Google replied to point out the specific other js on the page that was causing it. I removed that js and replaced it with a different js that did the same job. Now everything is Ok. Emphasis: You can use code that doesn't cause a reload problem. Sticky me if you want a copy.

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