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Google AdSense Forum

Getting traffic from paid source
which I didn't buy

 3:09 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hello all,

This is happening to one of my sites today. Checking my morning logs I have found that I'm getting traffic from what looks like a paid source (which by the way, I didn't buy). Look like somebody decided to buy that traffic for me? ... the only thing I can think of is that 'somebody' want me out of AS or so which is the only source of income for that small site, but why? I don't know.

The traffic comming is not much but I'm affraid that if GG looks at the referrals I may get suspended, I do not see any change on clicks so far just impressions, but I'm guessing that whoever is sending the trafic expects to hit me with clicks also.

I already send a couple of emails to the contacts that I could find using whois ans ip reversals for the traffic source (they use a php redirect looks like) but the domain is hidden under a protection service so I don't know if I'll get a response back.

I guess my question would be if GG is aware of the referrals for my traffic, I know they know the IPs and geolocation but not sure of referrals because I think they get my site as the referral, am I right? should I remove my Ads to be safe?




 3:20 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes I would remove them. How are you ever going to be able to prove that you didn't pay for them?


 3:44 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi blairsp,

Thanks for your advice.

Well yes, I was asking that my self also, the thing is thay I don't know how long this is going to take, 1 day? 1 week? 1 month? ... and I haven't get reply from the emails that I have sent so far :-(.

This is nuts! ... having to remove my Ads just because I'm getting hits :-(

How is this possible that people can just buy traffic and send it whereever they want to and the provider does not care?

Tooo bad


 3:46 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes, Google can see the original referrer page. This was discussed here and eventually demonstrated several months ago.

If it's a reputable source, then I wouldn't worry about it. Overture for example will flesh out its paid listings with free listings.

If it appears to be a dodgy source of traffic, then you can remove the AdSense code from the landing page, not show AdSense to those visitors by using PHP, or ban that traffic altogether via the .htaccess file.


 3:51 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi jomaxx,

Yes, that is what I just did, quick solution, removed Ads from just the tageted page by now. I'll keep watching and if it takes so long I'll implement some php filter based on referral or so.

[edited to add]

I just don't want to ban the whole traffic as it looks like comming thru some kind of redirect and who knows, some people may bookmark or user my internal links to go into different pages whit Ads, I think at that point I'll be safe beacause my own site would be the refferal.

[end of edition]



 3:55 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

CS, are you sure someone didn't link that page on something like a paid membership site or private members forum? (or something similar)

I get surges of traffic to certain pages and articles all the time that come from private member forums, or news sites if I'm mentioned in a subscribers-only article.

No offense but it seems to me you may be overreacting. Links and traffic surges are a good thing.



 3:58 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that anything malevolent is going on; there are just too many crazy things happening on the Internet every single day. But if your investigation leads you to suspect that you are being deliberately targeted with poisoned traffic, then I would inform Google ASAP. An ounce of prevention.


 3:59 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi kokaroach,

Well... the referral URL does not look like a link from a forum or discussion board, even the domain name sounds like a traffic provider and visiting the root domain does not give me any web site and they even have a robot.txt to deny all the spiders, etc.

So... the traffic could be real, but the source? not sure of this being a good thing.



 4:00 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

jomaxx, you're absolutely right. I should have mentioned to keep a cautious eye on the traffic in my post.



 4:03 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

then I would inform Google ASAP

mmmm .. .well .. I think I won't do that, they could ban me just in case you know? :-) .. I play very clean with AS but all these many "I got banned and didn't do anything" posts just scare me away.


 4:10 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

99% of the time when people get banned it's their own doing or neglect.

Another thing, it just occured to me that someone could be framing your page and pulling it into their site. That may explain the cloaked main page and funky referring url. They could be using the domain as a script server.

Anyway, have a look at the nameservers for the domain. Sometimes larger networks of sites or people who have their own server, use one of their main sites. You may find that the dns domain is associated with the site in question in some way.



 4:25 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just as a precaution you could use a bust out of frames script.



 4:30 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just as a precaution you could use a bust out of frames script

Hi ann,

I have that in place since long ago thanks ;-) ... I'm still investigating furter trying to see if I get a contact email/phone and find out.

I'll keep you posted.


 5:09 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Maybewhomever is buying it has a stake in the content of the page like a glowing review of their product by you? Maybe a stretch lol


 5:09 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google only cares about invalid clicks, not impressions, so I'm not sure why you would worry about the traffic as long as it's only impressions.

I would leave AdSense up and drop AdSense support quick note and tell them you think you're getting some "odd" traffic and ask them to check if they are abusing AdSense so you can block the traffic if this is the case.

Just be upfront with them, no need to panic IMO.


 5:46 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure why you would worry about the traffic as long as it's only impressions

Hi IncrediBILL,

Is not that I'm worried about impresion (even knowign that it is in TOS also) but worried about the clicks that could come from that traffic. Also even being just impresions it could hurt my eCPM or make SmartPricing to come around :-), which I do not want that either.

Traffic is still coming at this point and as so far I can see just about 1-2% is going beyond the landing page.. just an update.


 6:56 am on Oct 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Actually G does care about impressions (or more accurtaely how those impressions came about). Impressions will affect ctr which of course could then be used to cover up some nefarious activities (not suggesting anything about thread starter)


 8:12 am on Oct 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Caspita, can you send me the URL of that paid source via sticky? I might be able to help you out.


 6:52 pm on Oct 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the offer estaquieto. Just to update you and everybody, I was able to contact the source sending this traffic. They didn't tell who paid for the traffic, but after some verification they sttoped sending hits (which were comming from what they call "expired quality related domains to my field" LOL!, sure!.

Anyway .. looks like I didn't (or GG just ignored) clicks from this traffic because my CTR didn't change that much.

Thanks everybody for your opinions.



 8:10 pm on Oct 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

It is possible to use .htaccess for this problem.

You can programm .htaccess for certain actions for certain refersrs.

I had once much fun with this, as one of my internet promotion clients hat been linked on the web design reference list of an other company.

So I changed .htacess for a funny redirect, if somebody was coming by clicking on the client reference list of this other site.


 1:03 am on Oct 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

But what i have catched from other thread named "Buying Traffic" is that Google will not at least BAN you.
M i right?


 2:30 am on Oct 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

No, if you relied on buying bulk traffic to inflate your earnings then Google probably WOULD ban you. IMO.

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