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Same Spammy Ad Text - Many URLs
Anyone else having this problem?
Jane_Doe




msg:3797716
 8:19 pm on Dec 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

I usually don't spend a lot of time filtering ads, but today one on my sites had an unusually low click through rate. I checked it out and and there is one ad pretty spammy ad taking up many of the ad spots. Even though it is the same ad text, they are using many different URLs.

Is anyone else having this problem? The topic really isn't even related to my site very much.

 

AdSenseAdvisor




msg:3798640
 10:40 pm on Dec 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

Sorry for the delay. I've been away for the holiday weekend.

I'm looking into this and will get back to you.

ASA

netmeg




msg:3798673
 11:19 pm on Dec 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'd be happy to send you my filter list.

Miamacs




msg:3798675
 11:24 pm on Dec 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

ASA: thanks.

Having filtered out every name in the calendar I'd really appreciate it...

...

annie's-dietblog.tld,
jessica's-dietblog.tld,
jenny's-dietblog.tld...

... all the "girls" who used to ask for *link exchanges* now blog about getting thin w/o excercise. ( can see the pattern though )

( these are fakes, but if needed I have a 'few' as well )

[edited by: Miamacs at 11:31 pm (utc) on Dec. 2, 2008]

incrediBILL




msg:3798678
 11:28 pm on Dec 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

Not to mention we can only filter out 200 things...

Been asking for a bigger filter since AdSense started but NO...

SEOPTI




msg:3798687
 11:31 pm on Dec 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

No incrediBILL there is no point filtering more than 200 URLs, NO ;) <sarcastic>

Jane_Doe




msg:3798713
 12:20 am on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks so much ASA for checking into this. Let me know if you need another list of specific URLs beside Netmeg's, though once you have one or two of the URLs they rest get to be pretty easy to spot.

AdSenseAdvisor




msg:3798734
 12:53 am on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

After talking to AWA and others, I can tell you that your specific concerns are being heard by the right people at Google.

I won't be able to say anything more than that on this subject, but please know that the "no comment" is coming from the the right people.

ASA

netmeg




msg:3798777
 2:47 am on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks!

Atomic




msg:3798810
 4:08 am on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is welcome news indeed. Thank you.

icedowl




msg:3798821
 4:23 am on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thank you!

frakilk




msg:3798852
 5:59 am on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks ASA.

IanCP




msg:3798869
 6:28 am on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Not to mention we can only filter out 200 things

I've been thinking carefully about filtering since all this kerfuffle started.

I could be wrong, but isn't this putting the cart before the horse?

Isn't it far simpler for Google to reject the "low life trash"?

At the source? AdWords?

Possibly I'm too simple minded!

Personally and, I'll never be Google CEO, I'd make a minimum ad bid that is prohibitive to the scum.

No I don't believe that a significant sum of AdSense revenue would disappear, just the rubbish!

There used to be an economic expression for what I'm espousing...

Minimum return, optimum pricing... whatever.

Someone with a far better memory will correct me!

IanCP




msg:3798870
 6:32 am on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

It means the optimum price for a product - where it's neither dear nor cheap.

Just optimum!

Geez, I wish I could remember the theory.

Ganceann




msg:3798883
 7:41 am on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

How are they getting their ads to appear on pages that aren't contextually related?

FarmBoy

FarmBoy - I guess that is the benefit of extended broad match or automatic matching. A possible loophole that lets in this type of ad and obviously now it is being abused too much that Google need to look at taking action.

Just wondering when the "fix" rolls out, how many innocent victims it will catch and how many of these sites will still escape detection.

netmeg




msg:3799074
 12:48 pm on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

FarmBoy - I guess that is the benefit of extended broad match or automatic matching. A possible loophole that lets in this type of ad and obviously now it is being abused too much that Google need to look at taking action.

I think those matching situations apply only to Search, and not to Content. Content matches by theme; the keywords are only there to determine that theme.

maximillianos




msg:3799115
 2:23 pm on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Your site can be targeted via category by advertisers. This is the loophole that gets around the fact that even if you don't enable site targeting via your channels, you can still be site targeted.

You can verify if the site targeted ads are a problem by reviewing your advanced reports.

I had a similar problem. I was getting 2-3 of my ad slots in my skyscraper being taken up by "diet" fad ads. Almost spammy.

I contacted Adsense and they disabled site targeting on my account completely. Problem solved.

It is important to note that some folks do make more money with site targeted ads, so you should definitely check your advanced reporting as show above to verify that they are indeed worthless impressions before pulling the trigger on removing them.

[edited by: martinibuster at 7:02 pm (utc) on Dec. 4, 2008]
[edit reason] Removed Link. See TOS. [/edit]

farmboy




msg:3799156
 3:23 pm on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Isn't it far simpler for Google to reject the "low life trash"?

At the source? AdWords?

Yes

For example, allow publishers to "flag" a bad ad. Once a threshold is reached, say 3 different publishers flag an ad, it's forwarded to a human being at AdWords for review.

To prevent a publisher from becoming an anal pest, they could do something similar to what the NFL does with penalty challenges and limit each publisher to 2 "ad flags" per month or whatever number.

FarmBoy

farmboy




msg:3799173
 3:40 pm on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

I contacted Adsense and they disabled site targeting on my account completely. Problem solved.

What's the downside to an individual publisher in having site targeting disabled completely?

What's the downside in a large number of publishers contacting Google and asking that site targeting being disabled on their sites?

FarmBoy

Miamacs




msg:3799193
 3:59 pm on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

as others mentioned, if Google did enforce AdWords policies, this would not happen.

I'm looking at the 10^n'th incarnation of this ad

- landing page is fake, from the comments to the 'closed temp because of spam' notice
- NO company information, policies, contact, terms, copyright, whatsoever
- Different URL displayed on ad compared to URL on link
- Use of trademarks ON AD obviously without permission

I thought only one of these would make it impossible to push such trash through, but apparently not.

skweb




msg:3799197
 4:03 pm on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have seen literally dozens of ads on my pages and the URL is some combination of a female western name with diet or weight loss. The one page wordpress blog (often with the default template with literally not changes made -- I am suspecting that they have been created using some kind of script) has the same story with pictures sometimes talking how she lost weight with Acai or some kind of cleanser and a click then redirects you to one of those suspicious companies that will sell any junk for weight loss.

himalayaswater




msg:3799206
 4:09 pm on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

This problem also goes against adsense policy - set it and forget it! As a webmaster I need to constantly look into this kind of problems. Hope this will get sorted out soon.

Atomic




msg:3799383
 7:54 pm on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

The diet ads aren't gone, but there are far fewer of them than yesterday. Can anyone else confirm?

jimbeetle




msg:3799397
 8:08 pm on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

For example, allow publishers to "flag" a bad ad. Once a threshold is reached, say 3 different publishers flag an ad, it's forwarded to a human being at AdWords for review.

Keep in mind that it's the good folks at G who have *supposedly* already reviewed these ads before allowing them to run anywhere but on Google search. So, as in Jane's example the other day...

On one of the new ads they are showing a brand name weight loss program in the URL on the Adsense ad, but using the preview tool I can see that the page just goes to a fake blog like the other ads. That has to violate some kind of Adwords policy.

...it's the good folks at G who are not upholding their part of the bargain.

netmeg




msg:3799414
 8:21 pm on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

ASA and AWA have said that the information has been forwarded to the right people at Google. I believe 'em. I also don't think this is going to be shut down at the touch of a button; these people are using different registrars for the domains, different hosts, and various other means to try to cover their tracks. I'm sure Google has to do an investigation first. So don't expect them all to go poof today. And we're not going to hear any more "officially" on the subject, for privacy's sake - and that's a good policy that protects us just as much as the scammers. If someone lodged complaints against my sites, I'd sure want them to be thoroughly investigated and would be most upset (and vocal) if Google employees were commenting on it in a forum.

So please be patient.

(And no, I don't think all ads for Content get reviewed by humans first; that wouldn't scale.)

zett




msg:3799428
 8:32 pm on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

So please be patient.

Maybe GOOGLE needs advanced filters. ;-)

Seriously, if they can not find similarities between

name1-widgetblog.tld
name2-widgetblog.tld
name3-widgetblog.tld

for example by looking at the credit cards that are charged, the target IP addresses, or the onpage content of the landing page, then I think something is wrong.

farmboy




msg:3799454
 8:56 pm on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

You can verify if the site targeted ads are a problem by reviewing your advanced reports. See this blog post for additional details on how to do that

Placement targeting numbers started showing up in my reports in mid-September, 2005.

I just ran a report from then until now and compared Content ads vs. Placement ads.

It's more like Content ads vs. Peanut ads.

So I ask again - what's the downside in having Placement Targeting turned off?

At a minimum, among the other reasons, I think publishers should evaluate copy theft and Placement targeted ads when considering why earnings have declined.

FarmBoy

[edited by: farmboy at 9:00 pm (utc) on Dec. 3, 2008]

farmboy




msg:3799456
 8:58 pm on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Keep in mind that it's the good folks at G who have *supposedly* already reviewed these ads before allowing them to run...

If I knew for certain that some of the ads I have seen were reviewed by a human and allowed to be displayed, that alone would almost be enough to motivate me to leave AdSense completely and never look back.

FarmBoy

netmeg




msg:3799459
 9:04 pm on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

(shelbyboy?)

Depends on who you are. I get some pretty lucrative placement ads from people who are targeting my site, because it delivers the demographic they want.

As far as the similarities, Zett - you're right, and I have no answer for that. Google is all about detecting patterns, and all I can think is that this particular pattern is a lot more obvious to human type eyeballs than algorithmic ones.

Your example wasn't quite accurate, it was more like:

jennysblog.TLD
amysweightloss.TLD
vanessasstory.TLD

and that pattern is pretty obvious to us, specially after 50 or 60 iterations, but if all the hosts are different and the domains are different and registrars are different, an algorithm (that might not be trained to recognize women's names yet) mightn't see it.

Other than that - I got nothing.

azlinda




msg:3799460
 9:05 pm on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just spent a while using Google Search on my site. I didn't find a single "fat" ad in the search results pages. In fact, there were some wonderful ads on the search results pages that I wish were showing up in content.

I definitely believe that Google is filtering out these crummy ads from their search results pages. If they can do that, they can certainly filter them out from content pages so that we don't have to waste a lot of time every day fooling around with the competitive ad filter.

I'm so getting tired of looking at a page and seeing someone's big belly hanging out. I'm sure this isn't appetizing to people searching for recipes either. What a turnoff!

netmeg




msg:3799475
 9:26 pm on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well the image ads don't show up for search (obviously)

And there's plenty of people who only target the Content Network, because it can be a lot cheaper (and is perceived as being easier to game)

So you might be right. But the advertisers may just be targeting Content, too.

jkovar




msg:3799477
 9:28 pm on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

A few scenarios where this would make sense to do come to mind.

1.) A competitor is looking to brake you by bidding on all of your ad slots (via placements) with multiple accounts using common spam so not to draw attention to who they actually are as well as using something completely off topic to lower your CTR.

2.) Some new overseas marketing firm is selling traffic and you just happen to be an innocent bystander.

3.) A site flipper is trying to artificially inflate the stats of a scam weight loss site they're planning to flip.

In the last two scenarios, they wouldn't care about the price of the ads if they were using stolen credit cards to setup multiple accounts. This could make sense with the ever-changing list of domains they're using.

I think you can get away with using junk ad text if the landing pages are rich in relevant content.

This 152 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 152 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 > >
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