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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.

 

Marcia




msg:3800411
 12:52 am on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'd like to know the difference between regular content network ads and the ones running via DoubleClick. I've never paid attention or even seen anything running through Doubleclick before.

andrewshim




msg:3800434
 1:34 am on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

At least you'll be in good company. In the last year or so, I've begun to see full-page ads for (ahem) male lengtheners in glossy American car magazines and large display ads for hanky-panky how-to videos, male herbal remedies, etc. in my metropolitan area's largest daily newspaper. What used to be limited to spam in your inbox has gone mainstream. (One more symptom of a limp economy, perhaps?)

heck... where I live, I'm now seeing "male strengthener" ads plastered on highway dividers and traffic light poles!

If only someone would invent an "Adsense strengthener". I'd buy them in a hurry. Imagine the copy for such a product : "... no limp stats, they stay up for ever ... "

Marcia




msg:3800499
 3:35 am on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

The ads are from a different company (not Google), but I've just sent off what I expect will be the first of many feedback forms I send, to a political site I frequent daily, about these same diet/belly fat ads they're running to the exclusion of any relevant or legitimate ads of worth to users.

Jane_Doe




msg:3800519
 4:04 am on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

The ads are from a different company (not Google), but I've just sent off what I expect will be the first of many feedback forms I send, to a political site I frequent daily, about these same diet/belly fat ads they're running to the exclusion of any relevant or legitimate ads of worth to users.

That's a great idea.

MaxM




msg:3800698
 10:40 am on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'd like to know the difference between regular content network ads and the ones running via DoubleClick. I've never paid attention or even seen anything running through Doubleclick before.

I've seen a couple of ads with the following URI: http:// googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ ...

instead of the normal http:// pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/ ...

bumpski




msg:3800740
 12:05 pm on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Isn't it more likely that Google's staff didn't anticipate that advertisers would use IP addresses as display URLs, meaning that an "IP address as display URL" filter wasn't in place when the junk-ad crowd decided to exploit that hole? Or that a legitimate advertiser might conceivably choose to use an IP address as a display URL, strange as that might seem to most of us?

Perhaps a constructive approach?

Should Google allow ads with Display URL's solely showing an IP address?

bennyp




msg:3800961
 4:18 pm on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thank goodness I'm not the only one seeing this. Those weightloss ads are showing up all at the same time throughout the ad units. The pages they're on have nothing -- and I mean nothing -- to do with weightloss or even health.

Atomic




msg:3802882
 9:24 pm on Dec 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Wow. Just when I thought these ads couldn't get worse they display fake URL's for well-known sites like WebMD or something related to Oprah. They've been there for days, too. Even an entry-level ETL person could come up with a scipt that compares display URL's to actual URL's.

It's almost as if Google wants these ads to be shown!

Of course, shutting them down for anything but AdWords violations would require them to take a stand on the scams and that would take them into interesting legal territory.

But they are violating AdWords policies left and right and the ads aren't being removed. What's up with that?

signor_john




msg:3802917
 10:04 pm on Dec 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's always possible that they're leaving the junk ads in place to allow testing and refinement of a global filter or scum-advertiser identifier. (If so, there's a precedent: The Google Search team has been known to leave reported junk results in place for testing purposes.)

NewcastleB




msg:3802919
 10:07 pm on Dec 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

For a couple days it was looking like things were getting better. I was only having to filter out one or two new adds at a time, but I just did my late afternoon check and found a whole bunch of new weight loss adds. And again they were taking up 50-75% of the add slots on some pages. But I also found something new - a teeth whitening add that used the same URL type as the others. You know SomeWoman'sNameTeeth dot com. I've only seen one so far, but it could just be the start.

It's almost as if Google wants these ads to be shown!

I've thought the same thing. In another thread someone was commenting on the number of active advertisers Google has as a sign of their strength.

Jane_Doe




msg:3803002
 12:30 am on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've only seen one so far, but it could just be the start.

I think they are branching out since the weight loss stuff is working out for so well for them. I've noticed some other types of ads, too, with the same MO. All along the miracle cures line.

Marcia




msg:3803122
 2:59 am on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

OK, this is over the top. One of those sites is now being listed in GOOGLE NEWS! and it's nothing more than a spammy blog (with popups, BTW) running, in several Adsense blocks - you guessed it, those same ads?

Now we have not only belly fat, high blood pressure, wrinkles and yellow teeth, we're also covered with acne. And that's NEWS!

Atomic




msg:3803138
 3:28 am on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is making me wonder if Google will suffer the same fate as Lycos. How interesting. Annoying but interesting.

IanCP




msg:3803156
 3:58 am on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

One of those sites is now being listed in GOOGLE NEWS!

Shame you didn't, couldn't provide a direct link Marcia.

Would have loved to register my protest. No, a story didn't immediately hit me between the eyes.

liquiddog




msg:3803809
 10:31 pm on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

I noticed my CTR went down substantially and then pulled up my page and noticed 3/4 ads on one website were these spammer ads.

Another website I run has always displayed extremely relevant ads. This site was not displaying the weight loss ads. At least the one time I checked.

However, one of my local news channels uses AdSense and they had 2/4 of the ads displaying the spammers weight loss ads.

I am going to try to reduce the Google ad size down to a single unit on the site in question and see if that helps. It is making my not-spammy site look very spammy. I take pride in my hand crafted USA built and hosted web sites. I share concerns with a few others in this thread. Google controls the ads being displayed on my site, so I entrust them to ensure the ads are reasonable quality. This is not being accomplished.

Miamacs




msg:3804250
 2:06 pm on Dec 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Somebody posted this before me, but what I'm really worried about right now...

... is that this would spread from being an isolated case of diet site spam to general practice.

...

already having visions of dating and get rich sites doing the same

btw, yes, i still see all the problems stated above.

I know ASA said the right departments have been notified ( and that they had 'no comments' but are on the issue ) a status report that they're still on the issue wouldn't hurt. I feel abandoned *hmpf*

...

Marcia




msg:3804256
 2:13 pm on Dec 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>This is making me wonder if Google will suffer the same fate as Lycos.

What I noticed before the demise of Excite Search was that real estate sites had taken over the SERPs for any geographical searches, regardless of the actual search topic.

The current concern, seeing what crops up, is that specialized searches other than the main Google search will get unmercifully spammed, and that with the advent of Universal Search, pollute it all - unless the spam team expands its activities and scope.

bcc1234




msg:3804265
 2:22 pm on Dec 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

a status report that they're still on the issue wouldn't hurt. I feel abandoned *hmpf*

Are you kidding? There is no way Google isn't working on this issue right now.

At the beginning, I was worried. But now, it's just gotten so bad, they have to deal with it. Otherwise, AdSense/Adwords is over.

I'm pretty sure they'll just declare acai berry a scam and forbid all ads selling it.

Kinda like they did with the "run car on water" sites at the end of the summer, when things really gotten out of hand.

And if it becomes unmanageable for their staff to disapprove the ads that keep creeping up, they'll probably ad the acai berry and related terms to the list of "bad" words in the training corpus. That will give such sites really low quality score as soon as a new domain is set up and a new campaign is created.

Of course, then, they would have to deal with people using cloaking and fake display urls, but that's already happening anyway.

Miamacs




msg:3804286
 2:57 pm on Dec 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

yeah, though I didn't say they're not working on this, just that a status report wouldn't hurt

as for running your 'car on water' ( which i saw with my own eyes happening, it's just that the car was 8" long *heh* ) last month I still had to disapprove an ad or two that came placement targeted. Meaning they probably did include keywords on some ban list. But if the advertiser turns to using blacklisted phrases as images, detection becomes problematic.

what I'm wondering about is exactly how the *process to fix this* is going along. Not intricate details just something to comfort us. Some of us fear that this is something bigger than "just" a scam, that there's a hole in their system... ( perhaps due to doubleclick integration ) which is being exploited. Any info on the non-existence or the patching of such would probably go a long way, even if the fix takes another 2 months...

...that's all I guess.

edit: it's getting harder and harder to fake naiveness.

[edited by: Miamacs at 3:07 pm (utc) on Dec. 10, 2008]

guru5571




msg:3806718
 10:06 am on Dec 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Maybe I'm late on this thread, but the reason we are seeing this is because acai berry diets and colon cleansers are currently the hottest products in CPA affiliate marketing. If you check out forums like Wickedfire, you'll see that this is what they are all marketing and they are testing whatever keywords they can get low prices on throughout the content network. I'm sure a lot of those marketers are losing money, but enough are making big bucks to inspire legions of imitators. They all copy one anothers ads with KeywordSpy and other tools. Most of the offers are really scammy, and I'm sure the fad is nearing saturation point. Although that probably means a few more months of these ads, then they'll find something else.

guru5571




msg:3806721
 10:20 am on Dec 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

If you check out popular affiliate marketing forums, you'll discover that all this advertising is being done by 18 year-olds throwing all their money at trying to make it big in affiliate marketing. There must be thousands of independently owned sites all following the same model and pushing the same few offers that can be found on all the aff networks like Azoogle, Copeac and Neverblue. There is so much of this going on that there is no stopping it. Kind of like ringtones a few years ago.

Jane_Doe




msg:3806857
 5:41 pm on Dec 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm sure the fad is nearing saturation point.

I saw an ad for an acai berry weight loss web site in the window on the back of a minivan in front of mine in the car pool line up the other day at my kids' school. It just seems like there is no escape from these ads lately.

IanCP




msg:3806976
 11:52 pm on Dec 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

AdWords really do need to tighten things up.

From my email spam filter [it's not an isolated instance BTW]:

You donít have to be a rocket scientist to make big bucks on Google.

http://example.info/googlepro

[I changed it to "example"]

You just need to know 3 things:

- What is the hottest market the Internet has ever seen?
- How you can get started for less than $10.00!
- How to use my knowledge and experience for free!

http://example.info/googlepro

XXkky R. [changed] from Alabama made over $1130.00 in her first week. You can too.

If you follow the original link, you get redirected twice. In my case being from OZ, to a page:

"We're sorry!
This offer is not available in your area.
You will be redirected shortly."

Now a few weeks back a friend sent me a 25 page PDF file for comment. Essentially it was:

"You're about to learn how you can make
$50,000 to $100,000 PROFIT PER DAY
Without a Website, Sales Copy or a List"

Obviously no one here is fooled by this but apparently many people out there are. Sign up for AdWords, do the keyword thingy and redirect to some CPA site. The PDF was fairly comprehensive however I didn't waste time reading it to the end.

Like a plague of fleas!

Miamacs




msg:3807158
 1:55 pm on Dec 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

wow.

My first thought back a month or so ago was that there's got to be a manual ( by some affiliate network ) on how to do this. But it sounded so ridiculous ( or rather, risky ) that I didn't dare mention it.

...

So... there really was one...
Or rather... a bunch of such manuals w/ forums for support (j/k... ?)

Not that it changes the fact that Google lets ads violating ( about half of all ) their commandments to run...

but at least there's one more indicator of this not being the same person/company *directly* behind many AdWords accounts, rather just the same stupid/brilliant idea executed by many stupid/brilliant people.

... meaning if there's a hole in the system, it's "only" related to detection of fraud / scams / landing-vs-display URLs / use of trademarks on image ads / lack of business info on landing pages / detecting copypasted keywords, ads throughout the network / detecting irregular spikes in ads running on the same topic ( think political ads here ) / policy enforcement / etc. ...

... and not a backdoor.

...eh... it's reassuring to be able to guess this much...

...

btw I think some of the less experienced have finally ran out of funds to burn. haven't seen new ads on our domains ( sites totally unrelated to dieting ) for about 3 days now.

...

[edited by: Miamacs at 1:59 pm (utc) on Dec. 14, 2008]

IanCP




msg:3807248
 5:55 pm on Dec 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well here's a couple of other excerpts:

And the "arbitage" idea is simple: Buy low, sell high

Here's how it works:

On one side you have search engines that have billions and billions of potential customers visiting their sites every day.

On the other side you have large corporations who will pay you tons of money to get new customers. Sometimes they'll pay you for a new customer, a new lead, or even just an email address or zip code.

I should clarify that they don't mean you send them email addresses, just people who will voluntarily supply their own email address.

More:

In short when using my system, big advertisers will pay you more for the traffic than it will cost you to get it.

More:

You use a "middleman" service which are known as "CPA Networks". (CPA stands for Cost Per Acquisition, which means the advertiser pays for the results. Every time the action occurs, whether it's an email opt-in, a free trial signup, or whatever... you get paid.)

And that's only a couple of excerpts from the first seven pages of twenty-five.

As I said I didn't read the whole deal and I don't suggest it's illegal or even immoral but it only just encourages more and more spam across the AdSense network.

azlinda




msg:3807304
 7:25 pm on Dec 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Now I really don't know what is going on. The URL displayed on one of the "fat" ads at my site gave the URL <snip>. However, it results in a not found page at <snip> Clinic. It was titled "<snip>." Needless to say, it's being added to the filter today to join about 280 other "fat ad" URLs.

The ad's real URL is <snip>
I wonder if the REAL Clinic knows that someone is using their URL in other advertising.

I can recall when I used AdWords fairly often that it was difficult to get ads approved if they didn't like one little thing about the ad. What has happened? This is getting to be outrageous!

[edited by: martinibuster at 7:44 pm (utc) on Dec. 14, 2008]
[edit reason] Removed specifics. Please see TOS. [/edit]

Jane_Doe




msg:3807364
 8:08 pm on Dec 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Besides using name brand sites in the display URLs, some of these ads are going to sites with a certain popular talk show host's name in the URL and her picture on the site.

Even besides the legal ramifications of using a celebrity's likeness to endorse a product without her approval, why would anyone even buy a weight loss product supposedly endorsed by an overweight celebrity?

azlinda




msg:3807384
 8:47 pm on Dec 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Uh, oh. I used the URLS, and I should not have. If anyone would like the info, just email me.

I did write to the (famous clinic) and told them that their root URL was being used in advertising. Maybe if we write to some of these corporations and let them know that their URLs are being used in this type of advertising, they might have the clout to do something. I know this type of thing doesn't sit too well with them.

IanCP




msg:3807471
 10:23 pm on Dec 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

If you follow the original link, you get redirected twice. In my case being from OZ, to a page:

"We're sorry!
This offer is not available in your area.
You will be redirected shortly."

In the spam box again today. If anyone from the US wants to see what they're pushing then sticky me. I kept the original link this time.

I'm just curious.

azlinda




msg:3807479
 10:47 pm on Dec 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Keep an eye open. We'll find our own URLs in the ads soon! I just found another one of these ads that showed the URL for a legitimate culinary site. Needless to say, that was not the landing page. I informed the webmaster about it.

I just tried the two URLs that I was speaking of earlier, and the landing page now could not be found. I suspect that these people are reading these forums.

johnnie




msg:3807534
 12:52 am on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

ASA where are you! This must end! Personally I'm not suffering that much, but from all the reports I've read it seems like the content network is going down the drain at a never seen before pace! Even if being able to do a full audit means doing something as radical as shutting down the entire network for a few days (please, communicate...), so be it. As it currently stands:

- The user loses, for being presented with obvious crap and possibly buying into some sort of scam.
- Legitimate advertisers lose, as users develop spam-blindness for adsense units and adopt ad-blockers.
- The publishers lose, as CTR and eCPM plummet.

Which all culminates into the following:

- Google loses, due to all the above.

Everybody loses, except for some scumbag teen who's chuckling it for gaming the system. When can we expect some solid, public and formal action? There is major damage being done and when it comes to advertiser trust, some of this damage may be irreparable.

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