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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.

 

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.

signor_john




msg:3807562
 2:16 am on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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.

Speak for yourself. The problem that has been discussed here may be annoying to some publishers, but it certainly isn't universal, and throwing the baby out with the bathwater wouldn't be good for anyone.

coachm




msg:3807571
 2:51 am on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

throwing the baby out with the bathwater wouldn't be good for anyone.

Sometimes you have to identify the root cause of the problem, and if it is, in fact, the baby that is constantly fouling the bathwater, the only way to solve the problem is to get rid of both the cause and the results.

..or buy a cork, or something.

azlinda




msg:3808224
 11:08 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

This problem is more than annoying. I'm ready to pull my hair out!

I have documented those "fat" ads that I have found using URLS that do not belong to them. I have notified Google and I have also notified the web sites whose URLs they are using. Hopefully Google will begin to check these ads before they are accepted. The destination root URL should at least match the URL that shows in the ad. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

IanCP




msg:3808234
 11:13 pm on Dec 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Rots a Ruck

AdSenseAdvisor




msg:3811628
 10:55 pm on Dec 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've just heard back from our engineers. They've made a few changes on our end that should alleviate this situation as soon as possible. I won't be able to provide you with any details about the actions taken by the engineers (due to concerns over future abuse and privacy issues).

If you still have concerns about these ads after the weekend, let me know.

ASA

Jane_Doe




msg:3811653
 11:34 pm on Dec 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

That's great news! Thanks for the update, ASA.

CodeJockey




msg:3811682
 12:42 am on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I cleared out my filter for those that started with "A" & "B" earlier today, before I saw this posting, and none have appeared since then (assuming the filters are being transacted).

bcc1234




msg:3811687
 1:09 am on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

They've made a few changes on our end that should alleviate this situation as soon as possible. I won't be able to provide you with any details about the actions taken by the engineers (due to concerns over future abuse and privacy issues).

They tweaked the quality score algo for the advertisers, as expected.

Thanks Google!

If only I weren't one of the people whose site was effectively blacklisted just because I happen to be in the same niche, I would be very thankful for such quick resolve.

Good job taking care of the Acai sites... along with a bunch of innocent bystanders.

icedowl




msg:3811716
 2:59 am on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thank you ASA!

I hope it's now safe to clear out the filter, but I think I'll wait until I hear further.

azlinda




msg:3811744
 4:11 am on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I still have tons of these ads appearing. I'm ready to add more to the filter right now.

Jane_Doe




msg:3811941
 6:55 pm on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

On checking the main site that has the problem today, I just have one acai ad appearing only sporadically throughout the site. So it is much better for me this weekend so far. In the recent past, some days I'd have 4 of 4 ad blocks all with the same general ad, on pages that didn't have anything at all to do with weight loss. So today things look much better for me.

netmeg




msg:3811954
 7:32 pm on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm going to copy my current filter to a text file, and then empty it (except for the ones that are always in it) and see what happens.

bcc1234, don't necessarily consider yourself collateral damage as yet, but you may need to pay serious attention to rewriting your ads so as not to be tarred with the same brush.

azlinda - if I recall correctly, you have a recipe site, so you're probably always going to see some ads like this. I don't have a full recipe site, but I have some recipe pages that I'll probably never completely be able to shake the weight loss ads off of. It's a huge market, and I don't think whatever targeting algorithm AdWords/AdSense uses is always going to be that precise. I took it down to one ad block, and added other kinds of ads and aff stuff, and that did seem to help. At least I'm not getting more than one per ad block.

azlinda




msg:3811961
 7:41 pm on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the info, Netmeg. My filter is full so I cannot add any more to it. And all 200 are URLS for fat ads!

bcc1234




msg:3811971
 7:57 pm on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

bcc1234, don't necessarily consider yourself collateral damage as yet, but you may need to pay serious attention to rewriting your ads so as not to be tarred with the same brush.

[webmasterworld.com...]

It happened exactly as I described it would in the beginning of the month.

How can I rewrite ads? They copy the best performing ads from other advertisers and use for themselves.

So as soon as I (or anyone else in that niche) come up with another winner (for their product/project), the Acai guys copy it. So I'll look like one of them anyway.

Atomic




msg:3811988
 8:45 pm on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the info, Netmeg. My filter is full so I cannot add any more to it. And all 200 are URLS for fat ads!

My first thought was that it could be some sort of quality signal but I checked your site and you have solid content and PR.

I have a large recipe section on a general food website and it had problems earlier in the month but is slowly improving. So I have to think this is a Google problem.

Are advertisers targeting your site? You could try renaming your channels to bust that up!

Taken from the Edit Channel page:
If you change the name, bids by advertisers currently targeting this channel will be lost.

Make sure you do some searches. I did a few generic searches and noticed a bunch of non-food retailers cluttering your results. Believe it or not, I'd block them before the diet ads. At least dieting is somewhat food related.

[edited by: Atomic at 8:46 pm (utc) on Dec. 20, 2008]

icedowl




msg:3812013
 9:58 pm on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Netmeg, I've also saved my filter list as a text file and now it only contains one URL. My fingers are crossed.

CodeJockey




msg:3812014
 10:04 pm on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I dumped all of diet, acai and fat ads in my filter roughly 24 hours ago. I'm pleased to say that other than one that I'd never seen before, they've all disappeared.

Money is up again, so I'm happy.

guru5571




msg:3812116
 4:32 am on Dec 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well I'm having a laugh. Just visited a thread on one the aforementioned marketing forums. They are all bitching about having their ads disapproved and being unable to get impressions on the content network. Some are speculating that their accounts were flagged. Others mention ads being turned down for unacceptable business practices. I have no doubt that this thread is responsible for their collective bewilderment.

guru5571




msg:3812121
 4:34 am on Dec 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

If anyone wants the link, just PM me.

Miamacs




msg:3812326
 4:57 pm on Dec 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Netmeg, I've also saved my filter list as a text file and now it only contains one URL. My fingers are crossed.

I wonder if we're in the same business *smirk*

I did this at about the exact same time as you did.

icedowl




msg:3812347
 5:51 pm on Dec 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Miamacs, I kinda doubt it as far as being in the same business when it comes to our websites. However, I do make my living working with computers so maybe there is a remote chance of some similarity.

Jane_Doe




msg:3812389
 7:29 pm on Dec 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

If anyone wants the link, just PM me.

I know one of the forums. They have been joking about how the people who sign up for the free trials get dubious recurring charges on their charge cards. That's how they were making so much money to be able to afford buying up all of the adspace. Evidently it was a charge card scam as well as an Adwords scam.

guru5571




msg:3812590
 6:31 am on Dec 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Oh yeah, there have been long threads over there with some experiencing 'ethics' issues. Apparently some of them tested the offers out by calling the cancellation phone numbers. No one even answers on some of the offers. Some offers even have 'bonuses', in the fine print they charge you another $39 automatically. Basically people get billed something like $140 on that first billing. They end up kissing that money goodbye then after going through hell, end up feeling lucky that were able to prevent future billing by going through their CC to finally cancel it.

IanCP




msg:3812594
 6:57 am on Dec 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Oh yeah, there have been long threads over there with some experiencing 'ethics' issues.

Seemingly they are now olden day issues

Basically people get billed something like $140 on that first billing. They end up kissing that money goodbye then after going through hell, end up feeling lucky that were able to prevent future billing by going through their CC to finally cancel it.

I've not personally been down this track. Why aren't the original charges credited back? Why aren't these clowns terminated at the gate by CC companies? Totally terminated? To me that's a no brainer. Then again I'm dumb!

Like it's not that they're inexperienced or stupid? CC Companies that is.

Or are they really?

[dopey typo -actually poor spelling]

[edited by: IanCP at 6:59 am (utc) on Dec. 22, 2008]

Jane_Doe




msg:3812606
 7:34 am on Dec 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Why aren't these clowns terminated at the gate by CC companies? Totally terminated?

The credit card companies who are charging consumer rates of 11 - 27% when the prime rates is currently 3.25%? I don't think consumer protection is high on their priority lists.

There is a major antivirus company that pretty much does the same thing - bills people charge cards annually based on some fine print after you once buy their product. They have a small link somewhere where the default is to be billed into infinity. We got billed a year after we'd stopped using their product and deleted every trace of their software from all of our computers.

When it happened to me I searched the forums to see if this was a common practice and there were people getting billed who had never bought the product and some who said they didn't even own a computer. When I called the antivirus company's number to complain about the charge I was put on hold for over 30 minutes. It appears the charge card companies were going along with that scam, too, even though I'm sure they must have had thousands upon thousands of complaints based on all of the forum and complaint board postings.

Jane_Doe




msg:3813611
 9:25 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

They've made a few changes on our end that should alleviate this situation as soon as possible.

ASA - Just a note to let you know that the last problem ad has disappeared from my site and no new problem ads have reappeared. Earnings on my site that had been hammered with those ads are back to normal. Thanks! That is a great Christmas present.

I'm surprised there aren't more comments from the other posters that had been having similar issues.

radix




msg:3813850
 8:43 am on Dec 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

That is a great Christmas present.

It's like how to make a cat happy.

Stop spinning the cat holding the tail.

radix




msg:3813852
 8:43 am on Dec 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

[dupe]

Jane_Doe




msg:3877186
 8:59 pm on Mar 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

The Yahoo home page is featuring an ABC New report today on the belly fat credit card scam with all of the fake women's diet blogs today. The Connecticut attorney general is looking into the matter.

It is interesting that Google eliminated these ads early on after publishers here started complaining, but most of the other networks did nothing. Kudos to Google for taking action on this last year.

icedowl




msg:3877195
 9:04 pm on Mar 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

I wish they would do the same for all the "wrinkles" and "white teeth" ads that are now taking the place of the "diet" spammy ads.

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