Msg#: 4082102 posted 12:34 pm on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)
Google forbids publishers to click on their adsense links to find out the destination URL (the website that an ad link will ultimately lead to).
What you can do are the following (according to the adsense help pages):
Solution 1: Use the Adsense Preview-Tool
Problem 1: This is IE 6 only. I work on a Mac, the only IE version I could use is 5. So, no solution for me. (And even on Windows, do you still use IE 6?)
Solution 2: Look at the ad URL and find the destination URL after "adurl=", e.g. in "http://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/adclick?adurl=http://www.example.com&sa=..." the destination URL is "example.com".
Problem 2: My URLs don't have "addurl=" in them and don't contain any URLs at all except the one to my own website. Here is an example, copied unchanged from my site:
So it seems that I cannot find out the destination URLs of Google ads on my site, which is, in my eyes, unacceptable.
Unfortunately I cannot even ask anyone to visit my site and click on the ads and then send me a PM with the URLs of the pages they were led to, because even asking another person to click on the links is breaking Google's rules (so please don't do it!).
But what can I do?
[edited by: jatar_k at 3:06 pm (utc) on Feb 17, 2010] [edit reason] removed specifics [/edit]
Msg#: 4082102 posted 3:12 pm on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)
If not knowing the destination urls of the Google ads on your site is unacceptable, then what you can do is remove the AdSense.
Transparency is one of the things you give up in exchange for the ease of just taking some code and putting it on your page and letting Google do the rest. That's what you sign up for when you sign up for AdSense. In some cases you can find the destination url by very delicately right clicking on the ad with Firefox and copying the link, but it doesn't always work and there are no guarantees.
In order to get more control, you're going to have to do more of the work (i.e. sell advertising or use another network) yourself.
Msg#: 4082102 posted 3:40 pm on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)
Thank you, I actually clicked on one of the ads and was lead to an ugly page with a list of ads. I have removed the code for a link list ad from my website and changed it to a text block ad, which allows me to see what URL the ad leads to and also leads the visitor directly to the page.
But where I live (Germany) not many interesting ads are available of the context of my website (webcomics) anyway, so I guess I'll just leave the ads on for a day to see what happens and then very likely delete them and exchange them for Amazon links, where I can put up some relevant books and have control over what I want displayed.