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JavaScript Framebuster Got me Booted from AdSense
No Response from Google AdSense
varun21




msg:4547482
 4:26 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

As is the very familiar story of getting the dreaded "account disabled for invalid clicks" message, I got one too.

I waited about 15 days to make up my mind (and to allow whether Google would just discover that I'm innocent). As it turned out. I appealed with the RAW access logs for the last 3 months. But google just turned down my appeal.

I then took the help of analytics. The account was disabled on Jan 18 2013. But Google Analytics intelligence report showed a spike in pageviews (and they weren't clicks but pageviews do inflate advertiser costs) on 18th Jan 2013. After digging deep, I realised that someone from France (I'm in India) was using the Google Translate service to view my site. And my site has a framebuster javascript which caused the page to load in an endless loop. The usual pageviews of about 800 per day got inflated to 4500 that day. I've sent them a clarification. But I doubt they'll listen of their highhandedness. I was at fault but I'm not a cheat. I've paid my apologies and the last respects to AdSense. BTW here's the javascript which killed the deal. Still waiting for a response from them, but would love to hear the thoughts of everyone here to suggest me a route (or may be just criticize me :) Beware of framebusters. They can bust must more.

<script type="text/javascript">
try
{
if(top.location.host.toLowerCase().indexOf("example.com") < 1 )
{
//still another site
//alert(top.location.host.toLowerCase());

document.body.innerHTML="<h1 style=\"background:red;color:black;text-decoration:blink;font-family:serif;text-align:center;font-size:x-large;padding:2em;\">Framed display not permitted!<\/h1>";
top.location=self.location;
}
else
{

}
}
catch(e)//couldn't access location, break out of frame
{
document.body.innerHTML="<h1 style=\"background:red;color:black;text-decoration:blink;font-family:serif;text-align:center;font-size:x-large;padding:2em;\">Framed display not permitted!<\/h1>";
top.location=self.location;
}
</script>

[edited by: engine at 4:48 pm (utc) on Feb 21, 2013]
[edit reason] examplified [/edit]

 

martinibuster




msg:4547507
 5:21 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

A simple framebuster caused this problem? That's scary!

Google AdSense has declared they would take a gentler approach to publishers who have been in good standing for a number of years.
Is it possible that Google's gentler approach does not apply to Indian Publishers? That would be a shame if it were true.

If it is simply a matter of the framebuster script creating invalid pageviews and you have identified the problem (with Google Analytics!), then Google should reconsider your status, especially if you have been a publisher in good standing.

varun21




msg:4547514
 5:31 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

My account is in the name of an organisation. And this is the third year of getting monthly payments though no more than 500 pm. Indian clueless spammers have earned themselves the name. And taken so many honest ones down with them. I'm sure google has no heart for indian publishers.

HuskyPup




msg:4547525
 5:42 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

The usual pageviews of about 800 per day got inflated to 4500 that day.


Ok, I agree that proportionately that is a big increase however cost wise it wouldn't be much at all if my Indian EPCs etc are anything to go by.

Are you absolutely sure it's the framebuster that's caused this? Has Google actually told you this or was it simply:

"account disabled for invalid clicks"


I do not know if Google specifies anything else other than this, anyone else know?

varun21




msg:4547533
 5:58 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

I saw this as an activity that looks like a targeted attack that would raise flags for the adsense monitoring filters. They were direct visitors. All from France and using Google translate. And amongst all the IPs, there was one repeated about a 50 times or more. Suggesting the guy left the pages reloading and could have waked away for a coffee. The entire thing lasted for about 40 mins. 5 times the daily traffic coming in within half an hour and from a specific geography. Would certainly raise red flags to the Google monitors. Makes it look like traffic purchased. And remember invalid clicks covers invalid impressions as per google.

HuskyPup




msg:4547561
 6:44 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Suggesting the guy left the pages reloading and could have waked away for a coffee. The entire thing lasted for about 40 mins.


Yep, I had this happen a couple of weeks ago with 3 requests per second for several hours, whatever it was just seemed to lock onto my site and wouldn't let go. Obviously it generated tens of thousands of extra impressions in my logs, they were HUGE, however nothing extraordinary was recorded on AdSense therefore I assumed that Google "knew" something strange was going on and just dismissed them.

Did your AdSense charts show anything different for that specific period?

martinibuster




msg:4547598
 7:52 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

If the OP's conclusions are correct, then this is a bug in the Google AdSense program and an exploit waiting to happen again. A hacker can use this exploit to cause innocent publishers to lose their AdSense account.

TinkyWinky




msg:4547611
 8:10 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Oh man - why oh why have Microsoft - with their Adcenter team and infinite resources - STILL not got an alternative.... is it really THAT hard?

Good luck trying to get back in - but don't hold your breath.

G need a good kicking to get some reality in to "advertising services" and "customer services".

netmeg




msg:4547616
 8:31 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well keep asking to be let back in (but do it politely) - there have been people who got their accounts back after persistence.

Stuff like this is why I watch my traffic like a hawk (not my AdSense, my traffic) and if I see any anomalies, AdSense comes off till I nail them down.

(Incidentally it was one year ago today that I got hit by that weird direct traffic bot attack that lasted for two months and then disappeared)

incrediBILL




msg:4547618
 8:37 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm not buying this story because a framebuster should execute before AdSense is loaded and displayed, I know mine does, therefore I could load the page a million times with the framebuster and it would have ZERO impact on AdSense which wouldn't have been loaded nor displayed yet.

jpch




msg:4547642
 9:20 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

comes off till I nail them down.


When I stopped following that I recall that it still wasn't nailed down, just seemed to fade away on it's own. So, at what point if you can identify something but not stop it do you add AdSense back? Would you really leave AdSense off forever if you couldn't stop whatever Bot was hitting your site? Seems like if you could identify it Goggle could as well so their Traffic Quality Team would just subtract those clicks/views. I suspect that's what happened in HuskyPup's case.

netmeg




msg:4547708
 1:42 am on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

I didn't know where it was coming from or why, so I took AdSense off, and yes, if the attack had not stopped, I would not have put it back.

(It was only hitting the home page, so I still had other pages I could monetize; if it had been sitewide then I would have just had to find something else)

ember




msg:4547719
 2:14 am on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Oh man - why oh why have Microsoft - with their Adcenter team and infinite resources - STILL not got an alternative.... is it really THAT hard?


They do. I use it and find it a good Adsense competitor.

varun21




msg:4547720
 2:18 am on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ember: Does it work for Indian publishers too? For website publishers? What's the URL to get started?

varun21




msg:4547723
 2:35 am on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm not buying this story because a framebuster should execute before AdSense is loaded and displayed, I know mine does, therefore I could load the page a million times with the framebuster and it would have ZERO impact on AdSense which wouldn't have been loaded nor displayed yet.


It should, but in my case, sadly it was hooked to the wp_footer. I use the Thesis theme. And if it matters, my adsense and google Analytics are integrated.

I understand that Google has to protect its advertisers. But what kind of publishers do they really ban? Cheaters? Liars? Stupid or innocent? Apologetic? I guess it doesn't matter as long as they are able to put up a smile and assure:

"Publishers are the lifeblood of the Internet, and we're committed to helping you grow your businesses ... We are considering tenure...more informative appeals...more details on invalid activity’s causes" a post from Inside Adsense Blog

Where the rubber meets the road is anything but for everyone to see. (pls excuse my Eng. grammer)

[edited by: martinibuster at 5:33 am (utc) on Feb 22, 2013]
[edit reason] Fixed formatting. [/edit]

moTi




msg:4547753
 5:47 am on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

They do. I use it and find it a good Adsense competitor.

outside the u.s.? i don't think so. at least in my country i'm directed to "bing ads", which appears to only serve to advertisers who are supposed to advertise on the "yahoo/bing network" - anyway not intended for publishers. any clarification on this?

@varun21: first of all, why do you have such a complicated framebuster script? this line for example suffices: if (top.location!=self.location) {top.location.replace('/');}

A simple framebuster caused this problem? That's scary!

i second that. google could simply filter out the page views from the concerned ip like they do in other cases. script triggered bugs like that shouldn't be a problem at all.

@incredibill:
I'm not buying this story because a framebuster should execute before AdSense is loaded and displayed

well, i'm not sure. i get an alert in my adsense tool every other day that tells me that ads have been displayed on not authorized websites and that i should authorize these websites.
most of the time, the unauthorized site is: translate.googleusercontent.com

so these must definitely be users visiting my site by clicking the translate option in the serps, which actually shouldn't be logged by adsense if you were right. strangely enough, at least from time to time random users seem to log translate.googleusercontent.com before triggering my framebuster script, which is installed on every page.

however, since i haven't authorized translate.googleusercontent.com for good reasons and therefore it doesn't contribute to my earnings, i think it shouldn't be a problem.

@varun21: how about you, do you have allowed only your website to display ads or don't you have restricted ad display at all? that would be another issue to investigate. you can select that option in your publisher tool.

RestAssured




msg:4547759
 7:03 am on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't know about other people, but I would never ever put Adsense on a site getting 800 pageviews per day.

From my experience, Google likes to work with percentages. And with so little traffic, you are far too susceptible to invalid traffic affecting your account.

This is not to say that putting Adsense on a low traffic site will automatically get your account banned. However, it does make it significantly more vulnerable to such actions potentially happening.

denisl




msg:4547772
 8:42 am on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

I find it surprising that an account would be disabled for a single spike in traffic, which adsense should have been able to easily identify as invalid traffic.
And would adsense disable the account on the same day?

And adsense gave the reason as invalid clicks. How did the javascript cause clicks?

Could there be another problem here?

I also wonder if sending raw logs for 3 months is too much information for them to consider, especially if you are wrong about the actual problem

varun21




msg:4547776
 8:57 am on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

@denisl: I believe they have more comprehensive logs than our apache raw logs. They are not looking to analyze it. They already know what happened, now they want to know why it happened at the first place.

In this case I was using a framebuster. I believe accounts are disabled by their bots, not humans. (I though need to correct myself that it got disabled on 23rd not 18th; can't see how I can edit the original post.)

In the AdSense help center, they explain invalid clicks as clicks or page impressions which may raise the spending of the advertiser.

@RestAssured: I do second your observations from my experience. My usual page impressions are around 1.2k mark daily. But Jan kept me busy with my design projects and the traffic slided.

A few years back my friend signed up for AdSense and she was only getting 0-5 visits per day. Soon after she was banned (Oh she doesn't touch the net, I signed her up). So the Google filters' algorithm definitely runs on percentages. Getting low traffic and one wrong click you could be gone. Getting millions of pageviews? They are fine with that.

HuskyPup




msg:4547847
 2:14 pm on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't know about other people, but I would never ever put Adsense on a site getting 800 pageviews per day.


I have absolutely no issue with putting AdSense on low volume niche widget sites, not every sector has hundreds of thousands or even millions of Page Views every day you know, plus these specialist sites can be an invaluable and economical global advertising platform.

Chapman




msg:4547888
 4:21 pm on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

I second that HuskyPup - there is some information that while valuable is valuable to only a small select group.

I have some PR2 and PR3 sites that have been around for almost a decade and only get about 50-100 visits a day but, consistently get that amount of traffic and definitely pay for themselves.

netmeg




msg:4547889
 4:23 pm on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yea I have no problem with the low traffic either. My sites are seasonal, and don't have even traffic throughout the year, but they always earn.

Bing's publisher program never officially got out of "beta" as far as I know, and last year they were no longer taking applications. And it was always USA only. It's still working - every now and then I try the ads again to see if they're any better, but for me they're a big fat zero. Nothing but generic weight loss and travel ads have shown up. Others have done okay, but not me.

I'm not terribly surprised; I advertise a lot in Bing for clients, but we don't use their Content Network because we can't separate it out from Yahoo's Partner Network and there's a lot of crap sites there.

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