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Blatant click fraud statements
Is it THAT bad for advertisers?
twinsrul




msg:3035050
 4:23 am on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)


If you wanna support this site- I invite you come by once in a while, and click on the Google Ads

Put that in Google and see what you get. Right in bold face print, you'll see this statement on many TOS violating websites.

My question to all Google AdWords advertisers, would you advertise on this type of content network website which is blatantly in violation of the Google TOS, simply for seemingly "guaranteed" clicks and traffic for likely extremely discounted rates? Does the potential exposure outweigh the blatant click fraud statements? I believe this can be considered a type of mass marketing. Has the effectiveness of this sort of advertising on AdWords been studied?

I intentionally posed this question in the AdWords forum to get opinions from advertisers. Now in this real-world scenario, you know ahead of time that the website's webmaster is actively condoning the policy of supporting the website by clicking the advertisers links with little/no interest in the advertisements themselves. Is it worthwhile to invest a portion of your website’s marketing budget into this form of marketing or can it be likened to throwing money out the window?

 

dfud




msg:3035056
 4:38 am on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'd hate to see my ads on a page like that.

BaseVinyl




msg:3035076
 5:14 am on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

My gramma used to tell me: "If you expect free gifts from Santa Clause then you should be ready to climb a muddy boot and sit in the lap of a drunk costumed man wearing a red suit!"

Sure Gramma...but it's cuz Santa loves me? No, says Gramma, it's cuz santa wants you to believe in the magic long enough for his taylors to rip the wallet out through your nose!

I've learned that this Google Adwords is like what Santa is to young children...sooner or later once they realise that there are no free gifts they either rise up under their own power and take a stand or they are molested by the creepy guy in a suit.

Google fits into many red trousers!
...says Gramma!

humblebeginnings




msg:3035152
 8:00 am on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is awful. Google should boot that site right away.
And I am sure they will.

Tropical Island




msg:3035358
 2:52 pm on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am sure that by now someone from WW has reported them to adsense-abuse at google.com .

We should all report any offending site to the above e-mail anytime we run across them.

europeforvisitors




msg:3035361
 2:54 pm on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I assume that you reported the offender to Google.

It shouldn't be too long until we see yet another "My account has been disabled" or "I've been banned!" thread on the AdSense forum.

rytis




msg:3035399
 3:46 pm on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

These people not only steal money from Adwords advertisers, but also steal good ads from us, Adsense publishers, and devalue web advertising (which earns me living) as a whole.

When in bad mood or lazy, I occasionally search favorite SE for phrases like:

"click on the Google Ads"
"click on Google Ads"
"click Google Ads"
"click our sponsors"
etc.

then Shift+click "Ads by Goooogle" on that offending site, click "Send Google your thoughts on the ads you just saw", select "Report a violation" in drop-down menu, and copy-paste the invitation to click. If necessary, include directions how to find the violation on site. Usually in 2-4 days Adsense spots on that site become PSAs or blank.

R

trannack




msg:3035413
 4:00 pm on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

As far as I am aware Adsense allows sites to put the message "The following sponsored links......" I read a similar thread on another forum where someone had put "click here.." and Google wrote to them saying that it is not allowed to just encourage a click, although it was OK if you stated that they were sponsored links. Is there really any difference? and is this statement true?

europeforvisitors




msg:3035420
 4:12 pm on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Trannack, Google's AdSense Program Policies clearly state:

"Publishers may not label the ads with text other than 'sponsored links' or 'advertisements.' This includes any text directly above our ads that could be confused with, or attempt to be associated with Google ads."

Cliff's Notes version:

"Sponsored links" or "advertisements." Nothing else.

Tropical Island




msg:3035426
 4:15 pm on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Incentives
Web pages may not include incentives of any kind for users to click on ads. This includes encouraging users to click on the ads or to visit the advertisers' sites as well as drawing any undue attention to the ads. For example, your site cannot contain phrases such as "click here," "support us," "visit these links," or other similar language that could apply to any ad, regardless of content. These activities are strictly prohibited in order to avoid potential inflation of advertiser costs. In addition, publishers may not bring unnatural attention to sites displaying ads or referral buttons through unsolicited mass emails or unwanted advertisements on third-party websites. Publishers are also not permitted to use deceptive or unnatural means to draw attention to or incite clicks on referral buttons.

Labeling Ads
Publishers may not label the ads with text other than "sponsored links" or "advertisements." This includes any text directly above our ads that could be confused with, or attempt to be associated with Google ads.

https://www.google.com/adsense/policies?sourceid=asos&subid=ww-ww-et-resource_box&medium=link

Tropical Island




msg:3035427
 4:16 pm on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sorry EFV - we posted at the same time.

europeforvisitors




msg:3035455
 4:41 pm on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Maybe the double whammy will drive the point home. :-)

aeiouy




msg:3035594
 8:02 pm on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

My experience with this is that they are not dealt with quickly, and in most cases publishers are given a warning to remove the ads.

So anyone expecting for swift and exacting justice is going to be disappointed. They will get to dealing with it eventually, but in a lot of cases, as I said, it will lead to a warning for the publisher to remove such indicators and suggestions about adsense ads from their site.

Bewenched




msg:3036821
 3:30 am on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just hate seeing my ads running on a site for shoes when our products are not EVEN closely related. I once saw one of our ads on a site for feminine protection... blew me away.

europeforvisitors




msg:3036875
 5:32 am on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Contextual matching isn't perfect, but it works pretty well most of the time.

Of course, when it doesn't, it can be annoying or funny, depending on your point of view. I used to see ads for St. Martin hotels on a page about the German monastery where Martin Luther took his vows. And after three years, I'm still getting B2B ads from ATM vendors on a page about using ATMs abroad.

jtara




msg:3036881
 5:50 am on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is yet another example of Google not implementing SIMPLE specific checks for policy violations, while at the same time implementing opaque algorithm changes that catch honest webmasters in an overly-wide net.

europeforvisitors




msg:3037533
 5:32 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

his is yet another example of Google not implementing SIMPLE specific checks for policy violations, while at the same time implementing opaque algorithm changes that catch honest webmasters in an overly-wide net.

"Simple specific checks" may sound easy, but putting theory into practice is more difficult. Consider the delays in ad approvals that advertisers have complained about in other threads. In a network the size of AdWords/AdSense, automated procedures are necessary--not only to control costs, but simply to get things done.

As for honest Webmasters getting caught in an overly-wide net, the solution to that is having manual reviews of the "catchees" after the net has been cast. Honest Webmasters should have nothing to fear from such reviews.

deep_alley




msg:3038863
 5:12 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Would not like my ads showing up on a site like that. I guess by now, a lot of people are use to their ads showing up on crappy sites - its the price you have to pay for being on the content network.
What would be great though would be if google gave us a list of sites where our ads were showing up and we could exclude the ones we didnt want. Of course they would NEVER do this.

jtara




msg:3038910
 5:55 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

What would be great though would be if google gave us a list of sites where our ads were showing up and we could exclude the ones we didnt want.

While that sounds easy, putting it into practice could be difficult...

Just wanted to save EFV a few keystrokes. ;)

Despite EFV's protests, most of these things ARE easy. Funny how he never specifies just what is so difficult.

In the case of inducements to click, it should be easy to scan (using software) for language that encourages clicking on ads. EFV's protestations against extended review time are a red herring, as no manual checking should be necessary.

PERHAPS this is included in the current algorithm. If so, it is apparently ineffective, at least in the case of the example cited.

Indeed, the biggest problem with the latest algorithm change is the slowness or utter lack of human review where innocents get caught in the wide net. Google ISN'T following-up with quick human review to get quality websites that failed their automated review back into the system. They didn't plan sufficiently to make sure they had the resources to back the automated system up with human review.

europeforvisitors




msg:3038967
 6:25 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

jtara, you were complaining about "opaque algorithm changes," so I assumed that you were suggesting manual checks. I'm all for the idea of scanning for text that encourages clicking on AdSense ads, but I still don't think that's a foolproof solution, because there are many different phrases that can draw attention to the ads or encourage clicking. Also, what about the site that has a mixture of ads on its pages and has "Visit these advertisers" above a stack of display or classified ads that's completely separate from the "Ads by Gooooogle" block? If the phrase resulted in automatic suspension (not a manual review), you'd have a perfect example of Webmasters being caught in an "overly-wide net," to use your phrase.

Still, if Google can automatically whack any site that has "Click on the AdSense ads" or "Ads by Google support this site," more power to them. That certainly would be a step in the right direction (and, for all we know, it's something that Google is already doing, since publishers are being tossed from the network regularly).

jtara




msg:3039007
 6:42 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

jtara, you were complaining about "opaque algorithm changes," so I assumed that you were suggesting manual checks.

No, I was suggesting TRANSPARENT, specific, automated checks.

There are a number of clearly-stated Google policies that could have specific automated checks added. Google hasn't done this, relying instead on manual checks that are typically triggered by particularly-persistent advertisers pointing violations out to Google reps after being actively discouraged from reporting them by the Google reps.

Even the most blatent violations are permitted to continue for months - as document in this forum.

I'm all for the idea of scanning for text that encourages clicking on AdSense ads, but I still don't think that's a foolproof solution

Nothing is a foolproof solution. But it would be a good start. The particular text cited should be easy for a automated scan to detect.

Still, if Google can automatically whack any site that has "Click on the AdSense ads" or "Ads by Google support this site," more power to them. That certainly would be a step in the right direction (and, for all we know, it's something that Google is already doing, since publishers are being tossed from the network regularly).

We agree on something.

Peace in the Middle East may be next. News at 11.

trannack




msg:3039907
 2:08 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Trannack, Google's AdSense Program Policies clearly state:
"Publishers may not label the ads with text other than 'sponsored links' or 'advertisements.' This includes any text directly above our ads that could be confused with, or attempt to be associated with Google ads."

Cliff's Notes version:

"Sponsored links" or "advertisements." Nothing else."

Thanks for the reply, however think you may have misunderstood. The previous thread I read - which I have been unable to locate, I am sure stated that Google was Ok with, for example: "The Following Sponsored Links could provide additional information on widgets" - Providing that you make it clear the they are Sponsored Links, and obviously the "Ads by Google" is clearly displayed, and you are not asking anyone to "click" on the sponsored links. Of course this could just have been a thread posted by someone and totally unconfirmed.

However, I am not implying that I agree with this practice, as we all know, a lot of the time completely irrelevant adverts appear within Google content match, and this type of encouragement can only lead to a plethora of useless traffic.

In my humble opinion, Adsense should vet sites more thoroughly to ensure the quality of sites showing their adverts. I think the recent attack on Adwords customers to perhaps rid the net of MFA sites has, from the sound of it, been grossly unfair, where as I truely believe that the problem stems from Adsense. I personally have no problem with my advert for widgets showing on a page that is purely a porthole page, but that has a decent - and I mean more than a paragraph(!) amount of content about wigets. After all if someone is searching the net for widgets and finds a site with information on widgets, but no widgets to sell, and they see my advert - Great! Content clicks cost me far less than search clicks.

Don't know if that makes any sense, but interested to hear your views.

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