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Anyone else run into this issue, and what can be done to: a) recover as quickly as possible, and b) somehow prevent this in the first place?
The real problem with this is that I spend a lot of time and energies getting to an optimal position, and developing a great CTR which helps keep me there. This impression spamming is destroying history on the keyword in Google, requiring me to start over in a new ad group or new camapign. Further, it seems Google takes a while to start serving the ad 100% of the time once I do re-start.
This time it knocked me and all of my affiliates off of the keyword for about 24 hours, and it took another 3-4 days to right-size the campaign. When you're talking gross sales of $15k+ per day on this keyword, it really hurts.
We used to find this happening with general terms in both Over and FindWhat in the past. We eliminated those terms and the problem went away.
Google is a bit more specific, defining click fraud, "or invalid clicks, as any method used to artificially and/or maliciously generate clicks or page impressions," according to Salar Kamangar, director of product management.
or page impressions - it's already part of their click fraud defination.
Is there any direct revenue the spammer sees from this action?
If you want to lower your AdSense CTR (i.e. usually when you're also doing click fraud), then you want to impression spam your sites.
Also, to get into domain parking (and some partner programs), requires that you have X page views a month - impression spamming yourself would make you appear larger than you actually are.