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google_adtest - Does it work?

Just wondering

     
1:59 pm on Feb 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have been reading around about using the google_adtest setting. As of now, I set the publisher ID to 'ca-test' and google_adtest to 'on'.

I am imagining since the pub id is different, I shouldn't worry about it, but does anyone else use this?

I found an easy way on Apache that I can use these settings on every page I visit on my site dynamically so it will use my pub id on visitors, but the test id and google_adtest setting when my IP visits.

Thoughts?

3:46 pm on Feb 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well, from everything I have found on the net searching the term "google_adtest", this seems to be a valid way to avoid clicking on your own links, and to stop impressions from yourself as counting. It also appears to not charge advertisers if clicks happen using this method.

I have written up a little script that will allow you to define IP addresses that will automatically be presented with google_adtest ads, and also can use a cookie system where if that browser has the cookie installed, it will do that same.

So for those of you worried about your friends clicking on ads, you can either give them the password to enter into the script to install the cookie, or install the cookie using another application you currently have running.

This only works on Apache servers. If you are interested, PM me, and I will send you the script.

3:10 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Just in case anyone cares, I have tested this for the last couple of days and it appears to be working great. Any ad I click on doesn't count in the stats, and it would appear my impressions are not counting either (no definitive way to test this).

In fact, it has worked so well, I am working on adding a clickfraud modification to it, that will display the test ad to a user if IP X has Y amount of clicks over Z amount of time.

3:30 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Um... but wouldn't this fall under the definition of "modifying Adsense code", which we are definitely NOT supposed to do?
3:41 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Um... but wouldn't this fall under the definition of "modifying Adsense code", which we are definitely NOT supposed to do?

It does not modify the code other than the ways in which you are allowed to modify it, which is the publisher ID, and adding the google_adtest variable.

5:15 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It does not modify the code other than the ways in which you are allowed to modify it, which is the publisher ID, and adding the google_adtest variable.

where does google mention this. in the terms of service and the program policies, they seem to make it very clear that you are not allowed to modify the adsense code.

5:32 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Can anyone confirm that Google does not charge advertisers for these clicks? Even if you don't keep the money, it's not fair to make advertisers to pay for whatever research and test clicks you do while developing your site.
5:36 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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where does google mention this. in the terms of service and the program policies, they seem to make it very clear that you are not allowed to modify the adsense code.

From the TOS:

including without limitation by not modifying the JavaScript or other programming provided to You by Google in any way, unless expressly authorized in writing by Google (including by electronic mail).

[edited by: martinibuster at 6:05 pm (utc) on Feb. 24, 2006]
[edit reason] Email quote. See TOS [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]

6:01 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You should probably set the adtest block to a different color scheme so that there's no risk that you might be looking at a cached page or make some other kind of blunder and start clicking on live ads.
6:39 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well, that is a good point. With the method I use, you can just view the source and see right at the top if the script is working or not.

Good idea though.

5:30 pm on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The "google_adtest" variable is reserved for us premium publishers, and even though it works for you (it does not count impressions and/or clicks when used) I do not believe you are allowed to use it. Modifying the code in any way is strictly against the TOS.

Just modify your IP check code to exclude the ads from the page instead of modifying the Google code.

6:00 pm on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well, actually I asked Google for guidance on how to handle testing on my website development project, especially since I am using offshore programmers for the work and (at this point at least) I am far from qualifying as a premium publisher.

Google sent back the adtest code and specifically authorized me (and my offshore developers) to use it.

Clearly, Google is reasonable about this stuff -- sites under development need to be tested and sorted out, programmers need to validate the code and site appearance, and that could involve self-clicking for legitimate reasons.

It doesn't hurt to ask, though.

9:22 pm on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In the past I've used a flat graphic simulating the Adsense ad units (grabbed from the Adsense help pages - [google.com...] to take the place of live ad units for sites under construction.
10:04 pm on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In the past I've used a flat graphic simulating the Adsense ad units (grabbed from the Adsense help pages - [google.com...] to take the place of live ad units for sites under construction.

This is what I do as well. One thing I'd like to see Google add to its ad layout code page is a full graphic of exactly what the ads will look like in the size chosen. In other words, currently, you see a tiny example with the correct colors chosen, but you don't see it in the size you've chosen. If it were the correct size, with the colors you've chosen, you could take a screenshot of it, paste it into your pages under construction, and have a perfect idea of how it will look once you make it live.

10:23 pm on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Taking a screen shot is the way to go for me. Seems unnecessary to use live code on a work in progress. When the site is finished just do a search and replace and the code is in there ready to go.