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Disqualified for invalid clicks

Nobody related to the website clicked on ads



7:44 pm on Dec 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

How can a website be disqualified for invalid clicks if they aren't clicking on the ads? I suspect this was done by one of my competitors trying to kill my only revenue stream, but I can't get an explanation from google.


6:35 pm on Dec 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


If I have misquoted you I apologize without condition. Well, I will throw in an excuse, 'twas my first time using the quote function here. ;-)

Edit: I have edited my previous post in an attempt to correct this.


9:51 pm on Dec 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I started using Google Adsense on a very limited basis a few months ago and have been happy with the results...however, I too have been very nervous about the possibility of fraud ruining my new source of income...in fact, to the point that I have not put Google Adsense on every page of my site....I believe that it would be in the best interest of Google to work out an automated way of detecting fraudulent clicks because I think there are probably many other webmasters like me who would promote Adsense MUCH MUCH more if they weren't scared of getting burned by a competitor.

I also want to comment on what Jenstar said:

"Just like in any business, you need to weigh the pros and cons. If there are multiple hours of auditing and checks going into a single account that might only generate $100 of revenue for Google in a month, would it be worth it for them to continue putting in the hours each month when the employee's wages are more than the profit? From a business perspective, no it wouldn't. "

If Google would go ahead and spend the time now on some of these publishers (even if they lose money on the deal), they could probably work out the kinks in their fraud detection system so this is not a much a problem in the future...I mean if it's happening to one publisher, it's probably happening to hundreds, maybe even thousands of other publishers.....to me, Google needs to be looking at the big picture....


9:59 pm on Dec 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I received an email about invalid clicks in the first month and to this day I still don't know why. Anyways I have now been with AdSense for over 6 months so I really don't worry about it anymore.

I think the #1 thing it does is Scare People! Being so strict might be the only way AdSense survives in the long run...people too scared to click anything.

I also believe that Jenstar is right. Build up your site because the more you're making with AdSense then less the chance of getting booted. Google will spend the time getting things sorted out if YOU ARE playing by the rules.


10:54 pm on Dec 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Google's biggest problem in this is it's reliance on automation, I think. The Adsense/Adwords programs are nearly completely automated... but those programs' customers are real live humans. If Google isn't willing to personally address a complaint from one of their customers, they will dramatically suffer from the competition that is sure to come in 2004.

I'm still going to try and get my account reinstated. My site has some clear competitors, and I have a feeling it may have been sabotaged by them... but of course, Google is unwilling to say why my account has been disabled. And since they have no actual person-to-person customer support, they leave little option but to continually escalate this issue.

I'm anxiously anticipating AdSense competitors. That way Google can't throw their weight around like a mini-Microsoft, forcing people out without redress or explicit reason.


12:08 am on Dec 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm pleasing myself to think that Quigo will be ready in January or at least February. At least that's what "Very early in 2004" means to me (their words). I would, however, be wary if I was a foreign publisher. I believe that they will only accept USA publishers, at least in the beginning.,

I love Google and I can understand why they are using those Stalinist methods. After all, if I was Google and had no competition, I would probably be tempted to do the same. :-)
Wouldn't you? Thousands of publishers sweating in their sleep over not being kicked out of your product. Tons of people depending on you. You can shut down businesses with a press of a key.

It doesn't exactly suit their "Don't be evil" motto, however. I believe that when Quigo enters the arena, things will go fast, to the publishers' benefit. Quigo will get a lot of affiliates very fast (we all want to have some serious backup plan and not be hung on Google by our bowels like we are now), their success, at least short term, appears assured to me. I can't wait for it to happen so we can see some action.


12:38 am on Dec 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Wouldn't you?


It would be wrong to think that causing harm is the intention of their fraud prevention implementation. If I had to guess, it would be to preserve the integrity and good name of the program and the Google brand, which I think is still very valuable.

This doesn't mean that harm is not being caused. I believe that some innocent people have been caught by the fraudbot net being innocent. However, I am .... {I was going to say old, then thought of knowledgeable, but I am going to settle on jaded} enough to understand that no system is free of imperfections, and that to expect perfection would be unfeasible. One can only demand a reasonable effort.

It reminds me of my graduate statistics class and how we went over six-sigma as a driver to improve quality. This is a process, where your goal is to decrease variance so that you end up with something like 99.99999999% accuracy/perfection/error free. It is expensive to put those controls in place.


2:01 am on Dec 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

RobbieD: Google will spend the time getting things sorted out if YOU ARE playing by the rules.

I'm not sure about that. They admitted no publisher complicity on my part. But even disregarding that I think there is a reasonable case to be made that at times they must rely on statistical patterns to determine what is "invalid".

As the cheating click and the valid click are inherently the same they must reply on patterns of use at times.

When they determine that a site, over time, is giving them patterns of traffic that are suspect they may decide it's not worth doing business with.

And the problem with the assumtion you state is that it also assumed said criteria will be infalliable and will not result in false-positives in which the publisher was, indeed, completely unaware of and innocent of any of the activity their calculation determines is undesireable.

Assuming that Google's task of identifying the invalid clicks involves some guesswork it's not an unreasonable argument to say that some sites may indeed become terminated without recourse and more importantly, without complicity.

runboard I believe that when Quigo enters the arena, things will go fast, to the publishers' benefit.

I immediately went to Quidgo. AdSense termination was effectively locking me out of the contextual ad market. I was accepted by Quidgo and have been testing their ads since. I am impressed with the quality of the technology. In that they will certainly be able to compete. It's hard to compare because the other important factor is strategic alliance and listings. I think Quidgo has all their technical ducks in a row. And if the strategic alliances (read if they can get gobs of listings) go as well there will be a decent competitor.

Since Google will have snatched up all the big name sites out there they will have to do well with small publishers. And they have shown a willingness to avoid the "draconian" perception in their dealings with me. I've got my hopes up and as soon as they are ready to accept advertising sales directly I will also be investing there by using most of my PPC budgets there.

Competiton would be a great thing. Google's technical excellence can only be better when there is a halfway decent competitor around. And as runboard notes their treatment of small publishers might improve as well.

All I want for Christmas is a more competitive 2004 in the search engine world (in all areas).


2:10 am on Dec 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

They admitted no publisher complicity on my part.

You mean they conceded no publisher complicity... Did they say something like?... "We don't believe you are involved" or "We are not accusing you of fraud"....

If they had said something like "We are certain you had nothing to do with this" Then it would be difficult to reconcile their "Do no Evil" philosophy and actions. However, phrasing it another way would leave them an out to still suspend your account.


2:24 am on Dec 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

To paraphrase they said that they had reviewed the case (by this I assume it was initially flagged automatically and then given a look by a human who agreed with the algo). Then they said that although I did not generate the clicks they generated from my site and that to protect advertisers they would terminate.

But remember that this was before they had a stated policy about complicity. So when they said that this was in accordance with their policy they were correct. According to the policy that was operative during my tenure they reserved the right to terminate and withold based upon the "reasonable" determination of invalid clicks.

So that is compatible with their pridian policy with "reasonable" being the only part I disagree with.

I sometimes wonder if mine was one of the cases that caused them to tweak the policy in that regard. That would be at least one good result of what happened.

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