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Booted from Adsense - don't know why.

     
2:28 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I've been booted from Google Adsense after earning about $250 bucks or so in the past couple of months.

They claim that I have been clicking on my own ads. Which I have not.

No recourse, just, <paraphrase>"We cannot reveal our algorithm, but we reviewed your account again and confirm that invalid clicks were generated with your account"</paraphrase>

Account closed, end of story, see ya'- next.

I have not clicked on any of my ads. I have emailed them several times and this is all I get above.

Has anyone else experienced this?

$250 isn't much, but it's a big deal when they take about 90 days to pay and then when you are about to get your first check they boot you.

How is it possible for them to confirm that I've been clicking on my ads when I haven't?

Thanks in advance for advice,

Rusty

[edited by: Jenstar at 4:43 pm (utc) on Feb. 11, 2004]
[edit reason] No email quotes as per TOS, thanks! [/edit]

2:41 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone else experienced this?

Several people have stated exactly the same thing. I suggest a trawl through the AdSense forum - not sure if any of them managed to resolve it.

Hope you sort it.

I would hazzsard a guess that google look for multiple clicks from one IP address (or range) in a particular pattern that, on balance of probability, is not "usual" behaviour.

There is, if that is the case, a percentage chance that it will be triggered incorrectly.

Obviously it's not you clicking on the ads, but someone must have been. In a way that was not considered "usual" behaviour. Google then kept an eye on it and saw the same behaviour being repeated.

Are you 100% that this couldn't have been a mate of yours trying to be helpful without realising it's actually doing the opposite?

TJ

2:58 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Rusty:

Welcome to Webmasterworld. Usually in cases like this, Google will word it as "fraudulent activity has been detected". I don't think they usually place the blame directly on the owner of the account. If they did so in your case, they must have very incriminating evidence. I agree with the previous response. I also think that if you had nothing to do with it, you should appeal the decision.

You can search the forum for some stories and advice as to how to phrase the appeal.

4:17 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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In instances like this would it not be better if Google simple withheld payment, but leave the account open for some months so as to monitor activity.
4:21 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Perhaps what happened is that a competitor of yours clicked on your Account and got you booted off of AdSense.

Basically, if your CTR rate is higher than norm they'll take you out.

(editted - in absolutely no way do I condone this behaviour, just trying to point out a glaring hole in the system)

(editted again - honestly, I really wasn't suggesting that anyone should do this.)

[edited by: transactiongeek at 5:00 pm (utc) on Feb. 11, 2004]

4:27 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, well, if you're feeling a little vengeful you can take out someone's AdSense account by just clicking on their Ads from a bunch of different IP addresses.

That's not a particularly helpful piece of advice there mate.

2odd...

4:31 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Why not? This poor guy is wondering why he's been kicked off .. perhaps this is how it happened?

Sorry about how this sounds, but here goes: simply sticking your head in the sand and pretending a problem does not exist is not the best way to solve it.

Google needs to fix their program and not to sound like a broken record, but by charging on a conversion basis rather than a click basis is the way to fix their program.

4:39 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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We're all aware the problem potentially exists, but I for one am not going to blithely take the word of the poster - there are two sides to every story. Perhaps the poster hasn't done anything wrong, and I hope if that's the case he gets reinstated - but there have been many similar claims here on the board before that were proven incorrect.

But by suggesting the solution if he's p'd off is to go and take someone else out is just juvenile.

Frankly I'd rather have my head in the sand than stuck somewhere else.

2odd...

4:54 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm a little surprised by the "<paraphrase>"We cannot reveal our algorithm, but we reviewed your account again and confirm that invalid click were generated with your account"</paraphrase>." As another member pointed out, Google usually says that invalid clicks have been detected on your account, not that the clicks were generated with your account. Still, maybe something got lost in the paraphrasing. :-)

As for why Google might cancel an account without solid proof of invalid clicking by the publisher, it could be a simple matter of economics. You say that you've earned about $250 in a couple of months. Google might feel that the profit on a $125-a-month site isn't enough to justify determining for certain whether the publisher is doing the invalid clicking or someone else is.

Remember, Google isn't a court of law that needs to determine guilt or innocence: It's a business that wants to make a profit. If an account looks marginal (in dollar terms), and especially if there's reason to believe that the site might generate invalid clicks in the future (e.g., because it's on a controversial topic or is in a category where competitors are known to be cutthroat), Google might just decide that it's easier to cancel the account than to spend time wrestling with the guestion of whether the publisher is innocent or guilty. I'm not saying that's what happened in your case, but it's one possible explanation.

4:55 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I guess I wasn't very clear in what I said.

Perhaps that is what someone did to him .. I was in no way suggesting he do that to someone else. I was merely (I guess poorly) trying to provide him with an explanation that he was asking for.

My apologies if anyone else thought otherwise.

5:01 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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efv, that could have been my pre-caffeine paraphrasing, it was a lenghty paragraph I was trying to shorten and paraphrase at the same time. It did not specify that the publisher was causing the fraudulent clicks though. And it did say they went and double checked the original findings of fraudulent clicks, to confirm that fraudulent clicks were indeed found.
5:08 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I got a 16% CTR today and i am apprehensive myself. Some days the CTR is 0% some days 3-4 and just today 16%. One really needs to make sure no one you knows that you are running this site to as far an extent as possible.
Reasons :
Disgruntled Employee
Competitor
Publicity Campaign ( this is what really bogs me..repetitive scheduled campaigns is a big no is it? )
Letting a rogue robot loose.
plus lot more.
If google could offer the option to either cancel the account or remove the credited money in this interval it would be a relief, yet this would only be getting more complex and would indulge fleece adsense companies.
Work from home. Click on ads 3 times a day on our network of sites and stuff like that. This program is in for some real mess around.
Big traffic earners would be safe genrally but everyone else would have the proverbial Damocles sword over them.
A solution could be that the advertiser chooses if he considers paying for the click and validates it , and the publisher knows what was accepted and what was refused, this again has its pitfalls but the transparent system could allow the webmasters to choose to block a particular publisher.
Adsense is here to stay but it will have some radical changes .either google has to be the topcop or leave the market to negotiate,
let the stats be open , let the publishers bid per click...ebayclicks :-)
i see the present system as frail.
cheers
niko
5:09 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I was at a client's house the weekend (we design websites) and was showing them some of our work.

I left the room (for a few minutes- bathroom break) while they surfed and didn't think to mention to them not to click on any of the ads.

When I returned they were still on the site that I had designed, so I didn't think anything of it.

Then later on I finished the presentation by showing them how the Adsense program worked, and how easy it would be to add it to their sites as well (added value of using us to design their sites).

I'm guessing (don't know for a fact) that my clients must have clicked on some ads while I was gone and then clicked back before I returned, because when I returned it was still on the screen that I left it at.

I then logged into Adsense to show them how simple the program is to use.

I've appealed it 3 times so far and to no avail. As far as they are concerned I can't prove I didn't and they can't prove I did. Account Closed.

Any people that have actually successfully appealed it would be greatly beneficial. It's not a whole lot of money, but I was getting some amazing CTR of 10 to 12%. My income per 1000 clicks was bumping up to around $12.52 which is the most awesome results that I've ever had with affiliate click programs.

Now, no 2nd chance, no chance to explain, no chance to do anything, just BOOM your gone.

No, "We've detected some weird stuff on your account and if it happens again, then BOOM."

Very frustrated.

Rusty

5:15 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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> "invalid clicks were generated with your account"

Being unable to see the real message, I hesitate to weigh in, but I will point out that "invalid clicks" could describe a number of scenarios besides self- or competitor-generated clicks.

A few months ago, someone who posted here had their account revoked after the review team discovered that they were linking to other sites within a frameset with their adsense in the top frame - to make things worse, they had "seeded" the frame with a choice little set of very expensive keywords (~$10 on Overture) - that had nothing to do with the either the site, or the sites that were being framed...

I am not accusing RustyACE of this, just want to remind everybody that a couple of dozen clicks by your competitor won't get your account terminated.

5:16 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I then logged into Adsense to show them how simple the program is to use.

Bingo.

I feel for you, but that was an error of judgment. In future, point clients at the Flash demo that's on google's site. And the information on there. Showing other people your control panel is a breach of the TOS in itself. Clicks from the same IP address is bound to get you instantly kicked.

As has been suggested by other posters here, you may be well advised to go through some of the older threads relating to this kind of thing and get some ideas on how to re-approach google in a couple of months time.

TJ

[edited by: trillianjedi at 5:18 pm (utc) on Feb. 11, 2004]

5:17 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The paragraph above is the actual email that was sent to me. No paraphrasing involved.

What I need help is drafting an appeal letter and I'll give it the ol college try for a 4th appeal to have my account reinstated.

Any sample letters would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

(Websites that I had my ads on were:
<snip>)

Rusty

[edited by: Jenstar at 5:19 pm (utc) on Feb. 11, 2004]
[edit reason] NO URLS as per TOS, please! [/edit]

5:19 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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RustyACE, don't take it personally but adsense for want ever reason has looked at your site compared it to the average site in that area and your site does not match that's it.....

could be a number of reasons why it doesn't match, but you are going to have to accept that adsense does not want you site... end of story

DaveN

5:25 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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DaveN - I don't agree. If a site was approved for AdSense, then google were happy with it in the first place.

Seems quite clear to me what the breaches of googles TOS were - fraudulent clicks.

TJ

5:33 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, it reminds me of the story of the guy who got fired because he worked at a company and bidded on an item that his (rather large) company had auctioned on eBay.

The problem was, he was behind the proxy when he made the bid so his IP address showed up at the same as the auctioneer.

The company lost their rather important eBay account over this and suffered significant losses in revenue. So they fired the guy.

Harsh, unfair, but that's the cold hard logic of computers for you.

5:35 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>> I'm guessing (don't know for a fact) that my clients must have clicked on some ads

Good story, but you might want to check whether this happened or not.

5:38 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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My sites focus on content. (Thanks for editing them.. didn't know I wasn't supposed to say where they were)

The google ads matched exactly the content and served up appropriate ads.

So it's my fault that too many people liked the google ads and clicked on them?

There should be an appeal process is all that I am saying.

I'm not mis-using the system. I followed the rules.

I guess on hind site I should have not shown my client the adsense page, but I did, and getting booted from Adsense for this offense is trivial at best.

I know, in the big scheme of things I'm just 1 little person that has no say as far as Google is concerned.

I know all of the arguments, I know what I did, now, How do I get reinstated? Has anyone ever got re-instated?

Thanks,

Rusty

5:54 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hi Rusty ,
Am sorry this happened to you but suspect if the same IP used by you to show clients adsense and same IP to click adds you are stuffed by accident or design ,
also suspect more than single click by your clients to adsense would be needed to put a flag up so ask them if they clicked more than 1 add
steve
5:55 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>> So it's my fault that too many people liked the google ads and clicked on them?

transactiongeek said earlier in this thread that if your CTR is higher than normal Google will see it as fraud, but that is not correct.

Click rates vary HUGELY site by site, page by page, and even day by day depending on what ads are currently being matched. A reasonably high click rate in itself won't cause a problem.

6:13 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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and I havent been booted yet

... and when you get booted eventually, you can start another "Booted from Adsense" thread in this forum.

6:27 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I hadn't noticed a "booted from AdSense" thread in a while. I guess I was naive in thinking the situation had improved and there was less of this going on.

I got a "fraudulents" clicks letter many months ago. The clicks weren't created by me. For weeks on end the main reason I would check my email was to see if I had gotten the dreaded letter from Adsense.

Insecurity about the ability to maintain a long term relationship with Adsense is an incredibly major flaw with the program.

6:32 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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High CTR is the number one fraud determination that Google uses. Doing the statistical analysis to determine what is high CTR (to ignore the flux between high and low CTR sites) is trivial, even an undegrad could do it.

One site should not have significantly higher CTR than another unless it is specifically doing something to get its users to click on their Ads.

The idea behind AdSense is to have content and Ads. It is not to encourage people to click through and look at Ads.

6:34 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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transactiongeek, WHERE are you getting this from? Do you work at Google? Don't make assertions like that unless you know them to be true.

>> One site should not have significantly higher CTR than another unless it is specifically doing something to get its users to click on their Ads.

This is utterly false and every AdSense publisher here knows it.

[edited by: jomaxx at 6:36 pm (utc) on Feb. 11, 2004]

6:35 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Another thing to think about is that the client could have gone back to the site later that day, or the next day and clicked on the ads. Google could have then figured out that this ip had logged in to check the account and is now clicking the ads... We can guess all day about what kind of fraud detection Fraudbot uses, but it is fair to say that checking the ips used to login into the account manager against those clicking in the ads has got to be one of them. There is a reason a lot of us stay away from Google ads even when visiting other sites :) {I know that I have clicked on maybe 2 or 3 during the last seven months from either my PC or my work PC}

Also, there is no way that Google punished you for having a high CTR. I know that wathever it is they found that they did not like, they will not reveal the details.

You said you have appealed 3 times. I doubt that a fourth appeal will do any good at this time. Please search this forum for information on how to phrase the appeal. If I can advise you of anything is to forget passion and keep it professional. EFV is right when he says that this is a business decision.

To WebMojo: You know that warnings are for the benefit of people that don't know any better, right? You are asking for trouble even if you space out the clicks. Even with a huge site with hundreds of clicks a day, and hundreds of thousands of impressions. Those darn computers can churn through the data in a second.

[edited by: loanuniverse at 6:39 pm (utc) on Feb. 11, 2004]

6:35 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I click on my adsense ads all the time, well not all the time but randomly to check out a new ad

I cannot believe that. Don't you have any respect for your advertisers?

If you want to see the Ads you can:

1) mouse over the advert

2) click on the "Ads By Google" link which lists the URLs of the Ads being displayed

3) Figure out which keywords are triggering your adsense adverts, and search for them in G and click on the advert from there.

Clicking on your own AdSense ads is just plain laziness, bordering on foolishness.

6:41 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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High CTR is the number one fraud determination that Google uses.

There are sites with CTRs that most publishers would do anything to have, they are not in violation of any of the terms/policies/FAQ. High CTR does not mean fraud.

One site should not have significantly higher CTR than another unless it is specifically doing something to get its users to click on their Ads.

I definitely disagree. There are huge factors coming into play. Two sites with the same content and the same traffic could have wildly different CTRs, simply due to layout, style, ad colors, placement, etc. The goal of publishers is to increase CTR and publishers are doing it - there is no preset CTR that all sites should have, regardless of whether they are showing the same ads, have the same placement, etc. There are far too many variables for this to be true.

For one site, I made a simple design change, and the CTR shot up and has remained there. Nothing fraudulent about it at all, and trust me, I know the terms/faq/policies inside out and it follows them to the letter.

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