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Link checkers

Do they click AdSense ads?

     
4:49 pm on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I was about to set up a link checker when it occurred to me that the link checker may start clicking the AdSense ads to check their validity and get me booted from the program. Anyone have any problems with this or am I just being paranoid?
5:34 pm on June 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Most likely not. I've never encountered a link checker, or any other mainstream spider for that matter, that would execute Javascript.
7:19 pm on June 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I have been using Xenu, never had any problem with Google.

I think Google is clever enough to not confuse link checker bots with fraudulent clicks.
If not, this would be a very easy way to harm your competition.

7:22 pm on June 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Also, even if your link checker does dance with JavaScript, its user agent probably identifies it as a link checker. Wouldn't be hard for Google to filter those out.
7:23 pm on June 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I think Google is clever enough to not confuse link checker bots with fraudulent clicks.
If not, this would be a very easy way to harm your competition.

It has nothing to do with how "clever" Google is - Link checkers don't click AdSense ads because they never SEE them. A link checker loads a web page into memory and looks for links. Google AdSense ads are not links in your HTML, they are in a Javascript which is loaded from a separate URL. Link checkers don't open .js files on remote servers, they look for <a></a> links within the text of a web page.

You have nothing to worry about running any linkcheckers on your site - they don't "see" pages the same way a browser does.

10:22 pm on June 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I just checked a report prepared by Xenu.

There is one line mentioning the address ht*p://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js
The status for such address is "forbidden request"
So, it looks like Xenu tries to follow (only once) the AdSense link.

Among a few hundred other lines, there is only one other occasion when this status shows again, and it is when Xenu tries to access h*tp://directory.google.com/Top/Computers/Internet/History
I donīt have any other link pointing to Google.
So, it looks like Google recognizes the request as being from Xenu and (cleverly) ignores it.

10:45 pm on June 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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That's just to confirm the Javascript include file exists - part of the link checker's job. That doesn't mean Xenu was going to execute the Javascript, which I doubt very much.
10:02 am on June 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Used the link checker many many times, and I see the big long list of forbidden requests (all for Adsense), and after nearly a year in the program i have never had any comeback from Adsense for using the link checker.

Would be silly if i did, so don't worry your doing nothing wrong, or harm to your account

8:13 am on June 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Xenu gets a 403 forbidden so it can't click any ads.