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The clickthrough rates and earnings have remained *very* steady for many months, and since the earnings still haven't exceeded 100$, I don't know whether or not they'll tag me when they run a filter (>100$ I'm guessing?)
Can I expect them to find out?
Should I cut my 'losses' and start a new account? Better yet, would they agree to start me at 0 with a clean slate if I confess, even though most of it was actually earned?
I really do feel guilty about this...
If you haven't clicked since April and you know you'll never do it again, I wouldn't feel too guilty. Confess to them, or not. Speaking for myself, I think I'd just let it alone, but what do I know? Perhaps confessing to them would be the best thing.
If I do, they might ban me automatically-regardless of whether or not they would have
If I don't, then I risk that they might ban me in the future for having not reported.
Does Google check for fraud-clicks periodically, or before approving payment?
"Confessing" is likely to put your account under a microscope, and if your total earnings are less than $100 they'll probably think it's in their best interest to simply boot you instead of spending the resources required to monitor your account.
If you aren't truly remorseful, then you'll probably end up doing it again so your account will eventually get booted anyway. Of course only you know the content of your heart...
If they haven't yet contacted you, it's very unlikely that they will cancel your account 4 months after your illegal actions. Be glad they missed it and never do it again.
I think he implied that he hasn't been paid yet. In that case they wouldn't discover it until they ran the prepayment audit, where they *definitely* would.
I can only see good things coming from confessing.
a) When they run the filter they will find out anyhow.
b) You may have the chance to save your account this way, especially by pointing out that you haven't done it since April and deeply regret it. They are people too, and will appreciate your advance honesty.
When I first started I clicked my ad once and I got freaked out because I heard how strict Google was, but then there are people like this who click so many times (purposely) and get off the hook. Baffles me. Maybe Google is only strict to useless business they want to get rid of? (His site was highly profitable)
I also thought about that. Don't some dorms work that way? (Floors or the entire building sharing a single IP over a single router). What if one person were to click an ad not knowing who owned the site? How would google determine if it was actually a fake click or not?
YES THEY CAN.
There's more to it than just IP. Using cookies, Google (or anyone else) can determine whether it's the same PC clicking, even it might be sharing its IP with 100 other PCs.
Good news is that I haven't been kicked.
Bad news is that from the response, I still don't know if I'll be before the first preapproval :D
The important part:
Thank you for your email.
We appreciate you notifying us of the clicks that you have made. Please
note that in order to protect your interests as well as those of our
advertisers, Google monitors clicks on Google ads to prevent any abuse of
the AdSense program. Google's proprietary technology analyzes all ad
clicks for any invalid click activity that is intended to artificially
drive up an advertiser's clicks or a publisher's earnings.
Clicks deemed by our monitoring system to be invalid will appear in your
reports. However, since advertisers are not charged for clicks deemed to
be invalid, publishers do not receive any revenue for these clicks.
Consequently, you may on occasion notice clicks with no associated
revenue. Please rest assured that your account is being properly credited
for all valid clicks.
However, please remember that clicking on your own ads for any reason is
prohibited, as it has the potential to inflate advertiser costs.
The rest was just about how I could go about viewing ads through a special page, etc
I guess we'll have to wait and see...
lol. keep telling yourself that.
cookies aside, haven't you ever looked at raw logs? there's a ton of stuff that can be captured - does everyone in the hypothetical "dorm room" with a single IP have the exact same system configuration, OS and updates, browser and referral strings?
I can see my own visits in my raw logs a mile away, and I am not Google.
But cookies are a dead giveaway - you might as well be logged into a live adsense reports session and click on your own ads.
don't forget about the google toolbar
does everyone in the hypothetical "dorm room" with a single IP have the exact same system configuration, OS and updates, browser and referral strings?
That reply you got from Adsense seems to be a "boilerplate" or generic message .. (they must get zillions of emails from conciliatory webmasters who've accidently clicked .. at least one from me anyway!)
In all the people at Adsense seem to be a decent bunch who're not overly agressive in canceling accounts due to a few clicks.
Especially when the webmaster offers a preemptive apology.
(just my hunch)
The next day, I got a warning email that they had detected some fraudulent clicks and not to do it again.
I replied with an apology and let them know that I had actually purchased an item from one of the banners I had clicked (Spamnet)...
They said it was ok the first time but not to do it again. Since then I've blocked google ads from our router so no one else within our network will click on an ad accidently.