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How to protect from fraudulent clicks

     
3:36 pm on Dec 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Is there something that publishers can do to protect their site from click bots, nasty competitors or other such things that can put publishers' business in danger? Does anyone use click fraud detection software?

[edited by: Entelekhia at 3:55 pm (utc) on Dec. 5, 2004]

3:46 pm on Dec 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Follow the TOS and report anything you think is out of the ordinary to G.
3:56 pm on Dec 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I have a system that will ban somebody after they visit 5 pages on my site. Also I have some rules in my htaccess to keep out a lot of people. Also you can get proxy ip's and ban those.
4:31 pm on Dec 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I have a system that will ban somebody after they visit 5 pages on my site.

That's an interesting approach, but it isn't very practical for sites that were designed for users, as opposed to generating AdSense traffic.

Also, the strategy sounds a bit risky. Couldn't it be one reason why, according to your posts in the Google News forum, your sites have been banned by Google Search?

5:00 pm on Dec 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I have a system that will ban somebody after they visit 5 pages on my site.

This type of system won't work for me. Afterall, I built my websites for people to read and visit. Hence, my sites average 5000 pages and growing. I will not sacrifice my site's stickiness with unproven systems of fraud protection. I guess this would work if you have a 6 page website not built for users.

5:11 pm on Dec 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It also doesn't seem very effective. It would deter someone from moving around your site, clicking on an ad, hitting the back button, going to another page, clicking an ad, etc. But I think the real damage comes from someone who is going to copy the URL from one of the ads, tracking and all, and simply have a script that continuously requests that URL.

This seems to be what has happened on my site yesterday (being discussed here [webmasterworld.com], as I have almost twice as many clicks as I have impressions.

Unfortunately, someone can copy the URL from your Adsense ads and request them as much as they want, and there doesn't seem to be any realistic way of preventing it. If someone comes up with one, I would be glad to hear it.. and I'm sure Google would too :-).

6:04 pm on Dec 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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<snip> Sorry, posted to wrong forum.
7:00 pm on Dec 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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About using htaccess,
Once i think I blocked half of Ottawa by using the server name instead of ip just to prevent one suspicious visitor.I was advised by Adsense that blocking bad ips is an ongoing challenge as many are not on dynamic ips so you could end up blocking thousands of good visitors as well.

Without a dedicated server you will not have all the control over this file as you'd want(or so im told, i have to double check what my host told me is true) but if you can use it ,it must be the best frontline defense.