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I do agree with what you are saying:
if your CTR shoots up (by 5x or 10x), your page impressions are the same, and your CPM is slightly down, something is going on. I also agree that it is best to contact AdSense as soon as you learn about this.
My guess is this. Google detects invalid clicks. Google decreases your earnings to correct for this, but it overcorrects for the invalid clicks and that is why CPM is actually down even though the CTR is staggeringly high.
For those running low traffic sites with a small number of impressions and clicks, perhaps a 5x click through rate is not that abnormal. But if you average a large number or impressions and clicks on a daily basis and you see your CTR jump by 5x to 10x it is best to be proactive about the situation.
So this makes it awfully easy for anyone to establish a dominance in a particular keyword and raise their own CPM. Just go to each of your competitors who use google (i.e. displaying the same ads as you) and click on their google ads 4000 times. (heh, it'll take you all of 15 minutes). Then hurry up and make an annonymous tip to G before they notice and voila, they're booted OFF and more keyword money for you. It stinks!
As webmasters G assures us that other sites cannot damage our rankings, the not so recent and ongoing 302 fiasco shows us that this is not always the case but I believe they will come up with a solution eventually.
Adsense on the other hand while it is a godsend in that it brings additional revenue to many webmasters the adsense team do seem to be a bit draconian at times in enforcing the rules, if all it takes is for a competitor to click on your links 4000 times to get you taken out then there are issues to be sorted.
No one here knows how Google decides who gets booted, who gets a warning, and who gets a "thank you" for reporting what appear to be invalid clicks on his or her account. But based on my own experience, I'd say that the best defense against getting booted for other people's sins is to have a clean, legitimate site that's profitable for Google and that would easily pass any "sniff test."
I am looking for another ads, because I think I should get something back from putting up info on my web site. I haven't found anything. Hopefully the new ads is more sophisticated to eliminate false click by themselves than that we have to watch the statistics every minute if there is some abnormal changes. I am not sitting in front of my computer just to check how the statistics is.
If anybody knows an Adsense replacement please mention it. I am not in USA!
Mike, Google doesn't automatically boot anyone who's the victim of a clickbot, a twitchy-fingered competitor, or a cat that inadvertently clicks ads while playing with the mouse.
I second this. Google doesn't suspend those who have fallen victim to these cirumstances, but do have alternative ways of handling them that does not result in the publisher getting suspended.
I third that.
Almost every case where someone came in here to complain about getting booted off we've discovered possible reasons behind that action... from requesting visitors to click ads, to having a spammy site, to using Adsense with other contextual advertisers on the page... to a whole variety of other things. One guy was positively convinced he never encouraged people to click ads on his site... till Jenstar discovered his posting on another forum requesting people to visit his site and visit his sponsors. He'd forgotten he had done that but it was a clear violation of the TOS.
In a small percentage of cases we haven't found any wrongdoing by the publisher but then we don't have access to the data that Google has. I'm not saying you guys are crooks. But, you have to understand that if Google has any reason, yes, any reason to feel uncomfortable with the relationship - or your site - they can play the "fraudulent clicks" card. Your only option is to accept that they are doing exactly what you would do if the ads were not working out for you. You'd terminate the relationship in a heartbeat.
The best way of ensuring you don't get booted is by taking EFV's advice.
Google must think you have acted fraudulently or your site is crap and frankly I agree even though I don't know you or your site. Even if you hadn't acted fraudulently then they still have the right to remove you or anyone from their program if they want.
I personally would be very upset if this happened to me but at the end of the day it could. Adsense might just collapse due to the increase in click fraud which will bring down the whole system. Something may come along to compete.
Rant over- but please no more adsense kicked me threads please - we can't help you only Google can.
Suppose a publisher has several unrelated sites that they run AdSense ads on. The competitor discovers that they have several sites and proceeds to madly click on the different sites.
Would Google still be able to distinguish between a competitor clicking ads and the publisher asking a friend to click?
Invalid clicks happening to one site is understandable but happening to several of the publisher sites is questionable.
Also I wonder how many of the publishers that got their accounts disabled run multiple sites?
They don't need to. If you have an account that they value they're at liberty to disregard competitor/friend clicks. If your account is not that valuable to them - then they'll just throw you out. As you have no control over malicious third-party clicks your best bet is to make your account valuable to Google and keep your fingers crossed.
How do you make your account valuable to Google? I've no idea but I've posted some thoughts. [webmasterworld.com]
honest publishers who make a mistake or are victims of negligence, ignorance, or attack aren't banned forever...
advertisers get free clicks, albeit meaningless ones...
eventually those committing fraud will quite because it won't be worth their time if they aren't being paid...
and google get to maximize its producing publisher base without alienating victims...
I mean if they can identify the clicks, why can't they just invalidate the clicks...?
Google needs to just invalidate fradulent clicks...
That isn't enough, for two reasons:
1) No click-invalidation scheme can be perfect, so a deterrent is needed. Simply invalidating fraudulent clicks would be like telling a shoplifter, "Sorry, we're taking those items back, but we aren't calling the police. Maybe you'll be luckier the next time you tuck an iPod into your pants."
2) Advertisers want to know that Google is serious about fighting click fraud. Simply invalidating fraudulent clicks wouldn't only send the wrong message to publishers; it would also send the wrong message to advertisers.
Again, invalid clicks do not result in automatic suspension or dismissal of a publisher. See Macro's post about "What makes your account valuable to AdSense?":
The difference in the cheque numbers from month to month has been about 20,000 (as discussed here in the past.)
I got confused. Macro: You belive there are around 20,000 publishers globally right? If you are in UPS is your check number in the same group as the other ones?
I'm sure they can and do. But, the bigger problem here is that many people still read "fradulent clicks" to literally mean fradulent clicks. It doesn't necessarily need to physically be a click to be called a fraudulent click.
They have smartly added to the TOS the phrase "sites built for Adsense" or something like that. This is a total judgement call on their part. Can't be refuted. If a site is deemed "built for Adsense" then ALL clicks, regardless of their ligitimacy, are technically fraudulent.
Here's the scenario I see: The publisher receives the fraud email, writes Google and becomes upset when they don't specifically tell him where the supposed fraudulent clicks came from right? Well, there aren't any or at least that's not necessarily the problem. It's the whole site. Maybe there were a few fraudulent clicks. Maybe they could have kept your account active. But, as an NFL ref would say, "Upon further review, it appears this webmaster made this site only for Adsense. We can't tell you exactly why but I know a spammy site when I see one." Cue the catch-all "fradulent clicks" email.
This gives them complete judgement authority without having to explain themselves. "Fraudulent Clicks" may actually start with only one or two but, once they look into it, if they don't like everything they see, then they have "probable cause" to drop the publisher. Just weeding out the junk basically.