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My worst nightmare...

your site may be a target of click fraud and content thieves

     
1:52 am on Mar 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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from recent email:

"I am very much impressed by your site and business model that how you are making money with google adsense program and various affiliated programs.
Would you not mind sharing some info with me about your programs. I woud like to know how many page hits you get daily on your site and what kind of revenue you generate by adsense program on daily basis. Just wanted to know as i am writing an article on online advertisement as a part of my school project. I am trying to get info from other websites also. I hope you would reply to me.
Thanks
Ashish Bhandari."

Give me a break! school project?

kz

3:05 am on Mar 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I would be very concerned about something like that as well and I would block his IP address from my site.
3:48 am on Mar 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think you are being a little paranoid. I might not be inclined to help the kid out just in case, but he's probably just a kid doing exactly what he says. After all, if I want to know about how much traffic your site gets, I can check Alexa. If I want to know what your keywords are worth, I can get a rough idea of that too. Then if I just pick an average CTR, I can have at least a ballpark estimate of what you are making. Yeah, I might be off by a decent amount, but at least someone would know if you were worth trying to rip off.
3:51 am on Mar 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I can see why you wouldn't want to respond to this email, but I fail to see how it relates to the title of your thread. At worst, I see this as a potential competitor trying to get market information, possibly someone trying to bait you into breaking the Adsense TOS by divulging earnings info, but click fraud and content theft?

How, exactly, does someone trolling for adsense info on your market niche equate to "My worst nightmare...your site may be a target of click fraud and content thieves"?

cEM

5:11 am on Mar 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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cEM - Please accept my appologies for my little paranoia attack.

I should have phrased the thread title to be more like "Please advise, is this someone who is inclined to create click fraud or steal my site's content?"

My initial reaction to his email was "uh..oh, is this guy trying to find out if i have success with adsense and affiliate programs and may want to duplicate my site?"

If the message is genuineI would be breaking adsense TOS if I reveal any type of information and if the message is devious in nature the sender may click on the ads out of spite that I did not reply to his enquiries.

kz

5:39 am on Mar 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Dear BAnk of XYZ: I am doing a school project on bank vaults
and would kindly appreciate it if you could provide the combination
to your safe.
Either your 3rd street or Maple avenue branch would be OK.

Thanks very much, Billy age 8

12:11 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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ROFLMAO Larry!
12:17 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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My web site attrackts school projects.

Once, I received on one day 3 requests for a school project all from the same city.

I wrote them back to coordinate with their class mates, which picked me also as project information source

4:53 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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My web site attrackts school projects.
Once, I received on one day 3 requests for a school project all from the same city. I wrote them back to coordinate with their class mates, which picked me also as project information source.

Yep - I get this too occasionally. I guess that the requests I've had so far are genuine. One guy even emailed me back thanking me, as he'd got an "A".

I certainly would smell a rat if I was asked any questions not related to the site's topic. Mostly the questions I get are from kids that have a project, and are clearly hoping you'll do it for them.

What makes me laugh is that all of the information they ask about is contained with my site's FAQ page. The page itself is very clearly worded (there's even a dumbed down version available), yet they don't bother to read it and put it in their own words.

I generally steer them in the direction of the FAQ, and promise that I'll answer queries and points not addressed within it.

12:36 am on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The real thieves won't contact you at all.