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[edited by: jatar_k at 6:37 pm (utc) on Aug. 16, 2005]
1) 500 clicks in the span of 2 minutes from one ip address.
2) A couple of clicks a day here and there over the course of a week, from one ip address.
Do you really think Google is so stupid as to not recognize which is an attack and which is a self-clicking pattern? Incidentally, scenario 2 will not trigger a site ban unless it's from the owner's ip address. It might trigger a recalculation of revenue to ignore those clicks or you might net your competitor some dishonest money. Either way you're wasting your time.
The concept of click fraud (and it is only a concept at this poin), is something that needs to be discussed. It is an issue that all the advertising programs have had to deal with.
> Has anyone successfully attacked another site with clicks
I have not heard of a single verified successful case.
This type of deliberate attacking of another site is something that I would never consider, nor would anyone I know consider it.
Why would you attack a competitor? Jealousy?
If you want to knock off a competitor, simply make your site better than theirs! Its a hollow victory if your competitor isnt allowed to compete.
IMO, if another AdSense publisher does this sort of thing -they should be banned from the program.
I would think that Google would be smart enough to distinguish a click attack, and wouldn't ban the owner.
But I would like to know if anyone has been banned from google because they were click attacked.
I haven't seen any evidence to support that this has ever actually happened.
further more i think banning of account relates not as much to
clicks from a single ip, but rather
how long the visitor stayed at ur site before he clicked
how long he stayed at advertiser's site
I skimmed the sites logs, but didn't find anything particularly out of the ordinary, but I emailed the AdSense support team anyhow.
They said their automatic system had taken care of the problem, and I was never suspended or threatened with suspension from the AdSense program.
I don't know if it was a "clickbot attack", some sort of bug in their reporting or something else, but I just make sure that all my sites strictly comply with the AdSense T&C, and let Google worry about the rest.
Their actions caused me to have to spend hours programming and take multiple technical approaches to prevent their automated spam while still allowing my users the priviledge of annonymous posting. (I accomplished this technical feat, and haven't had a single spam message since (many many months)).
If I had a robotic click generator coded, one that could [Possible approaches to launching a click attack removed] (boy that would be pretty easy to do) I would have been quite tempted to launch it against their site. I was that inconvenienced, annoyed and quite frankly angry.
An even better approach would be to [Possible approaches to launching a click attack removed] and click away.
Even causing them the annoyance and worry of having to deal with Google and worrying about being terminated would have been a good result, even if it didn't lead to their termination.
THAT'S why and how someone would and could do it.
Further, while you're assuming that "There's no confirmed terminations due to a click attack", how would most black-hat webmasters even know? They'd have to be REALLY persistent with G to find out why they were banned, G probably wouldn't be very interested in communicating with them after someone reviewed their sites, and since someone probably had a reason to go after them in the first place, they are probably resigned to the fact that they have enemies who would do such a thing.
Finally, a thought: Other than the fact that this approach could be used by "The Bad Guys" against "The Good Guys", or competitor vs. competitor, in a perfect world, wouldn't it be nice to remove the incentive (a profitable AdSense account) to create bogus content and spam?
[I removed all of the details before I posted this. I really don't want to cause the system, or anyone harm. But a person with a temper and some technical skills could wreak absolute havoc on AdSense and individual publishers.]