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adsense warning to block my id

bots and auto-surfing lead adsense to warn me

     
5:20 am on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hi

I have received a warning from adsense team that some bots and auto-surfing scripts are generating invalid clicks on my sites. I also noticed that bots are posting their products URLs in my articles comments though I dont approve them but this proves adsense claim because bots must be visiting the adsense ads links from my site.

So how can I save my id and ban / deny these bots and auto-surfing scripts to generate clicks on my ads? Please share your wise words to help me to solve this problem with ads.

thanks

5:53 am on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Goodness me.
First, the off-topic problem. One potential way to prevent auto-comments without your approval is to change the names of the scripts in your software. If you are using a common product (eg wordpress) then the bots know what script to hit.

For the on-topic problem - surely this is a non-problem for you!
Google is serving those ads. Surely (she naively says) if they are identifying that it is happening then they can take responsibility for either denying these bots or at least identifying them and ignoring the clicks.
I would suggest that in all probability these bots are so well distributed by IP and sophisticated in profile that it would be beyond the ability of your average webmaster to detect and block them.
I'm a little shocked that Google suggests you ought to do something. Perhaps it was a gentle hint from them that, just in case you are responsible for the clicks, they are onto it and you should stop bothering? Seems unlikely though.

This seems to be a case where Google's large resources should be brought to bear to nullify the problem rather than them expecting us to manage it on a one-by-one basis!

Unfortunately, giving you advise on fixing it would involve a lot of access to log records etc. of your specific problem.
You might try an intense reading of other forums here on WebmasterWorld, which discuss how to keep bots out. You might find something that addresses your precise symptoms.

5:58 am on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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IMHO remove adSense from your pages while you look for a solution.

And let G know, you are taking some steps.

6:23 am on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Are you enrolled in any traffic generating services?
7:07 am on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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no, i am not using any traffic generating services, i run four famous open source projects that have a lot of hits around the world as they are very handy and general and i have one articles repository where i have international famous writers who write time to time on different technological issues that blog is wordpress blog and i agree with the fellow that bots know the urls scheme of such scripts to target.

but now the problem is that I am not involved in it i even emailed Google the emails of the robots posting comments to show them that i am not involved but still am worried about the sentence ' we will ban your id' lol .. why will they ban my id, if i am your competitor iwill write a bot for your site and adsense will block ur id , lets start this technique to kickout the competitor :D

7:13 am on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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So someone is paying to have you enrolled in an auto surfing program?
7:16 am on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Bot is common problem not just for wordpress site but for other site such as forum. Why not use any one of the solution:
Change wp-comment.php name
Use Akismet anti spam service
Use simple math question on comment form such as 5 +2 =? A plugin is available for same
Block bots without any name using .htaccess
Block ALL open proxy IP address
Write perl/shell script to monitor Apache log and ban worst people
Use Apache mod_security

I use all of the above techniques :) Hope this helps

7:18 am on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You will have to check your referrer. For the past 8 months, I have banned around 5000+ auto-surfing site from all my servers.
8:59 am on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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also look up incrediBill in this forum, he is the authority on this matter.
12:13 pm on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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thanks for so much helpful replies I will work on the tips given however just curious to know that will adsense block me for doing nothing and being attacked by bots and autosurfing scripts? i dont think that it is fair because I am not doing it intentionally and if adsense can track the invalid clicks then probably they can block the sources generating them on their end too ...
3:58 pm on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yea, but it's not fair to the advertisers either, who are spending the money for the false clicks. Regardless of "fault" the problem has to be solved, and quickly. So Google figures if you can't or won't solve it, they'll do it themselves by cutting it off at the source. Actually, I'm kind of surprised they warned you first - first I heard of them doing that and being that specific about it.
4:11 pm on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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first I heard of them doing that and being that specific about it

Yeah, and the old skeptic that I am makes me think that somebody might be playing a bit of a game.

phparion, if the wording actually was 'we will ban your id', to me that doesn't sound like Google language. Just to be sure, have you verified that the e-mail actually came from Google?

4:12 pm on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If Google can identify these invalid clicks, it's just a matter of them not charging the advertiser and not crediting the publisher.
4:50 pm on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Are you a small publisher?
Block all "bad IPs" or those with an invalid user agent. Monitor your stats. Always.
7:45 pm on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I agree with previous comments that this does not sound like a real email from AdSense.

Anyway, regardless of where the email came from or whether you really got one at all, your point about Google blocking the clicks at their end doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Just because they can detect that some fraudulent clicks are coming from your site doesn't mean they can reliably identify and filter ALL such clicks.

P.S. Bots making fake posts in your forum (as mentioned in the original post) will not click AdSense ads or even generate impressions. Nor would an AdSense clickbot probably advertise its presence by attempting to make spam posts.

2:22 am on Jan 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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i dont think that it is fair because I am not doing it intentionally and if adsense can track the invalid clicks then probably they can block the sources generating them on their end too ...

This may be one of those situations where the human click reviewers on the AdSense click quality team identified something that the filters didn't catch. It's not clear whether even human reviewing can always identify such behavior (especially when it's made to look valid, but has some distinguishing characteristic such as originated from spam-blacklisted address blocks).

5:09 am on Jan 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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hmm, the email is from Google I have confirmed it. anyway, I am going to block the IPs that I have tracked and btw I had emailed google to help me and give me a guideline to follow to avoid invalid clicks and showed my willingness to cooperate in all ways with them to play a fair game but I have not received any reply from them and which is strange for atleast me because if they think i have invalid clicks and have tracked and as it is their system so nobody can give me a better piece of advice than them.. they must know how to protect their system and if any measures are to be taken on my end G must tell me...

anyway, fingers crossed... waiting for the call :)

5:18 am on Jan 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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phparion, they will tell you nothing.
6:20 am on Jan 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Whoa! I'm, sorry, but to me this still does not make any sense.

You're saying that Google told you that you are subject to clickbot activity that they can detect. And that you must do something about it (by blocking IPs and whatever) without any additonal support or information from Google. Well, to me, again, that just doesn't make much sense.

If G can detect it, they can do something about it. That's part of Google's job (well, supposedly).

You say that you confirmed that the e-mail was from Google. How? Headers, a reply?

I'm sorry for questioning stuff, but when you've been around for awhile, well, that's what you do. You've seen everything else, so the only thing you have left is to ask more questions.

11:08 am on Jan 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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the email is from G.

yolkman: why wouldn't G help me to avoid false clicks on my ads or tell me any guideline etc?

if i rent a house from you and someday you see some robbers trying to enter my house then will you help me to save myself from being robbed by giving some tips or you will send me a notice "if you are being robbed i will kick you out from my house"?

remember adsense is due to the publishers and not only due to the advertisers. they are sending me warning that they will ban my id to protect their advertisers how about me? am I not their publisher? are they not earning from the ads on my site? duhhh!

6:48 pm on Jan 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If I were you I'd be hitting the logs looking for clues, because if there really are auto-surf scripts hitting your site, the first thing you have to do is convince Google you didn't put them there. Sites don't necessarily get banned due to click attacks or whatever this is, but there has to be a certain degree of trust that you and your sites and your traffic are for real.

You could look for odd referring pages, browsers that always send a blank referring page, odd browser IDs, certain 404 errors that look like they might be triggered by spidering activity. I don't know if an auto-surf script would set off a click tracker (which look for a certain Javascript event), but it might be worth installing one to find out.

10:28 pm on Jan 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If G can detect it, they can do something about it. That's part of Google's job (well, supposedly).

They may be able to detect it, but not automatically. As it is more costly, generally speaking, to do manual reviews, they may require you to do some work to at least try to cut down on the questionable traffic.

Also, although you may be innocent, G can't be sure of that. And even if they were sure, it might be cost-prohibitive for them to engage in continuous manual reviews of your traffic. Ultimately, they have to protect advertisers' (and their own) interests. Consider yourself lucky that you weren't banned outright.

3:14 am on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I just installed a 3rd party plugin for firefox that checks live http headers, and the report showed [googleadservices.com...]

Did the headercheck just accidently click on a link? I loaded up my main page only and was never navigated away from my site.

If i read the url correctly, the extclk?script=0 would pass as off in binary correct?

And should i send an email to google about it, I checked the page 4 or 5 times, hitting reload after changing some options in the plugin.

3:26 am on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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phparion, because you are just a number to google. Whether they have you as publisher, they will still exist with many others.
6:33 am on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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yolkman: i agree with you that G has reached to such a level that kicking out one publisher won't affect them but trust me this is how revolutionists are born :D ... and G will never want 'to stand in the line of fire'

anyway, i have taken necessary measures by blocking IPs i could track and am also looking for some software etc that can help me to avoid false traffic and clicks but I still believe that G must understand they should not only protect advertisers but the publishers too. they did so much for their advertisers to track invalid clicks and autosurfing cant they do something for their publisher to help him to avoid it, why do they always point fingers towards publishers and suspect the integrity of all publishers and in result of any bad event they shoot an email to them why dont they take care of publishers like advertisers ... so many questions... or may be I am interpreting this event totally wrong...

anyway, I believe G will not ban me because they warned me about false impressions and i have offered them to guide me to avoid this and also i took measures on my end myself to avoid this. so I don't see any reason to ban someone for doing nothing ...

7:32 am on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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anyway, I believe G will not ban me because they warned me about false impressions and i have offered them to guide me to avoid this and also i took measures on my end myself to avoid this. so I don't see any reason to ban someone for doing nothing

Analogy: The police came by my pawn shop and told me I'm selling lots of stolen goods and told me to get better at not accepting stolen goods but didn't really tell me how, so I put up a sign that said "No stolen goods, please", so now I think that even if I do have a lot of stolen goods the police will ignore it because I'm a good guy and didn't do nuthin' wrong.

Good luck with that! :-)

10:11 pm on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I still believe that G must understand they should not only protect advertisers but the publishers too. they did so much for their advertisers to track invalid clicks and autosurfing cant they do something for their publisher to help him to avoid it, why do they always point fingers towards publishers and suspect the integrity of all publishers and in result of any bad event they shoot an email to them why dont they take care of publishers like advertisers ... so many questions... or may be I am interpreting this event totally wrong...

The problem is inherent to PPC advertising, because there is no way that an engine or network (or publisher) can prove conclusively that the publisher didn't generate the questionable traffic. Also, the advertiser is supplying the money to the system. So in essence advertisers supplies the (financial) motivation for the engines or networks to protect them.

FWIW, a similar problem exists among competing advertisers. If one is getting fraudulent traffic, but the other isn't, there is no way for the engine, network, or unaffected advertiser to prove that the unaffected advertiser is not generating the fraudulent traffic. I've rarely heard about banning of advertisers on suspicion of affecting other advertisers' spend; I imagine part of this is because the engines and networks don't want to mistakenly lose paying customers.

 

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