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3rd Party AdSense Click Trackers Disabled

     
5:07 am on Jun 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Today I noticed in my asrep tool that it is no longer tracking adsense ads that are clicked on.....

After comparing notes with a few others....looks like things have changed in the Google code.

I used the tool a lot to find the MFAs to block.....

heyday

5:46 am on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I only use the tracking script on a few pages. I'm not down to zero, but today vs. yesterday is down 90%. Something appears to have changed.
5:50 am on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The status bar no longer displays 'go to website.com' when hovering over the ads.
6:00 am on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The status bar no longer displays 'go to website.com' when hovering over the ads.

...and so the click trackers can not capture the landing URL of the ad. The scripts now capture all clicks as either IE7 or Gecko-DOM, with no information whatsoever on the destination.

*sigh*

Why does it always have to be one step ahead and two steps back?

7:50 am on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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yup, I use adlogger, its never been accurate but since yesterday its pathetic, I had over 300 clicks in my cp but adlogger said I had 28 all day.

No mention on the adlogger site when I checked though?

9:33 am on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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"
The status bar no longer displays 'go to website.com' when hovering over the ads. "

Hasn't being doing so for a while. I thought it was particular to my site. I think 15 days or so..

10:24 am on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I've never attempted to track the destination, but I am interested in which pages and layouts are successful for stats purposes (eg A/B testing).

I'm still seemingly able to count the clicks as before, though only for IE users as ever, which is a diminishing slice of my traffic.

Rgds

Damon

11:21 am on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I use another tracking script which is also now rendered pretty much useless because the status bar text seems to have been removed.

I can see only two reasons for this, one good, one bad:

Good: The AdSense team are going to add a feature into the reports to allow us to view which ads are clicked.

Bad: The AdSense team want to conceal how well this and future mass bannings go.

Please don't be evil Google!

2:20 pm on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I was using a version of a click tracker posted some time ago. It seems to have stopped working around 8pm EDT on May 30th (Wednesday), as clicks were not recorded after that time.

Here's the code:

<script language=javascript>
function hit(){
window.focus();
if (window.status){
img = new Image();
img.src = 'http://www.domain.com/clicktrackerscript.php?ref=' + escape(document.location) + '&title=' + escape(document.title) + '&ad=' + escape(window.status) + '&id=MySite';
};
};
document.getElementById("google_ads_frame").onfocus = hit;
</script>

2:29 pm on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Oh, no, please, God, I have been working for months in an analytics program focusing mainly in adsense tracking.

Well, I have like 4-5 less reports to maintain now :(

3:03 pm on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Adlogger needs to be updated. It does NOT show URLs anymore!

Looking at the Ad Target URL, I see:

Unknown
n 1 15:09:12 UTC 0100 2007
y 31 13:05:29 UTC 0100 2007

Also, the CTR is way less than it suppose to be.

I hope they fix this problem real soon.

3:10 pm on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Fix?
If Google don't show the "go to .." in the status bar, there's no fix to do in adlogger, asrep nor my custom made tracker.
3:30 pm on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Unless there is another way to figure out the URL on the other end of an AdSense click (I don't think there is?) then third-party AdSense trackers have had a collective death today. Shouldn't that have been reserved for MFAs?
4:02 pm on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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There's no way to read anything inside the Google ads frame.
5:11 pm on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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the status bar text was the 'display url' for the ad, not the actual adUrl= value in the script. So I always wondered about the accuracy of these tracking scripts, since many of the spammy ads (ebay for instance) I saw used a display url that was on a different domain than the one used in the adUrl= line (which is what you needed to plug in to your competitive ad filter...)

In any case, G really should allow us to track destination urls so we can know where people are going when they leave our sites...

[edited by: inactivist at 5:18 pm (utc) on June 1, 2007]

5:13 pm on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I hope they fix this problem real soon.

Are you assuming this is a 'bug' and not a deliberate change to kill off click-tracking scripts, as well as any services that have grown up around them?

5:15 pm on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'd say that this is a deliberate change. Something's a-brewing at the Plex.
5:27 pm on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'd have to agree it was intentional. Possibly because it was on their list as leading to a potential privacy outcry someday.

Or possibly because they're afraid it leads to the overoptimization of MFAs.

Or it's possible some arbitrage sites were tracking AdSense clicks as "conversions", and Google didn't like the implications of that.

5:31 pm on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yup. I agree.

I hope G decides to offer us lowly AdSense publishers some way to get at this info, because, it seems wildly unfair (and I hate using that term) that the vast majority of the tracking and blocking tools seem to be on the AdWords side of the equation. Kinda makes us feel like second-class citizens...

5:34 pm on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Maybe this is the result of technical changes required for two forthcoming improvements on the advertiser side:

1) Better stats on publisher referrals

2) Site-targeted contextual ads

(Disclaimer: I'm not a programmer, so this is just a layman's idle "what if" guess.)

5:38 pm on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I guess they block access to destination URL because they simply do not like to share any valuable data (and this data was very valuable for those publishers who were concerned about quality). One has to wonder though, why they did it now, after having allowed this practice for such a long time?

One answer to this may be that the "Go To" line in the status bar has lost its importance anyway: It did not work with Firefox, and it did not work (by default) with IE7, and with both browsers gaining importance, the preview URL was getting less important.

8:34 pm on June 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yes, that's true.

Also I want to mention that I had put in calls to Urchin into my clicktracking script which made the analysis nice. And free.

Oh well. Maybe G will offer publishers integration with Urchin for analysis instead of the (silly, stupid, of limited value) reports in the AdSense account pages. All they'd have to do is add a section in ad setup for a tracking URL, and make the call to urchinTracker() for us when an ad is clicked.

3:38 am on June 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yep I concur. I was using a nice program that tracked all the clicks, but now this program is rendered useless. Thanks a bunch adsense!

DXL

4:40 am on June 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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How am I supposed to add shady looking ads to my filter when I can't determine the URL? I've seen a few ads with phone numbers, and while some people may be okay with them, they always get a one-way ticket to my filter.
6:10 am on June 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't use tracking software, but CTR for June 1 (1 hour to go until the day ends in Google time) is about 35% of the average on my sites. Hoping for a click dump.
10:10 am on June 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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How am I supposed to add shady looking ads to my filter when I can't determine the URL?

I'm guessing that's exactly the point. They want to take that control out of our hands and take care of it themselves thanks to routine purges. That makes me feel uneasy.

10:55 am on June 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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They want to take that control out of our hands and take care of it themselves thanks to routine purges. That makes me feel uneasy.

Next step will be a reduced filter size of, say, 20 slots. Official statement will be along the lines of: "Due to our recent successful efforts to reduce the number of advertisers with unsuitable business models for the Google Adsense program, we see ourselves now in the favorable situation where we can use the existing hardware much more efficiently, saving power and thus also reducing CO2 emmission."

Sorry, got carried away.

3:05 pm on June 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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DXL, you can get the URL of the ads you are seeing by clicking Ads By Google. Then look at the URL of the page you land on, the advertiser URLs are hidden in there. That's how I feed my filter.
3:27 pm on June 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Very carefully right-click on the ad whose URL you want to see and select "Properties". Triple click the "Address" string to highlight it all and press control-c to copy it to your clipboard.

The landing page url is after the parameter "adurl="

3:59 pm on June 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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DXL, you can get the URL of the ads you are seeing by clicking Ads By Google. Then look at the URL of the page you land on, the advertiser URLs are hidden in there. That's how I feed my filter.

That doesn't help for ads that don't show up for the community or country you're in.

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