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Is there anyway they can prove their AdSense income to me, with for example a read-only/report-only access to their AdSense account?
If not, is their an alternative way to prove income from their site?
2. You can't transfer ownership in the account so you'll be looking to change all the instances of his publisher ID to yours. (You can, however, change the payee, though it wouldn't be advisable to take this half-step)
3. In theory it should make no difference to the earnings. It usually doesn't make a difference.
do you know anything about seo?
Best ways to monetise your site?
How to spot problems with your site?
dead link checking?
as important as checking the bona fides of the dollars claimed, is realising unless you are a professional webmaster with good seo skills, your bottom line is going to start to slide, real fast.
Use some instant messaging tool to communicate with a seller.
Ask him/her to provide a snapshot of some report.
After received, ask same report in another view (for example sorted by another column).
If seller provided real account data then new snapshot must be provided in max 1 minute, and both snapshots have to be consistent.