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Click Fraud

combatting click fraud

     
11:50 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I write a political blog & believe that someone who dislikes my views may've engaged in click fraud. This has caused Google to disable my Adsense account. I've filed an appeal.

Is there anything I can do to protect the integrity of my site & anything I should do in particular with Google to get myself reinstated?
12:09 am on Mar 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I see Google ads running on your site, assuming it's the site in your profile, just not on all pages.

After reading a little, I think you're violating the AdSense TOS content guidlines, specifically:
# Violent content
# Content related to racial intolerance or advocacy against any individual, group or organisation


I understand that may not be your intent, but discussion of civil unrest and some of the headlines about racism and intolerance to certain religious factions may be enough for the AdSense algorithm to shut down.

If you continue with those topics I'd take AdSense off the site, end of story.
2:19 am on Mar 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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No, sorry that isn't the issue. The ad tower you're seeing is part of an affiliate network & not directly associated with Adsense. The other Adsense tower is farther down my sidebar & it has disappeared. You won't see it at all.

The Google msg. specifically mentioned questionable activity which means click fraud, not the issue you raised.

This is click fraud generated by malicious individuals who dislike the content of my site.

The Google algorithm doesn't disqualify sites that discuss racism, MIddle East democracy, intolerance & religious pluralism as my site does.
2:37 am on Mar 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The ad tower I saw plainly said Google AdSense.

On the same page right now and I see something like this at the bottom of the ad:
"example.com/Heating - Ads by Google"

Something from AdSense is definitely running on your site.

The Google algorithm doesn't disqualify sites that discuss racism, MIddle East democracy, intolerance & religious pluralism as my site does.


Don't kid yourself.

Are you familiar with AdSense stop words?

Certain words repeated on a page too many times can kill the ads.

You're probably right, you may have some click fraud going on, but you also have some TOS violations going on IMO yet I'm still seeing active ads.
6:32 am on Mar 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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What is running on my site is coming through an affilate ad network as I mentioned. They may use Adsense, but it's only running because of the network & not me.

If you look farther down my sidebar you'll see Adsense code for a tower ad that is related to my Adsense acct. & THAT isn't running.

Trust me, I've been banned. I got the e mail & know what it said. And the reason is suspicious activity. And I also know that some of the jerks who hate my politics would easily engage in this sort of behavior. Easily.

My Adsense ads have been running for 7 yrs. So if there were TOS violations related to my content I'd have heard it by now.
5:17 pm on Mar 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Gotcha, that is a 3rd party network.

Had me fooled ;)

Even if you get your AdSense re-instated, I wouldn't put it back on a site like that, especially if you have other online properties as well.
6:55 pm on Mar 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I can't comment on your specific case but it might be helpful to read this list of tips to prevent invalid clicks. There's a form on this page to contact us if you suspect invalid activity on your site.

[adsense.google.com...]

Thanks, ASA.
1:27 am on Mar 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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"There's a form on this page to contact us if you suspect invalid activity on your site."

AdsenseAdvisor: I'm afraid it's too late. Adsense has denied my appeal even though I had no idea the fraud was occurring. If there's anything beyond this that you think I can do to get myself reinstated, pls. let me know. If I could get reinstated I would be much more diligent in monitoring my Adsense results for such fraud.
1:52 am on Mar 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I like this bit...

"Avoid partnering with untrusted / low-quality parties.
Some publishers have had issues with invalid activity when partnering with low-quality ad networks, search engines, or directory sites in efforts to increase traffic to their site."

Obviously, my impression of low quality parties differ from Google's impression. Otherwise they wouldn't have most of those 3rd party companies coming on board.

I did once have 48 clicks on one channel, and all within the first hour or so. But Google only gave me something like 14p for the lot. So, I guess that Google has something in place to recognise such things.

I do not like this part that is mentioned on that page ASA gave us...
"As you may know, AdSense publishers are ultimately responsible for the traffic on their ads."

What am I supposed to do ? go to everyone's house as they access my site? I have no control as to who visits or not.
2:07 am on Mar 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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AdsenseAdvisor: I'm afraid it's too late. Adsense has denied my appeal even though I had no idea the fraud was occurring. If there's anything beyond this that you think I can do to get myself reinstated, pls. let me know. If I could get reinstated I would be much more diligent in monitoring my Adsense results for such fraud.


I am in two minds with your case. Personally, your site should not have adsense on it anyway. (For reasons already mentioned).

However, we were given the impression that adsense is a "add it to your site and forget" type of thing.

Yet, the link that ASA gave has seven points for us to do. That is not adding and forgetting. That is continual work. We webmasters have enough to do without having to keep doing this. I already do an extra 20+ hours a week with DMCA's let alone anything else.
2:33 am on Mar 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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" your site should not have adsense on it anyway."

I strongly disagree. There are literally millions of websites which express strong political views. Many of them have Adsense accounts. There is no intrinsic reason for political sites not to have Adsense ads.

If we agree w. this sentiment then we're allowing the malicious fraudsters to win a battle & determine who gets to use Adsense on their site.

And if that IS the case let Adsense make a specific rule (& figure out how to interpret & apply it) that it will not allow ads on sites with partisan political views or strong language.

If your site is NOT political, then it's easier for you to feel a political site is inappropriate for Adsense. If you had a political site you wouldn't feel that way.
2:44 am on Mar 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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incrediBILL already pointed it out. And before I even read his words, I went to your site and thought exactly that.

One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist.

There are political sites, and there are political sites. Just because "There are literally millions of websites which express strong political views. Many of them have Adsense accounts." doesn't mean that it is okay. There are millions of murderers too.