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  #1  
Old 08-18-2005, 03:13 PM
Joel Comm's Avatar
Joel Comm Joel Comm is offline
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Default Is Someone Defrauding Your AdSense Account?

Is Someone Defrauding Your AdSense Account?
by Joel Comm

There are lots of different strategies that you can use to skyrocket your AdSense income. Repeatedly clicking on your ads isn't one of them. That's the sort of thing that Google take a pretty strong line on - and rightly so. It's just plain dumb and Google have a strong punishment for it: they can ban you for life.

That punishment's not unreasonable when someone's deliberately trying to con Google's advertisers. But it does leave a golden opportunity for anyone who wants to sabotage someone else's income. If you're making a lot of money using AdSense - and you've also made an enemy or two - there's nothing to stop someone coming to your site, clicking your ads a couple of dozen times and wiping out your income.

Sound scary? It should. Once you get banned, that's it. It's very difficult to persuade Google to let you back in.

That's why when it comes to protecting your AdSense income, it pays to be proactive. In my book, Google AdSense Secrets, I talk a great deal about the importance of checking your stats and tracking your results. I explain what you should be looking for when you want to increase your revenues.

But you should also be looking to making sure that no one is trying to deliberately land you in trouble. If you see in your logs that your site received a stream of clicks in a short time - and from the same IP address - don't wait for Google to get in touch. (Their letter won't be pleasant). Drop them a line right away, telling them that you've spotted some suspicious clicks on your site and ask them to investigate. You shouldn't be surprised if they write back and tell you that those clicks won't be counted towards your revenues but at least you'll still have your account and you'll still be earning.

It's pretty rare for someone to go out of their way to cause problems for AdSense users. Most of the people you meet on AdSense forums and other places online are good, decent folk who only want to help. But it is worth remembering that your site is vulnerable. Just as you install anti-virus software to protect your computer so you should take action to protect your AdSense revenue. Track your stats closely and move first if you spot something suspicious.
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  #2  
Old 08-18-2005, 03:14 PM
Joel Comm's Avatar
Joel Comm Joel Comm is offline
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As a followup, I emailed AdSense support to ask them about potential click fraud. This was their reply...

---------------

Hello Joel,

Thanks for your email.

In order to protect your interests as well as those of our advertisers, Google monitors clicks on Google ads to prevent any abuse of the AdSense program. Google's proprietary technology analyzes all ad clicks for any invalid click activity that is intended to artificially drive up an advertiser's clicks or a publisher's earnings.

In addition, if you ever suspect that invalid clicks may have resulted from a visitor to your site, we suggest that you review your site's logs for any suspicious activity and notify us with your findings. This information can help us in resolving any issues, although as outlined in our Terms and Conditions, Google will use its sole discretion when determining instances of invalid clicks.

Please also keep in mind that throughout the day, our system will continually update and synchronize your data to ensure the most accurate results possible. This includes performing preliminary audits on clicks, page impressions, and earnings.

For additional questions, please visit our AdSense Support site at https://www.google.com/support/adsense or feel free to reply to this email.

Your input is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team
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  #3  
Old 08-24-2005, 07:02 AM
1medic 1medic is offline
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Default

Quote:
In addition, if you ever suspect that invalid clicks may have resulted from a visitor to your site, we suggest that you review your site's logs for any suspicious activity and notify us with your findings. This information can help us in resolving any issues, although as outlined in our Terms and Conditions, Google will use its sole discretion when determining instances of invalid clicks.
That's pretty helpful!

thanks,

Luke

Last edited by 1medic; 08-24-2005 at 07:03 AM. Reason: expanded the quote
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  #4  
Old 08-26-2005, 12:00 AM
flyer flyer is offline
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I've always wondered why they punish the victims in these cases. It should be Google's job to weed out the click fraud, not the site owners'.

(Not saying there's anything wrong with looking into it yourself, but a lot of people have no clue how to look at their logs. Maybe someone should write software that scans log files & prepares a report when it finds "suspicious" clicks, like multiple ones from the same IP in a short time. But then on some ISPs don't many users share one IP, so those clicks *could* be from different people.)
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  #5  
Old 08-27-2005, 01:45 PM
derrickp derrickp is offline
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Thanks Joel, it is good to know we have a way to help "defend" ourselves against this, would hate to loose our adsense account over something stupid.

Derrick
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  #6  
Old 08-29-2005, 02:57 PM
biggles biggles is offline
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I can't of course be sure, but I put a post on a newsgroup that had my website url in the signature line. (note this is 6 weeks ago) A response was posted that said that this was another junk site (in my opinion untrue) and would all users please click on the links many times in order that google would ban the site. There were a number of 'who do you think you are' type posts to the person who made that post, and a significant burst of traffic to my site - but a reduced conversion rate, that resulted in a normal pattern of paid clicks.
I was ready to discuss with Google, but I think they figured it out for themselves, and so they should - this is their business, they know it well, and they know how to see who is causing click fraud. - if they didn't, they would not have launched their advertising business, and as things change they will be up with it.!
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  #7  
Old 09-08-2005, 02:11 PM
wildfiction wildfiction is offline
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Joel,

There's one thing that you've missed out here - IMHO.

Your AdSense publisher details can be pulled out of any of the pages on this forum by using the View -> Source options on the menus. Here is an example:

Code:
<script type="text/javascript"><!--
google_ad_client = "pub-9416846832973291";
google_ad_width = 728;
google_ad_height = 90;
google_ad_format = "728x90_as";
google_ad_channel ="8305781930";
google_color_border = "FFFFFF";
google_color_bg = "FFFFFF";
google_color_link = "0000FF";
google_color_url = "003366";
google_color_text = "003366";
//--></script>
<script type="text/javascript"
  src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js">
</script>
Now if I was malicious (which I'm not) I could run your publisher id (identified above as google_ad_client) and your google ads on a porn or gambling web site (which is against Google's TOS) or put it onto a banned web site.

How can you or Google prevent a malicious attack such as this on a person's AdSense account?

Hopefully this posting will draw out some constructive suggestions to combat this and prevent this sort of thing from happening. I haven't heard of it happening to date.
__________________
Headvert - ideas and notes.
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  #8  
Old 09-11-2005, 07:24 AM
rowelle rowelle is offline
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They say to check your logs for suspicious activity, what kind of logs are they talking about?

I have a webalizer, but that doesn't help.
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  #9  
Old 09-11-2005, 11:57 AM
gregbd gregbd is offline
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Location: Canada
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Default Monitor IP's

wildfiction and rowelle

I use a third part script like asRep from asRep.com and I can see the IP's of the websites displaying my adsense code as well as the clicks.

Well worth the investment.
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  #10  
Old 09-11-2005, 01:26 PM
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golden14 golden14 is offline
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Default statcounter

I use statcounter, it's a free web counter that allows you to see 'visitor paths', inc ip adress etc. Any click fraud would be pretty easy to prove that it wasn't coming from your machine/country. And it's free and no it's not my site, but it is damn usefull - visit length, return visitors etc. Nice adsense layout as well. Guess this is were they make their money!
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