September 19, 2008
It’s not that I’m advocating that you do something naughty with Google, as in “I’ll show you how to do this “black hat” thing and not get caught”. No, far from that! It’s just that many web site owners are getting their Google Adsense account terminated when they have done nothing wrong to deserve this. Considering the money that some of them are receiving from Adsense, they would certainly not want to do anything to jeopardize that income.
The money, of course, is the reason why certain people are using this click fraud method to increase their Adsense earnings, so these naughty people basically get what’s coming to them, reaping what they have sown, in other words.
So, what is Click fraud? Click fraud is the act of clicking on ads for the purpose of costing the advertiser money. It is simply the same as paying out cash for false leads. Many other website owners are aware of this fraud, and are sharing the same sentiment that this is potentially the biggest problem that Adsense is facing.
So how do you prevent being involved in this fraud?
This is what you do. The majority of web hosts are offering access logs. Once this is offered to you, it is necessary that you hand it over to Google as well. This allows them to look for any suspicious activity on your site. Problems like this are very serious, and giving it to them is like saying that “I’m doing nothing wrong here, I have nothing to hide”, ect. In the end, of course, you would want to help them in any way you can in solving this problem.
It can also help if you have “click monitoring” software. If you don’t have one yet, you should try and get one. If you are counting the beans, don’t worry about that, as most of this software is free.
As usual, all the information you have received should be turned over to Google. This is showing Google that you too are fighting against click frauds and are in no way a part of it.
You should also study your server logs, and watch for any activity that seems suspicious. Report anything that you may find “odd”, may it be big or small.
You may also want to consider disabling ads for your own IP address and local geographic area. This will certainly prevent accidents, like “oops, I didn’t mean to click on that Adsense ad”, and will not make Google mistake another user as you. You can do this through an htaccess file. This will prevent Google mistaking this as clicking on your own ads, and be kicked out because of it.
Keep your Adsense turned off on sites that use pop-up and pop-under ads. Your ads should not be displayed on content sites that promote illegal activity or tampering of the legal rights of other people or businesses. Included in this are the content that is considered adult and gambling. If you think that you may be breaking this rule, immediately remove your content or Adsense from these web pages.
Be truthful and “fess up” to Google about times when you might have (accidentally, wink), clicked on your own ads. Or the times when you have done something that is against the Terms of Service that they are implementing. Confessing is way better than Google learning about it eventually. And they will, for they are the experts in this field of tracking. It would mean eventual termination, and not getting back what you have worked so hard for.
Make sure you tell your family or friends about Adsense on your website, so that they don’t start “helping” you by clicking on them to make money without you knowing about it. They may be doing more harm to you than help by trying it in the first place.
The same goes for anyone else you know. As I said, Google is good, really good, at tracking false clicks, that is clicks that are not “organic”, whose origin is primarily through search engines. If ever someone you know chanced upon your Adsense, you make certain that they understand that they cannot click on a whole bunch of your ads in a small time frame. It would be wise to brief them on the important things about Adsense, and what not to do with them.
Most pay per click networks have different measures in hand to protect website owners against click frauds. Other search engines can track more than 50 data points, IP addresses, browser information, user’s session info and pattern recognition. They also have “systems” available that detects fraud. Not to mention the specialized teams who are constantly monitoring the internet, to ensure that advertisers don’t get ripped off via click frauds. Remember that advertisers are the main source of revenue for Google, so they will aggressively protect their income source, believe it!
Google offer suggestions on how to avoid click fraud. “Negative keywords” can be used to keep your Adsense showing on products and services that are in no way related to yours. Also try adding tracking URLs to your links, so you can track all incoming traffic from Google.
In summation, just follow the rules, and just want to do the “right thing”. As long as you do the right thing, you will not upset Google, and get banned, sometimes permanently. Just keep your eyes open, and enjoy your honest income.
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