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Nonsense with Google's AdSense?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the searching-for-similar-experiences dept.

85

OmnipotentEntity asks: "I usually come down hard on the side of Google, as I feel that they have a good philosophy and they follow it. However, a forum I regularly visit had a run in with the bad side of Google's AdSense program, and our AdSense account was terminated because of 'invalid click activity.' Some research by a fellow member of the boards turned up other people facing the same problems we ran into. These problems seem localized to sites hosted in Europe. I'm an American, so I have no clue about the European side of AdSense. Have any of our European webmasters ran into the same problems, or are these simply isolated incidents? Is anyone in America experiencing similar difficulties?"

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85 comments

Szczecin, Poland - no issues here. (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 7 years ago | (#15267669)

Sczecin, Poland - Not having these issues with adsense.

Re:Szczecin, Poland - no issues here. (1)

Praedon (707326) | more than 7 years ago | (#15268508)

America, Not so land of the free - My Google Adsense was shut down, cause someone found out a way to get your account suspended... I even have the news post I made about Google Adsense on my Network. They told me I had "mass clicking of ads" or some such.. But my account was suspended, by soon to be proven some 16 year old kid who read somewhere on the internet that you can suspend anyones google adsense account by clicking on an ad for at least 5 hours (Non-Stop Clicking). This person had no life.

Not from Europe but... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15267673)

The DigitalPoint forum [digitalpoint.com] has a lot of AdSense discussion. It's quite often you hear about people getting banned for "invalid clicks". Rarely (or never) do you hear of people getting back in, or, unfortunately, ever getting any good explanation for it.

Re:Not from Europe but... (3, Interesting)

hords (619030) | more than 7 years ago | (#15268556)

I know someone who put adsense on their site and then clicked hundreds of ads to "Find competing websites" so they could block them. They were terminated, but they pleaded their case and swore they wouldn't do it again. After about a month Google let them back in. I was surprised.

sdasdasdasfas (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15267697)

first post>>>>????

Re:sdasdasdasfas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15269501)

so close yet so far buddy. better luck next time, or even better, don't post next time.

My site and.... (4, Interesting)

HTL2001 (836298) | more than 7 years ago | (#15267708)

Well a site I ran to host a guild forum got it canceled just as I was reaching my first $100 and the same happened to the guy who writes this funny blog I read (just as he was reaching his first $100 as well): http://bannable-offenses.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] (post about it: http://bannable-offenses.blogspot.com/2006/04/seri ous-note.html [blogspot.com])

Re:My site and.... (3, Informative)

bluephone (200451) | more than 7 years ago | (#15267931)

Ditto on my blog [burntelectrons.org]. Exact same timing with money too. This is a rampant problem from what I can see. And trying ot get ANY information out of them is impossible. I can't even get telephone calls returned. They NEVER will tell you what invaolid clicks there were, when, etc. So basically, they get free space on yoru site, and get out of paying, and never have to prove why.

Re:My site and.... (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#15268100)

They NEVER will tell you what invaolid clicks there were, when, etc. So basically, they get free space on yoru site, and get out of paying, and never have to prove why.

They don't give you details on the invalid clicks because it would make things a lot easier for people to reverse engineer the process they use to detect them.

You might have lost $100, but I think it's pretty clear that the amount of money Google could cheat people out of isn't anywhere near as high as the amount of money they stand to lose should Adsense's legitimacy be seriously questioned. Remember, advertising is one of Google's main cash cows. They need Adsense to survive. They don't need to scam a few people out of $100 here and there to survive.

The real question is - how can Google preserve the secrecy of their invalid click determination while still not screwing over people who haven't done anything wrong? Or, alternatively, how can they get the job done without having to keep it a secret?

I can't see any easy answers to those questions, which is why I'm hesitant to start accusing Google of screwing up. Do you have any ideas as to what Google can do in their situation?

Re:My site and.... (4, Insightful)

bluephone (200451) | more than 7 years ago | (#15268258)

If they can detect "invalid clicks" then they can filter them just as well. There's no need to execute someone for jaywalking. There's nothing stopping them from warning people either, "hey, we see some unusual activity here, you should look into XYZ for solutions". None of that would risk their proprietary info. Hell, even just saying "We see a lot of clicks from these few IPs" isn't proprietary. that's just simple logging.

My point is, there are less drastic ways of handling things than cutting us off at the knees with zero recourse. We don't even get paid for the VALID clicks we generated, and they got weeks or months of space on our site.

On the gripping hand, we agreed to the TOS... That was our fault...

Re:My site and.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15268714)

If they can detect "invalid clicks" then they can filter them just as well.

This makes sense if they can detect them with near 100% accuracy.

There's nothing stopping them from warning people either, "hey, we see some unusual activity here, you should look into XYZ for solutions".

This makes sense if they have a relatively decent accuracy and a somewhat high false positive rate.

Judging from their behavior, I'd say that they have a very low accuracy in detecting these invalid clicks. And they probably have a higher false positive rate than they think they do. It's not really a surprise that they don't want to give anything away if they're already having a really hard time of it.

Re:My site and.... (1)

MrBugSentry (963105) | more than 7 years ago | (#15271235)

On the other side of things, we stopped using AdSense because so many "hits" were from link farms. Google didn't care. They took our money just the same.
We would get a bunch of traffic from obvious junk sites, rreport it, and get a chipper automated email from Google Marketing telling us how awesome AdSense is and how we should definitely use it. It was only pennies at a time, but even then it was money wasted.
Clearly, they need to get on top of this issue somehow.

Re:My site and.... (1)

Reaperducer (871695) | more than 7 years ago | (#15274378)

If they can detect "invalid clicks" then they can filter them just as well.

That assumes they can be detected in real time. It's possible that Google detects them later in random spot audits of server logs or something.

Re:My site and.... (1)

EChris (24069) | more than 7 years ago | (#15270124)

I didn't care so much about the money, but the implication that I was cheating somehow. I am an honest person, and I was really offended that Google just cut me off and told me that I had invalid clicks and was therefore cut off forever.

It really made me feel a lot less warm and fuzzy about Google. I'm even moving away from Gmail as a result. If they don't want my business, that's fine, but don't expect my support, either, after basically calling me a cheat and a liar with no grounds.

Chris

Re:My site and.... (1)

soulhuntre (52742) | more than 7 years ago | (#15287372)

They don't give you details on the invalid clicks because it would make things a lot easier for people to reverse engineer the process they use to detect them.

I love that I have now seen someone on /. defend "security through obscurity" in order to defent Google.

Re:My site and.... (1)

grazzy (56382) | more than 7 years ago | (#15268946)

There is a logical reason for this;

Adsense checks your site when you signup for TOS abuse, so if you pass that you're allowed to display Adsense ads. When they're about to pay you your first cheque they check you again for TOS abuse (and I also suspect they check the quality of the traffic - they can do some measures on how many sales are related to your traffic with adwords for instance).

A guild site to me, sounds like a bunch of kids urging eachother to click the ads from a internal forum / and or to "pay the webhost".

Re:My site and.... (1)

HTL2001 (836298) | more than 7 years ago | (#15270447)

Nothing changed from the time I put the ads in to when the time was coming, except some members left and new ones joined meaning the member bio section was changed (just info on char class/level) I never let the adbot read anything other than the public section of the forum because I knew it would be pretty easy to spoof user-agent for others to get access.

Re:My site and.... (1)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 7 years ago | (#15275047)

I ran Adsense on a small community site. Because of our location, we all subscribed to the same ISP. This ISP utilized a private address space and used a half-dozen or so proxy servers to connect people to the internets.

It came as no real surprise when Google ditched my account. To them, they only saw 6 people visiting the site over and over.

I'm willing to bet that most sites getting screwed out of money fall into a similar category.

At last, a story to fit my username :-) (5, Insightful)

adnonsense (826530) | more than 7 years ago | (#15267712)

I can't comment on the site in question, but in general AdSense and web forums are not always a good match. Forums often get a fairly small number of highly active viewers, which give rise to one of two phenomena: a) they don't click on the ads much (low clickthru rate), and when they do it sticks out statistically like a sore thumb, leading to possible (mis)interpretation regarding click fraud; or b) the more enthusiastic users take it upon themselves to click regularly on ads to support their forum, which will also raise a few red flags.

Forums can sometimes do well with AdSense if they have a high ratio of "read only" users and take steps such as not showing ads to logged in users.

Forums? (1)

omeg (907329) | more than 7 years ago | (#15268851)

I'm a regular visitor of that site. There were never any Google Ads on the forums, they only showed up on the main page which is very frequently visited by non-contributing guests from all over the world that just come over for the downloads. There's actually a very small number of people visiting (let along actively contributing) to the forums.

Omnipotent? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15267715)

It's funny to see someone named OmnipotentEntity asking for help... ;)

Re:Omnipotent? (1)

BrynM (217883) | more than 7 years ago | (#15267798)

It's funny to see someone named OmnipotentEntity asking for help... ;)
from the respect-your-godlings dept.
OmnipotentEntity asks: "How dare you doubt my power!?!?"

The bigger you are... (3, Insightful)

BertieBaggio (944287) | more than 7 years ago | (#15267717)

The better you are treated. Seems obvious, but there are a quite a few small publishers that don't make enough for Google to go to any trouble over. Fraudulent click activity? If the advertisers are getting angry, its easier just to say "We have banned the site in question." than to actually find and deal with the source of the problem. They need to be seen to strike a balance - and it's much easier to be harsh to someone that is only bringing your company $100 / week than someone who brings in $100k / week.

A touch cynical? Perhaps, but consider that: they have recently made some Big Changes(TM) to they way they crawl (aka Big Daddy(TM)); they have admitted a storage problem; and their stock has slipped recently. What better message to send to publishers that "We are tough on fraudulent clicks" to restore confidence.

I'm not bashing them. Seriously. Business is business. They run their advertising program, they determine the TOS and how they are applied. It's not like alternatives aren't avaliable (one recently launched at the Center of attention...). Anyway, it isn't all bad news. There is a publisher who netted over $1M from AdSense in three short months. Yes, you heard me, net. And this publisher isn't a corp, business or big team. Just one guy with a whole lotta pageviews. I bet he's treated very well by the folks at the 'plex...

So while ther may indeed be a problem/conspiracy/whatever, do consider that 1) they may actually be engaging in click fraud (eg "drawing undue attention to advertisements") or 2) they may be more of a liability than they are worth.

Re:The bigger you are... (1)

Larry Lightbulb (781175) | more than 7 years ago | (#15267773)

Although I agree with your point - that Google would like to get rid of the small sites because the money they bring in is less than the trouble of having to deal with them - the problem is that if Google wanted to do this they should have put restrictions on joining.

And if they want to get rid of the low traffic sites, then shouldn't they just tell people that's the reason, rather than implying click fraud?

Remember the matra "Do no evil" (3, Informative)

BertieBaggio (944287) | more than 7 years ago | (#15267914)

They could just be blunt when booting the smallest publishers, but that would be bad PR; and completely flying in the face of "do no evil" (something Matt Cutts recently reaffirmed [mattcutts.com]).

Saying "We cut small advertisers" = bad PR, "doing evil"

Saying "We are tough on click fraud" = good PR (to advertisers, Wall St, et al); "Don't be evil"

I should point out here that my point was interpretive, ie "Google is doing foo, hence you could say bar". The serious point is that under Google's TOS, clickfraud itself can be widely interpreted.

Ever clicked your own ad? By mistake? Checking it works? Clickfraud. Told family / friends / coworkers you have a website [with fancy Google ads]? Did they click to "help you out"? Clickfraud. Drawn 'undue attention' to your ads (as interpreted by the powers that be at Google) that resulted in a click? Clickfraud. While these don't fall under the definition of I-bought-a-robot-to-generate-1000s-of-clicks, or other egregious violations, Google could call it clickfraud if it so wished.

While these are small potatoes to Google, they are still technically valid reasons to terminate an AdSense account. Maybe Google would use such a technicality as an excuse to terminate an account that was small and a liability to them, maybe they wouldn't. Draw your own conclusions.

GoogleMart:Google hosted per transaction sales (-1, Offtopic)

NZheretic (23872) | more than 7 years ago | (#15267740)

GoogleMart, what Walmart is to retail, Google could be to internet based sales ( watch out Ebay ).
Google allow businesses to upload descriptive catalogs of items for sale and online sales material. Because Google is hosting the content and online checkout cart system, it can track when a transaction (sale) is completed. Google charges businesses on a per completed transaction basis and pays the host of the ad clicked accordingly.

some hearsay... (4, Interesting)

Malor (3658) | more than 7 years ago | (#15267754)

I saw some discussion about this over on Metafilter. One of the comments in this thread about Pinknews being dropped from AdSense [metafilter.com] says that it may be a side effect of Google's right hand not knowing what the left one is doing.

The commenter mentioned that AdSense had been placing a lot of high-CPC ads on his site, and shortly thereafter, he was banned. He suspects that Google's marketing department decided to push some big-revenue ads out there, and then the Fraud department, running their usual heuristics, noted spikes in big-revenue clicks. So they disabled many perfectly legitimate webmasters for something that Google itself caused. You could argue that this is fraud on Google's part, since these webmasters are deprived of legitimately-earned revenue. Worse, since they're banned for life from the program, in many cases their small businesses will be destroyed. And there is no appeal and no recourse.

In fact, there is absolutely no way to talk to Google about any of this, so problems like this only get worse. I suspect it may take lawsuits to get them to change their ways.

Google's mantra needs to add: "Do as little accidental evil as possible, and fix it when we do." But I don't see that happening soon.

It's OK (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 7 years ago | (#15267877)

Google rocks, so its all good.

Is anyone suprised that a company with no management hierarchy and a powerful peer-review based merit system (aka cliques) is acting in an arbritary manner? Or that a company with no discernable means to talk to a human being unless you are a VIP treats customers like shit?

Re:some hearsay... (2, Interesting)

inkfox (580440) | more than 7 years ago | (#15268242)

You could argue that this is fraud on Google's part, since these webmasters are deprived of legitimately-earned revenue. Worse, since they're banned for life from the program, in many cases their small businesses will be destroyed. And there is no appeal and no recourse.

Relying on one other business for yours is bad business sense.

Re:some hearsay... (1)

rkcallaghan (858110) | more than 7 years ago | (#15268369)

Relying on one other business for yours is bad business sense.

Wal*Mart's suppliers would disagree with you.

~Rebecca

Re:some hearsay... (1)

Malor (3658) | more than 7 years ago | (#15268852)

Actually, they probably would agree with the GP wholeheartedly. Walmart destroys its suppliers.

Re:some hearsay... (1)

rkcallaghan (858110) | more than 7 years ago | (#15268988)

While that is a fair point from certain views, in this case speaking purely of "business sense" -- those destroyed companies are making more money than they ever were before, and thus are a complete success from that perspective.

I will agree with you however, there are non-monetary costs involved which would make it not a good idea in general.

~Rebecca

Re:some hearsay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15269117)

Before: $15M Revenue, 20% margin
After: $30M Revenue, 5% margin

Yeah... I'm sure they are jumping for joy.

Re:some hearsay... (1)

kasparov (105041) | more than 7 years ago | (#15270832)

Don't forget that they also have a nasty habit of carrying someone's product for a while, then coming up with their own "Sam's Choice" version of the product and putting it in a box that looks almost exactly like the one from the supplier. Usually right next to the original product. The supplier spends millions on advertising their product, then the consumer goes to walmart, finds the product, and sees a cheaper Wal-mart version sitting right next to it. I'm sure the suppliers love that.

I'm not saying that, as one who buys products, this is neccessarily bad. Just that it might lead to a bit of ill will, and some "monetary costs" for the supplier. Although, taken to the extreme it could deprive innovative companies of revenue that they need to continue to develop new products (if Wal-mart actually sold innovative products).

Re:some hearsay... (1)

Malor (3658) | more than 7 years ago | (#15271152)

They're making more cashflow, but often are driven into unprofitability and bankruptcy by their relationship with Walmart.... stories of this abound. It's an abusive relationship, wherein Walmart dictates what price will be paid. Trying to meet the impossible new pricepoints each year, company after company self-destructs.

It may be good for consumers (somewhat debatable, as quality is the first thing to go), and if you're the low-cost leader in your segment, it can be a good relationship.... Walmart pays its bills very promptly and does exactly what it says it will do. But if you're so foolish as to make a high-quality product, or employ high-paid American workers, trying to satisfy Walmart is likely to kill your company.

Re:some hearsay... (1)

jbash (784046) | more than 7 years ago | (#15269127)

... which still doesn't make them correct from a business standpoint. Excessive reliance on one client is risky. Wal-Mart's suppliers would be smart to seek other sources of revenue. Sites using Adsense would be smart to seek other sources of revenue.

Re:some hearsay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15269680)

I've spoken with enough of them to know that lots of them actively dislike Wal-Mart at best.

Re:some hearsay... (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 7 years ago | (#15269820)

I suspect it may take lawsuits to get them to change their ways.

Why not? Google's makes billions of dollars a year, and apparently mistreats small businesses/individuals by taking away small amounts of money from them. It might only be $100 per person, but if they do it a million times a year, that's pretty strong incentive for a lawyer to launch a class action suit. All it takes is one person who's been so mistreated to contact a good (as in ability, not in moral compass) class action attorney and start the process. You won't get the full $100 back, maybe you'll get $20, but it would be incentive to Google to fix their shit.

fark-u-google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15267764)

It sure sounds like you could easily write a script to get people banned from google AdSense. (Just download all their JS with wget and a referrer of the host site)

I was thinking about using Google AdSense for one of my websites but because I monitor the site very frequently, I'm afraid I would get banned. Oh well I'll no longer be linking to Google.

The Google Love-Fest stops NOW!

-Disgruntled Googler

Re:fark-u-google (1)

Daxster (854610) | more than 7 years ago | (#15267814)

I doubt that wget'ing the js would do much, but thousands of nearly-simultaneous requests..aye.

Re:fark-u-google (1)

HTL2001 (836298) | more than 7 years ago | (#15267849)

At first this (the way to script someone to get banned) was used to get the guild forum I hosted banned from AdSense - considering there were a few former members who wouldn't think twice about screwing us over if they could, and likely someone they knew was technically compitant (or they were sufficiently motivated to do it manually). That was until I heard of other people getting banned (I posted earlier in this topic: http://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=184964&cid =15267708 [slashdot.org])

Re:fark-u-google (1)

no_mayl (659427) | more than 7 years ago | (#15268513)

What if it is not your site that is being targeted, but just the google ads.

Denial of revenue.
If somebody would go to sites with a script that makes click-through based ads not worth the investment, then that site would be banned, and any real revenue it could have generated for google is now gone.

I'm sure google is working very hard not to ban sites that could potentially earn them money.

Account Cancellations (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15267766)

I know of two different sites, both of which I'm good friends with the webmasters, who had their accounts recently disabled for "invalid click activity". One of my friends had a random 140 clicks one day, and they disabled his account a few days later. No, they didn't pay him the $180 that they owed, him; no, they didn't give him a better reason upon emailing them. His site (a u.s. site) was rather small, ~200 unique per day. The other site (a Canadian one), which has over 160,000 unique per day was also cancelled for invalid click activity in much the same way--no explanation; they lost somewhere around $500. You bet, I'm damn worried that someone random will come click on my site someday and get me disabled off of adsense. They're either screwing us over, someone's screwing google over by clicking on a bunch of sites, or they just simply want to get rid of all of the accounts that didn't have the mandatory address/tax information submissions. I just don't know, but I hope it doesn't happen to me.

Re:Account Cancellations (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#15267929)

want to get rid of all of the accounts that didn't have the mandatory address/tax information submissions

Woah. Hey. I had all sorts of sympathy until I read this line. Right, so they didn't fill out all the account information to a company you expect to pay you money, and then complain when they can the account?

Re:Account Cancellations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15268208)

Well, as I take it, they didn't used to require the tax information etc. Now they do. Perhaps that is a factor.

Re:Account Cancellations (1)

Bisqwit (180954) | more than 7 years ago | (#15268927)

Well I don't know of those cases, but in the AdSense application of my site (the one mentioned in this Ask Slashdot topic) I had submitted all the relevant information to the best of my knowledge and understanding.

Re: Account Cancellations (2, Informative)

rman666 (115614) | more than 7 years ago | (#15267935)

My AdSense account was cancelled with no explaination other than "invalid clicks". I tried and tried to get them to give me details, but the wouldn't. And, they would not reinstate the account either. This was my site (a US site) at www(dot)robotic(dot)com. I had earned $100-200 per month for each of several months before the cancelled the account. Lame... and disappointing as I was planning to use that money for orbiting brain lasers and beowulf clusters (see http://mirror1.spikedhumor.com/1209/SwitchLinux.sw f [spikedhumor.com]).

Not quite European, but close.. (1)

Daxster (854610) | more than 7 years ago | (#15267793)

..my server's in the UK, so does that mean it's european? Or just where they send money to (Canada, in my case)?
I don't make any significant amounts of money though, so I don't think there's much fraud that could occur ;-)

Linux: A European threat to our computers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15267800)

Like most things that are worth owning, Computers are an American invention. Look at any modern computer and you will see that the whole thing is the product of American brilliance.

For example, this rugged IBM laptop I am using was designed and built by an American company. It runs software built by Microsoft, one of America's most productive organizations. My computer does everything I could possibly want: I can do my work, submit my taxes and even search the Bible.

Like all the greatest American engineering, it's an example of innovation that makes a growing group of European and Chinese hackers jealous. They hate our lead in computing technology and will stop at nothing until they have control of all of our computers.

I'm talking about a project called 'Linux', something you may not have encountered, but might do some day.
It's a computer program that was initially developed in Finland as a means of circumventing valuable copyrights and patents owned by an American company called SCO Group.

Unlike Windows, which is a mature commercial product which is normally included with every new computer, Linux is given away. Now it may not sound like much of a problem, after all there is very little profit in merely giving a product away.

This would be certainly true were in not for the Linux project's seductive Marxist ideology and the effect that it has on 'Blue-State' liberals. Indeed, Linux is so pervasive amongst the blue states and many liberal universities that a leading computer expert Steve Balmer (from Microsoft) described Linux as cancer.

The American software industry is worth more than $7 Billion; Introducing a foreign product like Linux which is often copied for free could threaten that entire industry. A generation of computer users might get use to accepting foreign software hand-outs rather than paying for a superior American products. If only the danger were just to our economy:

These days computers control everything from TV stations to battleships; Our crucial information and defense infrastructure is built on computer technology. If we allow this cancer into our networks, there is no knowing what the effect might be on our infrastructure, but that is just what liberals are trying to do.

Imagine if the State of the Union address were hacked because the TV station decided to save money by using Linux? Imagine if a stealth-bomber crashed because it's software was written by anonymous Chinese or European hackers. It would make as much sense as inviting the French to come over and take over the White-House.

And guess what software Osama Bin Laden uses on his laptop?

If you guessed it was Linux you would be 100% right. Osama uses Linux because he knows designed to counterfit DVDs, curcumventing the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, and defraud companies like Disney.

Next time somebody asks you how Al Queda agents pay for their rifles and rocket launchers, you can tell them that foreign hackers make software called Linux which helps them steal from Americans.

This Linux problem is a growing issue, and one that conservative Americans cannot afford to ignore. Fortunately Microsoft have prepared a great deal of information to help computer users get away from this menace. But there is something you can do to help keep American #1 in the computer business:

If one of your friends is using Linux or may be tempted to try it show them this article. Explain that Linux is a genuine threat and that by using it they may be opening their computer to Chinese hackers.

If you see a company using Linux, it may be that they have not paid for this software. Report them to the Business Software Alliance who have the legal authority to inspect any company's computers for illegal programs like Linux.

Finally, remember to include Linux users in your prayers tonight. As individuals we may not be able to change people's minds, but the Bible teaches that God can make any sinner repent.

Re:Linux: A European threat to our computers (1)

Daxster (854610) | more than 7 years ago | (#15267830)

Oh man, that reeks of something horri - oh wait, I know. Troll, anyone?
Made me laugh to read through it though. It should get +5 Funny.

Re:Linux: A European threat to our computers (1)

glowworm (880177) | more than 7 years ago | (#15268077)

Meh, it's a copypaste from ShellyTheRepublican.com

It's Just trying to drive up adsense revenue at that site.

Don't humour them and they will go away.

Re:Linux: A European threat to our computers (0, Troll)

novastar123 (540269) | more than 7 years ago | (#15268087)

other then the fact that, that was the stupidist thing i have ever read, you do realise, that your "american" computer was built in tiwan right? so, how do you go out in public with out getting shot for your stupid ways?

Re:Linux: A European threat to our computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15268385)

"other than"

Re:Linux: A European threat to our computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15268423)

and taiwan

Re:Linux: A European threat to our computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15269016)

other then the fact that, that was the stupidist thing i have ever read, you do realise, that your "american" computer was built in tiwan right? so, how do you go out in public with out getting shot for your stupid ways?

And stupidest, and without, and fewer commas. Nice try though!

These issues suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15267817)

This happens with all sorts of web related business stuff (eg. PayPal, anything dealing with credit cards, etc.). Unforetunately the companies are rarely ever forthcoming about why certain things happen because they need that security by obscurity lest someone take advantage of how the system works.

So you may never know why certain things are done.

This is one area where I think we need some regulation. An intermediary or something that can give people due process and justice.

No review? (0, Troll)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 7 years ago | (#15267961)

So, there are all these sites wanting to show ad's and google wont let them. WHERE is the alternatives? Come on, if google wont spent 10 minutes and at least email the website author with more details than "you fucked up, bye bye" Maybe its time to drop google.

If google is this fucked up, why keep using it. Sounds like some other company needs to step in and fill the void. I'm rather tired of googles "fuck you" attitude towards webmasters in these slashdot posts.

Re:No review? (1)

Jarlsberg (643324) | more than 7 years ago | (#15268950)

Some alternatives:
http://www.google.no/search?q=alternative+adsense& sourceid=mozilla-search&start=0&start=0&ie=utf-8&o e=utf-8&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:nb-NO:off icial [google.no]
Another one that looks good (though I've not tried it)
http://www.clicksor.com/internet_advertising.php [clicksor.com]

Personally, I'm using Adsense on my site (http://www.mailtic.com/ [mailtic.com]), but I'm considering the alternatives.

Re:No review? (1)

grazzy (56382) | more than 7 years ago | (#15269026)

Clicksor is serious bullshit. So is adbrite.

Only real alternative is affiliate marketing to amazon etc. But it's not the same kind of income really. There are no conceptual/automatic programs as good and as profitable as adsense to date.

YPN seems to be acceptable, but is currently only allowing US customers in their beta. MSN adCenter (when released) and YPN (when it's public) are imho the only real contestants in this market.

Re:No review? (1)

Jarlsberg (643324) | more than 7 years ago | (#15269162)

Thanks for the heads up. I had never heard of Clicksor before today. I guess the best way of making cash through ads is hard work; ie. building up a site and then contacting clients yourself. I have a feeling MSN won't be any nicer than Google when it comes to suspected click fraud. ;)

Re:No review? (1)

grazzy (56382) | more than 7 years ago | (#15269474)

The problem clicksor and all their competitors have is that they basiclly have a much smaller market share, thus less margins. This results in two things;
a) they have to approve every advertiser (sex, casinos etc florish).
b) they cant pay as good as adsense does.

This in return gives them (in my opinion, and most people think im a idiot, go figure)
a) less qualitative webplaces to advertise on
b) more webmasters that are forced to use them (ie, the ones banned from adsense :p)

Creating a negative spiral. I dont know any serious websites using them. Most people only use adbrite for instance to create the occasional CPM-ad they sometimes bring. Adbrite's standard network of ads is totally substandard and doesnt generate revenue anytime _near_ adsense. (Think 0.01 cpc instead of 0.20 in many cases + you get sex and casion related ads instead of whatever your page is about).

Adsense moderation & measures utter stupidity (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#15269109)

I used to run adsense in a hobby site i run. One day after doing a code modification i was checking out the site. One of the ads appeared in adsense was very absurdly worded and caught my attention. I clicked on to check what it was. It was some place selling ebooks etc or sorts i dont remember now.

After some time, i logged on to check the adsense account. A little later that day, voila - invalid click activity, account disabled ! No responses except a pre scripted stupid, flat-face, cold text.

It seems that the moderation / the staff that created the moderation code were MORON enough to think that there were people who would attempt to earn a total of additional $0.5 by clicking (with the same ip !) 5-10 times a day on their ads, and then be stupid enough to log in to their system without changing their ip ! So this is it - if you mistakenly log in to your account, after clicking on an ad with the same ip, nomatter what reason - youre bust. And the people who actually do such frauds do it with scripts that change ips automatically from amongs the ip farms in their networks which they are maintaining for that purpose still.

This does not end there either. I heard that if somebody has some grudge with you, and gathers 10 or so persons to click on the ads at your site regularly for a week without your knowledge or slightest idea, voila - youre blown away again. So its not too much an effort for the competitors to oust their 'foes' in schemes that only monastery nuns do not know.

Google may be doing things the right way in many endevours, however it is clear that they have hired the wrong bunch of idiots to define what is fraud, and what is not.

AdSense cancellation (1)

Phooey42 (935978) | more than 7 years ago | (#15269173)

My account with Google Adsense was cancelled for this exact same reason. Oddly, it was cacelled the exact day after I earned my first $100, so I never recieved a check. Honestly, though, I wasn't too bent up over it. The site looks better without advertisements anyways.

might be your competitors (1)

krotkruton (967718) | more than 7 years ago | (#15269213)

There was a really good article in Wired, that I couldn't find by searching Wired but popped right up in google, called something like Click fraud could swallow the internet. [wired.com]

It's an interesting article, but the main reason I bring it up is because sometimes, as they say in the article, competitors are actually the ones going to sites and committing click fraud just to get the site kicked off AdSense.

Re:or similar (1)

aridor (536275) | more than 7 years ago | (#15269407)

Shouldn't be that hard to set up something that produces a few "illegal" clicks if there is danger that the customer is about to earn real money (i.e. >$100). Alternatively, it shouldn't be that hard to redefine the term "illegal click" to match your site or reinterpret clicks to be seen as "illegal" ("oh, someone clicked" --> illegal) if the offense is never verifiable. Either option sounds like shady business.

Re:might be your competitors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15271821)

Well, then, the answer is really as simple as ignoring clicks that fit such a pattern rather than suddenly terminating your account. Google's supposed to be full of bright people, why did I come up with this in 20 seconds and they haven't?

German site - no problems (1)

Sascha J. (803853) | more than 7 years ago | (#15269351)

I live in Germany, my server is in Germany and my site is German aswell. Running AdSense since Dec '04, no problems so far. I even accidentially clicked on my own ads, I sent them [Google] an E-Mail, stating the time and site where I clicked them, and they just reverted the money I got from that click (and strongly advised me to never do this again ;) ). That's it. It's still running.

Re:German site - no problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15283696)

Comon guys lets show him hes not some chosen one not getting screwed by google click his ads! http://www.sjuengling.de/ [sjuengling.de]

happened to me too. (1)

nblender (741424) | more than 7 years ago | (#15269557)

Some friends and I run a small but popular community portal for a specific model of vehicle. We host mailing lists, archives that go back to the late 90's, FAQ's, galleries, forums, etc. Lots of model specific info. The site has always been funded by paypal donations; typically by the same 50 or so members who donate $5-200 each once a year. We got tired of begging our users and the fact that out of several thousand, only the same 50 ever donate; and signed up with AdSense. One of our lesser intelligent users setup a click script thinking he was going to do us a favor (unbeknownst to us). Within a couple of hours, Google cancelled our AdSense account. We tried to appeal to them but there are no humans available to speak to. So we gave up and tried to pursue other online advertisers and lo-behold, discovered that no one would speak to us because we were apparently on some sort of blacklist hosted by Google. Now, almost 2 years later, we're still around and still trying to get signed up with advertisers but apparently once you're on the blacklist, you don't get taken off.

Our only choice is to keep going the way we have been, or change our domain name, into which we have invested a lot of brand-recognition...

Google _is_ Evil after all.

So Google Maintains a two tier system of dealing (2, Interesting)

HighOrbit (631451) | more than 7 years ago | (#15270380)

Quote:
One of our lesser intelligent users setup a click script thinking he was going to do us a favor (unbeknownst to us). Within a couple of hours, Google cancelled our AdSense account. We tried to appeal to them but there are no humans available to speak to. So we gave up and tried to pursue other online advertisers and lo-behold, discovered that no one would speak to us because we were apparently on some sort of blacklist hosted by Google.
Combinded with the other comments so far, here is what we can deduce:

  • Borderline cases just get kicked. Other folks with less egregious suspected fraud just got kicked off of Adsense, but were able to sign up with Yahoo or some other service
  • Confirmed cases of deliberate fraud get blacklisted.

Although you personally were not to blame, your case was indeed one of deliberate fraud and Google was smart enough to figure it out. In this sense, Google is acting responsibly. In borderline cases where they can not be completely sure, they play it safe. They may not trust a site and are unwilling to do business with it again themselves, but they don't publically malign it. In cases where they know for a fact that real deliberate fraud occured, it is responsible of them to warn others.

Re:So Google Maintains a two tier system of dealin (1)

nblender (741424) | more than 7 years ago | (#15272358)

That's great in the ideal universe in which you clearly live. In the reality in which the rest of us live, it is a stupid situation. I can very easily find all the sites that use Google AdSense and run click-scripts against them thus, in the perfect universe, eventually putting google out of business...

That seems hardly a sustainable 'business plan' from Google's perspective.

Re:So Google Maintains a two tier system of dealin (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 7 years ago | (#15272896)

your case was indeed one of deliberate fraud and Google was smart enough to figure it out. In this sense, Google is acting responsibly.

I don't think so. The poster you responded to didn't do anything fraudulent. He/she ran ads on a site. Someone tried to cheat. Where in the terms of service does it say "I will install mind control rays in my users' heads to keep them from doing that"? It's not there because it's impossible. The most Google can do and yet be fair is to just not pay the site for the script-generated clicks, and ask the site admins, if they know who did it, to warn the user not to do that again.

You are blaming the victim.

Don't know but I had some trouble with adwords (1)

an_mo (175299) | more than 7 years ago | (#15269759)

They are there to exploit their monopolistic position. When I signed up, I could advertise ad $0.05 per click; their claim is that the price depends on the ad quality and on clickthrough rate, meaning that if your ad contains the keywords you selected, then it should cost less. Then, they claim that a higher click-through reduces the cost.

I could not once change the cost per click by targeting ads to keywords. What's worse, after people started clicking on my ads, costs increased, in one instance from 0.05 to 0.50 per click. Now I have no keywords costing less than $0.20 and most cost upwards of $.40

Europe? I'm in New York and they closed ours! (1)

hivemind_mvgc (823238) | more than 7 years ago | (#15270034)

We had some ads running on www.mvgc.net [mvgc.net] (still do now, under a different account) and as soon as our account got over $50 they closed it for fradulent clicks. I appealed to no effect. I have no idea how they detect what's fradulent and what's not, but clearly my explanation that we often had 15-20 members on a LAN with NAT IPs meant nothing to them.

This time we've instructed ALL members not to click on Google Ads on our site, ever, no matter if they were interested in the link or not.

They never paid us for the first account (it was fradulent, after all *rolls eyes*) and we haven't yet been sent money for the second try either. But I bet they don't refund the money advertisers pay them when they close an account.

I'd like to know exactly what kind of fraud detection they use. Is it by IP addesses, or some kind of link layer MAC address logging, or do they just cancel your shit if you exceed statistically expected performance? In my eyes, the first two are valid, the third is a crock of crap.

AdSense (1)

Zorix (968629) | more than 7 years ago | (#15270417)

I have had the same problem as well. Some random person hit my site up with 40 clicks after I got a few links from other sites. My account was terminated a few days later. Google gives the opportunity to appeal, but I chose not to do so. This also means that if someone were to have something against a site that runs AdSense, they could effectively shut down the source of income by mass clicking over a day or two. I was considering running a story about this on a few sites, but in the end Google can do as they want with little or no challenge. Google the next Microsoft? Maybe.

referrals fee (1)

Ankh (19084) | more than 7 years ago | (#15270438)

Another point is that if you refer someone to Google Adsense, you get $100 when that person's account reaches $100, so clearly there are collusion possibilities: I could get my friends to sign up and we could click on each other's ads.

So I would expect Google to check more carefully just before the first $100, when you're about to cost them money.

Having said that, I expect before long there will be moves to legislate the internet ad industry, and that advertisers and Web publishers will oppose this.

It takes a long time for legislation to sit well with technology, so I'm also not sure it'll be a good thing. It might be that voluntary practices about openness will happen in order to head off legislation, though.

Hmmmm (1)

Sationus (972936) | more than 7 years ago | (#15280063)

Well this is all I have to say about the matter, I am close to getting the first 100 bucks from my sites http://arcadejunkie.com/ [arcadejunkie.com] http://snappyjack.com/ [snappyjack.com] http://u1i.com/ [u1i.com] http://infoxsports.com/ [infoxsports.com] http://goodworm.com/ [goodworm.com] and you know, I dont think they will screw me, but if they do, I already signed up with yahoo ads... From the money point of view, it does not make sense for google to do that, but big companies have done worst and more stupid things in the past so we will see...

Abusing adsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15283724)

I'm not sure about you but every person who posted they weren't having a problem with adsense, I ran a click script against their website. I figure the more people that get up in arms about it the sooner something may change. Not to mention I just thought it was funny.
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