Saturday, December 09, 2006

How To Avoid Adsense Click Fraud

by Bernie Alexander

Many web site owners are getting their Google Adsense account terminated when they have reportedly done nothing wrong to deserve the punishment. Considering the money that they are getting from Adsense, they would certainly want to get back into the game if at all possible.

Clicking on ads by folks other than your site visitors is considered 'click fraud' and should be avoided at all cost. That is of course unless you no longer want to have adsense ads on your site.

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.

If click fraud is such a serious offense to Google, so much so that you loose your Adsense account, how then do you prevent this from happening to you?

Most web hosts track each web site's traffic through the use of access logs. If you are ever fasely accused of committing click fraud one of the things you will want to do is provide Google with a copy of your website's access logs. This accomplishes two things: 1. It tells Google that you want to do everything possible to assist them in clearing your account as you don't think you have done anything wrong and 2. It provides concrete proof that the clicks did not come from your computer.

It might also help to have a click monitoring software product. There are many free versions available online. Study your server logs and watch for any activity that seems suspicious. Report anything that you may find odd, may it big or small thing.

Another protection stategy is to disable ads for your own IP address and local geographic area. This will certainly prevent accidents and Google's mistaking another user for you. You can do this through a htaccess file or have your webmaster do this for you. This will prevent Google mistaking your visitor's clicks as your own.

Do not use pop ups and pop unders on pages you want Adsense ads to appear. Your ads should not be displayed on content sites that promote illegal activity or tampering of the legal rights of other people or business. Included in this are the content that is considered adult and gambling ones. If you think that you may be breaking this rule, immediately remove your content or Adsense from the web page.

Be truthful and confess up to Google about times when you might have clicked on your own as, whether accidentally or intentionally. Or the times when you have done something that is against the Terms of Service that they are implementing. Be honest about anything that you may have done that is wrong. Confessing is way better than Google learning about it later on and terminating your account.

Tell your family or friends about the Adsense ads and instruct them never to click on any of these ads, especially if they use your computer. Explain the consequences if they do.

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 address, browser’s information, user’s session info and pattern recognition. They also have “systems” available that detects fraud. Not to mention the specialized teams monitoring how things are going and helping advertisers stop click frauds.

Google offers suggestions on how to avoid click fraud. Adding tracking URLs to your links so you can track the traffic coming from Google.

Although Adsense fraud is a very serious thing, any or all of the things mentioned above can to implemented to avoid it.

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