Google ad fraud: Before Sofizar

delves into “AdSense fraud”, it is necessary to study Google’s definition of Google AdSense and click fraud.

Google ad fraud is one of the diseases that plagues ad word advertisers. The AdSense program essentially allows website publishers/owners to sign up with Google to enable them to display Google ads on their websites. These publishers basically play the role of “Google Partners”. The ads that googlebot chooses to display are context-sensitive, and the ads are related to the content of the publisher’s website, more specifically, specific web pages. On these sites, Google’s goal is to provide a niche of traffic and advertising. A subset of users of Google’s partner sites click on these ads, and Google charges advertisers for each click. Google shares the spoils with website publishers, but the revenue share ratio is lower than Google’s “undisclosed” standard. Although the specific amount can be designed in reverse, the lesson that can be drawn is that the final amount is directly proportional to the revenue from Google clicks.

In theory, this is a match made in heaven. Advertisers get a good return on investment through targeted traffic, publishers can profit from the traffic on the website, and web browsers can buy classic CDs that he can’t leave. Not to mention that Google got a large amount of cash. The God of Wealth smiled kindly to everyone.

Unfortunately, this happy surface conceals flaws. serious. For all googleadsense publishers, they are not created equal. Although (we dare to say) many advertisers have a real website that provides valuable or interesting services to society around the world, there are still a considerable number of unscrupulous operators looting advertisers there. These nocturnal creatures (we will explain why we use this term later), the purpose of making the website is to squeeze the revenue of AdSense.

This category of fraudsters should have their own taxonomy, and we have developed this taxonomy (other categories, click fraud and impression fraud are bigger problems in some industries). In order to avoid gender prejudice, we alternate between genders. We hope that our relaxed and cheerful tone will not conceal our aversion to these deceptive behaviors.

Reverse Fraudster (aka ClickMonkey):

This guy is at the bottom of the food chain. His neighbor, Ms. Jones, has earned more than $10,000 in AdSense in a month. He was inspired by her wealth and he plans to take action. He “invested” in a clickbot software (a simple google search can find a lot) and got a list of anonymous proxy addresses. Then, he went to register some domain names and hired someone from Elance to create a “website network” and “click bot”. He hopes that these interconnected sites can provide everyone with some “link popularity” and improve his page ranking. It would be great if it were that simple! Then he continued to use the $30 click bot to start clicking on these sites. Or he can click manually with the proxy himself. We will not call him “click the monkey” for no reason. He clicked all the way and saw that his account was banned. This monkey has no bananas! He turned a deaf ear to Google’s desperate voice. This person is likely to resign, but sometimes tries to get up from the food chain and wants to be a liar.

Want to be a liar (aka Pozo):

This girl searches for high-paying keywords, such as “home loan equity” (current ad rate: $45) or “web hosting” (ad word price of $20). She correctly guessed that AdSense spending is directly proportional to Google’s revenue, so it has a place in these words. Her strategy is to make a page with content suitable for targeted high-paying keywords. She recruited friends and family members to click on the link multiple times. Or ten!

Little did she know that Google had a 45-day inspection period before she could get the money. Since she knows little or nothing about click-through rates, her greed and ignorance are intertwined. Seeing her ill-gotten gains doubled on the AdSense interface, she increased the number of clicks. However, Google will check the CTR, and when they find that the CTR exceeds 20%, they will throw a match. In addition, Google noticed that most of the clicks came from a few IP addresses, which basically determined her fate (or rather, locked her income). These virtual cash are now just a few bytes deleted from the hard drives of Google servers. She complained, no, she blamed the cruelty of Google’s policies. Some of them wisely stopped and stopped such activities, perhaps because of philosophical thinking about the NFL (No Free Lunch) theorem. However, others see it as the basic school for the next stage of evil behavior. Liar almost there.

There are almost fraudsters (aka SmartAlec): The

typical ATF is very confident in its ability to fool Google. Like BOZO, he looks for high-paying keywords and makes suitable websites. We assume that he is in a third world country, just to make this case more interesting. The case described here is news from a year ago. He read this article and learned the lesson later. He knows that the traffic from IP addresses in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada is more valuable than the traffic on IP addresses from third world countries. Therefore, he tried to make friends with people with these IP addresses by logging into the messenger service.

In this way, he got unique, unrelated IP clicks, and (he hoped) Google was fooled. Remember “creatures of the night”. Well, these people are usually a few time zones away from the United States or Canada, so whenever they feel that their goals are most likely to be active, they will get up at unusual times. In addition, they sometimes have to deal with “inconvenience” such as daily work.

The fraud company believes that he has done a good job of getting clicks from browsing these sites. He chose the IP address. . An interesting factor is that for AdSense, status is also very important. The most click-through rates are from Washington State and New York State.

He has only one question. His tragic shortcomings. Although he worked so hard to obtain unique IP and high revenue, he could not maintain a good Ctrip. He is likely to exceed 30-40% of daily CTR and 10-20% of total CTR. He ended up in the same purgatory as Pozo. The account was banned, and he received that annoying email. Yes, “AdSense account closed”. In the dark world of AdSense games, there is almost nothing good. Although he may earn thousands of dollars before being punished. Crime is not worth it, is it? Well, gentle readers, unfortunately, crime is paying for the next category. Master of fraud (also known as the offspring of Satan).

Master of Fraud (aka Satan’s offspring):

This type of fraudster is the most sophisticated and rarely caught by Google. She researched high-paying keywords and CTR issues. She has the smoothest route in the business of soliciting clicks. She can flirt online and ask to click on a “link” to her photo. Or she might claim that clicking on the link will cause hungry children in Ethiopia to be fed. Let’s follow a typical “simple” chat session:

US User: hello

you coordinate what is?

US users: NY, NY

FM fraud: Oh! Hope I can be there. Can you help a girl in distress?

US User: Of course

Fraud: I had a website, to see all the links on this page is valid. Please click on the link to see if other pages load?

US users: Of course. Link?

FM Fraud:

US users: Wait! Yes, I checked all the links and they work very well.

FM Fraud:


US User: So now we can talk about you? (The message was not delivered because the fraudster has blocked the user and is busy looking for new victims)

In addition to chatting with strangers, she has a lot of skills. She knows opt-in lists, networks and blogs, where she can trap victims. She is skilled and able to empathize with victims, and she will not let arrogance hinder her success. Because she pays great attention to CTR issues, she has a secret weapon. She has optimized some low-income keywords on her website, which is really not competitive. She gets a lot of traffic organically (but for things that have nothing to do with competitive high-paying keywords). On her website, she may give away greeting cards or screen savers for free. The end result is an incredible impression count. For her, the second step is to create unrelated web pages on the same website, which are high-paying keywords. These keywords are used to attract victims of chat sessions. The click process is different, but the result of CTR is very profitable.

So, how do these geeks’ comments affect PPC advertisers? This is a $5 billion market (for accurate predictions about the future, please check our FAQ. With a fraud rate of 20%, we are talking about $1 billion in fraud per year. Even the Doctor of Evil may be against this A number is impressive. This number exceeds the cumulative gross national product (GNP) of several banana republics. And a considerable part of it will eventually fall into the vault of these fraudsters. We learn all the evidence from anecdotes and how people clean up Up to $20,000 a month. All, by unfortunate PPC advertisers.

We want to emphasize that there are many genuine websites that provide real content. Unfortunately, the presence of these people (as mentioned above) reduces many advertisers The rate of return on investment, so that they reconsider their interest in PPC. In the words of one of our organic SEO clients, using PPC’s to measure the return you get is always less than the investment. If you look closely at your Where does the ad word traffic come from, and take some measures (such as traffic analysis or at least log file analysis) to protect yourself, that doesn’t have to be the case. Look for some obvious patterns (for example, a large traffic peak from India) Unfortunately, other models may require a PhD in artificial intelligence. The key is to remain flexible. It is much harder to convince search engines to refund money than to actively pay attention to problematic visitors and take the measures you think is appropriate. Before the situation gets out of control . Remember, an ounce of prevention—

What we want to emphasize is that there are many genuine websites that provide real content. Unfortunately, the existence of these people (as described above) has reduced the return on investment of many advertisers to the point that they reconsider their interest in PPC. In the words of one of our organic SEO clients, using PPC “is always less rewarding than what you invest in”. If you stay agile, you don’t have to be that way. Convincing search engines to refund is much more difficult than proactively paying attention to problematic visitors and taking whatever measures you think are appropriate.

There are a few things you can do to stay ahead. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is just the beginning. It is sorted according to the level of protection you might need to upgrade.

1> Let your visitors know that you are following them and know a lot about them. For example, if you visit, you will see information about yourself. You can show this information to all visitors, or only to some of them. It can be on your face or subtle, but it will at least alert some fraudsters that they are being watched. Sofizar provides free sample code and a connection to the database, allowing you to display “advanced” information (such as city, ISP, ISP contact number).

2> Invest in a serious visitor tracking software. Set alarms based on the number of times the user clicks on the site in a specific time period (hourly, weekly, monthly). Show the same information to someone who is sure to push your budget to death, as a custom message box. If the pattern remains the same. “We are recording usage and we noticed that you have been clicking on our website through PPC. If you do not stop, we will be forced to call your local ISP at 91-23-344-5678” (if you see our The information about visitors that can be collected, you will know that we can get more specific information). This will eliminate some accidental fraudsters.

3> Start checking what we have discussed before, by investing in an industrial strength data collection package. Based on the data you collect, one strategy is to score each visitor based on the following (non-exhaustive) list and deduct (or add points).

a. Visitor conversion/past conversion history.

b. Visit in-depth analysis

cc. Access time analysis (the time spent on each page, and the time when the access occurred).

d. Cookies / JavaScript / nknown OS

e. Keyword cost analysis

f. Anonymous proxy server

g. It is part of the “List of Fraudsters”.

h. Country/Region Analysis (Are you really targeting your French restaurant in New York in Sao Paulo, Brazil?).

4> Do pattern matching. Look at how your top 20% of customers do it as part of the “macro model” and match visitors to that model.

Remember, you will get some “false positives” and vice versa. Some innocent people may be unfairly labeled as “fraudsters”, and a few “fraudsters” are likely to give you the word. This is not an exact science, but you can get pretty close in a while. If you decide to file a lawsuit against Google, you must provide a very convincing reason. All of this is based on detailed data, not (as they might think) paranoia.

In the long run, as threats evolve and fraudsters improve, you must constantly adjust your strategy, use your friends, diligent data collection, statistics, and pattern matching. If you have any further questions, comments or want us to provide you with a free evaluation, if your PPC activities may attract fraudsters, please send an email to: or visit /contact.php

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