If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy
James Madison (American 4th US President (1809-17), and one of the founding fathers of his country. 1751-1836)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Click fraud and Adsense...hrm?!

The situation of people getting banned from Google Adsense over fraudulent AdSense clicks was recently brought up at Amit Agarwal's site Digital Inspiration in the article "Adsense Alternatives When Google Bans Your Account". In the comments section of the article...the subject of just how does Google determine what is actual fraud and not just some malicious people playing a prank or getting redemption for whatever reason. Well...'ole ctrl set off to see what he could find on the topic and well I found alot. It seems that this is a more heated debate or subject than I ever knew...and after finding article after article on the funneled down to the process that is used by Google to determine what is fraud or some secret proprietary technology...although they give the gist of what it does in the Google AdSense Help Center under the FAQ "How do you prevent invalid clicks and page impressions?" in which they say:
Google's proprietary technology analyzes clicks and impressions to determine whether they fit a pattern of use intended to artificially drive up an advertiser's clicks or impressions, or a publisher's earnings. Our system uses sophisticated filters to distinguish between clicks generated through normal use by users and clicks generated by unethical users and automated robots, enabling us to filter out most invalid clicks and impressions. Advertisers are not charged for the clicks and impressions we filter out.

In addition to our automated system, we have a team dedicated to detecting invalid activity using several specialized tools and a wide variety of techniques based on extensive experience tracking and monitoring user behavior and analyzing scenarios. We continually upgrade our detection mechanisms to proactively combat invalid activity.

Sounds like they have a pretty good process...albeit there is nothing they can do to guarantee that some click don't slip by. In looking for more information regarding the "secret squirrel" process I found some more information in an article at Marketing Pilgrim entitled "Exclusive: Google’s Click Fraud Rate is Less than 2%" that went in to a little more detail. This is a great article that goes into some detail about the process and definitely left me with some better understanding. In all it does seem as though Google does tend to weed out the fraudulent clicks pretty well...assuming that the site logs and such are made available during any research process that goes on.

I am linking a few more interesting articles on this subject for those who want more information regarding this topic.

- Google AdSense Help Center "What can I do to ensure that my account won't be disabled?"
- Jack Myers Media Village "Google Represses AdSense Partners in Search of Fraudulent Clicks"
- Ezine Articles "Google AdSense Fraud - Deep Insight"
- ebiquity Group "Revealed: how Google manages click fraud" (This site has quite a bit of information, but a good read none-the-less :P)

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