Many web site owners are getting their Google Adsense account terminated. I read on the forums almost daily posts from people who are bemoaning the fact that Google has terminated their account when they feel they have done nothing wrong to deserve the punishment. In almost every case, click fraud is the reason for termination.
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 website owners are aware of this fraud, and share the same sentiment that this is the one big problem that Adsense is facing.
How do you prevent yourself from being involved in this fraud?
The majority of web hosts offer access logs. If you are notified of click fraud and possible termination of your account by Google, it is necessary that you hand over these logs to them to clarify your situation. This allows them to look for any suspicious activity on your site. Problems like this are very serious and giving it to them is a show of good faith that you want to help Google in any way you can to attempt to solve the problem.
It can also help if you have a click monitoring software. There are many good programs available, but it is important that you get a program that has no limitations. there are free programs available, but I would suggest that you get a script from a certified expert in this field. I highly recommend using William Bontrager’s script, available at http://bontragercgi.com/programs/clickwatch. Mr Bontrager will install this script on one site for you after the purchase of the software, and will show you how to add the script to other sites. Free scripts are also available on the Internet if you are limited in funds. Remember, you get what you pay for. As usual, all the information you will receive from your tracking software should be turned over to Google. This is showing Google that you too are fighting against click frauds and is in no way a part of it.
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. Look for large spikes in traffic, and suspicious activity in files and folders where people would not normally have access to. Remember, that when working on your site, that you will access these files and folders. It is suggested you track these by noting the time of activity. A little work on your part will save you a lot of grief in the long run.
You may want to consider disabling ads for your own IP address and local geographic area. This will certainly prevent accidents and will not make Google mistake another user as you. You can do through the htaccess file on your web site. the process is too detailed to go into further here, but if you do a search on the engines to learn ways to access and disable portions of this log, a lot of information is readily available. By doing this, and showing Google that you have done so, you protect yourself against any possible threat from Google.
Keep your Adsense off on pop ups and pop unders. 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 or gambling in nature, or promote firearms, tobacco, or drugs of any kind. 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 ads, whether accidentally or intentionally. Be honest about anything that you may have done that is wrong. Confessing is way better than Google learning about it eventually. It would mean eventual termination and no getting back what you have worked so hard for.
Do not tell your family or friends about Adsense on your website. Chances are they may start clicking on them to help you make money without you knowing it. They may be doing more harm to you than help by trying it in the first place.
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 has some of the best brains in the business, and it does no one any good to try to “fool” them. In addition to the algorithms that Google has in place, they also employ regular people to surf the net to find illegal sites.
Google offers suggestion on how to avoid click fraud. Using “negative keywords” can be used to keep your Adsense showing on products and services that are in no way related to yours. Add tracking URLs to your links so you can track the traffic coming from Google.
Don’t be caught in the Google click fraud. The opportunity to make a very decent income is readily available if you use common sense, do not try to cheat Google, and follow their Terms of Service. If you do these things, maybe some day you too can be a member of the FedEx Club!