Dirty Tricks to Harm Your Competitors
Someone I know with a $ucce$$ful network of Adsense sites (not link farm, though; just a wide variety of MFA-type sites) just got kicked out by Google for "fraudulent click activity."
Thing is, this guy doesn't try to game the system at all. His sites are all highly ranked for highly competitive keywords in a range of industries...so could it be possible for his competitors to sabotage his efforts? How??
I mean, is it as simple as just going on your competitors' sites and super-clicking the ads, thus showing up as "fraudulent click activity" to Google??
This guy just lost something that took him years to build -- overnight. And it's a big mystery as to how "fraudulent click activity" could have happened! He's telling me that someone sabotaged him by just going to his sites and super-clicking the ads...but Google can't be that dumb, can they????
Thoughts, please, as getting kicked out of Adsense is something like a Mark of Cain and you'll never be able to do business with Google again, and it's scary to think that Google is so easily manipulated.... :eek:
Google changes often, and although many believe that Google is smart enough to recognize malicious click attacks, I'm sure there are glitches...it's a computer trying to regulate an economy run by human emotion (mainly greed and fear).
HOWEVER, this is the number 1 reason I'm not a huge advocate of basing any Internet strategy on the build niche site, monetize with Adsense model. Your livelihood becomes hinged on a computer algorithm and what Google giveth, it can taketh away.
Obviously Google is the lion's share of Internet traffic, but that's a lot of eggs in one basket that can fall. I still prefer the networking approach, with an aim to build a following that is retained through emails, Twitter, or message boards like this for instance. Then one night if Google's algo turns against you for some reason, you have 1.2 million contacts in your personal data base that will allow you to a.) sell a different way, or b.) establish a new site much quicker!
I'm sorry to hear about your friend's frustrations.
That's the reason you should never have a single income stream. It's the same with a 9to5 job.. One day you have it, the other day you're fired.
It's really sad to here these things, but at the end your friends will probably learn a lot from it.
I've heard that a ban from Google Adsense can be temporary, who knows more about this?
I've seen at least one recent topic in the SBI forums about someone getting banned then re-instated into Adsense.
I just skimmed it so I don't have the details though.
People can do "click-bombing" but as far as I know, Google knows the difference. I think Google is cracking down on MFA-type sites. There could be any number of reasons for the ban. Maybe he used his keywords too many times. Did his sites have informative helpful content? Probably the best thing he can do is make his sites as informative as possible. Become an expert on the topics. There are other income streams besides Adsense - Amazon, Clickbank etc. He could write an e-book and sell it on his sites.
Chad, this person I know claims that he read on the Warrior Forums that everybody says Google's too dumb to know -- though since they're all internet marketers there maybe they just tend to take a very cynical view of Google....
learnalifetime, this person (a colleague, you can say) tells me that everything he's read says to forget about it, that Google never reinstates anyone -- he's exploring other options now, such as adBrite, but he says no one's as good as Google....
Curtis, are the SBI! forums free, or do you have to be a member? I've heard good things about them (aside from the cult-stuff -- LOL).
rawxstasy, this person I know hates reading and doesn't like writing much, either (which is why he only does MFA sites!), but Google's problem with him is "invalid click activity" and nothing else (according to Google, he claims).
To your other observation about Google being too dumb: they are far from dumb. That's all I can really say about them. Any algorithm will always be a human or machine trying to match just a fraction of human genome, but they are far from dumb!
Frankly, I would go so far as to say that Google is smarter than the average registered voter ;p
The SBI forums require you to own SBI to use them.
Anyway, it's probably only a matter of time before I sign up, even though I already have a handful of WordPress sites...I'm the curious type. :rolleyes:
A few things to consider:
Maybe he actually did click his own ads.
Always restrict your adsense account to only allowing sites that you explicitly permit. Maybe a noob copied one of his sites, left his adsense id in place, and then tried to click himself some revenue.
Google is smart, but it's not all-knowing. If it's possible for someone to get banned for exploiting their own clicks, then it must also be possible for a 3rd party to cause it as well since if they only checked for indicators that couldn't possibly be anyone but the site owner, then it would be trivial to bypass.
MFA sites that have proven earning records sell very well at the moment. The adsense account may be tainted, but as long as his sites are still ranking, it should be fine to sell them. Cash out and start again.
Get a new adsense account and hope for the best. If the sites were making enough to worry about, then it should be worth the trouble.
He's on adBrite now, splok, though I'd imagine that if this were dirty tricks it could just happen all over again! I don't know how much he's making, but it's enough to cause him consternation though, apparently, not enough for him to consider selling (?).
I'm just especially concerned because I personally know of some pranksters who for one reason or another get a real kick out of playing jokes on people and so fear such circumstances for myself one day!
If you post in there about anything that could be considered "gray hat" SEO techniques, the general populace will typically tear you apart for being unethical, so there's that.
Also the moderators tend to close any topics that are critical of SBI, although IMO about 90% of those topics are usually created by crybabies or complete idiots anyways. There is about maybe 10% of them that are legitimate complaints though, and sometimes those topics get locked somewhat unfairly. I think that is the main source of legitimate complaints about the SBI forums being too strict. As for frivolous complaints, well once the crybabies get their topics closed, I assume they go cry about SBI on some other forums.
A majority of SBI forum users also seem to be somewhat uneducated on online business from any source other than SBI. This is often the case even with highly successful SBI'ers who have never used any other method (ie email marketing, pay per click, etc). So understandably, they typically stick by what SBI teaches and blast anything that goes even somewhat against it.
That said, it's still a great place to talk about anything that falls within the scope of SBI parameters.
Thanks for the report, Curtis! I'm actually looking forward to the SBI! forums more than anything else about SBI! because they seemed to be all business (aside from the usual sales dept. hoo-rah) and that's really what I need.
Just waiting for a sale (and not a two-fer deal like what they have now)....
All of the $100 off sales they've had have been "buy one, get a second one $100 off" or something like that, IIRC.
I believe their Christmas special (going on now) is the best deal they offer all year. They are also very methodical about their sales (same deals every year), so I doubt they will be doing something different anytime soon.
If you want, you can buy the 2-for-1 package and then sell the 2nd year subscription to someone else. But because that is against the spirit of the deal they are offering, they won't let you sell it within the SBI forums. You'd have to sell it to someone else outside of the SBI forums.
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