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Sudden spike in AdSense CTR (300%) - I'm a tad worried (advices welcome)

Discussion in 'AdSense' started by denniss, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. #1
    Hi folks,

    I'm looking for advice from anyone who has experienced a similar thing or has some ideas about what's causing it and what to do about it.

    PLEASE DO NOT REPLY WITH:
    So once again I'm only looking for some answers and an advice, nothing else.
    SEMrush

    PROBLEM (?):

    Something VERY strange happened to my site's AdSense CTR - it simply went up by 300% and stayed there (let's say my old CTR was around 2% - now it's up to 6%).

    Note that I did not do ANY design changes to my site in over a month, so it was not something that I can personally claim responsibility for. Furthermore there has not been any significant increase/decrease in visitors.

    Normally (if it was brief) I'd label this as an anomaly, however it's been a full week since the spike in CTR began and I do not see an end to it. And one week at 300% CTR in my eyes is not an anomaly but rather a trend (although it remains to be seen whether it will last).

    And I have pretty good representative statistical data for this week: over 100,000 unique visitors and over 230,000 pageviews in total.

    QUESTION(S):

    I wonder about a few things here.

    #1) Did anyone else around here notice a SUDDEN spike in AdSense CTR in the last week? My site is in the tech sector.
    #2) Could it be related to some seasonal ad? I see a lot of ads for Google's AdWords "buy $100 in adwords get $100 voucher free" on my site, and the campaign (coincidentally?) started about a week ago (http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=2031186).
    #3) Another possibility - could there be a glitch in Google's system that's causing it to inflate CTR or possibly count invalidated clicks?
    #4) Last but not least - am I maybe getting clickbombed? I thought about this at first, but at ~6% CTR it does not seem to fit the profile, or rather it would mean that whoever is behind it lacks the means to properly clickbomb me.

    ADVICE(S)?

    What would be your advice to stay on the safe side with Google here? Should I simply ignore the increase in CTR? Or should I do a pre-emptive strike and inform Adsense of my suspicions? I have a long standing active account with AdSense (from 2006) so I doubt they'd suspect me of cheating. However they probably will notice the sudden 300% CTR increase (along with 0 changes to site's design), and I'm not sure what their reaction to this would be...
     
    denniss, Dec 20, 2010 IP
    SEMrush
  2. dungdenvn

    dungdenvn Well-Known Member

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    #2
    ok so here's my question for you, with over 100,000 unique visitors a week and your CTR is 300% ... How much did you earn for last week. Don't tell me $1000,000 . if your site has little or low visitors i can understand the improve of CTR but with that high unique visitors and CTR is 300% (Let me make it clear, you get around 230,000 x 3 = 690,000 clicks last week) If even you try to cheat, you can't possibly do that.

    So i think only 2 answer to your problem:

    1) Google is crazy and is a scam (Not possible, because they are the best and the biggest)
    2) You're lying about your story because the story won't match.


    Hope to hear the answer from you soon
     
    dungdenvn, Dec 20, 2010 IP
  3. denniss

    denniss Well-Known Member

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    #3
    Hey, thank you for your reply.

    Although I don't think you've read my post completely. I specifically wrote about 300% INCREASE / SPIKE in CTR, NOT a total of 300% CTR.

     
    denniss, Dec 20, 2010 IP
  4. newbie191

    newbie191 Notable Member

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    #4
    I think you are being click bombed. If that is true then your can't do anything about that and if I were you I would be worried.
    Same happened to me too last month when I suddenly saw a similar increase in my adsense for search ctr. Somebody was searching from my search boxes and then immediately clicking on google ads. All I could do was sit and watch.
    I have heard that informing google about such sudden changes in ctr doesn't help either. If they think your account posses a risk for their advertisers they will just ban you even if you send emails to them regarding strange activity in your account.
    Best you can do to protect your account is just play fair and don't tell about your adsense site to any of your friends or foes, and don't announce your sites on public forums on the safer side.
     
    newbie191, Dec 20, 2010 IP
  5. WishBone

    WishBone Peon

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    #5
    Does your traffic being affected or increased? It's shopping season and many people go to search and click ads. It could be some updates taking place as the year ends..
     
    WishBone, Dec 20, 2010 IP
  6. Fayltrik

    Fayltrik Peon

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    #6
    If you are worried, send an email to the google adsense team. But i think it should be fine as it is the holiday season.
     
    Fayltrik, Dec 20, 2010 IP
  7. jrw1978

    jrw1978 Peon

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    #7
    I don't think it's anything to worry about. If your CTR was something like 40%+, then you might be concerned, but anything below say 10% is perfectly acceptable.

    I've noticed that you get some really appealing offers appearing on Adsense around Christmas time. In fact I've come close to clicking on a few of them myself when looking at my own site before quickly remembering that they are ads on my site, and not someone else's.
     
    jrw1978, Dec 21, 2010 IP
  8. megastar64

    megastar64 Peon

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    #8
    This is the best solution . You will see that they will replay saying "We will check your site , and see if is something wrong" . I don't know if they will do this , but in this way you're safe .
     
    megastar64, Dec 21, 2010 IP
  9. denniss

    denniss Well-Known Member

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    #9
    Yup, sure am worried.... Since this is clearly abnormal behavior... However, and I emphasize that, if it's a click bomb, they're not doing their job right. Raising my CTR from 2% to 6%, while significant percentage wise, can be hardly called a successfully executed clickbomb attack. I am thinking, if it's indeed a clickbomb, maybe whoever is behind it did not realize that the site gets over 100,000 uniques a week or simply does not have the resources to add more bots to the attack.

    If I may ask, when you were clickbombed, by how much % wise did your CTR increase? Also, how did it end for you? Any problems with AdSense after that?

    There was only a 5% rise in average daily traffic from November to December, so rather insignificant.

    The issue here is that for the last year or so (since I did last ads optimization on site) my CTR did not exceed 2%.... So yeah, I realize that 6% is relatively low, but it's the one-week spike in CTR that worries me since this has never occurred before.

    I really hope that it's related to seasonal deals, but once again, better to be safe than sorry.

    Thanks folks! I guess I'll send them an e-mail tomorrow if there's no change in CTR.

    Thank you for your advices everyone, I really appreciate your help.
     
    denniss, Dec 21, 2010 IP
  10. newbie191

    newbie191 Notable Member

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    #10
    It happened last month. I usually get 40 to 50 searches made from my adsense for search boxes but that one particular day searches were something like more than hundred and out of 100 searches google ads were clicked on 50 times which is 50% ctr. On a ordinary day I get a maximum of 5 to 10 % ctr. My adsense account is still alive and I am waiting for this months payment. :)
     
    newbie191, Dec 21, 2010 IP
  11. denniss

    denniss Well-Known Member

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    #11
    So in your case the spike in CTR was far more significant... from 5-10% to 50% equals to 500% to 1,000% increase in CTR and indicates a rather clear attack pattern, and AdSense did not do anything... So maybe I am really just worrying too much here as other posters said. Although, as they say, if you're paranoid, it doesn't mean that someone is not watching you:)
     
    denniss, Dec 21, 2010 IP
    newbie191 likes this.
  12. Flips

    Flips Peon

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    #12
    Hi denniss,

    when exactly did you ctr start to increase? I had exactly the same issue yesterday and I'm also running a high traffic site. My earnings per click dropped drastically and haven't recovered today.
     
    Flips, Dec 21, 2010 IP
  13. denniss

    denniss Well-Known Member

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    #13
    Hi mate,

    For me the spike in CTR started exactly on December 14th, 2010 and it is still here today.

    What kind of increase did you see to your CTR?

    ...I am really hoping here that it's some common thing related to kickass X-Mas ads (or at least an AdSense glitch) and not a clickbomb :(
     
    denniss, Dec 21, 2010 IP
  14. Flips

    Flips Peon

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    #14
    My spike was not as bad as yours, it went up from 4% to ~7%. But you have to consider the fact that I'm delivering xx.xxx valid clicks daily. It is quite hard to "attack" my account.

    My ctr is on a record low right now but I'm earning as much as never before for each click. Analytics also says there were alot of googlers on my site yesterday (network: google corporate it). I'd guess they looked into the issue and fine-tuned my invalid click filter. :confused:
     
    Flips, Dec 21, 2010 IP
  15. Domenic Carlson

    Domenic Carlson Peon

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    #15
    Have you checked entry keywords? There's a slight chance that you started ranking on the first page for a new keyword, the traffic from which is more likely to click/buy. For this to explain it though, given that traffic only increased 5%, you'd have to also have stopped ranking for a less commerce-related keyword at the same time.
     
    Domenic Carlson, Dec 22, 2010 IP
  16. infopost

    infopost Peon

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    #16
    You should never worry about a raise in ctr UNLESS there is some blackhat involved. If that is the case then ctr is only one thing of many you will need to worry about.
     
    infopost, Dec 22, 2010 IP
  17. Balendra Singh

    Balendra Singh Active Member

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    #17
    I have no much idea about this . but if you have got chance to earn much that is best congratulations again
     
    Balendra Singh, Dec 23, 2010 IP
  18. Webgold

    Webgold Peon

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    #18
    I don't think this is a problem.

    One reason is a lot of people have broken up for holidays and are probably spending a lot more time on the net, plus they don't have any work pressures and can actually take there time to read things and click on ads.

    It could also be that a lot more advertisers know this and have placed more ads and are spending more money.

    You have nothing to worry about, it will probably go up and down during the holidays.
     
    Webgold, Dec 23, 2010 IP
  19. bgroup

    bgroup Peon

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    #19
    300 is way too much! better look into that
     
    bgroup, Dec 23, 2010 IP
  20. Webgold

    Webgold Peon

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    #20
    If you read the beginning:

    The CTR has basically tripled.
     
    Webgold, Dec 23, 2010 IP