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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. infopost

    infopost Peon

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    #21
    Not necessarily. If a site receives a low amount of traffic such a rise in CTR would not be anything out of the ordinary.
    SEMrush
     
    infopost, Dec 23, 2010 IP
    SEMrush
  2. simple007

    simple007 Active Member

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    #22
    better to be in safeside and inform google regarding sudden spike.. 300% ctr increment is too much and very very suspicious...
     
    simple007, Dec 23, 2010 IP
  3. denniss

    denniss Well-Known Member

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    #23
    UPDATE: I've done some research on the topic and successfully troubleshooted the problem! Thank you for all your advices!

    It was not a clickbomb after all but rather a very lame and misleading ad that adsense serves since the advertiser seems to have targeted my site.

    In a nutshell, using some advanced stats software and some good old fashioned logs trolling I was able to localize the abnormally high CTR to one single ad that was causing this.

    The ad in question is of a scammy variety: it's an extremely low PPC ad for a "downloads search engine" which is in reality a farm for clickbank "download software" products. Furthermore why it's scammy: the description appears for a second, after which all you can see is a big (300x250) "DOWNLOAD" image without any further information about the ad (they've even made it as a Flash ad -- on purpose, so as not to include the regular "ads by google" text that you see on text/image ads).

    A good lot of our most popular pages are related to downloads, so when visitors see a big "download" image they instinctively click on it. Not only that, but according to logs some visitors click on that particular ad three or four times (and each time are sent to the same "search engine"). The visitors are from different countries, use different ISPs and this was the one ad they clicked the most (max I've seen someone click it was 6 times in a period of 2 minutes).

    Here's what the ad looks like:

    ad.JPG

    So I've disabled the ad through competitive filter yesterday and lo and behold, my CTR is back to where it belonged.... although the revenues fell somewhat (even though this ad is low PPC, the high CTR on it makes up for that).


    Question:
    should I keep blocking this ad? After all I think it's the advertiser's fault for making a misleading ad, so they might as well pay for the extra clicks out of their own pocket. Or: should I keep blocking it and report it to AdSense? What do you think? ...since in reality Google should see all the data that I see and more, so they can easily see it's only this ad that gets abnormally high CTR.


    P.S.: i might write up a short guide on troubleshooting suspected clickbomb attacks according to the info I've gathered on this. Anyone interested in reading that?:)
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
    denniss, Dec 23, 2010 IP
  4. newbie191

    newbie191 Notable Member

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    #24
    Glad to know that

    I have seen xtendmedia and some other similar networks serving such ad but never adsence

    I would like to know about that too. :)

    I would like to know how are you tracking clicks from users?

    I think there is no reason to report that ad as it isn't scammy in my opinion, its just successful marketing as he is successful in getting your users' attention and maybe getting more leads. You did the right thing by blocking it on your site as it has low cpc.


    I would like to read that too. :) thanks
     
    newbie191, Dec 23, 2010 IP
  5. denniss

    denniss Well-Known Member

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    #25
    I'll try to have something on this posted shortly..... Is anyone else interested in reading that? If enough folks would like me to write the anti-clickbomb + adclicks logging tutorial I might as well post it faster:)

    And thank you for your reply, newbie191! ....though I still think it's a highly misleading ad... I mean "download" image without any other information is taking it too far in my eyes.
     
    denniss, Dec 24, 2010 IP
  6. denniss

    denniss Well-Known Member

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    #26
    denniss, Dec 24, 2010 IP
  7. denniss

    denniss Well-Known Member

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    #27
    UPDATE:

    Another DP member PM'ed me. He had the same problem with the same scammy ad and had to disable the same advertiser's site in competitive filter to fix this.

    And that's not all, as there's now a thread on AdSense support forums about this ad/advertiser. In the interest of fair play I won't post the URL of the scammy advertiser here so I won't be suspected of promoting it :)

    However you can see the whole story, including the advertiser's site URL here: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/AdSense/thread?tid=1bcc144418adb2c8&hl=en

    Check it out, as you might want to block this advertiser, and this thing seems to affect more webmasters than I first suspected.

    Does it affect you? If you had a sudden increase in CTR you cannot explain that started about 10 days ago, maybe it does. Check out my tutorial on tracking AdSense clicks if you want to be certain @ http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=2041997 .
     
    denniss, Dec 28, 2010 IP