WARNING: Google AdWords abuse that can cost you a fortune!

If you are using Google AdWords to promote your website, please read this very important notice and check your account immediately.

The problem is with their Display Network ads. When you sign up for AdWords you have the choice of being seen in the Search Network, which are the sponsored ads that appear on the top and right column of your Google search results. If you chose to be included in the Display Network, which currently is the default, this has nothing to do with the Google search results you see on the search pages.

The Google Display Network commissions other websites to promote the ads you are paying for. They do this through the AdChoices program. This alone is a good idea for them, for the AdChoice client and for you. Where the problem lies is that scammers have quickly learned that they can build bogus websites, apply for the AdChoice program, and display your ad on these sites. Then they send out messages to their network of friends to click on your ad. You may be paying $1 a click for this. The bogus website owner gets a piece, Google gets a piece, but you did not get a legitimate lead.

This problem is especially prevalent in Google’s new Mobile Ad option. Sounds like a good idea, but it is ripe for abuse and in less than two months of trying this new option, nearly every click that we got charged for was from a bogus website.

The scammers even go so far to create hundreds of websites using domain names similar to your domain. Then they sit back and collect commission from Google, while you’re not getting the quality traffic you think you are paying for.

Google AdWords Scam

This is an example of a bogus website set up solely for the purpose of collecting commission through the Google AdChoice program.

At the same time you log into your Google AdWords account and see a chart that makes it look like you’re getting great results! What they don’t tell you is that you have been paying for clicks that are not at all related to your goods or service. It isn’t until you dig much deeper that you find out where those clicks really came from.

Google AdWords inflated chart

In a future blog I’ll tell you how to stop this and get your money back for bogus clicks you paid for!

One of the deeper Truk Lagoon Wrecks – The San Francisco Maru

One of the highlights of a Truk Lagoon trip is to dive the San Francisco Maru. Some divers skip this wreck because it is so deep and you’ll spend as much time in deco as you do on the actual dive. It sits on the bottom at about 200′, but most the diving is around the deck at 170′. For those who have the diving skills and experience to do this dive, it is well worth it.

The shot is of one of several tanks on the deck of the San Francisco Maru. There are fantastic photo opps on this wreck, so I’ll have more images coming in the next week.

Famous Robots of Truk Lagoon

One of the shots every photog who visits Truk Lagoon has to capture is “R2D2”. It’s not really a robot, but just looks like one, so he’s had that nickname for as long as Star Wars has been around. He’s really a compressor that can be found off the engine room of the Fujikawa Maru at about 100′. There are a few tricks to getting this shot. It took me several trips to Truk before I got one that wasn’t full of backscatter. I’ll teach you what you need to do when we go there in February 2014.

There are other mechanical personalities that are much harder to find. I didn’t find “Bart Simpson” until my fourth trip to Truk. He resides deep behind the engine room of the Rio de Janiero Maru (don’t go there without a guide).

…and his friend “Milhouse” who is close by.