Google AdWords Scam

Here’s an example of the Google AdWords scam. My AdWords account was moving along just fine for several months. For this account I didn’t turn off the Display Network Automatic Placements because this account wasn’t getting the same bogus activity several other accounts were. Suddenly it began to appear. You can tell if you are being ripped off by looking very closely at the display network reports. Sort by Average CPC. If you see numbers like 200% or 100% you need to immediately exclude that site.

What these numbers mean

When the number of clicks is equal to the number of impressions this means the site they clicked on their own link to collect the commission. Of course this is “illegal” according to Google’s rules, but they really don’t enforce it.

On a legitimate site you’ll see hundreds of impressions before you ever get a click. So when you see one impression and one click, this is very likely a bogus site set up just to collect commission and they are not sending legitimate traffic to your site. There are hundreds of thousands of sites just like this. Here are the sites I had to block yesterday.

So this time we may have thrown away a couple of bucks, but without keeping a keen watch on this it could go for months without detection. These bogus clicks will also make your statistics look great, but this is not great because you are paying big bucks for this traffic that is not looking for your business. They are looking for AdSense commission! Good luck trying to get your money back! I’ll write about that in another post.

How to tell if these sites are bogus

The list of websites sending you the traffic is right there in front of you. Google doesn’t provide a “link”, but you can cut and past the URL into your browser to see the site. Here are just a few of these sites:

Some of them don’t even have ads!

The only way you can stop this is to call Google and demand to be removed from the Display Network Automatic Placements.