Books of Note

Practical Common
LispThe best intro to start your journey. Excellent coverage of CLOS.

ANSI Common
LispAnother great starting point with a different focus.

Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence
ProgrammingA superb set of Lisp examples. Not just for the AI crowd.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Click fraud comes to my shore... 

Okay, so this lands in my inbox yesterday:

Hello David Roberts,

It has come to our attention that invalid clicks have been generated on
the Google ads on your site(s). We have therefore disabled your Google
AdSense account. Please understand that this step was taken in an
effort to protect the interest of the AdWords advertisers.

A publisher's site may not have invalid clicks on any ad(s), including
but not limited to clicks generated by:

- a publisher on his own web pages
- a publisher encouraging others to click on his ads
- automated clicking programs or any other deceptive software
- a publisher altering any portion of the ad code or changing the
layout, behavior, targeting, or delivery of ads for any reason

Practices such as these are in violation of the Google AdSense Terms
and Conditions and program polices, which can be viewed at:

Publishers disabled for invalid click activity are not allowed further
participation in AdSense and do not receive any further payment. The
earnings on your account will be properly returned to the affected


The Google AdSense Team

That's it. I tried logging into my Adsense account and found:

Account Not Active

An AdSense account does not exist for this login, as it is associated with an unapproved application. For more information about your application, please review the message we sent to the email address you provided with your application.

I was a bit befuddled. I certainly haven't been operating a click-fraud ring. The ad volume hasn't yet paid for my hosting account charges, let alone allowed me to quit my day job. I admit to having clicked on a link or two myself, but only when I was truly interested in the actual advert (such as the Das Keyboard keyboard I talked about previously). Certainly, my clicks were limited events, not designed to fill my bank account. I just figured they would filter them out anyway using a cookie or some such.

So what is one's recourse when one is terminated with extreme prejudice by Google? Certainly, it's their service and they have a right to allow anybody to participate or not, but this feels a bit like a drive-by shooting where something just hits you out of the blue. If anybody reads this and works for Google and can get me to the right people over there to talk this though, I'd love to have a chat. Honestly, in the past I have found the folks at Google pretty fun and this note was certainly a surprise.

I'll be sure to keep readers updated as to how this progresses, even if I have to switch my blog to Typepad or something (using Blogger, I now find myself suddenly exposed...). I know little about click-fraud right now, but I have a feeling I'm going to find out plenty.


Clicking on your own ads will usually get you banned. It's a definite no-no.

That said, it's possible to get back in according to posts on webmasterworld (

Email Google, outline your position. Offer to provide all server logs showing access to the server to show no 'click ring' style attacks occurred, etc.

People seem to be happy after they dump Google and sign-up with Yahoo

Yahoo doesn't allow international publishers yet. That may not be an issue depending on where Dave is based.

I think the answer is to realise that Google have grown too big, too quickly, and will collapse under their own weight. Hang around, and let the schadenfreude kick in.

You should never, ever click your own ads, even if the link looks interesting to you personally. Google 's FAQs have some have information on how you can get the URL of the ad, so that you can visit the advertiser without having to click the ad.

That said, if you've truly only clicked your ads once or twice, it seems unlikely that this would be the reason you were terminated. The best thing to do is contact Google about this and ask for specifics.

You definitely need to read up on other people's experiences on the subject. Very helpful places are the forums at DigitalPoint ( and SitePoint ( Just do a forum search on both and you'll turn up loads of material. As I recall, there have been people who have got their accounts reinstated, which you should certainly strive for, as the ban from AdSense is for life (otherwise).

You must not click on your ads (not even once) and probably it is a good idea to instruct your friends/family members too to not to click on the ads on your site (they may want to "help" you).

I had face with such situation too and this is what leads me to this site.

I didn't even click on my ad, not even once and today June 28 2006 I got "that" email from google stating that my account was terminated.

The feeling was really frus and up sad. WHAT HAVE I DONE!! I follow all rules!!

All my effort has been towards this result and then I found this blog and get to know more about it. Yeah ... I thought this Adsense thing will give me a constant flow of passive income ... but it seems to be beyond my control and what if it reaches 99.99 and then being terminated?

Any way it's nice to get updates and I am really passionate about Internet Marketing and more. Is there anywhere I can find such group?

Bill Low

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