AdSense Traps

It is said that click-fraud will destroy Internet advertising. This is more than true. Companies like Google take steps to help ensure against click-fraud, and protect their massive advertising profits. However, there are often workarounds that users find; many about which the advertising networks do not seem to care.

I came upon a good article about AdSense traps (external link) and their affect on the advertising market, primarily Google AdSense and AdWords. AdSense traps are revenue earning techniques that are easily deemed as click-fraud, but are legal according to the network's terms of service.

Most AdSense traps have not been addressed because advertisers have failed to complain about them. In due time, I suspect these issues will be cleared up as advertisers begin to complain about the issues to the networks. Until then, I would say that they are perfectly legitimate, so enjoy them while you can.


  • Here's the catch 22. If Ad Sense owners aren't "optimizing" their ad links then very few people would click on them (because they scream "ADS!") and the advertisers are out that way.

    Also, I've always wondered how Google can tell when you've clicked on your own ad? The only way I could think of would be through comparing the IP address and see if it matched the one you signed up with. Other then that, how would they know if I clicked on my own ad from a friends computer? They couldn't know.

    Posted by WarpNacelle on Fri 31 Mar 2006 at 15:42

  • I am not fullly aware of all of Google's prevention methods, but I know when an advertiser complains about consistent clicks from one source often Google with not pay the advertiser for them. However, not many people click on ads like five times in a row from the same IP.

    Not all of the methods mentioned I consider bad. Mainly #4. You aren't really tricking the user into clicking anything. They read the links (ads) and click on them.

    Of course with all of these methods there is nothing illegal about them. Although, with #6 it can get tricky, as you cannot display ads on "thank-you pages".

    Posted by Ethan Poole (external link) on Fri 31 Mar 2006 at 20:27

  • But you are tricking the user into going to the page. Ad(-money) wise I consider it perfectly fine, but towards your visitors it might be a little stupid because they wouldn't return if they really don't like it.

    Posted by Frans (external link) on Sat 1 Apr 2006 at 3:47

  • The article you link to claims that the whole point with ads is that the visitors on the web clicks on it and buys the product/service. I don't think that click-and-buy is the idea with ads. The idea is to be seen on the web, so that net time someone's looking for a webhost they'll remember your company.

    Posted by Karl-Sebastian on Sun 2 Apr 2006 at 5:27

  • Branding is what you mean. I do agree that branding is a good focus of many advertisers, but not with text-based ads. It is much more productive to use image-based ads for branding with a CPM setup. You just pay to spread some common image around to people.

    The CPC model is much more of a click and buy thing.

    Posted by Ethan Poole (external link) on Sun 2 Apr 2006 at 7:05

  • I agree

    Posted by Karl-Sebastian on Fri 7 Apr 2006 at 5:42