AdWords: How Fictitious Clicks Occur

I've just read a very interesting post on AdWords Blog which will be useful for both bloggers and other AdWords publishers: Troubling Findings on How Some Third Parties Detect Click Fraud.

Most useful information can  be found not in the post itself, but in the detailed analysis document posted by the Click Quality Team of Google: Report on Third Party Click Fraud Auditing (PDF).

These are the two key findings explained:

  • Fictitious ad clicks because of mischaracterizing events. This finding may be the most significant flaw responsible for exaggerated click fraud claims. The problem lies in the fact that many click fraud consultants don’t count actual ad clicks. Rather, to determine the number of ad clicks, they use a number of other signals, including counting visits to a particular webpage. As a result, the consultants count page reloads and subsequent visits on an advertiser’s site as multiple clicks on the advertiser’s Google ad. This generates fictitious ad clicks in the consultant’s reports. For example, if a user browses deeper into an advertiser’s site, then hits the back button, this causes a potential reload of the original landing page, which a consultant would record as an additional ad click – even though no Google ad click actually occurred.

  • Fictitious ad clicks due to conflation across advertisers and ad networks. Some consultants “cookie” users and track their activity across their network of client advertisers. One often-used consultant implements the cookie in such a way that clicks on Yahoo ads can be counted as clicks on Google ads, and vice versa.

Click fraud had been an increasing concern for many AdWords publishers lately, and I think it's very important to read such reports to understand that some click fraud audits are not accurate. There is clearly a problem with fraudulent clicks, but it's definitely not as big as some companies claim. 

Simple Ways To Get Out of Google Sandbox

Everyone faces this problem when starting a new website: how to get your website indexed by search engines as quickly as possible? This post will show you a quick way to get out of Google Sandbox with minimum efforts on your part.


Two Months To Fully Index Your Content

My access logs show that it took Google just about 2 months to fully reveal the contents of one of my newly created blogs. This obviously takes the usual lag of a few days  it takes Google bots to index the most recent content.

Impressively enough, Google bots start indexing your new website in a matter of just few days. My blog was indexed for the first time when it was only 3 days old! Bear in mind though, I've pointed Google to it using its website submission form.


Easy Tips For The Best Results 

Below are just a few really easy tips for your website optimization which will help Google index your content as quickly as possible:

  • Use Permalinks
    are definitely the first thing to do. There's been a lot of talking about it on various SEO sites, and the general knowledge I've gained is that Google is likely to pay attention at how people would access your pages.

    Important: make sure your permalinks structure is well-thought beforehand, as it will be hard to change it at a later time.

    If you're using a recent enough content management system or blog engine, you probably have no real directories with your articles and blog entries, but instead all the content is stored in a database, and nice URLs are made using permalinks. It's a simple enough concept: do some planning and make sure your URLs look the best.

    No dynamic URLs – it's really important that you have as less variables in your URLs as possible (none ideally). Again, because it is important that your URLs are simple and easy to read and follow.

  • Google Sitemaps
    Google Sitemaps are the easiest and quickest way to let Google know what pages your website has. Not only can you provide the list of all the pages you want indexed, but you can also specify the importance of each page so that Google bots pay more attention to it.

    Google Sitemaps is quite a flexible service, and since it's fairly popular too, there are already tons of freely available tools out there to suit all your needs. I really liked the SiteMap XML script in PHP – you specify a link to it in your Google Sitemaps account, and every time Google accesses this script, it automatically scans your website and provides a ready SiteMap in XML form. Very convenient and pretty easy to configure.

  • Have As Many Pages Of Real Content As Possible
    All I had was 10 articles to start with, because I didn't want to put too much content online just yet. I wanted to see if it's possible to get out of Google sandbox with such a small number of pages. And here's the answer: yes, it is quite possible!.

    What make your content real? Here are just a few things to keep in mind:

    • Write your articles yourself: DON'T grab texts from any online resources – this will not give you much weight in terms of Google search engine, as Google bots will be more interested in a fresh, original content
    • Be unique: you need to be as original as possible – because only really unique articles and ideas will get the most interest. This is mostly to do with human readers of your blog and not Google bots, but I still think it's a good advice.

  • Put Google AdSense ads on every page with the content
    Luckily I've had AdSense account activated beforehand using a rather popular project of mine, so it was not a problem at all for me to stick a square block of AdSense ads onto every page with useful content.

    There is an opinion that having AdSense on your pages urges Google bots to come and index your pages more quickly simply because Google really has to have your pages indexed before it can provide meaningful content-targeted ads.

    While it's not 100% accurate, because AdSense also is capable of scanning your pages on-the-fly and provide meaningful ads for the most obvious keywords in your content, I certainly see no harm in placing ads.

    My ads became meaningful in just a couple of days, but I had to wait for another 2 months before my pages got visible in Google search results.

  • Trackback to popular sites
    I've only trackbacked to one site again because I wanted to see if it would be enough. It sure was enough! I got only 10 visitors or so from that website, but the point was made – I've been visited through an external link. A trackback is a great and simple way to let others know about your content.

  • Link to other projects of yours
    There is definitely no harm in linking to other projects of yours, especially to the long-established and popular ones. If you have only a handful of projects (not hundreds), then it's also okay to link back to your project – it will not add much of a weight to your new project from the search engine point of view, but it would not look like you're trying to earn a better PageRank by linking from tons of your own projects neither.


As you can see, it's all been about letting Google know your site is out there and really has to be indexed fully at some stage. Sitemaps help Google find its way around your website, and AdSense could also be a useful hint to get your site indexed as Google cannot serve content-targeted ads without having indexed the content first.

But the best advice is to never stop experimenting! Some things might work for my projects, but will not for yours. Similarly, you can as easily come up with the most brilliant solutions to getting your site indexed in the least time possible. Just don't forget to share the knowledge! ;) 

AdSense Optimization Month

Inside AdSense blog is going to post even more optimization secrets on its pages this month, as they deem August to be their AdSense Optimization Month!

In case you missed it, they've updated their Optimization Tips Page  recently, although nothing really new had been added. Darren Rowse has a good post on ProBlogger about these changes: AdSense Updates Help Pages

Ever More Videos from Matt Cutts

Apparently, Matt Cutts has just posted 2 more videos with his answers to readers' questions about Google.

So here they are:

SEO answers from Matt Cutts

Matt Cutts has just posted 3 more videos with all kinds of useful information on SEO. 

I strongly suggest you watch them, as it always helps when someone with internal knowledge of a company (Matt works for Google) speaks confidently about things you've always been wondering about.

Video sessions are made in a form of giving answers to questions asked by Matt's readers, and they make a perfect learning material for a blogger of any level.


SEO answers Matt has so far: 

Getting Started with Google AdSense

Getting started

First of all, find the time to visit the AdSense mainpage, it is probably a good start.

Now, before you can do anything with AdSense, you should sign up. This means you have to submit a request to the AdSense Team, asking them to have a look at your website and to approve it for showing AdSense blocks. This where your first challenge arises – you really need to have a website with some useful information in order to qualify for AdSense. That means, the website has to be up and running. And it would be best if your website had been around for some time, this would mean it's been indexed by Google and it would make the whole validation process at least faster, if not easier.


How Google AdSense it works 

Usually the AdSense Team will send you an email with their decision regarding your AdSense application within just a few days. The reason your website should be index by Google crawlers is this:

Google AdSense is a system of placing targeted ads across various webpages of your site. Google does this by having you place a link to their JavaScript code which analyzes the content of your current page, finds the keywords on it, and then places relevant ads in a visual form you define. This JavaScript code doesn't analyze your actual page in a browser window, but instead analyzes the indexed copy Google has in its database. In case some of your pages are not indexed yet, the script will have to try and do some basic analysis of your page on the fly, but it will not necessarily provide the best results – most often such analysis will only allow AdSense select ads relevant to some keywords found in your content based on their frequency in the text.

If your page is very new and hasn't been indexed yet, it will probably not show any targeted ads – depending on the visual type of your ads, AdSense will either show you some text links which may not seem awfully relevant to your content, or it will show one of them standard placeholders – inviting people to advertise with AdSense.


Google AdSense is activated only once 

This means that once you get approved for AdSense by submitting a particular website link, you then get an AdSense account which you can use to place ads on ANY of your websites. You will not have to activate anything for them – just create some ads and put the JavaScript code on your pages, and AdSense will immediately start serving ads for these pages.

You will not have to wait until all the new pages get indexed before you can place your ads. There is an opinion among webmasters, that placing AdSense ads on brand new pages will actually trigger Google bots to come and index your website sooner than they would normally do.


I will make sure to tell you more about AdSense usage in the coming weeks, so stay tuned! And yes, if there is anything in particular you'd like to ask, please do – I'll be glad to help! 


Useful resources

I think you will benefit a lot by subscribing to the Inside AdSense blog feed, as it contains tips suggested and approved by the AdSense Team.