Google Adwords and Dirty Referrers

I’ve noticed that since I started using Google Adwords, half of the top referrers list for my website is this weird network of adult sites with crazy-long urls. They also account for big jump in the number of hits my site receives. I’m wondering if an army of spambots is being directed to my site in hopes of finding a forum to hit?

Anyone else using Google Adwords experience something similar? Or does anyone have an idea what might be going on? I’m perplexed and mildly concerned by this…

We use Google Adwords and we got spammed by a specific IP address. If Adwords notices the same IP coming to your site too many times then they will automatically refund your money and block the IP for the future. If they don’t notice just contact them at https://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/request.py?display=categories&s=campaigns

Be sure to include the following:
* Date range of suspicious activity:
* Campaign(s), ad group(s), and keyword(s) affected:
* Suspicious IP addresses:
* Suspicious search or content sites:
* Description of issue:

These sites don’t appear on my Google Adwords list of networks, so it does not appear that they are generating click throughs for which I would be charged. They only appear on my website’s statpage. I’m not certain that it’s because of using Adwords, there’s just a strong correlation between starting the ads and this sudden influx of adult sites generating page hits.

It’s really strange.

Click fraud is a risk when doing pay-per-click advertising. It’s kind of like the old advertising axiom: “I know half of my advertising isn’t working, I just don’t know which half.”

You didn’t mention whether your click-throughs were coming from standard Google adwords ads or from AdSense ads. The former are the normal ads you see on Google search pages, while the latter are ads that are displayed on other web sites.

Different click fraud acts have different motivations. A competitor may click your standard Google ads to expend your daily ad budget and get their less expensive ads to the top of the list. Web sites participating in AdSense advertising are paid when your AdSense ad is clicked on their site. Some sites employ actual people in India or other low wage markets to click on your ads, or they can use automated “bots” to do it. In the end they get paid.

Google is very aggressive in tracking down click fraud, but there are plenty of people on the other side trying to find ways to evade Google’s detection. I only use conventional adwords advertising because of the AdSense fraud risk.