As a follow up to my previous article on the discrepancy between Google and MyBlogLog in regards to click counting I present the following information:
|Month||MyBlogLog Click Data||Google Click Data||Over/Under|
I'm not sure why March numbers are off by so much but most of the time my numbers are within 10% of each other. Then something happened in August.
Look at September! If MBL click data is correct and Google is discounting clicks it considers to be fraudulent then why have I not yet recieved one of those "you have been banned from AdSense" emails? With a click-fraud rate up near 620% I should be banned from AdSense!
I can understand Google blocking it's "10% of all clicks are click-fraud" clicks but this is far worse than that. To make matters even more interesting I am finding that the discounted clicks look to be from articles that have gained attention on social media sites.
Is Google looking at how a reader came to my site and discounting a click if they came from digg, netscape, stumbleupon, etc? It looks that way to me.
I have been in contact with some of my fellow bloggers who also use MBL on their sites and some of them are also noticing big differences in the numbers being reported.
I realize that in August I split off the Pokemon content over to PokeFarm and that may account for some of the drop off in clicks but if that were the case why did MBL track so many more clicks than Google did during that same month?
In May the Pokemon content was very minor and August should have reverted to the same click levels as May. I base this on the fact that overall traffic levels and patterns returned to my pre-Pokemon levels.
Like I said before, the tracking for PokeFarm clicks is still very very close between both services. PokeFarm also gets zero traffic from social media sites.
The only thing I can see (since Google does not provide any real information to its AdSense and AdWords members) is that the articles that were getting serious attention via the social media networks have had their clicks discounted in the 95% range. I still can not believe that MBL is mis-reporting on clicks because I have other sites (with no social media attention) where the click data is still within 10% across both services.
If you are a blogger who runs AdSense and MyBlogLog please let me know if you are also noticing this social media discounting. I would like to think it is only me and not something Google is blindly doing in an attempt to take care of its click-fraud problems.
I just found this article on click counting with Shuman Ghosemajumder. I will provide the interesting bits below:
We monitor signals like Internet protocol addresses and the kinds of browsers people use--for traffic to look real, it has to have the right proportion of visitors using the Firefox browser, Internet Explorer, et. cetera.
Does this mean that if you get a high number of Firefox users coming to your site you will also be assumed to have a high number of fraudulent clicks?
When they land on the advertiser's site, they click on products, hitting the "back" button to go back to the landing page. Many browsers reload the landing page each time. We don't count those as clicks, but third-party auditors actually register each click on the "back" button as another click on an ad, which grossly overestimates the number of ad clicks.
That would not apply here because MBL only tracks the click when they leave and does not follow through to the site they go to next.
A very simplistic fraudster might just click on ads, over and over. But of course, we've learned to recognize spikes in the click-through rate, the number of times the ad is clicked on for every time it appears.
Translation: If you have a traffic spike we will discount those clicks. (Social media anyone?)
The number of clicks that we proactively throw out is less than 10%. So then the question is really: How much are advertisers getting for free thanks to our detection methods?
No, the question is, "how many of your AdSense publishers are you screwing over by not paying them for legitimate traffic?"
The problem as I see it
AdSense and AdWords are two halves of the same program, you can not have one without the other. Yet Google continualy treats their AdSense side of the house as a bunch of criminals by "assuming" that 10% (or more) of clicks are fraudulent.
Shuman Ghosemajumder talks a good game about providing a great ROI for AdWords users but the simple fact is that when someone clicks on an AdSense ad and arrives on the AdWords member's site it is up to them to make the conversion and earn their ROI not me. My job is to send them the traffic. If someone arrives on your landing page and bounces away there are a few things that may be happening:
2. Your site sucks
3. Your ad did not properly convey what your site is and the clicker did not find what they were looking for.
Of those three only the first one should result in the click being discounted and the AdSense member not being paid. I would further postulate that someone who is attempting to do click-fraud would tell his/her friends to be sure to click through a few pages on the destination site to make it harder for the system to tell if it were true click-fraud. Why do I say this? Because I read an article a while back about a "click-fraud ring" that does exactly that!
I think it is high time that Google acknowledges the fact that if there were no AdSense program there would also be no AdWords. The two can not survive without each other.
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