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Click farms can be hired to boost ad revenue. http://www.security-faqs.com/what-is-a-click-farm.html

The click farm is made up of armies of low paid workers who’s job is to click on links, surf around the target website for a period of time, perhaps signing up for newsletters and then to moving on to another link. It is very hard for an automated filter to analyse this simulated traffic and detect that is it invalid as it has exactly the same profile as a real site visitor.

Google obviously tries to prevent click fraud. How long does it take (days, weeks, months) for Google to detect click fraud and terminate an AdSense account?


Here is more info: https://webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/66892/where-are-these-suspicious-traffic-sources-coming-from-that-i-see-in-google-anal

Here are 2 examples side-by-side (top-to-bottom): http://imgur.com/a/4ndAp

closed as off-topic by Rory Alsop Jul 14 '14 at 8:36

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about Information security within the scope defined in the help center." – Rory Alsop
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  • Only Google knows, and Google isn't telling. – Mark Jul 9 '14 at 6:58
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    If Google published information like this it would be useful for those practicing click fraud in improving their techniques, so you are unlikely to get an answer. – GdD Jul 9 '14 at 8:13
  • What if a former employee told? – Chloe Jul 9 '14 at 22:26
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    This has nothing to do with security and should be migrated to Webmasters.SE. – user42178 Jul 12 '14 at 18:14
  • @AndréDaniel No so! I already asked there and they closed a similar question! They claim that sites outside of your control do not belong. Please vote up. – Chloe Jul 14 '14 at 4:22
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When they realize that a big proportion of your clickers aren't buying anything, anywhere... if they have access to this data.

I guess they can have feedbacks from clients on where they obtain their sales, and if on your site they are really low, or non existent, they will surely compare it with the typical profile of the people visiting sites similar as yours. Then they will just need to reach a critical value of abnormal behavior to claim with confidence that you are hiring a click farm.

this question cannot be answered precisely as

  1. As GdD said, it is counter-productive for Google to tell
  2. It certainly depends on the type of site, the time, the type of visitors (and their buying habits), the number of visitors per month, and the few elements that click farms may publicly post (hours, duration of the click sessions, global localisation of IPs -do they match geographically with similar site's customers?-, how many of the clickers aren't on other cookie-enabled Google services compared to the average, etc.)

The only advice I can give if you decide to hire such services is:

  1. Don't
  2. If you still do it, be clever. Do it in a nefarious way that doesn't draw too much attention. Remember, you are still under the threat that the click farm may operate unstealthily and/or get busted, bringing down all its clients in the process.

Good Luck.

PS: This is merely logical reasoning. I neither work for Google, nor do I have a stake in the click fraud industry =)

  • I don't plan to hire, but I'm looking at a site to buy and suspect they are inflating their profits. – Chloe Jul 9 '14 at 22:23
  • If I remember right, serving an ad is an impression, and getting somebody to buy something afterwards (or whatever it is that you're "selling") is called a conversion. Any marketing manager wants the ratio to be 1. If a source of impressions isn't getting you any conversions, you drop it (because it's bringing your numbers down, and costs you money). If an ad network doesn't have tools to find this sort of behavior (at minimum with an anonymized id), it's inadequate. – Clockwork-Muse Jul 13 '14 at 13:41
  • @Clockwork-Muse An impression is different from a click. CPM is cost-per-mil (cost per thousand impressions), and CPC is cost-per-click. Advertisers can purchase either model. The publisher (website owner) cannot decide or know which is displayed. Google should definitely know about this fraud, and has the data to know, but doesn't have an incentive to eliminate it. – Chloe Jul 14 '14 at 4:25

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