It’s an absurd world out there on the internet and it seems that many webmasters are willing to go to extreme lengths to be successful and beat the competition. While there’s a lot of money to be made from a successful website, blog or digital product there are a also a lot of risks and a lot of people willing to play dirty in order to secure victory.
If you are trying to make an honest living on the internet then you should expect to have to deal with some adversity and foul play, and you need to be able and willing to protect yourself against these kinds of attacks. And one of the worst forms of attack you can expect to deal with is links bombing, so let’s look at just what that is and exactly how you can defend yourself against it.
What is click bombing?
If you’ve ever heard of negative SEO, then it would be fair to describe click bombing as almost a « more direct » form of that. In negative SEO a competing site owner will try to essentially « frame you » for spamming Google by building lots of poor quality links pointing to your site in the hope that Google will smell a rat and penalize you. With click bombing they skip straight to the point – clicking on your Google AdSense over and over until you end up getting banned from AdSense and unable to make any money as a result.
And the bad news is that this doesn’t have to be something people do manually – it’s perfectly possible to write a PHP script to do it meaning that your site can fall victim to hundreds or thousands of clicks a day and no one even has to lift a finger to cause that to happen. So what do you do?
Dealing with an attack the right way
The first thing to do is to make certain if this is indeed a click bombing attack. There is a possibility of course that your monetization has simply improved or that your visitors have increased thanks to a good link on someone’s site. A site of mine once went from 5 clicks a day to about 160 over night because I got a link on Wired. Look for other explanations and don’t be too hasty.
If you are very concerned though and don’t want to « wait to find out » and get banned as a result, then you can always avoid this eventuality by swapping your AdSense for another ad network for a while until you’ve gotten to the bottom of the problem.
Once you’re sure this is a malicious attack then the next thing to do is to report your concern to Google. Use this
link: https://support.google.com/adsense/bin/request.py?&contact_type=invalid_clicks_contact to access Google’s « Invalid C licks
Contact Form » and this way you’ve at least registered your concern.
Next you should consider finding ways to block the attack. Banning individual IP addresses isn’t a practical solution, but if you’re a WordPress user then there are a number of useful plugins you can use that will make sure only visitors who come from Google can see your ads, or that only unique IPs can see them.
Likewise you can also get a bit technical yourself if you’re a coder and using some PHP script there are many similar things you can do.
Why not make each page leave a cookie on your visitors’ computers that expires in twenty minutes and then show the ads only to those users who don’t have that cookie saved on their computers? Or why not block or redirect a whole region? These are just a few suggestions, but if you’re smart you can easily outgun the attackers.
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