Clickbomb Defense: 3 Plugins to Prevent Clickbombing

Clickbomb Defense: 3 Plugins to Prevent Clickbombing

So, in my last post, I explained that I have a new Adsense account and some of the things I am doing differently to keep it.  One of those things I am doing is trying to be less aggressive in my Adsense placement.  Having an extemely high Click Through Rate can be one reason why an account could get shut down.

However, another reason is click bombing.  I don’t think I was a victim of a click bomb attack, but I really don’t know.  A click bomb attack is essentially where a bot or malicious person repeatedly clicks the ads on your site, which can negatively affect your account standing with Google.

I believe that Google does have some measures in place to try and mitigate this from occurring; however, there are still plenty of stories out there of people getting their account shut down for this reason.  One well documented occurrence was on Acme.com here.  Jef was lucky to have Matt Cutts chime in and others to get his account reinstated; most of us humans will never get that kind of attention.

For this reason, I think doing all that you can to prevent malicious click attacks is a good idea.  I’ve taken a look at a few different Click Bomb Prevention plugins, and I wanted to share my thoughts on each of them.

Ad Logger Plugin

First up is a free option called Ad Logger.  This plugin does several things; however, one of those functions is that it can stop showing ads if too many clicks take place in a short period of time.  This is exactly what we are looking for here.

However, the downside is that it only works if you use Ad Injection 1.2.0.4+ to insert your Adsense Ads.  I don’t use Ad Injection, so it doesn’t help me personally.  However, this is worth a look as its free and does what needs to be done to prevent excessive clicking. As they state, “This feature uses JavaScript and cookies, so it won’t function if these are turned off, of if your website readers turn their cookies off.”

The other word of caution is that it has only received 2.5 out of 5 stars and hasn’t been updated in a year.

Who Sees Ads Plugin

Another free option is the Ozh’ Who Sees Ads Plugin.  This is actually a pretty powerful plugin that gives you all kinds of options for displaying or not displaying your ads.  Here are all the functions that you can set from within the plugin:

So, you can select to only show ads to search engine visitors, or return visitors, or both.  You can also set how many ad views the visitor can have before the ads stop displaying.  This is a great way to prevent click bombing.

Overall, I like the plugin.  It hasn’t been updated in over 2 years, so that’s an issue – but from my tests, it still works.  However, the downside is how to use the code it generates.  Its time consuming and can be difficult to get your ads to display where you want them to.  This could be a deal killer for many people.

So here’s how it works.  Once you set all your conditions (see image above), and input your adsense code (or other advertising code), then you get a snippet of code, such as this: <!--wsa:contentads-->.  Then you have to take that code and insert it into your posts where you want your ads to display.  This can be cumbersome and time consuming, especially if you want your ads to float left or right.  You will have to dive into the PHP code from your wordpress editor if you want to do that on all posts at once.

I tried to insert the code into the Quick Adsense plugin, but the ads did not display – so that option won’t work.

Overall, its a very cool plugin and from my tests it still works even though its old.  But getting your ads to display in the locations where you want them will take quite a bit of time and effort, and may not even be possible if you are unfamiliar with PHP.

Clickbomb Defense Plugin

My final clickbomb prevention plugin was created by a NichePursuits reader, Scott Frye!  Scott contacted me a while ago and gave me some insights into his plugin.  Clickbomb Defense is a plugin that makes it very easy to specify the number of pageviews that each visitor can have before your ads are no longer displayed.

I’ve tested the plugin out pretty thoroughly, and it works great.  In a nutshell, here’s what you need to do once you’ve installed the plugin:

  • Insert your adsense code for and select locations to display ads.
  • Insert a secondary code for when your Adsense is no longer displaying (optional).
  • Specify the number of page views each visitor is allowed to view your ads (this will prevent repeatedly clicking).
  • Specify whether to display ads to all visitors, or only those coming from search engines or other specified sites.

Overall, its pretty simple to use and it works as advertised.  I’ve tested it out without any hassle.  In addition, I’ve exchanged a few emails with Scott (the creator of the plugin) and he’s very responsive and willing to help or listen to suggestions.

To show you how it works, I made a quick video review:

This plugin is not free, but its a very reasonable price.  And you can also use it on an unlimited number of sites, so its truly a one-time purchase.  If you are interested, you can check out the Clickbomb Defense Plugin here.

Yes, these are affiliate links and I will make a commission if you decide to purchase.  If you do, I appreciate the value you’ve placed on my recommendation and the time I’ve put into reviewing these different plugins to make your life a little easier.  This plugin is not required for everyone, and you may be able to get by with the free options that I mentioned as well.

But overall for ease of use and effectiveness – Clickbomb Defense is the best plugin I’ve seen to prevent clickbombing.

Your Thoughts

Overall, I’ve shared a few plugins that I have found that can help prevent clickbombing.  I think each of these plugins has some great features.  What do you think?  Have you used any of these plugins and what’s been your experience?  Do you have any other methods for preventing click bombing?


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45 Comments for this entry

  1. The clickbomb defense plugin looks like it’d work really well. Though I’m sure there are (and always will be) ways for people to get around it if they really wanted to, but for the average person just trying to clickbomb you to be spiteful or because they are your competitor, it looks like it would work great.

    Thomas

    • Rosmy says:

      Hi Thomas

      What do you do to protect Adsense account using WordPress?
      There is many plugins but is to complicate for normal user like I’m, so please help me to protect my Adsense account

      Thank you

  2. Adam says:

    Hey Spenser,

    I was reading on another forum where a member was under the impression they were being click bombed on their ads that were all above the fold.

    What they did was removed those adsense ads with fake banner ads that would then log the ip addresses of whoever clicked on them. They then would either block or report the offending IP to their host to prevent further issues.

    I also came across a plugin called Adsense Defender but have no personal experience with it but it might be a nice option but does come with a fee.

    • Adam says:

      *They removed the adsense ads and replaced them with fake banner ads..*

    • Spencer Haws says:

      Thanks for sharing Adam. Logging the offending IP address is probably a good way to stop someone if you know you are getting clickbombed.

    • Scott Frye says:

      Hi Adam,
      That is a clever way of detecting potential attackers. I suppose if you used a banner ad for hemroid creme or something, most people wouldn’t click on it, only attackers. However that could kinda interfere with your brand! :)

      The reason that IP enforcement is not more strict in the plugin is that there are many times when a company, college dorm or other location may all be sharing one external IP address. The CBD plugin is designed to be able to tell the difference from these computers sharing the same IP, and block out only the ones that are considered malicious.

      Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the post Spencer! I’ll definitely consider getting the clickbomb defense plugin since we have so many sites now. It really sounds like a great tool.

  4. Federico says:

    Hello Spencer,

    Clickbomb Defence is a great plugin, is a tool that I consider to have as well.
    Sure, I will buy through your link as a thank you.

    Regards,

  5. Ahmad says:

    Nice work… Thanks for sharing

  6. Liz Seda says:

    I can’t believe that there is such a need for a tool like this.
    I mean, who has the time to clickbomb your site? Who are these people? Am I just naive or is this a regular practice of unscrupulous niche site makers? Is this the norm or the exception?
    With that said, do you (or anyone!) know how to find out if you’re getting clickbombed before you get in trouble with Google? (Other than a spike in revenue.)

  7. Vince says:

    Spencer, thanks for the info on the plugins. How about on regular html sites? is there any program or code that can prevent click bombing on sites that are not wordpress?

  8. Justin says:

    We know a couple of guys that were victims of click bombing and it did cause their AdSense account to get shut down.

    Most of the time, Google’s pretty adept at catching this stuff and shutting it down, but I heard about their issue and dug into their stats and analytics a bit. They were making like $15 or so per day and all of the sudden had a $500 day. They were excited, but I told them that’s HIGHLY suspect and they should report it, disable ads on their site, etc.

    After looking at their analytics, there was a HUGE spike to their sites over a two day period. All of the traffic came from various IP’s or countries and stayed less than 9 seconds and almost all clicked an ad on their site…very automated/spammy.

  9. Doug says:

    Anybody tried Spyder Spanker? It has been getting some rave reviews in the forums.

  10. Spencer,

    Sounds like a great recommendation – and I’m glad you got back in Google’s good graces – per your previous post.

    Although I do have a problem with the idea of building a business with the idea that Google is your biggest customer. ie. pleasing Google instead of the people visiting your website(s).

    The sooner people get away from this (slowly dying) way of making money online the better.

    Jack

  11. Vishal says:

    Clickbomb Defence is really a great plugin. Thanks for the list

  12. Recently I used sitemeter.com to find ip address of a click bomber, Next time add about sitemeter.com also, Nice share :)

  13. Pavan Somu says:

    I feel the plugin is so useful to avoid banning of Adsense accounts. Thanks for the share.

  14. frank says:

    Has anybody had any experience with Adsense Defender?
    http://adsensedefender.com

  15. Rob says:

    Do any/all of these work with individual themes? Like CTR, etc. where you put your adsense code into the boxes defined by the theme itself?

  16. Mat Newton says:

    Seems like a sweet plugin.

    Am currently trying to figure out what to do for my site. I am using a heavily customized theme so I just need a plugin that lets me wrap my code with their tags, rather than trying to inject it into posts

  17. Rob says:

    Hello Spencer, great review thanks, quick question please:
    This plug in can only take control of only two ads on your site? I usually have one ad in the content one in side bar and two link units on top and bottom of page, how can I protect this link units please?
    Thanks
    Rob

  18. I’ve just installed Click-bombing protection plug-in. I guess it’s something similar to click-bombing defender. It is indeed a good idea to protect your adsense from click-bombers considering that it is always almost impossible to convince Google to reinstate your account once you are banned.

  19. Joe says:

    To be honest I do not understand the hassle behind the click bombing – when this happens it is automatically detected by adsense and all revenue generated is taken back by adsense in few mintues – so since they already have the system to tackle this – why they put the burden on the publisher :S

    i cannot understand it

  20. Tim says:

    I Don’t recommend Clickbomb Defense because of their support. I emailed them regarding a technical problem and they don’t answer. Just use the FREE options instead of wasting your MONEY!

  21. Manoj says:

    Spencer,

    good post i am new in this business.

    what is the good CTR for a site(adsence)?

  22. Moin Ramiz says:

    i faced some huge click attacks in past.

  23. Rosmy says:

    Hi Mr Spencer

    can we have Video Tutorial on how to use and setup those free plugin ?

  24. Aditya says:

    Great article i have never seen before this and nice tips. Now i am going to install the Ad logger in my WordPress account.
    Thank you spencer

  25. Lista says:

    I was hesitant about Who Sees Ads, too, because of its age and the fact that it outputs PHP. One majorly helpful thing it does, though, is very easy to miss. I haven’t seen anyone writing about this feature and how it can make WSA work easily for some widget-based WordPress ad schemes, so I thought I’d mention it.

    When you create an ad unit in Who Sees Ads, it also automatically sets up a new widget for you, on your Widgets page. Every ad gets its own WSA widget, named whatever you called its WSA context. Just drag the new ad widget you want to show in the sidebar, and there’s your WSA-enabled ad! No need to worry about the PHP part.

    I’ve been helping a friend fortify their clickbombed site today, and WSA has been incredibly useful once we figured the auto-widget function out! The fact that you can daisy-chain the WSA ad units using rules to create something that looks like ad rotation (but among ad units from any affiliate program or combination of programs you want) has also been great.

    More about widgets: there are WordPress plugins now that enable PHP scripts in either WP’s native text widgets or in widgets created by the plugins themselves. Those would have been next on my list to try for getting Who Sees Ads ads on the sidebars, if we hadn’t spotted the wondrous WSA widgets first. (And of course, you just use the code the plugin generates for your in-post ads.)

    Disclaimer: I don’t know and have never had any contact with WSA’s developer. :)

  26. Mike says:

    Hi Spencer, looking to get clickbomb defense, is there a way to be able to put it under a navigation bar?

    I do not see that as a choices, does clickbomb defense have a tag id where we can customize to wrap it around an adsense code.. so it would activate no matter where we put it ?

  27. Ashoka K.S says:

    Sir my account has been dis approved for Invalid Activity but i have not clicked on my ads….Always it happens like that…I had more than 10 account…All the time same…..I have Used Blogger…….My account goes always with invalid activity and Dis approves…I hope you will help sir…Please….If it happenes same i cant earn money in adsense always account dis approving ….Please tell the Answer that to Protect our adsense account and Never get Banned from GOOGLE ADSENSE….

  28. Ernesto says:

    Hi Spencer
    firstly would like to thank you for all the information you provide
    it has been very very useful!!
    thanks!

    I am starting a adsense/Wp site
    The theme I am using seems to have the adsnse code integrated in the wp-content directory in the single.php and image.php files
    is there a way to protect form click bombs in that case?
    thanks again!

    • Spencer Haws says:

      I’m not sure on that one. You can likely just use an outside plugin to display adsense though, rather than using some built in theme function.

  29. Ernesto says:

    thanks Spencer
    not sure either
    there seems to be a function that randomly displays different categories on the top header every time one clicks on a post.
    Also the adsense code is embeded in a couple of php files
    so I need to modify them in other to modify the ad rather than making it via widgets

  30. Joe says:

    I have heard about clickcombing before but I never knew there were plugins to help deal with this malicious attacks. I am wondering could Google do something like use Artificial Intelligence to detect such clicks and they nullify them instead of banning a genuine publisher ….I think such a solution could be somewhat fair

  31. Ben says:

    Spencer which clickbombing plugin do you use?

    Thanks

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