The Real Risks Associated with Building Niche Websites

The Real Risks Associated with Building Niche Websites

I and many others make our full-time living from building niche websites. I often talk about the benefits of this business and why my strategies are so successful.  However, the truth is that as with any business, there are some very real risks that you should be aware of if you are going to get started building niche websites.

So, in my post today I want to tell you how it really is.  Building an online business is risky, just like any other business.  An online business is difficult and complex.  Most people will not succeed at building niche websites.  Even with the step by step guidelines I provide on my Niche Websites Hub, most people will not be able to turn those instructions into profits on a consistent basis.  There are many reasons for that, but what I really want to talk about today are the risks associated with building a niche websites business.

Just to be clear, I am referring to niche websites that receive their visitors primarily through Search Engine Optimization (i.e. Google). Here are a few of the risks that I see with building niche websites:

  1. You could lose your rankings
  2. Google could deindex your sites
  3. Google could ban your Adsense account
  4. Advertisers could stop spending money online
  5. Google could drastically change its algorithm for ranking websites
  6. Search engines could become obsolete

Obviously, some of these are bigger risks than others; I will discuss further.

I have heard lots of “chatter” about what is the most risky part of owning niche adsense websites.  And I am absolutely shocked that people believe that getting your Adsense account banned is the riskiest part of the business.  Hogwash!  I see this as probably the smallest risk associated with niche websites.  The biggest risk in my opinion is that Google could change their algorithm and stop ranking your sites – this would be MUCH more devastating.

The source of your traffic is the key to your business NOT the advertising network you use.  If your traffic gets shut off, you are done.  If your Google Adsense account gets banned you can still do lots of things – try CPA offers, get advertisers directly (the same advertisers using adsense), find other ad networks, or simply get a new Adsense account by forming a new business entity.  Its more of a nuisance than anything if your adsense account gets banned.

My Hot Dog Stand Analogy

Let me explain these risks with an analogy.

Lets say you own a hot dog stand and you have a permit outside a very busy stadium to sell hot dogs during all the big events.  You sell the brand “Ball Park Franks”.  So, is your source of revenue “Ball Park Franks”?  Or is your source of revenue the foot traffic that walks by your hot dog stand during each big event?  Obviously, the key to this hot dog business is the foot traffic.  If you were to be banned from setting up your stand outside the stadium, your business would be done!

However, if you were banned (for some odd reason) from selling Ball Park Franks would this kill your business?  No, absolutely not!  You would just start selling Oscar Meyer Weiners and your customers wouldn’t know the difference.

So, in this odd little analogy the Ball Park Franks are like Google Adsense.  You make your money selling Ball Park Franks.  In the same sense you make money with Google Adsense in the niche business.  You can always make money in other ways – Google Adsense is just one way.  Having your hot dog stand outside the popular stadium is like having a good position in Google.  You get a bunch of free traffic because of your position.  However, if you are no longer allowed to be at the stadium or if you are no longer allowed to be in Google your website is really in trouble.

Okay, I think I have made my point.  If you think getting your Google Adsense account shut down is the risk of building niche websites then you are not really understanding this business.  The real risk of this business is the SOURCE OF YOUR TRAFFIC!

So, when people hear about my business model and say, “Aren’t you scared that your Google Adsense account will get banned” – I just have to laugh because this is the LEAST of my worries.  The real worry is that Google could change how their search engine works.  Or perhaps even worse is the risk that people could stop using search engines the way we know it.  Perhaps a new technology will emerge (mobile?) that will make search engines obsolete.  These are the real risks that a business owner involved in building search engine optimized websites should be worried about.

6 Risks Associated with Niche Websites

So at the beginning of this post I mentioned 6 specific risks associated with building niche websites.  Now in blue, I will list briefly what can be done about these risks if they are to occur to you.

  1. You could lose your rankings. Small risk. Try harder, build more links, and create better content. If this fails, start a new website in a different niche.
  2. Google could deindex your sites.  Small risk. This is unlikely to happen unless you go against Google’s Terms of Service.  I had some sites deindexed and I recently discovered that it was due to a virus on one of my sites that had spread to others due to an outdated plugin.  Spam email was being sent from my website – its a long story.  Now I know to keep plugins and themes up to date!
  3. Google could ban your Adsense account.  Small risk. I don’t know anyone that this has happened to.  I have been with Google Adsense for 5 years and have 200 websites.  My account is in good standing.  Just follow the Adsense terms of service and you should be fine.  If it happens find an alternative revenue source or simply get a new Adsense account under a new business entity.
  4. Advertisers could stop spending money online.  Small Risk.  Okay, I’m embarrased to even have this listed!  Of course they will keep spending money online – they are making too much money.  This is where the advertising game is now…its all online!  The only risk is that ad dollars will shift to a different platform or if the internet becomes outdated.  This is a risk in the distant future…don’t worry about it now.  Just know that its there.
  5. Google could drastically change its algorithm for ranking websites.  High Risk.  Obviously we know that Google is constantly changing their algorithm.  The Panda update affected 12% of all searches.  Even so, it did not affect any of my own sites as far as I’m aware.  Its certainly a risk that Google could change something that no longer ranks niche websites, but I’m optimistic that this won’t happen any time so – if ever.  Its a risk because the power is in Google’s hands.  However, Google’s business is also hinged squarely on the purity of their search results.  They have built a business on providing relevant results to everyone’s search queries.  So, it would be insane to think that they would drastically change their core business.
  6. Search engines could become obsolete. High Risk in the distant future.  This will probably happen to some degree in the future.  I don’t know how or what will replace them, but it would be absurd to think that the internet will not evolve in the future beyond what it is currently.  Perhaps everything will be mobile or some other technology will make search engines obsolete.  I really don’t know.  But its a very real risk that you have to consider if getting into this business.  Will this happen in a couple of years? Probably not.  Will things have changed in 10 years? Probably.  So, if you think you can build a website and have it generate passive income from search engine traffic for the rest of your life, you are sorely mistaken.

In Conclusion…

So, there you have it.  I could go into much greater detail about the risks associated with building niche websites.  However, I really just wanted to be up front with anyone considering getting in this business – ITS RISKY!  This is not a “safe” business, its a very high risk business that also has potential for high rewards.  I personally have taken a look at all the risks associated with this business and have made a judgement call and determined that the rewards are worth it to me.  However, I am going in with my eyes wide open and not naive to the fact that my business model has inherent risks built into it.  Many of you may feel differently, and that is just fine.

Overall, I love the niche websites business and hope to be involved in it for a very long time.  But I would feel like I was not being completely honest with everyone if I didn’t write this post and discuss the inherent risks involved in search engine optimization and niche websites.  So, please be aware of what could potentially happen to your business and make your own judgement call as to whether this is the appropriate business for you.

Your Thoughts

What are your thoughts on the subject?  Do you see any other risks that I didn’t discuss?  Are some of the risks that I mentioned smaller than I portray them to be?  I would love to hear what you have to say!

 


How Long Tail Pro Can Help You Capture Way More Search Engine Traffic

If your business could benefit in any way from getting more search engine traffic, I have some good news.

Search engines are in love with long tail keywords! If you are able to provide relevant content targeting these long tail keywords, then you can see a dramatic increase to the amount of traffic Google and other search engines send you.

Long Tail Pro is a powerful keyword research tool that makes finding these valuable long tail keywords a breeze.

What are “long tail keywords”? Essentially, these are words or phrases that people type into the search engines to find very specific things. Rather than searching for “dog training” a user might search for “how to potty train a pitbull”.

This is an example of a Long Tail Keyword. To visualize how Long Tail Keywords work...

Click to Continue Reading


51 Comments for this entry

  1. Steve says:

    Good review Spencer. You put things into a perspective that is a little more realistic than the paranoid fears most of us have in our heads around our niche sites.

    However, you add all this up, and I would say the *overall* picture with niche site risk is still fairly high. As you mention at the beginning, most people probably aren’t going to succeed with this model, so if your new on the IM scene and you’re sane enough to do a thorough cost/benefit analysis in getting more involved in IM, then I think you should be a little unnerved by the high risk. Paranoia may still be the right response, I guess I’m saying…you gotta be a little crazy to get into this game.

    My two cents, that was a pretty crazy commenting rant :-)

    • Spencer says:

      I agree. Obviously the risks associated with building niche websites is high, which is why I felt like this post was needed. There are certainly alot of things that people get paranoid about that they shouldn’t, but there are plenty of other things (like these risks I mention) that people often don’t even think about that perhaps they should be. And yes, you have to have a little bit of crazy in you to dive into this game.

  2. Kevin says:

    Spencer, I think you layed everything out very well for the public to see the risks involved with building niche sites. And I hadn’t realized your de-indexing issue was related to a virus….you had always mentioned you felt it was your old linkbuilding method, so all in all, that is a bit of relief. :)

    I think you’re spot on with google’s algorithm changes being a high risk because you just never know 1 day to the next with them. Your adsense account being banned is still a big fear in my head because from what I’ve read you can’t always apply for a business account and re-add the new ID to your old sites. But like you said there are other revenue producing alternatives and some that are even better potentially. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge with everyone.

    Kevin

    • Spencer says:

      Kevin – I will probably need to write an entire post to do my whole “deindexing” thing justice. I really didn’t find out the issue until about a month ago. I was actually notified by Bluehost about spam coming out of my hosting account and one of my sites in particular. So, I have Bluehost to thank for tipping me off. I have since closed that hosting account, cleaned up any sites I wanted to keep, and moved them to a new Bluehost account.

      On your other point about getting a new adsense account. I believe you are correct for the site that you initially got approved for adsense. So if you applied for adsense with site xyz.com, you can probably never use that site on another adsense account. However, I may also use adsense from account xyz.com on site abc.com. I could certainly still use adsense on site abc.com in the future from a different account. At least I don’t think Google would know any differently.

  3. As usual, Spencer, you hit the nail on the head and we’re in 100% agreement regarding changing rankings vs. losing your AdSense account. Losing your AdSense account is a pain, but it’s the traffic that gets you paid, for sure.

    I’d add another (very small) point. What if Google cancelled their AdSense program entirely? They might decide that the degraded search results due to web spam based on the program is not worth the additional revenue and would rather avoid losing market share with search to other platforms. AdSense is not the only game in town, but it’s definitely the best paying gig in town.

    • Spencer says:

      Justin – Glad that you can basically confirm the same risks as I see them. I do agree that Google Adsense getting shelved is another risk – great point. I don’t think google will do that because it draws in so many advertisers to have such a large ad network. And if they did perhaps stop Adsense, I guarantee you that someone like Yahoo or Bing would finally pick up the slack with their own programs. (I know both of them have tried in the past, but failed miserably).

      • Yeah, I think it’s fairly unlikely as well. You’re right, too, that with Google out of the way, Yahoo/Bing would be in a much better position to dominate there.

        Still…at least for a while it would force us to get a little more creative with our monetization! One of the reasons we’ve stuck with AdSense is that Google covers all of area of the business. (Relevant ads, finding advertisers, monitoring success of CTR, etc.) They’re a good partner to have!

      • Graham Lutz says:

        Just wait til some idiot politician tries to change the tax rules like they did to amazon in california.

        Google won’t hesitate to keep its’ tax bill down at the expense of it’s publishers.

        • Spencer says:

          Perhaps, but I doubt it. Google’s adsense program is MUCH different from the Amazon affiliate program. The Adsense program attracts advertisers to Google BIG TIME. Google has one website which obviously does very well. But with its publishers it can offer advertisers space on billions of websites.

      • Boris says:

        Do you know why they failed?

  4. Victor says:

    Iv been banned once. Took 10 months to convince them to let me in again. Long story short, don`t explain how you get paid to your friends and family, they get trigger happy, but all with good intentions :P

    • KimP says:

      Hi Victor!

      Could you elaborate on how you went about joining the AdSense program again?

      • Victor says:

        It basically took an address change.

        And I noticed by adding in my Middle name the system treated me as a completely new and unique person, which I am :P

        This may be easier to us a remote mail service that assigns you a virtual address rather than actually moving like I had, ( I was moving anyways).

        Bottom line, read the Terms of Service Agreement closely, and follow the rules before eve thinking about grabbing ay code. I know I certainly learned that lesson.

        Hope that helps Kim :)

    • Graham Lutz says:

      Same thing happened to me!! How did you convince them to let you open the account again?

    • Chris says:

      Yes this is rule number one, I just had this happen when I got a site to #3 and bragged about it to a friend who then though he would click a lot to help me out, needless to say I survived but this is very important.

  5. KimP says:

    Great post, Spencer! I have never heard of anyone reapplying to AdSense under a business name, but that’s good to know.

    The best advice I got for protecting a new site from click fraud was to wait until you’re getting a decent amount of traffic or your site has been indexed for awhile, then add AdSense. So my policy is to wait until a new site cracks the top 20. Of course you’re missing out on money while your site moves up through the rankings, but it’s mere pennies and isn’t worth the risk to me.

    Also, if you don’t mind, what plug-in were you using that caused the de-indexing issue? Was it Easy Privacy Policy? I noticed that some questionable links were inserted on one of my sites and I think the hacker got through via that plug-in.

    • Spencer says:

      The plugin was a Google sitemap plugin. I don’t remember the exact one at the moment. However, I think the important thing to know is to keep your plugins up to date.

  6. Chris says:

    The algorithm changes scare me to death, But if we continue to provide quality content and now with panda “user experience” we should survive small changes in the future.
    The other I would add is becoming to overly Confident in the current method and dropping the ball on the points above.

  7. Dave Starr says:

    Excellent advice. I’ve been earning from AdSense since October, 2005. I am small-time, and no expert or guru, but I think I have learned a thing or three over the years.

    I have never yet heard of anyone who lost their AdSesne account who was not violating the AdSense TOS. How many have ever even read them?

    Your hot dog cart analogy is great. In real life it does work that way. When the NY Yankees built a new stadium across the street from their old one in New York, some businesses associated with the baseball crowds were smart enough to look ahead and prepare for the move. A few others, like the hot dog guys who “owned” spots right at the stadium entrances ignored the move, They thought since they had always been at a good spot they would automatically get a good spot at the new facility.

    They failed to read the TOS for the new Yankee Stadium. Ooops. People won’t cross a busy street to buy a hot dog when there is a hot dog vendors located right where they are. AdSense (the “brand of hot dog”) is so, so, so much less important than location (Your search traffic and position)

    Unlike a physical spot n the sidewalk for a food vendor, your “location” online can be continually improved … and when search position and traffic goes up, o does AdSense earnings. (or, it’s been working that way for the last 6 years or so at least).

  8. Tom Ewer says:

    Diversification is the key to any successful business, online or offline. Many people have short term success, but long term failure, because they do not value that key fundamental.

    • Spencer says:

      I agree 100%. Which is why I am diving into other areas outside of search engine optimization such as a new software about to be released (Long Tail Pro) and I’m developing an iPhone app. I also have a few other things in the works.

  9. Rick says:

    Tom mentioned diversification – good point. Spencer, what are your thoughts on a business model of both niche and authority sites – the later for long-term growth and stability? Is that an accurate perception? Do you also build authority sites? Thx.

    • Victor Pidkowich says:

      I have to point one thing out because I see this just too much
      Many people have a mis-understanding about “diversification”.

      Mr Warren Buffet and many other great investors commonly say put all your eggs in one basket and watch that basket.

      And when these investors say diversification , they are talking about having other asset classes – rather many people misinterpret it to be diverse in just the one asset class, usually the paper asset class. Some blue chips, some mutuals etc. in your paper portfolio. But its the same asset class and its poor performing advice. Its better to do your research in that asset class and focus on what you think will be the best performing “thing” in the asset of choice. For example the business asset class has an endless choice of opportunities. it includes but is not limited to franchises, online eCommerce, a car wash, and of course niche sites.

      Those same investors also say that to be good at everything is to be good at nothing.

      So I’d like to point out that what I think Spencer has done (and correct me if I’m wrong Spencer) thus far with niche sites has been to choose a path and stick with it, not to pick several paths. You may need to choose several in the beginning to find the best choice that fits your situation. This way you specialize in your field and become very skilled rather than somewhat good in several areas. And this isn’t just true for Spencer, many entrepreneurs have found significant success in this formula.

      Its no different in the Real Estate investment game. Pick a state/province, then select a city, then select a neighborhood all based on the underlying fundamentals and get to know the neighborhood and type of real estate (condo, bungalow, apartments etc.) better than anyone else. Truly the rules of Monopoly, get all of one color and dominate until you can move to acquire another set of colors. Another set of colors in the niche site world may be another niche.

      My advice for diversification is that rather than getting some authority sites, some blogs, some membership sites, etc. it is much easier to focus on one. And if you want to diversify the real way successful investors do, get into another asset class. There are 4 – business, real estate, paper, and commodities.
      To have 4 baskets (one in each asset class) is the key. Choose the best opportunity possible in each asset class and watch those baskets.

      Had some shift in the market occurred, say severe inflation, would a portfolio stuffed to the brim with niche sites and authority sites and perhaps others be of any help? Sure they provide passive income which is great but in the case of inflation that passive income drops rapidly in its purchasing power. Had you have had a well chosen basket in the commodities asset class you would be able to protect yourself from inflation. This is true diversification, and after all, isn’t the reason anyone wants to diversify rooted from fear of something happening to our hard earned and invested money? “Its ok if anything were to happen, your money is safe because its diversified”. Poor industrial age, mis-interpreted advice is my take on that.

      It won’t matter how diverse in paper you are if inflation hits, (and yes equities rise in PRICE in inflation but drop like a stone in true purchasing power, just look up the Dow to gold chart) just as it won’t matter how many types of sites you have if say Google completely wipes you out or something unforeseen crushes your portfolio.

      To summarize, like in a previous post, Focus Focus Focus. And if you get crushed, who cares, you have assets in other asset classes.

      Thanks for bridging this up Tom and Rick. For the record I did not write this in anger – just trying to place a bold reality. I hope this has benefited you in some way :)

      • Spencer says:

        Victor, GREAT ADVICE here! Thanks for sharing the in depth details in regards to this discussion. I think you complimented the point of my post quite well. I was simply pointing out the inherent risks associated with search engine optimization. I think you took it one step further (which I implied) to explain that to truly diversify you need to be invested in multiple businesses and/or asset classes. I have found success in one business model, but am well aware of the risk – others should be too. I am diversifying my risk by going into software development and iphone app production. I have a few other things that I will be working on as well. Of course, this still leaves me exposed as I will be 100% in the tech sector. I will be rounding out my portfolio with investments in stocks, commodities, or other companies that will help me to stabilize my income where I simply cannot. I think everyone needs to take a long term “1000 foot” view of their business/portfolios and be honest with the risks associated with it. I think this is a critical point of discussion which hopefully a few readers will consider with more depth after reading these comments…thanks!

      • Wow, Victor. Excellent contribution of knowledge! I really have never looked at diversification in that way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. And thank you Spencer for this excellent post. Keep it up.

    • Spencer says:

      Rick I think its great to build “authority” type websites, and I do have a few larger websites of my own. Ideally you should be able to take your small niche websites and grow them into large sites. However, this really does not diversify against all the risks that I mentioned in this article. Really the risks are associated with relying on the search engines. Anytime your traffic comes from one source whether you have a small niche site or a large authority site, you still face the same risks. These are just inherent risks with anyone involved in search engine optimization that you should be aware of.

      • Boris says:

        I think paid traffic might be fine diversification after you have raised enough finances, at least as search engines are still paramount just like analogy with a hot dogs – you don’t get people walking to your cart freely, but you pay them to.

  10. Traffic is no 1 core in every business. More visitor, more revenue and at online business we need search engine to drive visitor to our site.

  11. Jay Dee says:

    Hi Spencer,

    Nice post.

    I’d be interested in how you would classify a ‘niche’ website. How many content pages are you talking about?

    Also, do you have any/many domains with proprietary names as part of the domain name? What are your thoughts about the risks/benefits of these long term. I myself have a few of these that are doing quite well, but they always worry me that one day they are going to get pinged by google in some way.

    Cheers,
    Jay.

    • Spencer says:

      A niche site could be 1 page or it could be 1000 pages. I don’t view the definition of a “niche” site to be based upon the amount of content. A niche website is a site that is laser focused on 1 topic. For example, maybe you have an entire website about ant farms. Even if its a few hundred pages, this is a niche website. However, most of my sites start out between 5 to 10 pages long and grow if I see potential.

      I don’t have many proprietary domains. The risk is probably low for the most part, but there always is the possibility that the brand will ask you to close your website (cease and desist order).

  12. tim says:

    Good info – hadn’t really thought about these points. How about a post on your backlinking strategy and related tools / sites.

  13. stanley says:

    Hi Spencer,

    As always, a big thank you for the good posts. I question on backlinking: I have 6 niche sites (on addon dormains), can having backlinks from the same source affect them. For example I submit 1 article for each of them sites on Ezine articles? Its realy bothering me.

  14. Federico says:

    Great article and comments…But let’s talk about make money now, otherwise we will be even more scared with all negative points that may happen to any of us…

  15. Victor Pidkowich says:

    Great point!

    A wealthy investor once said:

    “Business is like driving, if you practice and take precaution you can avoid risk and enjoy the ride”.

  16. Jay Dee says:

    A famous sportsman once said:

    “The more I practice, the luckier I get.”

    So the moral of the story is, keep building links, and don’t stop!

  17. Great reading, Spencer!

    On the topic of niche websites, I’m currently trying to figure if, in fact, niche websites are the better way to go vs. my current approach regarding the development of the domain, DepartmentofEnergy.com

    (The aforementioned URL is, in my opinion, “generic” because there are a number of nations and US states that have their own “Departments of Energy.” Certainly any site developed on DepartmentofEnergy.com would have a disclaimer statement front and center that would clearly dissociate the site from any sites operated by any governments.)

    For starters, DepartmentofEnergy.com shows as receiving 22,200 local exact searches a month. And CPC is showing as $1.61. However, I’ve tracked what ads are supposedly running with keyword “Department of Energy” and have yet to see any ads specifically, solely using “Department of Energy” in several months (“Department of Energy Jobs” is a different story).

    My initial take, was that DepartmentofEnergy.com could bring traffic to a page showing links to individual pages based on individual energy-related keywords with the minimum stats that were reasonably related to “Department of Energy.” In other words, it would be the DepartmentofEnergy.com site with its home page showing links to approximately 200 pages within the site, each focused on a specific, researched, energy-related keyword (having at least 1000 local exact searches, $1.00 or more CPC, low competition with other sites in search on the keyword, high competition among advertisers for the same keyword, and visual verification of ads on Google utilizing the keyword in question).

    But, after reading many of the posts on nichepursuits.com, I do wonder if the better move would be to just simply develop niche sites, one for each of the “solid,” energy-related keywords I’ve identified, but don’t complicate things by associating them under an “umbrella” address like DepartmentofEnergy.com (a keyword-based domain, true, and the keyword yielding decent search traffic, but nothing in the way of adsense advertising in and of itself).

    So, Spencer, what do you think? Would you recommend 200 individual sites, each based on a researched, energy-related keyword, or 200 keyword-focused pages under an “umbrella” domain (DepartmentofEnergy.com) as the better way to go? Thanks for any help :)

    So, in and of itself “Department of Energy”

    • Spencer says:

      Chris – great question. I touched on using an authority site to capture traffic from long tail keywords in my recent post here: http://www.nichepursuits.com/what-is-a-long-tail-keyword/. I discuss that you can target these long tail keywords either with small niche websites (what I usually talk about) or with a larger authority type site (which is really what you are trying to do with your DepartmentofEnergy.com site.). In general, I think your theory is a good one; however, the keyword you picked seems to be an extremely difficult one to rank for. I didn’t look into it too much, but I would imagine that it is unlikely that you will rank for “Department of Energy” anytime soon. So, then all your traffic will need to come from your “secondary” keywords. Again, this could be good or bad. I like the authority site idea, but it will just take longer to rank well for those individual keywords.

      Building 200 niche sites you are certainly more likely to rank quicker for those secondary keywords, but its more expensive and time consuming. I would recommend finding what you to believe a few low competition keywords, writing articles on your existing site, and see how it goes. If the site starts to perform well, add more articles. If the site is not performing well after you feel like you have put in sufficient effort to try it out – then I would recommend going the smaller niche site route. Hope that helps.

    • Boris says:

      Ranking for a keyword with such volume of searches may be a good magnet for advertisers however, but it would take time to attract them.

      I also agree with Spencer.

  18. Dave says:

    Hello Spencer,

    Long time lurker, first time commenter. With all your sites have you ever had someone clickbomb any of them? I think I’ve just had a clickbomb attack as one of my sites went from maybe 2 clicks a day to over 60 in one day.

    I went ahead and notified Google on the same day it was happening, they have a special notification for invalid clicks. this was only yesterday. But I figure if I notify them right away, it may limit my risks for having them ban my account.

    Any thoughts on this? Any experience? Preventing clickbombing may be a great idea for a post.

    Thanks, great site!
    Dave

    • Spencer says:

      Hey Dave – thanks for the comment! I have never experienced a “clickbomb” to that extent. I do notice every once in a while that a visitor will click 5 or 6 ads – but usually figured this is just someone trying to find what they are looking for. (I only notice when there is an unusually high CTR). I think you made the right move in letter google know in your instance. Unfortuantely, I’m not sure how to prevent someone from “clickbombing” however.

  19. Dave says:

    Hi Spencer,

    Thanks for the reply to my post. I realize this post is a few months old and its nice when a site owner still finds time to comment.

    It’s a great lesson to learn, maybe the “clickbomb” attack was a sign that I’m doing enough of the right things to get noticed.

    Anyway, the “clickbomber” didn’t go away. So on the second day I sent a second “invalid click notice form” to google. In this form I asked them to deduct the 2 days of clickbomb clicks to that one site from my adsense account. Then I explained to them the steps I had taken to protect my account as well as the advetisers accounts.

    First I took all adsense ads from that site off.

    Second, I completed the “Allowed Sites” section on my Adsense Account, of course excluding the site that was under attact.

    Third, I added “StatCounter” to the site under attack to monitor the activity. I may go ahead and put back my ads on the attacked site, but keep the site off my allowed site list so I could see which IP or IP’s are actually clicking the ads without being credited for them or the advetisers being charged for those clicks. Once I isolate the IP’s doing the clickbombing, I’ll go to my host and put those IP’s on the banned list.

    Anyway, sorry to go on but, this is a serious problem that could affect anyone whose main monetization method is Adsense.

    I still don’t know what the outcome is as I have not heard back from Google, nor has the revenue from the clickbombs been deducted from my account.

    Worse come to worse, I’ll just get another account. You and a few others have given some great tips on doing so and I may just get another one or two anyway, just to be on the safe side.

    Keep up the great posts!
    Dave

  20. Jay Park says:

    Hey Spencer,

    I just wanted to say thanks for a great, informative article. I noticed that the last comment on this article was pretty old. I wanted to ask how you were doing since 2011 after the Adsense ban. Hope all is well. Would love to hear an update. Take care!

    Jay

  21. David A. says:

    I trade forex sideline while trying to sell my ebook then kindle them software just like u. Scary thought that Google is a GodZilla sleeping.

    Reckon u start creating a new software.

    I’m kind of at ease that I’m trading but my brokers are also at risk that will balloon up.

    Best bet is to spread eggs around. John Chow and Yaro did say that best to create a brand where traffic comes from repeat visitors in your circle. Even without google u r kicking.

Comments are now closed.

                    



css.php