Spammed by Google

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27 July 2009

Who’d have thought I’d get spammed by my own ads?

On a couple of my sites (this blog and my forum) I use Google adSense to generate ads. That helps pay for my Internet costs and helps keep CSLA .NET free, which is good.

As a provider of technical content on both my forum and blog, I rather expect that I’ll get reasonably targeted ads – that’s the whole point of Google’s “context sensitive” rule-the-world marketing engine after all…

So I was entirely taken aback this morning, when I received an email from a forum user that included a screen shot of a buxom young lady as part of an ad on my site. In fact, I rather suspected some proxy agent between his client and my server did some ad replacement or something – I mean who would think Google would put near-porn content on my technical forum?

Well it turns out that Google really would put near-porn on my technical forum.

It turns out that the advertiser in question is apparently working around the edges of Google’s policies – or may have crossed them and Google has just ignored it for a month or more – I really don’t know.

Thanks to help from fellow users of Google (not Google themselves – they are apparently too busy “doing no harm” to help us stop them from doing harm), I think I have the ads filtered out.

However, I no longer trust Google adSense, and I wasted enough time on this to pretty much eat any income I’ve generated thus far from having their ads on my site… I figure I’ll leave their ads online in the hopes that Google gets a clue and addresses the issue – but next time something like this happens my “filter” solution will almost certainly be to just drop Google entirely, and look for a more reputable ad provider.