Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Jan 11 2015 22:42:14

Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

When I visited the EcommerceBytes Blog one day this weekend, imagine my surprise when my browser suddenly took me to a page that looked like a scam site with an ad featuring Ellen DeGeneres meant to look like it was the Good Housekeeping website, but actually hosted on lemode-mgz.com.

What first appeared to be malware on my computer turned out to be redirects from the Google advertisements we run on the EcommerceBytes site through the Google AdSense program.

A search on Google revealed that, just as for me, other people found the redirects were random, and many people assumed they had malware on their computer.

But on Google's own forums, people identified the problem as coming from Google AdSense. Once we realized what was happening, we shut off Google ads on our blogs pages, and the problem stopped.



While the pages that the spammers/scammers are redirecting to include http://lemode-mgz.com and http://consumernews247.com, savvy webmasters suggested blocking two domains that appeared to be the source of the injections:

"Just go straight to the Advertisers URL tab and add the following to the block list: adwynne.com rgeoffreyblackburn.com" wrote one poster.

But why wouldn't Google itself block those domains? A concerned webmaster wrote:

"This has been going on for over a week now. Still no fix or official update from Google. I don't understand how one of the largest tech companies in the world isn't able to get this resolved faster. They should email a warning to every single Adsense user to warn them about this."

Another wrote, "This problem seems to have been going on for over a week, and still google hasnt managed to remove and block the offending ads, you thought it would have been a priority for them as it more than likely causing problems for thousands of publishers and millions of website users."

I haven't seen any other news outlet pick up on this - we're checking in with Google and see if they have a response.




Comments (19) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sun Jan 11 23:29:13 2015

Glad you're on top of this! Thanks for the heads-up and for being so straightforward in telling us what you know. --- I hope it's resolved soon. Good luck!  

Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

by: charcorvet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 12 06:56:01 2015

Off to my blogs to shut off Google Adsense... Thanks for the heads up Ina.

Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Mon Jan 12 07:24:11 2015

Happened a couple times this weekend.

On ecommercebytes, then all of a sudden redirected to a different site completely. I thought I had clicked on something by accident, but after all these years that rarely happens.

My response was to close the site, an effect I'm sure websites DON'T want.

Thanks for letting us know.  Some venues would sit back and let its users think they were the problem.  


Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Mon Jan 12 08:12:39 2015

Saw that ad as well. I guess it is "effective".

My "Spidey Sense" kicked in & I closed the tab immediately. I have no tolerance for ads - and I'm very good at ignoring them & just picking out the portion of the page I was interested in as I'm sure most of you have learned to do.

I wonder of the advertising psychologists ever study advertisement overload on web pages and the effect that happens on the advertisers and website.

Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

by: TeddyElectron This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 12 08:28:05 2015

If you see Dr. Oz in an advertisement it's definitely a scam.

Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

by: Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 12 10:35:14 2015

There's less and less privacy with users on the internet being tracked. I go and watch a Youtube video and I see an ad from ebay with the exact item I had just got outbid on.  

Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

This user has validated their user name. by: David Steiner

Mon Jan 12 10:53:16 2015

The vast majority of banners that you see on this site are sold (and vetted) by us, directly to sponsors. When our sponsor ads burn off for the day, Google Adsense fills in the remaining impressions. We get hundreds of thousands of page views daily, so you can imagine that there is a little bit of inventory left.

We've used Google Adsense since 2002 (I think) and fortunately, don't rely on them as our sole revenue source. That's not the case for many online resources. This isn't the first time that they've let questionable content onto our site, and it's becoming much easier to let go of them. We may to have to rethink our relationship with Google Adsense, unless they clean up their act.

If anyone sees a redirect, I'd appreciate being notified - either here in the blog, or by email.

Thanks,
David Steiner

Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Jan 12 20:34:59 2015

David and Ina-

How did this happen and who's responsible?

Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

This user has validated their user name. by: David Steiner

Mon Jan 12 21:08:04 2015

This is an issue originating within Google's ad network. Google got back to us earlier and is (finally) aware of the issue. We've turned off Adsense within our forum posts where the offending ads were displaying. You can probably guess that Google didn't have much else to say, but Ina will be following up with another story tomorrow.

Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Jan 13 01:45:04 2015

Corporate jerk companies NEVER want to take responsibilities for their numerous failures while hypocritically holding others to unreasonable expectations.

Their day will come sooner or later.

Thanks for the clarifications.

Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Jan 13 10:32:47 2015

This is the first I have heard of it but it does explain perhaps why my Adsense earnings are way down for the month. Less than a dollar in total at this point.

Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

by: Will This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 13 10:59:54 2015

Just love the big companies - "We're too big, too important to deal with such things".

Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 13 11:12:45 2015

I am now sure that product visibility and search-ability is the main reason for my drastic drop in views and sales. I knew that was the case because right after Google did that crackdown on EBay my sales plummeted.  My sales decrease was not related to the privacy breach like so many other sellers claimed. I noticed my sales drop right after the Google incident, and I have been testing it ever since and I am now sure that search and visibility is the what has changed (or should I say disappeared).

EBay has issues with advertising and visibility too.  Just yesterday I was on Facebook and I saw an actual photo/ad on the side of the page for an item of mine that had already sold over a month ago. I know that it was my photo because I personally took that photo. But when I clicked on the photo on the side of Facebook I was taken to a different item listed by a different seller on Ebay. The item was similar but not the same.  Something on the internet has changed in the last year and it is causing all kinds of problems with visibility of products listed on Ebay.

Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 13 11:24:09 2015

And even though I am addicted to the Google search engine, I am beginning to resent them for their greed. It seems that Google is trying to take over everything and I don't respond well to big companies like that. Recently a local service that I often used turned "corporate" being bought out by a franchise so I moved my business to a smaller one-owner business. I am anti-corporate now and I want to give my money to the small "mom and pop" businesses. I hope that becomes a trend for everyone.  Big business is shoddy, unreliable, and untrustworthy.

Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Jan 13 12:42:28 2015

You DON'T NEED "Ad - (NON) Sense" or any other "Pay For Exposure" scam.
That's right it's ALL A SCAM. Word of mouth is STILL what drives traffic, along with artful web-mastering.
eCommerceBytes does more for businesses than any "Pay For" scam.
AND : we get the extra advantage of passing along our experiences on their Comments Blog.
As far as I'm concerned, the old fashioned way of passing on recognition and information is the only way to do business.
2015 is Officially the year to cut out 3rd party interference in our businesses. BLOW THE WHISTLE whenever a "Venue" rips you off.
Don't sign up to use garbage you don't need. Money is precious, and everyone is after yours.  

Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 13 16:19:29 2015

I never understood how it could be good business sense to trick people into looking at things they are not interested in. I think the only people who are tricked are the people who are paying for those ads. They think they're getting lots of hits, when in reality, it is all just trickery, and those who are tricked into viewing are not the least bit interested and will close the site. It's all snake oil.

Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

This user has validated their user name. by: Vintage Touch
Web Site

Tue Jan 13 16:21:51 2015

I've been experiencing that on ecommercebytes and did so just now when I pullled up this topic.  Big window fills the screen and nearly forces you to click on it and then a re-directed to something completely different.  

Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

This user has validated their user name. by: David Steiner

Tue Jan 13 16:37:26 2015

Vintage Touch, the full-page interstitial is different from Google Adsense redirects. That full page banner is handled by us internally and features a paying sponsor of this site.

Perminate Link for Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites   Google AdSense Ads Redirecting to Spam Sites

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 14 13:30:13 2015

I dunno, but Google strikes me as a company with a severe case of ADD. They seem to keep "flitting" from one thing to another, and it's my impression that they never really do any one thing extremely well. Their search engine interface hasn't been improved in a thousand years now. Their Google Books was a great idea when it started but has stagnated.  And now, when they have their ads going to malware sites, they drag their feet in fixing it.  One gets the feeling that their employees all think they're the smartest guy (or gal) in the room, and no one wants to be bothered doing "lowly maintenance" work.



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