I wanted to share a personal aside because I felt that people on Hubpages could relate. Allow me to preface by saying that the main reason I use HP is to rapidly rank and test select niches (which is why my profile is so incredibly eclectic), and when I find one I then build my own website around it and push.
Around January I happened to find a particularly lucrative niche, and after a couple of months of pushing and promoting I found that ranking first could net me over $50 a day of revenue on a single article around those keywords. I coasted to rank 3, but could never really break the top 2, so I let the project rot somewhat in the meantime.
Come Google Panda, I began to push to the first spot, which is where mayhem broke lose. Never would I have thought that online competition could be as vicious as offline competition usually is.
At first, I began to get a steady stream of traffic from my fellow competitor's admin page -- no doubt sussing my article out. Then, began to discover that Yahoo's site explorer tool was reporting the onset of thousand of backlinks to my article from -- wait for it -- porn sites and affiliates. Thankfully, this didn't seem to affect my rankings.
"Nice try @#$%hole!" I thought. But it didn't end there.
Next came the on-site spam campaign, a systematic effort at bad mouthing my article in the comment section, and elsewhere. The pressure was enough that it warranted my full attention at times, and occasionally I was close to pulling the plug on the whole thing. That is until he...
Decided to start click-bombing my adsense ads in an effort to get my account banned.
I mentioned this on HP because, like me, I'm sure a lot of you find that as intrinsically obscene as I do. I make close to half my monthly income online, and shutting down adsense is no different from concocting a fairy tale and attempting to get me sacked from my job.
It goes without saying that I both temporarily shut down the ads and reported the abuse to Google. I'm sure an 85% CTR would get their attention anyway.
Does anyone have any similar stories?
Wow! That is brutal...I can't imaged people being so wicked. I had a friend that had a niche site that was in compensation with another seasoned site. She got a message from them to give them a call. They offered her $7,000 for a site that make about $70 s month. Once they bought the site, they dismantled it. It would be interesting if you posted a for sale sign on that site, how much you could get for it. It would be better than getting banned from Google because of their invalid clicks.
I can't say if I have been attacked or not by another - only time I got reported was on Yahoo answers but at the same time I got a vote of 10 for best answer it was a strange experience but has made me 'approach with caution' that somebody is watching but I agree, there are evile people that will seek to rise to fame at your expense hope you get to recover and the bs gets settled.
On some of my 'niche' websites - which incidentally are not getting a lot of traffic as of now - a number of visits on a daily basis are from whois. You have to accept it as a part of online marketing.
I started the same way as you - testing niches and then graduating to websites. But IMO the risks (in terms of niche exposure etc) outweigh the benefits. And that was before Panda.
If I ever link to any website from HP, it will to my personal blog, or portfolio/business type websites.
I'm sorry this happened to you. It's a great thing you contacted Google about this. Being proactive and letting Google know will greatly decrease your chances of getting banned because of someone else. Google watches Adsense publishers like a hawk so I'm sure they notice it as well. Hopefully things will get better for you.
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