Google Says It Has Addressed “New Type of Spam” That Hit AdSense Publishers
After nearly two weeks of publisher complaints, Google assures issue with ads auto-redirecting to other sites has been resolved.
Beginning on January 4th, AdSense publishers began reporting on the AdSense product support forum that their ads were redirecting to spammy sites. When publishers tried to disable the ads using the ad blocker tool in AdSense, they, too, would get redirected out of their AdSense accounts. Even when they managed to block the ads or domains causing the problems, the ads reappeared again shortly. The issue has apparently been happening since November, with dozens of publishers now posting about the problem on the forum.
Yesterday, Google issued a formal response on the forum stating that they are “investigating a new type of spam that uses Flash to auto redirect users to a different site once loaded on a page.” Then adding, “We’ve identified the cause of the issue, and have addressed the problem on our network. We’re working with impacted publishers and improving our screening to protect against this type of problem in the future.”
One of the affected publishers posted a couple of hours ago on the forum that Google replied in an email that they are aware of the issue and working on it. The scenario underscores the constant problem of combating spammers that find ever-morphing ways to hijack traffic. In this case through the use of Flash.
Whether we’ve really seen the end of this remains to be seen. A commenter on Search Engine Roundtable says that this problem is persistent on iOS devices, which do not support Flash.