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    Exclamation Google glitch shares your private AdSense information with the world


    Well we’ve sat in silence on the first wave of things that Google changed at AdSense but the newest “glitch” goes into issues that have no benefit but a whole lot of negatives, also they might mean Google’s breaking its very own Privacy Policy.


    The first thing that Google did that many people didn’t like was they went public with peoples traffic on websites using AdSense, that’s right if you are using AdSense its now public knowledge a guide to how much traffic your site is getting.

    This system doesn’t give dead on numbers but the ranges are enough to get an idea and this system allows a break down of traffic based on the location of the users of your website, by country. Now part of the reason we let this go without complaint was the fact its given us great insights into competitors traffic number.

    Now thanks to the AdSense API we can actually have a system that will extract traffic numbers for any website and then it will even break down traffic based on country location of the users, this tools great, give us time and we’ll have a nice graph of traffic trends as we can grab stats daily. For example since forums.seochat.com uses AdSense we can now track stats everyday for that website and we can figure out the countries where more users are coming from and compile data.

    Now anyone with an AdWords account can do this, all you need to do is go into your account, select Site-Targeting option, enter the site you want to get stats back, select the country on which you want figures for and then let Google give you back the daily traffic numbers.


    The second thing that spawned this posting is something we don’t like at all as it has no value and has major privacy issues. This has to deal with something that probably only a couple super bored geeks and us figured out.

    The glitch comes from the new system they went public with that allows you to sell adwords/adsense ads direct on your website, great idea, but they forgot to plug a hole in the system.

    See what has happened is now your private details in that the name your AdSense account is registered is available to anyone that simply knows how to ask Google. Its not 100% obvious on how to do this but its very logical.

    What you have to do is first you need this URL:

    http://adwords.google.com/select/OnsiteSignupLandingPage?client=ca-pub-6152613290451105&referringUrl=http://www.adverted.com

    Then you need a website that is using AdSense, for example lets use forums.seochat.com. You will need to go to the website you want the personal information from, in our case its forums.seochat.com and you will have to go to the AdSense ads on the page. You want to right click overtop of the actual ad, click on properties and look for the numbers directly following the “client=ca-pub” in forums.seochat.com’s case its 9228008079178347. You can sometimes get this information directly from the source code, but in forums.seochat.com example and others they actual hide the code off the source code, but the above method always works.

    So now we have the 9228008079178347 code, what we want to do is then replace the current codes that follow the “client=ca-pub” in the above URL with these numbers, so we are changing 6152613290451105 to 9228008079178347 which gives us the following:

    http://adwords.google.com/select/OnsiteSignupLandingPage?client=ca-pub-9228008079178347&referringUrl=http://www.adverted.com

    Now put that address into the address car and click enter, and you’ll see the name registered on the AdSense account that gets payment for that website, now maybe you don't know the owner of SEOchat, maybe its Google or maybe its Fred Flintstone but you are now one click away from finding out who the checks are made out to...

    I’m not a privacy lawyer but something tells me that Google giving away this level of personal information to anyone and without your direct knowledge is something that goes against the Privacy Policy they outline at:

    http://www.google.com/privacypolicy.html

    Funny thing is the only way to get your name off this page is to actually create/fill in the fields on your AdSense account at “Onsite Advertiser Sign-up” but that also means that you will have that nasty added link to all your AdSense ads tell people to advertise on your site, great if you want people to know that the text they’re reading is an ad, bad if you like the fact that many users still don’t know the difference between content and a AdSense ad.

    Comments on this post

    • Bernard agrees : Thanks for sharing
  2. #2
  3. Nice Guy
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    That is wrong! You can edit the name that is showed on that page under your adsense account settings (Onsite Advertiser Sign-up). By default it says Private!
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    Funny thing is the only way to get your name off this page is to actually create/fill in the fields on your AdSense account at “Onsite Advertiser Sign-up”.
    As for your private comment, never seen that, we've checked many client ID's and none have shown this Private thing you mention, can you send back some examples of this?
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  7. Nice Guy
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    I can't, since I changed my settings last week. But if you look at a site, that does not has the Onsite Advertiser turned on (they do not show the "Advertise on this site" link in the adsense box) or changed it, you will notice, that when you try to access the landing page it will say "private".

    Try this pub code -> ca-pub-4682583020921292
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  9. blog.brightonvibes.com
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    Off Topic

    "Location: Vancouver/Canada, Bangkok/Thailand, Singapore, Las Vegas/USA"

    Are you omnipresent? lol

    //Offtopic
    Can you believe this site is powered by wordpress? : Hottogs.com
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  11. blog.brightonvibes.com
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    I don't see what the big issue is anyway. Your details are in many many many places around the world. If someone wanted to find them out they certainly would not be using adwords to get one name.

    They would have access to far more important files and data sources.

    Additionally, chances are that a whois on the domain name will give you more than just a name (probably not the same name of course).

    In all honesty there is not much to see here, especially as you can choose not to show the name.

    Move along folks.
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    SunnyMonkey:

    Its an issue of Privacy, yes there isn't much value in getting the owners name, but its the fact that Google gives this out. Its not right that Google would give this out without letting people aware of it.

    Some people go to great lengths for what ever reason to stay anonymous, look at it in one way, if the IRS looks at look at all this information they'd know if you'd been getting checks from Google.
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    [QUOTE] Are you omnipresent? lol [QUOTE]


    Ha, no its just we have consultants in each of those cities, but more so its where I keep property and will often be working in one of those cities/locations. But thanks for pointing it out I seldom read that part of my profile or read my profile at all, I'll update it to better suit our current company offices.
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  17. Supercalifragilistic
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    If you are using one Adsense account for several different web sites, with this method people can may see info related to the primary domain or owner on the account (with the OnSite Advertising enabled).

    If you disable OnSite Advertising for your account, no one sees any details using this direct url jump method.
    Last edited by Bernard; Nov 30th, 2005 at 09:55 AM.
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    Originally Posted by S.E.O.
    SunnyMonkey:

    Its an issue of Privacy, yes there isn't much value in getting the owners name, but its the fact that Google gives this out. Its not right that Google would give this out without letting people aware of it. .
    Perhaps I am missing the point here. I tried the tingy with the URL on one of my own sites using AdSense, and Nada! The only thing which appears is the page I created myself for potential advertisers to see. In other words, it the same page you see when you click "Advertise your Site Here" link on AdSense. Perhaps the fixed it? Or perhaps I misunderstood. In any case, there is nothing Google is showing which I didnt want to show in the first place.

    Even for traffic, as a publisher who wants to sell ad space, then I am obliged to give an true and objective indication of the traffic and demographics to my potential advertiser. This is something I do for anyone who enquires to advertise on my site, so I dont really see an issue here either.
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    Hi Marcyboy,

    Yes if you update the information in your AdSense account for the on-site advertising option that's what will show, but if you don't do that it by default shows your name used to receive payments, try checking a friends AdSense account using the above and see what I mean.
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  23. Supercalifragilistic
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    When I checked my own adsense account which I had not updated since the OnSite Advertising was offered, it showed the primary domain name used to register the Adsense account, not my name. YMMV.
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    Strange, we've seen a few strange things some accounts had NA, the one user here has said his said Private and now this, maybe there is some glitches within the glitches...

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