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A Lesson About Adsense – And Also Some Of My Favorite Reads

December 5, 2010 · 20 comments

in Blogging, Link Round Up

It has been a crazy week.   I was sick, kids were sick, husband got sick.  Blech.  Then, to add more fun, someone infiltrated my website somehow and messed with my ads.  Here is the story:

I was looking at my Adsense revenue, and it was at 0 for 3 days.  I do not make a ton of money on Adsense by any means, but even I can generate at least 3 cents a day.  (Jealous??)  I then looked a little further and saw that my ‘impressions’ in Adsense were 0 for two days, and 4 on another.  That made me very curious, because my ads were still displaying.  I poked around for awhile and decided to look at the page source code for my site.  (Anyone can do that.  Go to ‘view’ at the menu on the top of your page and go down to ‘Page Source’.   That shows the code for your site.  I then did a find on ‘pub-’ so I could see the Pub Id associated with my ads.  The number being displayed in my source code was different than the pub-id for my Adsense account.

I then logged into my site itself and looked at the ads in my widgets and in my code and the Pub Id was the fake one, and not my own.   I then replaced the hacked ads with new ones that had my Google Adsense ID, and everything went back to normal.  However, it left me disconcerted.  I felt incredibly lucky that someone only got to my ads and didn’t just hack up my site.  I have no idea how they did it, and neither did my website host when I contacted them.  Their only suggestion was to make sure my version of WordPress was always up to date as older versions seem to be compromised more often.  I filled out this form and submitted it to Google to report my hacked ad.

Now it is time to reveal some of my favorite reads from the week.  I was not around nearly as much this week as my job as nursemaid took precedence.  However, here are some of the great things I did get a chance to read:

101 Centavos shares his experience with a panhandler.  I would have handled the situation exactly as he did.

Aloysa’s Kitchen Sink shares her very meaningful Christmas-themed post with ’12 Days of Giving’.

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff shares her version of the 12 Days of Christmas.  I love these ‘theme’ posts!

Faithful With A Few has a must-read about what welfare dollars could be used to purchase in California.   (Before the recent Schwartzenegger smackdown.)   I cannot tell you how angry it makes me that in California, welfare recipients were allowed to spend their welfare dollars on psychics, cruise ships, and more! Arrrrghhhh!!!

First Gen American talks about buying a house without a mortgage.   (Yes, it can be done!)  She also was the inspiration for the Christmas song post I wrote on Friday.

Frugal Confessions shares some homemade holiday presents that people will actually use and enjoy. (I cringe when I think back to some of the potholders and scarves I made in my youth.)

Grumpy Rumblings of the Untenured try to balance paying down the mortgage and keeping enough money around for other pursuits/emergency savings. It is a fine line, as it is very attractive to try and get rid of that mortgage debt.  But you also have to live!

Invest It Wisely got me singing Christmas songs all day, and his ‘Walkin in A Winter Wonderland’ spoof was perfect.  I also  have to mention that his article ’3 Unconventional Money Moves to Make in 2011‘ was picked up by Globe and Mail!

Len Penzo talks about the benefits of waiting to make a purchase until you actually have the money, and also shares some personal examples.

Money Reasons shares the story of his friends that won a free house, and eventually ended up moving in a ‘McMansion’.   I have somewhat of a rebuttal post on Monday about this.  It gave me a lot to think about.

Saving Money Today shares some life lessons learned from Samurai Jack. A very fun post!

Squirrelers further discussing tipping, along with what Yahoo Finance states are tipping ‘standards’.  I think tipping is getting crazy nowdays.   Tip jars at Dairy Queen?   Is it really necessary considering what they charge?  I have been making hot cocoa for myself at home and put a little whipped cream on top . I find that just as satisfying as the Starbucks cocoa, and at 1/4th the cost. Not to mention the little tip box that is staring at me while I pay at Starbucks always makes me feel like I have to give something.

Watson, Inc discusses different types of income, along with some possible tax changes for municipal bonds.   Why is increasing taxes the answer to everything as opposed to slashing spending?

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Jake Stichler December 5, 2010 at 12:44 am

Well, good thing you’re not raking it in as it is, or it would’ve really hurt. I’ve had quite a few magical things show up on my various websites that my host doesn’t seem to have any idea about.
Jake Stichler recently posted..Net Worth Update- December 2010

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Squirrelers December 5, 2010 at 1:55 am

Thanks for including my post in your favorites for the week!

Also, interesting on Adsense. I’ll have to keep this in mind, thanks for sharing this story.
Squirrelers recently posted..Is Tipping Getting a Bit Out of Control

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Money Reasons December 5, 2010 at 3:48 am

3 cents a day! Ahh shoot, you got my median amount earned per day beat by 50%!!! (and I’m not joking either!)

Thanks for the mention, I’m very happy you got everything squared away :)
Money Reasons recently posted..Funny Money Comic 7- Passing on Lattes

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Andrew @ 101 Centavos December 5, 2010 at 8:12 am

Hello Kris, thanks for including my post in your roundup. I haven’t gotten around to putting Adsense on the blog, despite the prodding of my way-more-web-savvy 14-yr-old. Your post may change that.
Andrew @ 101 Centavos recently posted..Investing in Uranium

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Roshawn @ Watson Inc December 5, 2010 at 8:50 am

Wow Kris, I didn’t even know that was possible. Thanks for sharing your story and for linking to my “hypocritical” post :)
Roshawn @ Watson Inc recently posted..Am I A Financial Hypocrite

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Moneycone December 5, 2010 at 9:22 am

Hey Kris, sorry to hear about your health. Hope you and your family get well soon.

About your Adsense ids getting hacked, here’s one possibility. When you upgrade your adsense related plugins in WP, the author of the plugin could’ve defaulted to his adsense id overwriting yours. Might not be with malicious intent, could be something the author overlooked.

Just a thought.
Moneycone recently posted..Major Announcement!

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Nicole December 5, 2010 at 9:35 am

That’s creepy about the adsense!

Thanks for linking to us.

Our post on having bought too much house also comes out on Monday. It’ll be like a theme thing.
Nicole recently posted..RBOC

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Crystal @ BFS December 5, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Sorry you were hijacked. Thanks for the mention! I hope you have a great week!
Crystal @ BFS recently posted..New Year’s Day Goals Update

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CreditShout December 5, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Sorry to hear your site got hijacked. My advice to everyone: ALWAYS make sure to update wordpress or your blogging software to the latest version – I had this happen to me when I first started out because I neglected updating for awhile and ended up paying the price.

Also many of the wordpress plugins that insert adsense into your template automatically will include default adsense code that makes the plugin author money so it’s important to go through and make sure to replace the default code with your own as well. Sometimes people will download 2 adsense plugins and the one that they didn’t change will be overriding the other.

Hope this helps!

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Andrea December 5, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I’m still learning about adsense so thanks for your post. If I see any kind of change I’ll know how to troubleshoot to find out what’s going on.
Andrea recently posted..Tips for Grocery Shopping in this Economy

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Aloysa December 5, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Thank you for including me!

You handled the situation with Adsense perfectly! Please keep us posted what Google says… if you hear anything from them. I would panic and go crazy if someone would hack into my account.

Sorry, you and the whole family were sick last week. Get better before Christmas!
Aloysa recently posted..Store Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping

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Amanda L Grossman December 5, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Thank you for including my article! Your week sounds so trying, I am sorry that you had to go through it all.

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First Gen American December 5, 2010 at 6:42 pm

It’s amazing how violating that feels. It’s like someone breaking into your apartment. Hopefully next week will be better than this one.

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Kevin@InvestItWisely December 5, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Hope that you’re able to get everything locked down, and glad that you also discovered this pretty quickly!
Kevin@InvestItWisely recently posted..Weekend Reading- Freedom Edition!

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Khaleef @ KNS Financial December 5, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Yes, I am jealous of your 3 cents/day. Especially since I’ve been kicked out of Adsense for some mysterous reason. I am so glad that it was something different in your case – although, the thought of your ID being changed is not fun either!

Thanks for including my link about the welfare cards!
Khaleef @ KNS Financial recently posted..CVS Shopping for Black Friday 2010 – Saved 127- Spent 167- Made 190

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Countertop Granites December 6, 2010 at 6:51 am

Here’s a trick you can try: Make your ad units have a custom palette. This way if someone hijacks them again, it will look weird and stick out.

Then again, that would be just fighting the last war. Next time, they’ll come up with something else.
Countertop Granites recently posted..Silestone Kitchen with Tile Backsplash

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Robert @ The College Investor December 9, 2010 at 2:08 am

You were also lucky that you didn’t find out by getting a nasty-gram from Google saying you were banned. I was the victim of a click-attack, didn’t know it (never had any more money in my account), and now I’m trying to prove to Google that I didn’t do it!
Robert @ The College Investor recently posted..Types of Education Savings Accounts

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Texas Car Insurance January 4, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Adsense is very good to make money online. I find it easier than Adbrite, Kontera and the rest. The key thing with adsense is traffic. Of course, good placement of the ads is very important. But the real thing that brings in money is traffic. There are also some times when one would have visitors but with no adsense income. It is then one should look at the way the adsense ads are placed on the site.
Texas Car Insurance recently posted..Texas Auto Insurance for brand spanking new Drivers

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Kris January 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm

I totally agree about ad placement. I saw a huge increase in adsense revenue when I placed an adsense block under the title of individual posts. I am sure some people may find it off-putting, but I do get some revenue from it. It is a difficult balance.

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