AdSense Spills the Beans on your Network


Jenstar points to "feature" in Adsense that allows you to do a little recon on someone's network of sites.

First, you find an AdSense site belonging to a friend of yours. The higher quality the better. And bonus points if he or she happens to be slightly on the paranoid side, especially when it comes to the hidden powers of search engines.

Next, find that "advertise on this site" link on an ad unit, if the publisher has opted into Onsite Advertiser Sign-Up. And click the link. Hopefully, you will see either the person's name or better yet, their ultra secret hidden company business name.


This is new news?

People noticed this the first day the feature was turned on in the WMW forums as everyone was opting out en masse

Erm, yeah... not really..

Erm, yeah... not really.. news?

Now if Jen can find a way to display what people are EARNING per account - that is news! ;)

I have known about it since

I have known about it since it launched, but so many people aren't aware of it or never thought to check what it said, even ones that do keep track of what is going on in the AdSense world. It was more of a heads up, and judging from the emails I have received - not to mention some of the people who I've pointed it out to previously - the info was appreciated.

As for opting out - the majority of people were opting out because they weren't getting a bounty on referred advertisers or because it was a potential click someone would make when they might have otherwise clicked an ad. Most were not opting out because it happened to say their name or URL on the landing page.

careful when testing

This is another area where Google flexes it's arrogance and defines the world around it's limited vision.

Site Targeting was added by Google and turned on by default. Their limited world view imposed new behavior on publishers, who then suffer the consequences (whatever) and must react. There are many examples of "issues" resulting from this... but the Google arrogance is blind to the fact that things may not always be as Google thinks they are or should be.

Think this through: As a publisher I have no idea what it will mean if Google adds "X" or "Y" to my page. Google may have done research and learned that it may do "A" or "B", but Google cannot be sure of what else may happen on my particular site. What if it does "C"?

So for Goooooooooooogle to then impose new "features" upon my site is to force me to find out the hard way what exactly it will mean for my business. I don't even trust my CEO with that much power... even she has to defend her actions before the company board of Directors, and she knows that means she had better have done her homework.

I like Google... really. I just know that I can't trust them. And that bothers me. I would be remiss not to advise my clients accordingly. One day Google will realize their customers are businesses and not web designers, and start treating them with commercial respect.

Everything Disabled

The last feature I've used worth any value was AdLinks.

Everything else from CPM ads to Advertise On This Site has been disabled via instant emails to me AdSense rep.

Don't even ask about the CPM ads, that was a huge fiasco - just search for Purple Pills on WMW for more details.

ThreadWatch opted out, but

ThreadWatch opted out, but Google STILL shares that data!

Oh so shady...


I tried substituting a few publisher codes that opted out and sure enough it shows you exactly who they are.

Real cute Google, you morons.

google challenge

what's with this image on the page referenced above?

if they take it down, it is two words, "Void" superimposed on "Privacy "

it is show on the link shown by seobook above.

i think that pretty well sums up their attitude towards it.

secret's out

Yeah, that's the part that Jenn did *not* reveal:

There is a somewhat complex workaround to see the name even if the publisher has opted out of the onsite advertiser signup (and no, I am not revealing it!)

Just change the pub-XXXX to someone else's pub ID and you get their sign-up page and info, even if they have opted out. You really need to change the data field, which Google defaulted for you without your consent (if you want a little bit of confidentiality until their next stunt).

UPDATE: the privacy image is apparently the "Gravatar" which is displayed if you have one.

As for some who have opted out and still see it, that might be because it takes a while for them to update the ad display. Try again later (and then try this with your pub-id to see that it is still there:


if you think you've cleared the problem by clearing the data field (so the signup page, publicized or not, shows the URL of the site), you may want to check that your other sites are not showing that same URL of your first AdSense site - thus revealing your network, as graywolf stated when he started this thread.

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