Adsense referrer spam?

I made a whopping 0,12€ with ads on this blog over the last 30 days (and just disabled them entirely, don’t want to get corrupted by all that money). However, what really caught my attention in the report was a domain that doesn’t belong to me (or my company):

Adsense Referrer Spam

So, apparently t****4web.com used my Adsense code on their site, resulting in a single ad impression (and nobody clicked on it, otherwise, my ad revenue would have been at least three two times bigger). How and why did this happen?

The innocent explanation is that their “Web Back Machine” (which sounds suspiciously similar to the non-profit Wayback Machine) archived one of my pages, including the Adsense ads. That’s possible, but what is more likely it that this is Adsense referrer spam, meant to get me to visit their website. I’ve got to admit that it worked, so now I have to write this blog post to justify my actions to myself, see, it was all in the name of research.

For further information on Adsense referrer spam, let me refer you to this comprehensive, well-written article.

What Google and Mr. Burns have got in common

They’re both old fashioned.

I discovered this when receiving my first Google Adsense check from Google’s bank in Germany. This sort of intra-EU payment might have been “cutting edge” a century ago. Nowadays it’s just odd and annoying, because I have to leave the office during the very restricted opening hours of my bank to cash the check, which costs me €15 in fees (or about a week of Adsense revenue). Someone at Google should look up Regulation (EC) No 2560/2001.

It’s not just Luxembourg, though, it appears Google doesn’t like smaller Eurozone countries and Greece (bad vacation experiences, maybe?):

State Population Bank transfer
Malta 404,962 No
Luxembourg 476,200 No
Cyprus 766,400 No
Slovenia 2,013,597 No
Ireland 4,239,848 Yes
Finland 5,289,128 Yes
Slovakia 5,389,180 Yes
Austria 8,316,487 Yes
Portugal 10,599,095 Yes
Belgium 10,666,866 Yes
Greece 11,125,179 No
Netherlands 16,471,968 Yes
Spain 45,116,894 Yes
Italy 59,131,287 Yes
France 63,392,140 Yes
Germany 82,314,906 Yes

Population data from Wikipedia