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Remarketing tag hijacked by spammers, how to block them?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Recently, my remarketing tag appears to have more or less hijacked by spammers. I'm getting tons of clicks from very spammy sites that, knowing our audience, are definitely not remarketing visits from our actual site visitors.


It's mainly bitcoin sites and virtual hosting. I've tried adding the following broad match display keywords as campaign exclusions, but the endless stream of visits from these bitcoin sites continues:

- faucet

- btc

- doge coin

- bit coin

- bitcoin

I've been adding the spam sites as placement exclusions, but it feels very reactive instead of proactive about stopping this problem.

I've added campaign topic exclusions for the following too:
- Arts & Entertainment (full category)

- World Localities > Asia > South Asia

- World Localities > Asia > Southeast Asia

- Internet & Telecom > Web Services

- Internet & Telecom > Service Providers

- Jobs & Education (full category)

- Computers & Electronics > Networking > VPN & Remote Access

I'm also blocking on site category options:
- Parked domains

- Error pages

- Social networks

- Sexually suggestive

- Juvenile, gross, bizarre

- Ingame

- GMob

What else can I do to block all these junk visits, it's wasting a huge amount of my budget.

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Remarketing tag hijacked by spammers, how to block them?

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star
Have you confirmed for sure your tag has been hijacked? How does your list size currently compare to the amount of traffic your site has received for the amount of time your membership duration is set to?

Re: Remarketing tag hijacked by spammers, how to block them?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Our site traffic patterns are normal, there hasn't been any corresponding fluctuation of abnormal visitors like I've been seeing with ones that come through on the remarketing ads.


My remarketing tag is more than two years old, and had been bringing back highly converting visitors since the beginning. As of a few weeks ago, I'm suddenly being inundated with huge amounts of low-quality remarketing visits from domains that our customers just wouldn't be on. For example, in the span of less than an hour this morning, I had 12 visits, all bounced, from that ate up a third of my daily budget.

Re: Remarketing tag hijacked by spammers, how to block them?

Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star
yes, but if your tag has been "hijacked" that should mean that your remarketing tag has been placed on other websites that don't belong to you. What is the membership duration of your remarketing tag? You should take that value and compare your current list size to that many days worth of traffic on your site. If the list size is significantly larger than your unique visitors, I'd say that is pretty good evidence that is what has happened.

Are you also certain about your targeting settings for this campaign? You haven't added any other kinds of targeting except for your remarketing list?

Re: Remarketing tag hijacked by spammers, how to block them?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Confirmed, Remarketing list, Target & Bid, is the only type of targeting applied to the campaign. List membership duration is 30 days, and number of cookies on the list is ~4000 less than the total amount of sessions over the last 30 days.

The remarketing list size has increased by 30% in the last three days alone, but actual on-site traffic doesn't correspond to that. Looking back from July 2015 - present, I averaged 4-10 remarketing visits per day from this campaign. On January 4th 2016, it suddenly jumped up to more than 50 remarketing visits per day, conversion rate went down massively, bounce rate also shot up.  This doesn't align with our site traffic, or visitor site usage statistics.

Re: Remarketing tag hijacked by spammers, how to block them?

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

I agree with @David Kyle;

If the remarketing tag is used by others, you could set a new remarketing tag, and with the help of Support (only with their help) to move the users on the current list to a new account, or to a new list

If the code is only on your site, and ads are shown on spam websites, you can exclude by excluding placements or excluding topics. (Negative keywords  are  a "negative" variable in the contextual targeting algorithm, but does not exclude completely.)


Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Remarketing tag hijacked by spammers, how to block them?

Rising Star
# 7
Rising Star
@Danielle L

I'm sorry I missed your last response. So then there is no geographic targeting? Have you taken a look at where the most recent traffic is coming from? Are you eligible for phone support? Considering the complex nature of what's being discussed, it's going to be really hard to troubleshoot here without being able to look at your account and Analytics. Phone support will be able to see everything you can, and help you figure out what might be happening.