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AdSense Ties your Secret Blogs To You

If you have a blog that you don’t want anyone to know about and you use AdSense be careful about activating the ‘advertise on this site’ feature. Jensense points out that it’s one way that can give away who you are. Of course the other way is to do a source code view of a site and look at the publisher code which is something I’ve done once or twice – I even confirmed one of Jen’s sites was hers once when I saw a site that I thought was in her style using the source code method.

Moral of the story – it’s pretty hard to hide on the web!

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. David says:

    I totally agree that it is difficult to hide on the web and sometimes think that is a good thing so guilty parties can be held accountable for their actions. I would hate to see you having another blog that was making fun of us and calling us all idiots and etc…

  2. i removed that ‘advertise here’ link. If one own a lot of sites with one adsense account, there is totally no privacy.

  3. Peter Davis says:

    The people who really don’t want to be found are using multiple Adsense accounts.

  4. it is time for google to come up with a solution for those with multiple website in order to protect the publisher’s privacy.

  5. Adam Graham says:

    If you have something that secretive that you didn’t want others to know, it doesn’t seem like you’d try and make money off of it.

  6. Russ says:

    It may be hard to hide on the web, but it’s even harder to be found!

  7. How do you get the time, Darren? Life’s too short as it is, but looking at source code and collecting AdSense numbers is a new one on me. A bit like train spotting, I suppose. :-)

  8. Eric Giguere says:

    All it takes is one search engine that chooses not to throw away the contents of HTML comments and it’ll be trivial to search for all pages with a given AdSense publisher ID.

    I asked Google if they’d consider adding separate tracking IDs for publishers to use to protect their privacy, but it was a no go (watch, they’ll announce it as a new feature tomorrow) and so the only solution now is to setup a separate corporate identity (a Nevada LLC seems to be the best) and get an AdSense account for it. Probably more hassle than its worth. The other strategy is to use AdSense for your high-profile sites and YPN for your seedier/controversial/embarrassing sites, or vice-versa.

    Not that you should have seedy sites!

  9. Alle the best for you and problogger in 2006, Darren!

    Feedback by watching your blog:
    I’d like to read your blog for a long time. Great tips and inspiration for blogging. Today it takes me a long time to load the content of your blog. First I see header and sidebar and an empty page, after seconds the content. Index page or entry page show me the same results.
    Hope it focus your view and help you a bit.

    All the best!

  10. Great Blog, Darren. I’ve been reading it for a couple of months now, and found your advice extremely valuable.

    Although my question isn’t related to this post, I would like to get your feedback on Yahoo Publishing Network. A while back you said that you weren’t very happy with the results of your YPN ads vs. Google Adsense. I noticed that you are still running the YPN ads. Did you have a change of heart?

    Currently I am running Adsense, but was invited by Yahoo to try out their ads. I’m just wondering if I should change over, or should I stick with Adsense? I’ve just started my blog not too long ago, so I”m not making a heck of a lot of money right now anyways.

  11. Josh says:

    Where/what is the “publishers code” in the html code? Josh

  12. Eric Giguere says:

    Googles gives its AdSense publishers some JavaScript code that they embed in their HTML. When the page is loaded by the browser, the code runs and fetches contextual ads to display on the page. The code naturally includes a publisher ID so that Google knows which publisher to credit if a visitor clicks the ads. The publisher ID is unique to each publisher, so you can easily tell that sites are related if they have the same publisher ID.

    If you like Darren’s blog, see also my own blog, which focuses specifically on AdSense-related material. I also have a one-page AdSense summary that might interest you….

  13. Patrick says:

    Funny. I don’t have “secret blogs” or anything like that, but funny nonetheless.

  14. It is so easy to figure out the name behind any website. But I don’t know why anyone would want to hide a blog with Adsense on it. Kinda defeats the purpose doesn’t it?

  15. Sandra Sims says:

    You can change this by going to your Adsense panel click on the “My Account” tab and scroll down to Onsite Advertiser Sign-Up and hit edit. You can change the text to remove any references to your website. Then it’s just generic and says “Advertise on this website” instead of your site name.

  16. Toad says:

    I agree with David on the need for accountability with everything that you do. I don’t necessarily think that we should shy away from addressing issues that need to get out.

    I have never had to hide my identity, but I can see that there could be a need for it. Journalists do it all the time to preserve their story. So it’s not necessarily to ‘hide’ but rather to keep the two separate.

  17. Darren Rowse says:

    I personally don’t hide my sites – but I do know people who do for a number of legitimate reasons.

    For example take Jen from Jensense. She’s revealed some of her site’s on her blog as examples but not others. I understand why she wouldn’t want people to know all of her blogs because when you use them as examples people tend to copy you.

    I’ve seen this happen time and time again from readers here. Of course there are pros of people knowing your blogs too – but I guess it comes down to strategy.

  18. Eric Giguere says:

    One good reason for hiding sites is to keep your personal and professional lives separate. Nothing like having a wild personal blog to drive away potential clients…

  19. Jon says:

    Somone said you remove the advertise on this site link that is part of the google adsense.. but I dont see anywhere in google where you can remove that I thought that was part of the ad not an option?

    second I cant see the point in hiding your info on a site, only the whois so that you dont get spammed as harshly.