3 ways Google knows you’re clicking on your own adsense ads…

June 17, 2007

Have you ever wondered how Google knows you’re clicking on your own adsense ads? There are even people who email Google that they accidentically clicked on their own ads, afraid of being banned.

But Google says that it’s no problem, you don’t need to report it, they’ll find out themselves! So how do they do that? Here’s my guess:

  1. If you are still logged in to Adsense, they know who you are via the Asense cookies.
  2. They track the IP of the computer from which you are doing your Adsense administration. If any clicks come in via that IP, they’ll most likely mark it as suspicious. Even for dynamic IPs, it gives them at least a pretty good guestimate.
  3. They track your behaviour on your own site, and detect it matches “site owner” behaviour. Probably in  combination with Google Toolbar if you got it installed.

BTW, you can easily prevent accidental clicks during testing by adding this to your adsense-code:

google_adtest=’on’;

Any clicks will be ignored, as long as it is set.

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Comparison CSS cleanup/compress/optimizer tools

February 10, 2007

Introduction

This article gives a quick overview of the different features of several CSS cleanup and optimisation tools (so no manual cleanup tips are given here).
For each a list of features is given and any other related useful links. The one I found the best suitable for what I wanted to do (cleanup) is at the top. But definitely check the other entries too, they are in no particular order, and they might be fitting your needs.
At the end of the article a bunch of generic tips are given.
Note the distinction you need to make between tools that cleanup your CSS and tools that compress your CSS before it is sent to the browser.
CSS cleanup (often also called optimisation): cleans up the CSS, for example by removing comments and unnecessary spaces and newlines.
CSS compression: before the CSS is sent to the browser, it is compressed with for example gzip.
Both reduce the amount of data for the CSS that is sent back to the browser. The cleanup does this by reducing the size of the plaintext CSS file. CSS compression does not modify the plaintext contents of the CSS, but compresses the CSS contents before it is sent over. When it arrives at the browser, it is decompressed
Thus, for optimal minimal CSS size, you should first do a cleanup and have it compress before it is sent to the browser.

Here we go

Tips

Below are several tips when considering any of the CSS cleanup and compression tools:

  • Double check the tool for what it does with browser hacks! Some tools might delete them!
  • For performance reasons, it is not recommended to have the cleanup done dynamically. That is when you would let for example run CSSTidy over the CSS *each time* a user requests a page.
  • When using compression, make sure you check all the browsers you want to support with your site actually do support compression.
  • Caching can be an issue was reported somewhere… forgot where 😦
  • Validate your CSS before and after you cleanup and/or compress it at: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/

Other stuff

And finally, here are a couple of other articles that do some comparisons between cleanup/compression tools.

  • This one
    • Here are 4 optimizers (cleanup) listed and compared in their compression rate.
  • And this one
    • Another CSS compression site referenced plus Javascript and HTML compression. Also a reference to an article in the comments that HTML zipping not always works, at least not for IE5.

Soooo…

What do you think? Any tools I missed that you use?

Post of this on digg.


Lessons learned during building your own website

January 25, 2007

Below are a couple of things I learned when creating my own website. The points mentioned are mainly about things you really need to think about in advance as much as possible, *before* you start.
It will save you quite some thinking and issues later down the line… Not that they are unsolvable at a later stage, just nasty to do afterwards, for example when the site is already live.

– Have a square icon/logo. This way people can put it on their sites/blogs etc. They are more willing to do this if the image is relatively small, compared to your full sized logo. Make sure it looks still pretty good in favicon.ico size and in 16×16 and 24×24 (firefox extension image size).

– Think in advance whether you want users to be able to resize your whole page (fluid), or have it fixed size.

– Get a framework. For PHP think about PEAR and CakePHP. For Java, get Spring.

– Here’s a good link: link

– And another one: link