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Q: How can I prove that a website is not displaying my banners yet taking payment? ( No Answer,   4 Comments )
Subject: How can I prove that a website is not displaying my banners yet taking payment?
Category: Computers > Algorithms
Asked by: pietch-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 13 Sep 2006 00:49 PDT
Expires: 13 Oct 2006 00:49 PDT
Question ID: 764752

I advertised with a website that has over 500,000 users. I paid for
25,000 banners per day. Thse banners are not being displayed. I have
refreshed my browser 1000 times and never seen my banner ad.

Here are my stats: 

User sent by ?????.com over last 3 days: 

11- Sep- 2006      04 
10- Sep- 2006      07 
09- Sep- 2006      20 

With internet banner advertising 1%-6% is the average click through
rate. Going on 1% we would at least expect 250 visits per day.

I then did a major test. I would refresh my screen on ?????.com until
I saw my banner. I did this 1000 times and did not see the banner! I
worked out that even if the site had shown at the 1000'th refresh
(which it did not) ?????.com would need over 25 million page views per
day to justify this.

How can I prove this case as I do no want to be ripped off.

There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: How can I prove that a website is not displaying my banners yet taking payme
From: gorillabiscuit-ga on 13 Sep 2006 13:03 PDT
make a screen recording?
Subject: Re: How can I prove that a website is not displaying my banners yet taking payme
From: gorillabiscuit-ga on 14 Sep 2006 11:23 PDT
make a recording and use a macro recording utility to click refresh
indefinitely. Ghostmouse is a good example and very easy to use.
Subject: Re: How can I prove that a website is not displaying my banners yet taking payme
From: mrbill9-ga on 24 Sep 2006 18:41 PDT
You can also run a script using curl (, capture
the output, and plug it into a spreadsheet for metrics. can drive it from Perl routine using Net::HTTP if you wish,
and parse out the unwanted data. I would run this from a UNIX system
(FreeBSD or Linux would work fine).
Subject: Re: How can I prove that a website is not displaying my banners yet taking payme
From: harrysnet-ga on 02 Oct 2006 09:50 PDT
I would suggest that you rethink the situation. This looks more like a business 
problem than a technical one.

The values you see in your log files are correct. They are produced by what is
called a referer, which is part of http. This is given by the browser used to 
visit your site, from the user, and the advertising website has no control 
over it. 

The numbers you already have prove it: People don't click your ad. My first 
response is that regardless of the reason, advertising there just doesn't 
work. Consider your options.

If you do insist on figuring this out the first thing you need to do is make 
sure you use a separate url just for this site. This could be either a special 
page that immediately directs to your page, or add a code describing
the advertiser,


where page1234.html shows nothing but redirects to index.html

or alternatively 
which loads index.html directly, but keeps the code in your logs, identifying 
the advertiser. This gives you further proof of the number of people coming 
through that site.

Second ask to see the logs for your ad that they must keep (as complete 
as possible including IP addresses and identifying cookies). You ad would
be an image or a flash animation, so this should be available. Maybe they 
won't give you full data, but they should give you at least the page it
was displayed in, and the time and date of each showing, for all showings. 
With the data you have, it's reasonable to question them. Ask them to prove 
that their setup is kosher.

Third ask them if you can store your ad in your servers, and have them link to
it. This will cost you bandwidth, but YOUR logs will show the times the ad is
displayed. This may not be possible for privacy reasons though.

Finally if you do any testing do it from other computers if possible, ones you 
never used to log to the service, and also another internet connection. It 
is possible that they use cookies or even IP addresses to know it's you, and 
never show you your own ad (your ad is wasted on you after all). In addition 
such a claim could be a defense for them if you take legal action.

Also note that your ad may be unattractive, the site may have the wrong 
demographics (people going there may not be interested in your business etc)
These can be valid reasons or again excuses.

I am also assuming that ads are prominently displayed, there is just one ad 
per page etc. If these are not true, then your 1% may be wildly optimistic.

One more thing: If you see a sharp increase in visits in your logs, do not 
automatically assume everything is solved, especially if you start bothering 
them too much. If they don't translate to sales they are useless. Check out 
also the possibility of referer spam at
if you see a very sharp increase in visits.

But the bottom line is you are not getting your money's worth. If you don't 
have hard facts (but you have to argue even for that) for the causes,and a 
solid plan to fix it, consider other options for your business.

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