Are you using Free Google AdSense WordPress Plugins?

Beware Of “Free” Google AdSense WordPress Plugins.

I came across this article and I thought to share it here.

If you run a WordPress blog that relies on ad revenue, you’ve probably gone searching for plugins that will inject AdSense code (or code from some other advertising network) into your site. Sure, you could enter the code manually into widget areas, but you’ll get the best click-through rates if the ads are inside the article content, and getting the ads inside your articles isn’t quite as easy if you’re not a developer.

 

I did the exact same research a while ago for one of my own blogs. I found a number of different “free” AdSense plugins. I installed a few of them so I could test them out. Then I did a few Google searches to see if I could find anything negative about the plugin I was about to choose.

 

What I found shocked me.

 

It turns out that many of the “free” AdSense plugins compensate for being “free” by displaying a small percentage of ads tied to the authors AdSense ID instead of your own AdSense ID.

 

Here are just two support forum discussions over at WordPress.org on the topic of AdSense plugins stealing ad space:

 

http://wordpress.org/support/topic/plugin-easy-adsense-he-steals-your-area-do-not-use-it

http://wordpress.org/support/topic/plugin-instant-adsense-plugin-steals-adsense-revenue

This is incredibly shady, and I set out to see if I could find an AdSense plugin that was legitimately free. I did finally find one. It’s called Quick Adsense. It’s not the most elegant thing in the world, but at the time of this writing it is compatible with the latest version of WordPress (3.5.1) and it’s good at putting ads in the one place that I really want them… inside my blog articles.

 

If you’re already using a different free AdSense plugin, don’t freak out and uninstall it right away. Do a couple of Google searches to see if you can find negative information about the plugin. Here’s a short list of plugins that have already been called out for ad “sharing”:

 

Easy AdSense

AdSense Optimizer

Instant AdSense

All in One AdSense and YPN Pro

If you have any experience with coding, you can also look at the plugin code to see if anything shady is going on behind the scenes… although if you have experience with coding you’re probably inserting your ad code directly into your templates anyway.

 

You’ve worked hard to build a blog that attracts lots of visitors and generates a decent amount of ad revenue. Don’t give any of it away.

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