Be Aware of Potential Spam Traffic from Microsoft AdCenter

By July 27, 2014Pay Per Click

If you are advertising with Microsoft AdCenter, be careful of spam traffic, which is traffic that has little to no relevance for your business. AdCenter’s default setting is to distribute your search ads on Yahoo, Bing and their network of publishers, which consist of legitimate publishers as well as fly-by-night spam websites. A client of ours got hit hard by spam traffic recently and it took the AdCenter support team one month to inform us of spam traffic sources.

How to detect if there is spam traffic?

There are two places to look for spam signals. One is inside your Google Analytics > Acquisition > All Traffic. Always monitor your list of traffic sources and if you see any suspicious sources, find out whether it is spam. Usually a spam is listed as a referral. Another place is inside AdCenter itself. If you see your conversions go up dramatically, these conversions maybe coming from spam traffic.

How to prevent and block spam traffic?

As I mentioned above, AdCenter’s default setting is to distribute your ads on its large network of publishers including unrealizable websites. You’d be better off limiting your ads to just Bing and Yahoo only. This setting, unfortunately, is hidden at the ad group level, but not at the campaign level.  To fix this, follow these five steps:

  1. Go to the Campaign tab and click on the Ad Groups sub tab.
  2. Click the box opposite the Ad Group to highlight all the ad groups.
  3. Clicks the Edit and click the Bulk Changes option.
  4. Choose the Distribution to networks option and select your preferred ad distribution setting.
  5. Click Apply.


Last, I recommend blocking the following list of websites just to be safe. You can submit this list at the campaign level under the Setting > Exclusions > Website Exclusions.


The list of spam traffic websites are:

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