Expandable Creatives Files for AdSense, are they safe?


I’ve posted in the Google AdSense forums, but to no avail… so since there are lots of nice and friendly, and knowledgeable, webmasters here in our DreamHost forums, I figured I’d take a shot here… (if the narrative is too long, please jump to my BIG question at the bottom… are the files I’ve placed on my site safe?)

Recently, I was perusing my logs and noticed a lot of 404 errors, that I believe are coming from the use of Google AdSense. The three that I see most often are:

From the research I’ve done, it appears as though I may be missing out on ad revenue if these files don’t exist, as some of the ads being served up are flash based and/or “iframe busters”… which need these files to exist locally. I don’t use iFrames on any of my sites, but these files are still being called, and receiving 404 errors, so I’d like to fix them, even if it won’t have an impact on revenues.

Now, I’ve seen some Google/DoubleClick articles that make these files seem to be legit:

However, I can’t seem to find the files I’m actually supposed to use… except for the DARTIframe.html one… it was linked from the AdSense forums, and was a google.com hosted file, so I think it’s legit. But, I can’t find “official” files for the other two… I’ve found them at various websites, and brought them over to my site. It seems to have fixed the 404 errors, and only time will tell if my ad revenues go up.

My BIG question is… are the files I’ve placed on my site safe and legit? And needed? I’ve provided links to them below. They are heavy in JavaScript, so I’m not really sure. I’ve browsed them, and they look OK to me, but I’m hoping to get some better opinions on them, because I’m not smart enough to know if the JavaScript, while looking safe, is actually a hacker back door.


Thanks for your help!

Are you hosting special ads, or just the standard ones that Google’s giving you? It looks like you only need those if you’re making ads directly with 3rd party vendors.

No special ads… the only ads I’m serving are 100% delivered by Google AdSense code I’ve placed on the pages. I suspect Google is delivering 3rd party ads by way of AdSense.

I’ve done some other logging and usually a request for one of these three pages comes with a referrer beginning with “http://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-(my correct AdSense Publisher ID)” so it looks legit (even though I know a referrer can be spoofed).

Okay. This is weird. Google says you only need that if you use iframes: http://support.google.com/richmedia/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=117427

And then this:

Gee, thanks Google. I honestly can’t tell if you have to have them or not. I’d be inclined to say Google (being the ‘agency’ who provided you with the ‘creative’ - i.e. the ad) would be giving you those files if you needed them.

I found this: http://www.google.com/help/hc/downloads/richmedia/dart_iframe_solution_9.29.08.zip

Yeah, I know… great help, right? I did get the DARTiframe one from the exact location you linked to, so I feel like it’s semi-legit… even though I don’t use iFrames, but am still getting the 404 errors, thus it must be trying to load it on my site. It’s the “other two” that I feel more leery about.

In any event, I do sincerely appreciate the help… but it sounds like you’re grasping at the exact same straws that I’ve been grasping at. I was hoping someone around here might have some first hand knowledge/experience with these AdSense creatives (ads).

Thanks again… triggerx.

Alas, I dropped Google Ads a couple years ago, when we butted heads over what ads were acceptable. I didn’t want any religious ads on my sites, nor any ‘Lose weight!’ acacia stuff. So I turned them off, and Google dropped my revenue to pennies a week (vs $20 a week). When I asked why, they said that blocking those would block a huge swath of ads, including some I was okay with. I pointed out I just didn’t want religion and scams, they said too bad, so sad. I moved to Project Wonderful. I make less money, but I feel way better about myself.

This isn’t to say that Google Ads are bad, I just wanted more granular control over what I showed on my sites. I’m picky like that. When they really fall down is support, though :confused: