Maybe you think that spying is something for the movies, but trust me, it’s something we all do in the Online Marketing world.
And spying does not necessarily mean being a “copycat”, ie, copying/duplicating something you see from your competition.
I prefer the word “inspiration”. You can check WHAT others are doing, learn WHY they are doing it, and then improve.
So here is how you would do some “007 Adsense spying”:
Let’s say you come to a site with Adsense ads, and you would like to find more sites that the same user owns (again, not to copy, but just to check what’s working, etc).
First, you view the source code and look for his/her Adsense Publisher id. To do this, look for the Adsense ad code and extract just the part that starts with pub-
It could be something like this:
google_ad_client = “ca-pub-1234567890123”;
With that, you now go to spyonweb.com and enter the publisher id. Then you just click Go! and you will get other sites owned by the same person.
For example, when I entered a specific publisher id (not revealing it here for privacy reasons):
I found out that this person has other 4 domains. So if I know that he/she is successful in building Adsense sites, I can assume that other sites might be profitable too, so I could check at many things like:
- Theme being used
- Ads placing strategy
- Backlinking strategy
- Content strategy
You can also spy using Analytics Code. For that you need the code that starts with UA, for example: UA-12345678-1 (just a made up example)
If you enter this code at spyonweb.com you will find other sites with the same Analytics Account.
Obviously, not all sites are in the database, so you will not 100% of the results, but you will get a lot of information using this tool.
So after learning how to spy, what can you do to protect your business?
Here are a couple of suggestions:
Separate your public site (ie, your blog) from your money sites.
Do not use the same Analytics account on your public blog/homepage and in your niche/Adsense sites. Otherwise people can just go to your main, public site, get the Analytics code, and spy on you.
Also, if you are very paranoid, you can use another analytics solution like Piwik.
Same thing but with Adsense.
Ideally, do not put Adsense on your blog (unless it makes you a ton of money)
Be a bit private with your business. Do not reveal the urls of your websites in your blog, etc. Now I know it’s great to share information (and you can see I share as much information as I can with my readers), but some things should remain private. You never know who is listening.
So that’s it, hope this was useful and entertaining. You just got your Adsense spy badge 🙂