The Smowtion ad network used to be an ad network that many blog and website owners coveted. It was an ad network people wanted on their sites as they didn’t have as stringent guidelines on traffic, content and niches as many other CPM networks.
I used them for a number of years and in the beginning I was very pleased with how they performed, and while they were never the biggest payers in the industry they were consistent and displayed some interesting ads.
About a year ago I noticed a HUGE increase in the amount of dodgy ads that Smowtion were displaying, telling visitors that they needed to install newer versions of codecs and in some instances actually hijacking their browser and taking them to another site to force a malicious download upon them.
My complaints were ignored by the support department, a department I had always enjoyed a good relationship with over the years.
I made the decision to remove the ads from my big blogs and replace them with affiliate ads. I left the ads on the smaller sites and blogs that I had not updated in a long time.
About a week ago I received an email from the support department and I wasn’t sure what they were talking about, after a quick check on my account I noticed they were replying to a question I sent to them back in MARCH.
Since it had been a year since I last used them properly I decided to give them another chance, I contacted the person who emailed me and was told that all their ads are clean. Within 30 seconds of installing their ads I personally witnessed a couple of redirects.
A couple of days later Google’s Webmaster Tools reported that some of my blogs that had the Smowtion ads on had been marked as a security threat. I contacted Smowtion and was told that Google had made the mistake and they once again promised me that all their ads are clean.
I removed the Smowtion ads on the blogs that had the security alert on and within 24 hours Google removed the alerts. I then placed their ads on TWO blogs I had never placed ANY ads on before and within a couple of days I received two security alerts that malicious content was being downloaded.
Smowtion are still denying it is their ads and that Google are at fault.
Not everybody has had this kind of experience and I believe it only happens to sites who attract a low amount of traffic. I was once told by their support department that if they removed the ads trying to trick people into downloading codecs then I’ve have no ads to display!