Why would Google AdSense team want to track ads served on your site for invalid clicks? The reason is not far fetched.
AdSense allows an advertiser to submit a bid (i.e., a bid not observable by competitors) to promote their offers on their platform while publishers use Google AdSense as a means to make money online by placing ads on their website and YouTube channel.
Google considers invalid click activity as “any click(s) or impressions that artificially inflate an advertiser’s costs, or a publisher’s earnings.” This kind of activity does not in any way favour both the advertiser and Google AdSense itself.
When Google determines that clicks are invalid, they try to automatically filter them from advertisers reports and payments so that they’re not charged for those clicks. On the other hand, publishers bear an immediate consequence for such unscrupulous activity.
In one word, their website gets banned from continuing in the adsense program.
Invalid clicks, as defined by Google, are clicks that are illegitimate, unintentional, or resulting from malicious software. The most common examples of this are: Clicks by bots or other automated clicking tools like (Traffic bot). Manual clicks, used to increase your costs or the profits of websites hosting ads, Click for Click partnership etc…
Invalid clicks may include, but is not limited to:
- Clicks or impressions generated by publishers clicking on their own live ads over and over again
- Repeated ad clicks or impressions generated by one or more users successively within a short interval
- Publishers encouraging clicks on their ads (examples may include: any language encouraging users to click on ads, ad implementations that may cause a high volume of accidental clicks, etc.)
- Automated clicking tools or traffic sources, robots, or other deceptive software.
• Publishers clicking their own live ads or encouraging users to clicks on their ads
• Fraudulent clicking by competing advertisers ad fraud botnets and more
• Any invalid traffic designed to increase ad traffic while pretending to be genuine.
• Click farms (A click farm is a business that pays employees to click on website elements to artificially boost the status of a client’s website or a product)
• Automated browsing
• Session hijacking and botnets
Clicks on Google ads must result from genuine visitors on your site, and any method that artificially generates clicks or impressions is strictly prohibited by Google AdSense program policies. If they observe high levels of invalid traffic on your account, they have the right to suspend or disable your adsense account in order to protect her advertisers and users.
Sometimes, due to invalid clicks, if your account isn’t suspended or banned all along, you might later on see a difference between your estimated and finalized earnings.
Most AdSense publisher know that Google can detect invalid clicks and we all know that the punishment for having invalid clicks is immediate termination of your AdSense account. Google has a very strong process or system which detects invalid clicks on ads served on your website. Yet, they still go ahead to use shortcuts to get the money from Goggle.
In the majority of cases, Google automatically filters out an invalid click before the click hits your account.Their system is always updated with new measures to checkmate invalid clicks.
How to keep your account in good standing from Invalid Clicks
There are a number of times we publishers have one or more questions and concerns about invalid clicks and keeping our account in good standing. Below is a list to the most common issues and concerns a publisher may have.
- Accidentally clicked on my own ads. Will this cause a problem for my account?
Although publishers are not permitted to click on their own ads for any reason. Lets face it, we all want to view how our ads are positioned on the blog. We want to know if its well tweaked to give us best conversion. Hence, its rare for one not to make an accidental click on ad maybe once in a blue moon.
You don’t have to worry when you do this. Just be rest assured that your account is being properly credited for all clicks and impressions that would be considered to be valid.
2. Noticed some unusual click activity on my account. How can I protect myself from invalid clicks?
Just a day after publishing this post, I saw a complaint on Facebook. See below
The first thing you’d want to do when you suspect that invalid clicks may have resulted from a visitor to your site, is to review your site’s logs for any suspicious activity and send a quick notification to Google with your findings.
If you aren’t getting any help, you can easily review and monitor your site traffic, we recommend trying these Google search terms: Webmaster resources, Website tracking and logging, Site traffic analysis.
Some bloggers suggested this…
If you aren’t sure about how to set it up, feel free to contact those guys recommending tools. You might be charged for the service tho.
3. Viewing my own site without generating invalid impressions?
You can view your own pages without generating invalid impressions. Simply viewing your pages yourself will not hamper your good standing in the AdSense program – however, just ensure you aren’t clicking on your ads intentionally. Just try to avoid clicking on any ads, and don’t reload your web pages excessively.
Google AdSense really take the issue of invalid clicks and page impressions very seriously. Let me say that again….. Google AdSense really take the issue of invalid clicks and page impressions very seriously. Besides, they have a dedicated team of specialists, as well as automated systems, to flag and review any unusual activity on your ads.
4. Interested in an ads on my site
It could be harmful when you click on ads served on your ads because you are interested in such ad. For instance, you see an ad sliding through your page with a CTA to claim a 60% discount on a product you’ve been wanting to get for months.
It won’t be ideal to click on it. You best choice could be to make a Google search about the product and click where it appears as an ad or you head over to other sites until you see the ad pop up again. If you keep on surfing about that search term online, you’ll definitely see the ad pop up again on your screen.
I read somewhere that its safe to click on videos of ads on your site by simply clicking the Play button; clicks on the play button may not be counted as clicks in your reports. AdSense only count clicks that lead a user to the advertiser’s site, including on the display URL or on the video while it’s playing.
5. Partnering with traffic serving parties
Some publishers have had issues with invalid traffic when partnering with low-quality advertising networks, search engines, or directory sites in efforts to increase traffic to their site. This is a very risky decision to make.
Its better to avoid services that you cannot guarantee how they deliver.
6. Sharing IP Address
Its true one can be on a shared IP either on wifi or whatever. If you aren’t doing a click for click, just know that you’d be safe from Google hammer. But let me just say that this is the easiest way for you to be tracked. If you are clicking ads that originated from the same IP address in multiple times within a very short interval, then Google will flag your account.
I don’t think a professional publishers will do this by the way, because it is the most obvious way to get caught cheating. Don’t do it!
Other Best Practices To Prevent Invalid Traffic
• I’ts important that all AdSense publishers regularly review their traffic and ad implementations
• Regularly review the AdSense Program Policies
• Understand your ad traffic and site visitors
• Be very careful when purchasing traffic
• Double and triple check your ad implementations
• Use the authorized sites feature to prevent unauthorized use of your ad code
• Don’t click on your own ads
• Use the Google Publisher Toolbar
• Look for abnormal activity in Impressions/Clicks/CTR
Google Adsense is one of the easiest ways to make money online from your blog. Just create unique content, grow your audience, drive traffic to your blog and see your adsense dashboard bring in the money.
I hope this article added value to you.
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