Google AdSense deducts publishers’ earnings for invalid activities that are detected by their systems, enabling them to filter out most invalid traffic, and advertisers are not charged for that traffic. In a nutshell, an invalid activity is any activity that doesn’t come from a real user with genuine interest. It can include accidental clicks caused by intrusive ad implementations, fraudulent clicking by competing advertisers, advertising botnets and more.
You can minimize the risk of invalid activities by taking the following steps.
1. If you’re purchasing traffic to your properties
You should be very careful when purchasing traffic and review the traffic provider checklist to help guide your discussions with potential providers.
- Once you move forward with a traffic provider, make sure to segment your traffic. It’s the best way to assess what type of traffic you are receiving
- You can then make some decisions on the traffic you are purchasing and change your traffic buying behaviour
- You can block suspicious sources by blocking certain IPs from clicking on your ads. There are ways that you can directly block suspicious IP addresses from visiting your site
- If you believe there is a possibility of sabotage on your sites, you can report suspicious activity directly to the AdSense traffic team by using their invalid clicks contact form. Sabotage arises when a third party generates invalid activity on your ads without your knowledge or permission, either manually when the party generates the activity themselves, or encourages others to do so, or automatically when the party uses some sort of automated process, such as a click bot
2. If you’re serving ads on click-intensive pages or mobile pages
You should conduct some user tests and assess how users can navigate your pages, since users will often accidentally click when page elements move unexpectedly, there are ads near game play, or ads are placed near navigational elements.
- Make sure to label your ads properly, and ensure that any navigation buttons (e.g. next page icon) are positioned correctly. Publishers have two options for how to label AdSense ad units: You can either label the units with “Advertisements” or “Sponsored Links”
- Double-check your ad implementations and make sure they are free from programming errors, conform to AdSense Program Policies, and interact properly with different browsers and platforms. A well-implemented page can protect you from unintended consequences like accidental clicks
- Make sure you review all the Ad placement policies for more implementations that might cause accidental clicks. Encouraging accidental clicks is strictly prohibited, as outlined in our ad placement policies
- Finally, remember don’t click on your own ads, even if you’re interested in an ad or looking for its destination URL
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