During the AdSense team’s recent policy webinars, a number of publishers posted questions on our Google Moderator page about invalid click activity and the resources available to help them protect their accounts. We’ve brought in experts from the Ad Traffic Quality team to address your top questions about invalid clicks here in this post today.
As a quick introduction, our responsibility on the Ad Traffic Quality team is to monitor traffic across Google’s ad network and prevent advertisers from paying for invalid traffic. We’ve recently launched an in-depth Ad Traffic Quality Resource Center, a site designed for both advertisers and publishers to learn more about invalid clicks. This site also aggregates various resources that help you learn about invalid clicks and maintain a successful AdWords or AdSense account. Please note that the resource center is currently only in English, but will be available in all languages shortly.
Now, onto the top 5 topics that publishers most frequently ask about, and some guidance from our team:
1. Monitoring your ad traffic
There’s a lot that you can and should do to monitor your site’s traffic and prevent it from receiving invalid activity. You can find all of our suggestions and best practices listed in our Help Center. If at any time you’d like to report something suspicious, feel free to contact us using this form.
2. Returning earnings to our advertisers
Protecting our advertisers' interests by monitoring invalid click activity is one of the key ways we strive to keep the network a balanced ecosystem where users, publishers, and advertisers can all grow and thrive together. To protect the integrity of our advertising environment, we return earnings from disabled AdSense accounts to affected advertisers, as stated in our Disabled Account FAQ.
3. Our mechanisms catch on to trends
Google uses real-time detection and filtering systems to examine each click on an AdWords ad. We look at numerous data points for each click, including the time of the click, any duplicate clicks, and various other click patterns. Our system then analyzes these factors to isolate and filter out potentially invalid clicks before they ever reach your account reports. Our engineers are constantly improving our monitoring technology, enhancing filters, and examining a growing set of signals.
In addition to our automated click protection techniques, we have a team that uses specialized tools and techniques to examine individual instances of invalid clicks. When our system detects potentially invalid clicks, a member of this team examines the affected account to glean important information about the source of the potentially invalid clicks.
4. How we determine sabotage
Sabotage, which some publishers refer to as ‘click bombing’, is an act committed by a third party to generate invalid activity on a publisher’s ads without their knowledge or permission. Although this topic often comes up on our forums and in the questions we’ve received, we’ve found that click bombing represents only a small fraction of invalid activity. As mentioned in point #3, we’re constantly improving our detection systems to identify these patterns of sabotage and filter them as invalid. We’re committed to protecting our publishers as well as our advertisers, as our goal is to grow the network while continuing to ensure that it is safe and enjoyable for all.
5. You can contact us if you feel your account was wrongfully disabled
We want to work with you and provide you as many resources as we can to resolve issues you may have. If your account has been disabled and you feel that the decision was made in error, we have a process for appealing the decision in your account. For more information, see our Help Center.
Posted by the Ad Traffic Quality Team