Google AdSense announces action against invalid clicks
Google AdSense has announced that it will stop serving ads before invalid clicks occur. Google states that this change will not affect most publishers. Disadvantaged AdSense publishers will be notified and given the opportunity to fix the issue.
This is Google’s statement:
“This year, we are further strengthening our defenses by improving the systems that identify potentially invalid traffic or high-risk activity before ads are served. These defenses allow us to limit ad serving as needed to further protect our advertisers and users…”
What is invalid AdSense traffic?
Invalid traffic includes fraudulent clicks and impressions, as well as accidental clicks.
That is How Google defines invalid traffic:
“Clicks or impressions generated by publishers clicking on their own live ads
Repeat ad clicks or impressions generated by one or more users
Publishers encourage clicks on their ads (examples can be: any language that encourages users to click on ads, ad implementations that may lead to a high number of accidental clicks, etc.)
Automated click tools or traffic sources, robots or other deceptive software.”
An example of an accidental click is placing an ad below a drop-down menu. Navigation elements can lead to accidental clicks. Careful AdSense ad placement helps minimize accidental clicks.
Another example of accidental clicks is specifying ad colors and fonts in a way that gives users the impression that the ad is part of the content or navigation.
An example of content merging is a list of links to useful resources designed to resemble AdSense ads, with AdSense ads inserted into those links.
Deceptive AdSense traffic
Google also mentions fraudulent traffic in the form of “Automated click tools or traffic sources.“This type of software is called a clickbot.
Clickbot traffic is a purely fraudulent activity. Publishers should be wary of any service that promises instant traffic, as this could be clickbot traffic.
The examples of fraudulent traffic published by Google above serve as an example and do not represent the different types of fraudulent traffic.
For example, Google doesn’t mention click rings, although there is one Google support page on where it says Traffic Exchange.
Click rings (or traffic exchanges) are services where real people click on ads. Some of the click rings consist of publishers clicking on each other’s ads. Some click rings use real people.
Such services result in fraudulent ad clicks and impressions and should be avoided.
Google has a developer page that recommends publishers to closely monitor traffic generated from paid traffic sources to avoid becoming a victim of invalid traffic.
That’s what It says so on Google’s support page:
“…some of these services, despite their appearance, actually send artificial traffic to websites. …these services often generate clicks and impressions by using click bots or by incentivizing users to visit websites or click on ads.
For this reason, we strongly recommend that you exercise caution when working with third-party transport services.”
The AdSense update will not affect most publishers
Google’s announcement said the change would not affect most publishers. Affected publishers will receive notifications in their AdSense Control Panel Policy Center.
This is how Google AdSense explains it:
“While most publishers won’t notice any changes in their ad traffic, we’re working to improve the experience for those who may be impacted by providing more transparency on these actions.
Affected AdSense and AdMob publishers will be notified of these ad traffic restrictions directly in their browsers shortly Policy Center.”
What Google’s AdSense announcement means:
- The AdSense enforcement update will not affect most publishers
- Affected publishers will stop running their ads
- Affected publishers will receive a notification and can fix the problem
Read the official announcement here: Additional security measures to protect the quality of our ad network