Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Invalid Clicks? How, Where, Why?

An excellent place for most new publishers to begin understanding policy and issues that may cause invalid clicks is the "AdSense Policies: A Beginner's Guide" page in the AdSense Help Center, and well worth taking the time to read for some established publishers. You might be surprised at some of what you'll find on this page.

One of the first things AdSense mentions in the "Clicks and Impressions" section is that they monitor these very carefully. There's  an unspoken idea there, and if you think about it long enough you might understand what that hidden message is.

If AdSense is monitoring clicks and impressions "very carefully", it's probably a good idea for you to also monitor these yourself - "very carefully".

Monitoring the activity on your website or blog is one of the ways you can help to head off a lot of ad clicks that AdSense may consider to be invalid. You monitor site activity using Google Analytics, and any third-party site analyzer that records IP addresses, visitor activity, and times, and if you pay for webhosting, most hosts will have some sort of server logs for your site. Now is the time to familiarize yourself with some of these - simply do a web search for website statistics or counters and read through some of those available. Select one that fits your needs and learn how it works, and put the necessary codes on your site. Keep copies of logs or statistics, because these will be useful in analyzing your site and monitoring your traffic.

When you analyze your stats there are things you should watch for:
  •  one visitor clicking multiple ads in one visit (1 or 2 ads, probably okay. 7-10 or more ads, probably not okay but don't panic, just report it - 30+ ads clicked by one person...start panicing and remove your website from the allowed sites list, also report the IP addresses and times to adsense)
  • many visits coming from a single IP address. This can cause problems with Adsense if those visitors are also clicking ads.
  • many visits coming from the same referrer and you don't know why. Check out the referrer and find out why the visitors are originating from that site. Someone posted your link to a blog or group, that's probably okay depending on the purpose of the group. Someone posting your link to a link farm or link exchange - not okay. Contact the site and get them to remove your link.
  • visitors coming from your own IP address and clicking ads. Definitely not okay. Even if it isn't YOU, it is someone in your household. Or,  if you use a wi-fi connection and don't lock it down, it could be anyone close enough to logon to the internet using your IP. Make sure you password-protect your wi-fi logon, and don't share it with anyone. You may also want to check your connections even if you are using cable or dial-up. We ran into a situation where a neighbour had cut another neighbour's cable near the pole and inserted a splitter box. The neighbour was then able to use the cable connection belonging to someone else without paying for the services...and causing the other neighbour to have enormous internet bills.

If you discover anything you find suspicious or unreasonable on your stats, then you will want consider reporting this instance to AdSense. Please, please don't go reporting single unidentified click - that's not what we're talking about here. And you don't need to report every single click you aren't certain about. If you pay attention to your site activity, you'll soon be able to recognize things that are unusual or out of the normal ranges of your site activity.

You can report these using the Invalid or suspicious activity form, found on this page in the Adsense help center.

On the "AdSense policies: a beginner's guide" page you'll also note a small paragraph about traffic: "Be aware of how your site is promoted". Read it carefully, and follow the links in that paragraph because you may find that reading will save you a great deal of grief.

While AdSense doesn't tell you that you can't promote your site, there are certain types of promotional opportunities that AdSense frowns upon - things like traffic exchanges and link farms whose sole purpose is to send people to your site to register impressions or clicks. If you are planning to buy any sort of advertising to grow your site, you'll need to be very careful about what you buy, where you buy it, and what your purpose is for purchasing it.

If you are buying "traffic" ONLY to get your AdSense ads seen and perhaps clicked, then that's a very bad idea. For the most part, you will probably pay more for the advertising needed to do that than you would get in return by way of clicks. If you are purchasing advertising because your site has a product or service you want to promote (ie: that service or product should certainly not be AdSense, nor should it be any sort of illegal product) then purchasing advertising might be of some value to you outside of AdSense.

In any case, garnering traffic through purchases means the advertiser (in this case you if you are buying traffic/ads) who also uses AdSense must following the Google landing page quality guidelines given to AdWords advertisers, even though you may not be purchasing your advertising through AdWords. These guidelines include a quality component that says landing pages (ie: the page your advertisement leads to on your site) must contain:

  • original and relevant content (so, don't advertise free websites if you aren't indeed giving away free websites on your site/page and don't have content copied from other sites or RSS feeds)
  • AdSense lists things like making sure the purpose of your site is clear to visitors, and that your content is not copied from other sites.
  • transparency - the user should be able to find out about your company or website easily (about us page) or be able to contact you easily (contact info), you should have a clear privacy policy, your site should not download anything automatically to any user or visitor, if you have a "download" button or link the user should know what they're downloading (clearly stated on the page) and the download link should begin a download, not route them to multiple other pages.
  •  navigability - the navigation should be clearly displayed on your page and should be simple for visitors to find; all the links should work and go to the correct page.

The landing page guidelines are quite clear on the fact that originality is what they expect - "relevance and originality are two characteristics that define high-quality site content." I don't think they can be any clearer than that. Users should easily find what your advertisement states and they should be able to find that on your landing page, and you should not have content that is not original (created by you).

There are many other valuable hints on landing page quality for AdSense publishers who wish to use advertising to promote their websites: such things as browser behaviours, collection of personal information; using too many popups, popunders, floating box elements and the like; fast loading pages, portal or doorway pages, etc.

Here's where things may take a little twist. How does all of the above apply to publishers who are disabled for invalid activity? Almost any violation of policies, including those above, could widely be construed as invalid activity. If you are not in compliance with all policies that AdSense and Webmaster Guidelines list (and the Landing Page Quality Guidelines), then any earnings you accrue could be considered invalid. In otherwords, clicks on AdSense ads on pages that are not in compliance with policy could possibly be listed as invalid clicks.

Having an account disabled for invalid clicks doesn't necessarily mean AdSense thinks you've clicked your own ads - of course you may have, in which case you'd already know that you did. But for those publisher's who have no idea what these invalid clicks are (or where they came from), the email they receive is a rude awakening, and often comes much too late. Even if they are able to discover the cause, the chances of getting the AdSense account re-instated are almost nil.

Minor policy violations (like no privacy policy, or inadvertently placing an ad too close to content) may receive a warning notice, however, this warning should be taken very seriously.

Publishers should not only correct the issues listed by Adsense in the warning notice (throughout their entire site, not just on the page given as a reference), but should very carefully review their sites to ensure there are no other issues. Besides carefully studying the AdSense Program Policies and Webmaster Guidelines, if you have purchased traffic or signed up for free traffic, you'll want to consider the quality of that traffic as well. When it comes to traffic, all is not equal. Traffic from sources unacceptable to AdSense is worse than no traffic at all and can also lead to invalid clicks.

These are only a few of the possible causes for invalid clicks, but some that AdSense Publishers can exercise some control over.


  1. www.ourcelebritiez-tollywood.blogspot is one my blog where i want use adsense.can you help m what necessary changes to be made use google adsense on this blog.plase help to understand google adsense

  2. Prakash - your blog is not suitable for Adsense. You have a lot of contents in your blog copied from other places, and you have copyright images and other copyright infringements on your blog.

    Adsense requires it's publishers to have original contents, not copied contents, and you may not use other people's images without authorization or approval, and you may especially not use WWE images without authorization.

    You need to start fresh and create contents of your own, that you've written yourself.

  3. Hi i wont some help for put adsense in my site is it suitable?
    I listen that We can not use job site with adsense.
    I put a question on adsense help forum

  4. sshub - you already have ads on your website. If you used job listings from other places, it isn't suitable. If you have original content, then as long as you are following the Adsene Program Policies and Webmaster Guidelines and pay attention to the rules, I don't know what it is you want help with.

  5. Gracey Thanks for reply.Actually I'm new in adsense.I put adsense ads on my site.And I use original unique content for my site.But I afraid from your reply on adsense help forum.
    I confused that is my site treated as "job site" or an "article based site".
    so i want to know that, for security purpose am I withdrawn my adsense ads if it treated as "job site"or not.Because one of my friend also said that job site is not accepted in adsense.And account will be suspended.please rid off my apprehension and help me.
    I also not able to understand what is "job listings" as mention by you.Am I use it unknowingly in my site?

  6. Hello, I find link from my website on Facebook. Someone is postind link on others profiles. How can i remove that link from Facebook. I don't want to lost my account.



  7. Gracey what an excellent post! Great info about invalid clicks, this read will definitely help many people. Well done :)

  8. @"Anonymous" - I don't know how someone would post a link on "others profiles" on facebook.

    I suggest you contact the person who put your site link on their profile and ask them to remove it.

    If you have a social button on your site that allows users to "post to facebook", then that's probably how they did it. They'd found something they liked and shared it on facebook via their profile.

    If you don't want people sharing your site on facebook, then remove the social button that allows them to do that.

  9. I write my own articles for my blog page and am dying to earn extra money through ad sense. Can you please recommend a list of sites that will help me draw viewers or readers to my page?

  10. i have done wrong with adsense, i have tried to generate clicks and my accunt is blocked, but now am feeling guilty for doing that, am promising that next time i will not do it again. please help me that how to retrive my account. please help me!

  11. @ellen143: the best place to start is on Webmaster Tools. That will help you understand how to draw good traffic to your site, rather than using sites that will just send visitors who aren't interested in your blog.

    You can also join sites like BlogCatalog or MyBlogLog - just be careful how you promote yourself on those sites. If your blog has value, then blog communities can be useful.

    Use tools like google reader and share the items you note in it. Set up a Google Profile if you haven't already, and post your blog articles to your Buzz page on your profile.

  12. @Anonymous: I'm really sorry, but there is nothing I can do if your Adsense account was disabled. Adsense only allows you to have one account, and when it's disabled you have to look for other methods to earn money.

    Do a websearch for "adsense alternatives" and try using some different advertisers. There are lots out there.

  13. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free.

  14. Dear adsense specalist,
    i am a adsense publisher , i have some issues with my account but unable to connect to adsense team . i have posted many question in help form but no body replied . My account is showing impression but there are no ads on the site from 10-15 days . these impression are equal to total impression of site as shown in dashboard PLEASE HELP ME E-mail

  15. I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts and time into the stuff you post!! Thumbs up.

    Huck Towel

  16. I love your blog! You will be in our prayers and thoughts!

    Web Design

  17. Hey Gracey.

    Love the blog, love your comment in the forums and wish you were my third grandma. :)

    I need an opinion. I got an Adsense Account about 4/5 months ago, and among the few sites I have placed ads into, only one of them are generating any clicks, and that itself, is too little to speak off (about 10 clicks per month for the past three months).

    And yet, I received an account disabled mail from Google yesterday, citing invalid clicks activity as the reason. Needless to say, being a man of outstanding character, looks and taste, such 'activities' are beyond me.

    Could I trouble you to take a look at my site and give an opinion as to why this has happened?
    This is the site:

    Apologies for the inconvenience, but I am slightly miffed, and a voice of reason would be welcome.

    Good day.

    Could I troublo

  18. Since you've posted anonymously and you have no contact listed on your's a little hard offer you much in the way of assistance.

    You lack the required privacy policy but without asking other questions about your site and promotion, I can't really offer much more.

  19. Dear Gracey,

    This is Ravi from India. My website ( is educational website and I provide users to full study materials for competitive exams (in India). All contents are written by me.

    My site is also displaying adsense ads. My website is very popular (average 1000 page /day visit). But I've earned only 30.61$ in three months. Actually I need to improve this ads due to some financial problems.

    Please guide me.

    my one more question: I've very large collection of users data. Should I send them email for clicking ads on my site??

  20. Hiii gracey i want to know can i use adsense for this site.

  21. Thanks for your reply for first comment and as you mentioned that site should not copyrighted images and i want make my site uniwue so i want remove those images.Can you please tell me about these copyrighted images and if i want to make original content in my site do i need to remove the content fully to start posting fresh or else i have to start my new own blog.

  22. Dear Gracey,
    Please... Please also consider and answer this. I tried 6 times but same reply, (page type). Should i leave this blog and promote other blog over a period of time and apply for adsense or else any debugging can be possible for adsense approval. I was totally confused I dont know any other topic other than my dear electrical subject. Even after 6 months i fear that if same fate carry over.. i was confused..

    Thankyou Mam.

  23. Dear Gracey,

    Please see my web side whether the web side could be enabled or not. My web side address is

    The following is your comments on adsense

    Account Not Active
    An AdSense account does not exist for this login, as it is associated with an unapproved application. For more information about your application, please review the message we sent to the email address you provided with your application.

  24. Dear Gracey,

    I work from a very small neglected town in Pakistan. Where poverty and unemployment is at its peak. I employed 15 other people and created a publishing company. All my business model revolves around AdSense.

    My account is disabled & 15 employs are about to get jobless as the appeal I filed in haste was filled with error still in my sites. I had now corrected everything but anyway I can file a second appeal or you can personally help me out.

    Thank you.


  25. @Aqeel - creating a "publishing" company around Adsense is a very bad idea. You as the owner of the site are responsible for every thing that is posted to your site, no matter who posts it.

    I cannot help anyone get a disabled account back - no one can. That decision is up to Adsense.

    Adsense allows publishers to file appeal, and if you already filed your appeal and Adsense turned it down, then you'll need to try other advertisers instead.

  26. Hello dear Gracey!
    I read here about disabled accounts and such, and I got discouraged. I have a blog, I love writting posts in it when I have time, and I would be over the moon to also make money from it (I already have a few cents made, lol, which I am happy about cuz they are a start) but my question is, any malicious person could get my adsense account disabled by clicking on my ads many times? I mean, if who knows who just wants to do a bad thing and will click on my ads like crazy, will kill all my chances to make money from something I really love in this life? :( Is there a way to prevent that? Is there a way for me to find a more recure way to make money from what I love, that being blogging?
    Thank you for an answer! Hugs from Germany.

  27. Hi Roxana - the truth is, there isn't a lot you can do to prevent it from happening, but you can do a little bit to control the affect it has on your Adsense account.

    Use a third party stats provider that will record your visitors IP addresses, and their activity on your website. In this way, you can see what pages they view, what links they click, and so on. You may need to check these stats daily to catch someone clicking a lot of ads - and when you notice someone clicking a lot of ad links (adsense ads, I mean), you would report that to Adsense, along with their IP address, the time & day it occurs (that's why it's important to catch it quickly) and any other pertinent information.

    You also should use the allowed sites list in your Adsense account - that allows you to quickly remove your own site from being associated with the ad clicks, without actually having to remove the ads from your site. If you remove your site from your safe list, a click-bomber can no longer cause you problems. Once you've been able to stop the activity on your site, you add your site back to the safe list.

    You may find this thread in the Adsense forum on handling click-bombing attacks useful for future reference:

  28. Thank you very much Gracie on such a good article. However, I am wondering if you can help me with a related matter.

    Last year, me and my brother started blogging, and due to my brothers error, we was suspended from the Google Adsence program.

    Since then, I have started a blog of my own, and it has starting to get regular visitors and recognition.

    Still, due to my siblings past transgression, Google will not allow me to continue with their Adsence scheme - in fact - they will not even clarify to me, if that is the reason why I am not allowed to join this program on my own.

    Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated, kind regard, Jay

    P.S. My brother has gone through the appeals procedure previously, and so did I afterwards.

    I got no response

  29. Most likely, your account would be associated with a disabled account (ie: your brother's), and the chance of getting your own account is pretty small. Unless you have a different home address, different computer, different IP is unlikely you'd get an account.

  30. Hi,, Gracey

    How are you, I hope you are enjoying your life..
    Please check blog that if it is compatible for Adsense A/c. I need help before apply to the Adsense Account..

    Also your advice needed..

  31. Sites with the type of content on your site are difficult to get approved. All you can do really is send in your application and see what they say.

  32. hi gracey, iam using adsense on my blog(link in my name) having traffic of almost 70-120 daily pageviews, this traffic increases slowly but it will some time to grow, so is am i still using adsense on my newsboxblog or reove it and waiting for a googd time when my traffic will grow?.THanks


Please do not drop links here using monetized URL shorteners or the comments will be marked as spam.

If you want help with an actual blog or website, please just post for help in the Adsense forum, or leave your G+ profile link. I will not publish comments with blog/website or channel links.