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Invalid Traffic: Definition and How Google Prevents It

What is Invalid Traffic

Invalid traffic includes any clicks or impressions that may artificially inflate an advertiser’s costs or a publisher’s earnings. Invalid traffic covers intentionally fraudulent traffic and accidental clicks.

Invalid traffic includes, but is not limited to:

  • Clicks or impressions generated by publishers clicking their own live ads
  • Repeated ad clicks or impressions generated by one or more users
  • Publishers are encouraging clicks on their ads (ex: 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.

Clicks on Google ads must result from genuine user interest. And any method that artificially generates clicks or impressions is strictly prohibited by Google policies. If Google observes high levels of invalid traffic on your account, they may suspend or disable the account to protect advertisers and users. Additionally, if Google is unable to verify the quality of your traffic, they may limit or disable your ad serving.

The third party may generate invalid traffic on your ads without your knowledge or permission. However, it is your responsibility as the publisher to ensure that the traffic on your ads is valid. 

How Google Prevents Invalid Traffic

To protect your interests and also the advertisers, Google carefully monitor clicks and impressions on Google ads, using both automated systems and human reviews, analyzing all ad clicks and impressions for any invalid traffic that may artificially drive up an advertiser’s costs or a publisher’s earnings.

Google’s technology analyzes clicks and impressions to determine whether they fit a pattern of use that may artificially drive up an advertiser’s costs or a publisher’s earnings. The system uses sophisticated filters to distinguish between traffic generated through normal use by users and traffic that may pose a risk to our advertisers. The system enables to filter out most invalid traffic, and our advertisers are not charged for this traffic. 

To prevent invalid traffic in your account, ensure that your ad implementation complies with Google Policies, and that you haven’t paid for traffic from an unreliable source. 

We’d like to help you. If you have any more questions or need further assistance, please feel free to ask here.