Invalid traffic refers to clicks and impressions on AdWords ads that we suspect aren’t the result of genuine customer interest. Examples of invalid traffic include clicks and impressions performed by automated tools, as well as accidental clicks – for instance, if someone double clicks your ad. Google don’t charge you for invalid clicks and impressions because Google think that they have little or no value.
Types of invalid traffic
Below are some types of clicks and impressions that Google considers to be invalid:
- Accidental clicks that provide no value, such as the second click of a double-click
- Manual clicks intended to increase someone’s advertising costs
- Manual clicks intended to increase profits for website owners hosting your ads
- Clicks and impressions by automated tools, robots or other deceptive software
- Impressions intended to artificially lower an advertiser’s click-through rate (CTR)
How Google protects you from invalid Clicks traffic
Google helps protect advertisers from invalid traffic by working to isolate and filter out potentially invalid clicks before they ever reach your account reports. Each click on an AdWords ad is examined by Google system. Google looks at numerous data points for each click, including the IP address, the time of the click, any duplicate clicks and various other click patterns. Google system then analyses these factors to try to isolate and filter out potentially invalid clicks before they ever show up in your account.
How Google handles invalid clicks traffic
When Google system detects invalid clicks your ads, it automatically filter these out of your reports so that you’re not charged for them. However, you still have the option to view invalid click data if you’d like to. See the section below about “Viewing invalid click data” for information on how to view invalid click data in your account.
If Google find invalid clicks that have somehow escaped automated detection in the past two months, it gives you credit for these clicks. To view these credits for invalid clicks, click the Billing tab. Any invalid click credits that you’ve received will be labelled “Invalid activity” on the transaction history page and will be credited to you.
If Google finds any invalid impressions in your account, then this data won’t affect the CTR used for determining your keyword’s Quality Score.
Viewing invalid clicks data
You can see the number of invalid clicks that your ads have received by adding the Invalid clicks and Invalid clicks rate columns when viewing your campaign statistics. Remember that you aren’t charged for these clicks, so they don’t affect your account statistics.
- Click the main Campaigns
- You can view invalid click data for each of your campaigns, or view the data by time period.
- To view data by campaign, click the Campaigns
- To view data by time period, click the Dimensions Select the appropriate view by clicking the View drop-down menu in the toolbar above your statistics table. Choose a time period such as “Day of the week”.
- Click Columns, then on Modify columns.
- Click Performance, then click Add next to the following options:
- Invalid clicks:See the number of invalid clicks that were filtered during the selected time period.
- Invalid click rate:See the percentage of your total clicks that were filtered during the selected time period.
- Click Save.
Invalid click data should now appear in your table. If you’d like to download the data, then click in the toolbar above the table.
Reporting invalid clicks
As mentioned in the section above, there are many common reasons for increased traffic that don’t involve invalid clicks. However, if you suspect that your account is indeed affected by invalid click activity, Google will be happy to investigate your account.
Google’s team of specialists will use a variety of different signals including click and impression information to identify sources of invalid activity. Because of the large number of data points that Google looks at, an investigation into your account may take several working days to complete. When you request an investigation, please share as much information as you have about the traffic that you’re concerned about.
More about requesting a click investigation »
About The Author
Hi, This is Ram Mohan, Digital Marketing Consultant from Bangalore. I am also a Trainer and Blogger on Digital Marketing. Know more about me here
Subscribe to my blog posts and get updates of all my new posts directly to your email id. Subscribe to DigitalRammohan.com by Email