Invalid means invalid, heuheu .. yes. It means invalid. This means that there is activity or clicks on Google Adsense ads on your pages that are not recognized by Google because they do not meet the required click (and impressions/traffic) criteria.
This is the definition of Invalid Click Activity according to Google:
Invalid click activity consists of any clicks or impressions that may artificially inflate an advertiser’s costs or a publisher’s earnings, and for which we decide not to charge the advertiser. This includes, but is not limited to, clicks or impressions generated by a publisher clicking on his own ads, a publisher encouraging clicks on his ads, automated clicking tools or traffic sources, robots, or other deceptive software.
Invalid click activity consists of any clicks or impressions that are artificial (cheat) which can increase the costs to be borne by the advertiser and the publisher’s income, and therefore we decided not to charge the advertiser. This includes, but is not limited to, clicks and impressions made by the publisher itself, publishers who intentionally encourage clicks by others [for example: creating the title “Click Ads Below”, click gatherings, and the like -azmi], devices clicks or automated traffic sources, or other fraudulent software.
Cause of Invalid Click Activity
The cause that is most often encountered is “click bombing”, which is clicking repeatedly on Google Adsense ads on one / several content pages intended to get a Google Adsense account banned. This is an unfair and evil act, usually carried out by people who are jealous or have problems with the account owner.
Another cause is self-click activity on ads; usually because they are impatient with low Adsense earnings. Or usually because of “click gathering”, namely several Adsense account owners “conspired” to click each other.
What is rarely encountered but happens is that the Adsense code is installed by someone else on a website/blog that is completely unknown to the account owner. Usually the code is “stolen” through the source code and installed on other websites/blogs. Even though the website/blog that is installed with Adsense ads does not qualify for Adsense: bad content, adult content, content that violates copyright, and the like. It could also be that the account owner actually doesn’t have any problems, but the “enemy” of people who have stolen and installed the Adsense code is targeting and doing Click Bombing.
Another activity that injures Adsense click activity is the use of certain software or robots for Adsense fraudulent activities and low-quality traffic sources, such as traffic exchanges (traffic exchange, usually low-quality traffic) and PTC methods.
The above activities are easily detected by the Adsense engine because of certain patterns, which are then developed and concluded as invalid activities.
The next steps are several, based on the level:
1. Assumes certain activities or clicks are invalid and does not provide a CPC value (0.0)
2. If it is known later, the CPC value that has been given will be withdrawn.
3. If it occurs in conditions that are considered slightly severe, a warning will be given.
4. If it occurs in an excessive amount or has experienced the same problem several times, the website/blog is banned even at a certain stage the account will be completely banned.
Points one and two usually happen automatically, only involving the Adsense engine. While points three and four involve Adsense staff and are done manually.
How to Know and Characteristics of Invalid Click/Activity
Unfortunately, not all Adsense account owners are aware that the above possibilities can occur. One problem is simply ignored without being noticed and without anticipation or correction. Then the same problem after problem occurred until finally the account owner found his account had been banned. This usually happens if the tool to see invalid activity is minimal; as well as the means to improve it.
Especially on Blogger, there is no tool to check for invalid activity, because the traffic statistics feature is just perfunctory. There are no complete records. We have to use external tools such as Google Analytics or other tools to detect invalid activity. And I’m pretty sure not all Adsense account owners want to look at analytics to see unusual traffic and visitors, because obviously it will take a lot of time.
Therefore, knowing the characteristics of invalid activity is very important, because after knowing that something is wrong, the account owner can take the necessary actions before getting a warning or even before the website/blog and account are banned.
Here are 4 characteristics of Invalid Click Activity on Google Adsense:
1. CTR or Click Through Rate, the average number of clicks and number of impressions (pageviews) is above 10%. Although in the 10% range, invalid activity does not necessarily occur, but it must be watched out for. Because rarely CTR reaches 10%, even by large high-traffic websites though. Although CTR 1% or 2% is considered very low, but don’t have fun just yet because CTR is above 10%, because it is an indication of unfairness. CTR in the range of 5% is arguably very good. Oh yes, in Indonesian CTR is called CTR (Average Clicks and Views).
CTR/CTR = Number of Clicks / Number of Impressions x 100 = …%
2. You suddenly get a lot of clicks but the value of most clicks is $0.0, meaning that it doesn’t generate any earnings. For example, you get 30 clicks but the total value is only $0.05 or even $0.0. This means that the Adsense engine does not value the large number of clicks it gets; while at the same time giving Google (and you) an indication that something is wrong.
3. Earnings increased dramatically, but soon fell drastically as well. For example, you earn $2.45, but soon it turns down to $0.45. This means that invalid activity detection is slightly slower because it has to go through several processes, then conclude that a number of clicks are invalid or invalid. This is not the fault of the Google Adsense engine, but it is a deliberate action due to irregularities found.
4. You get a lot of clicks from a region (usually a country) with very small pageviews. The analysis requires traffic analytics such as Google Analytics or Statcounter, if you use Blogger. If you use your own server, AW Stats as a complementary feature to cPanel is powerful enough to use. Google uses the paradigm that if a visitor clicks, he or she will be very interested in the ad being served. This possibility is not great. If it is interpreted as a CTR comparison, then this is roughly how it can be said: “Out of 1000 unique views maybe only (at most) 10-20 unique views that donate ad clicks”. If the click goes far beyond that paradigm, then suspicion will arise.
There are usually 2 actions. If this has happened only once or twice, usually the staff will shut up and “forgive”. That is, errors may occur purely by the visitor and beyond the ability of the account owner. But if it happens repeatedly, it means that the account owner is not aware and doesn’t try to fix it. If so, more serious conditions such as warnings and bans can occur.
What should I do if I get a warning or the website/account is banned? Obviously need a separate discussion because it is impossible 200-300 words can represent. But the point is, preferably before that happens.
Take the following anticipatory actions:
1. Take urgent action when you notice something is wrong. For example, stop serving ads on website A first until it is safe. Unfortunately, on Blogger, we can’t ban IP directly (with features/console), so a temporary suspension is enough to be the best solution.
2. Make sure to use the “allowed sites” feature, so that ads displayed by irresponsible people on other sites will be ignored by Google.
3. Check Adsense statistics regularly and periodically to see the possibility of invalid click activity. Don’t be fooled several times.
4. Install the extension (Chrome) Adsense Publisher Toolbar or install the Google Adsense android application so you can check in realtime, routinely, and quickly without entering the dashboard.