Since 2015, Google began to include a line in your monthly revenues report. The “Invalid Traffic – AdSense for Content” line that lowers your income. Sometimes it’s a negligible sum. And sometimes it can be significant chunk of your revenue stream.
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.”
And, although Google assures us it has smart tools and a dedicated team to protect advertisers from unethical publishers, it doesn’t always specify what it is you might be doing to cause the invalid clicks on your pages.
This isn’t the first time we’ve compared Google to an angry girlfriend when it comes to AdSense policies, but we find ourselves coming back to it again.
If you keep getting invalid traffic, you’ll keep losing money. And if there’s too much of it, your account might be suspended. Even if you don’t know where the heck these invalid clicks are coming from.
So what can you do? Well, Google has a few tips like avoiding low-quality traffic sources, verifying implementation and not clicking your own ads (Duh!). But that is not enough — scammers always find ways around these, so Google keep its tricks hidden (although there are some educated guesses out there). And honest publishers like you get hurt. But enough with the lamentations, and on to the solutions.
More content — Google will penalize you if your page has more ads than content. Make sure you balance the two. This can also affect your audience of returning users.
Keep an eye on social media traffic — AdSense just doesn’t like it. Google prefers viewers that come from its search engine (gee, wonder why) or from pages they reached through it. They especially dislike paid traffic that is not paid through the platform it’s coming from (like paid posts in massive Facebook groups or paid retweets by bots).
Last but not least – contact Google — If you’re not doing anything wrong, and the traffic you’re getting is real, legit and really clicking? You might be the victim of click-bombing from your competitors.