Many publishers dread the infamous AdSense account ban. A quick Google search will result in endless discussions regarding the topic. Publishers often want to know why they received account warnings or were banned by AdSense. The fact is that many account issues relate to a range of invalid activity on their website. In this post, we’re going to show you how to protect yourself as a publisher and prevent invalid activity.
It goes without saying that if you are a new or seasoned publisher, it’s wise to know the AdSense program policies by heart. You can read it here.
Invalid activity explained
Invalid activity typically relates to the traffic you receive on your website and then clicks on subsequent ads. Traffic sources tend to be fraudulent and designed to influence the publisher’s earnings artificially specifically. AdSense ad clicks can also be affected by accidental clicks, bot clicks, by publishers clicking on their ads or you could even be the victim of sabotage.
Tips to prevent invalid activity on your website
There are many tools available in the ad industry to assist you in blocking fraudulent traffic. Here are a few worth mentioning:
- Security plugins such as WordFence that can prevent suspicious IP’s and protect your website against security risks. This plugin is available to WordPress websites and can be implemented within a few minutes.
- Content Delivery Networks such as Cloudflare and Incapsula, which helps you prevent bot traffic. Setting this up with Cloudflare is fast and easy. Register an account and change your current website name servers to those provided. Besides the apparent fraudulent traffic protection, you also get to improve your website speed, which is always good.
- Premium services such as Forensiq can also help prevent invalid traffic by making use of their fraud intelligence database, automated traffic detection, proxy unmasking services, and more. We recommend this tool to all our premium publishers.
- Additionally: all these tools we mentioned here are great at blocking invalid traffic, however, in reality, you need to prevent your ads from serving to invalid traffic to protect your AdSense account. Check our section on “update 2019” below for more information.
Visit our Block Fraudulent Traffic with these Free Tools post for more information.
Google AdSense also has a few tips on preventing invalid activity, which is worth mentioning. These include the following:
- Never by any means, click on your ads. This one should be self-explanatory, but it’s easy to fall into this trap, thinking you could bump up your earnings. Besides it being immoral, Google will catch you and ban your account. If you want to “test click” your ads you can do so by making use of the Google Publisher Toolbar. Google does recognize that accidental clicks by publishers can happen from time to time and addresses the issue over here.
- Do not encourage website visitors to click on your ads by telling them in any language to do so. It is essential that any clicks on AdSense ads are generated by genuine website visitor interest.
- Avoid accidental clicks. Make sure you comply with the AdSense recommended ad placement and implementation policies since specific ad placements can result in a high level of accidental clicks.
- Know and understand your website traffic. By using tools such as Google Analytics, you can statistically analyze your traffic and watch out for suspicious activity.
- Do not partner with low-quality sources. This can include ad networks, traffic sources, etc. These low-quality sources are often notorious for invalid activity.
Ad fraud is as big of a problem for publishers as ever before. However, what has changed since publishing this article back in 2017 is that MonetizeMore has found a way to block invalid traffic proactively. We’ve launched our very own invalid traffic blocking and prevention tool called Traffic Cop that prevents your ads from serving to invalid traffic through sophisticated algorithms, machine learning, and pre-bid analysis.
Get a custom Google policy screening from the MonetizeMore screening team to decrease the risk of being banned by Google by signing up for a Starter account at MonetizeMore today!
What is invalid activity in AdSense?
Google’s definition of Invalid activity is traffic that does not come from a human, or traffic that comes from a human with non-genuine motives (eg an accidental click onto a page). For Adsense, all visits to a page where an advertiser pays to have an advert on the page should provide sufficient value to that advertiser. Non-human traffic, such as bots and site crawlers, are of no use to an advertiser.
How do I protect my AdSense account from invalid clicks?
To prevent clicking on your ads/pages, when working on a new page or section, make sure Adsense code is disabled, or ad units are not targeted by Adsense, and/or limit development to a test site only. To prevent invalid clicks and traffic from external sources, MonetizeMore has launched Traffic Cop to actively classify and block IVT, thus preventing revenue and account loss before the good standing of the Adsense account can be jeopardized. The article goes into more detail on blocking invalid traffic and protecting your ad revenue.