AdSense invalid traffic deductions and how to minimize them

Ad Network Reviews, Tips & Guides
Last updated: January 18, 2023 | by Aleesha Jacob

This post was most recently updated on January 18th, 2023

Have you ever experienced AdSense invalid traffic deductions? Chances are you have, even if you weren’t aware of it. It’s something every publisher works to minimize. Google makes invalid traffic deductions in real-time and during the finalization of earnings.

The reports AdSense publishers have access to in their AdSense dashboards only provide an estimate of ad revenue earned. At the end of the month, AdSense will make adjustments to earnings, make invalid traffic deductions and finalize earnings.

Your clawbacks will look something like the example below. If you had any invalid traffic deductions, it will also show.

AdSense invalid traffic deductions and how to minimize them MonitizeMore

You can find out more about deductions AdSense makes and when they do so here.

Why were my AdSense earnings deducted?

If Google detects that your site is displaying ads to bots or other invalid traffic (IVT), it will deduct the amount of revenue that was generated from those impressions from your AdSense account balance. Although this may seem unfair, Google is only trying to protect its advertisers and users from being charged for ads that are not being seen by real people.

Google is constantly updating its algorithms to minutely detect invalid activity on your site and calculate AdSense deductions.

AdSense Earnings Dropped: Here’s why?

Wonder why your estimated AdSense earnings & your final paychecks don’t match? The significant deductions are due to policy violations and IVT on your site.

The deduction amount goes back to advertisers as spam clicks and invalid impressions compensation. Since Adwords advertisers pay per click for each impression, Google makes sure each click is bot-free. These reflect as Credits in the advertisers’ AdWords account. Google has always been an Advertiser-First business since day one.

All your AdSense deductions can be found in your AdSense Account dashboard and at MonetizeMore’s Pubguru dashboard at Finance > Clawbacks.


AdSense invalid traffic deductions and how to minimize them MonitizeMore


You’ll also notice a change in the final eCPM and will have to calculate the real eCPM by dividing your final balance by the number of impressions for that timeline X 1000.

Help! My AdSense Deductions only went up!

Google is constantly upgrading its algorithm to detect sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT) and spam clicks. With the rise of SIVT, most site traffic is flagged as invalid, even if it isn’t and publishers have seen AdSense deductions take up to 75% of their estimated earnings.

While SIVT can be a nightmare for anyone in the AdSense program, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your account doesn’t get flagged and your money doesn’t get taken away.

The first thing we recommend is to always stay on top of new Google updates and news about these algorithms.

MonetizeMore’s publishers use the award-winning Traffic Cop (IVT detection solution) to avoid AdSense deductions and bans so they don’t have to worry about this anymore.

When should I worry about my AdSense deductions?

Setting aside the entire “Google is out to get me!” theory for a moment (and we don’t want to imply that you should be paranoid about your account), we do agree that keeping track of AdSense deductions is very important to maintaining ad revenue.

Publishers with consistently high AdSense deductions (over 40%) should be concerned. The trend is not good and can cost a significant amount over time.

Fluctuations between 1%-5% in your AdSense earnings are normal and expected as you test different ad placements and advertiser campaigns on your site.

We’ve seen publishers get deductions of 30%-70% since 2020, and these were not spammy MFA (Made for AdSense) sites but high-quality websites which have been operating fine for years.

How to avoid & stop AdSense deductions?

1- Reporting any kind of suspicious activity to Google

Using Google Analytics & Google Ad Manager to constantly audit your site for IVT and suspicious activity.

In case of an abnormal increase in traffic or spam clicks, contact Google here.

2- Optimize your ad placements and ad layout

AdSense invalid traffic deductions and how to minimize them MonitizeMore

Bad Ad Layout and ad setups are the major reasons for invalid or accidental clicks.

The following Ad unit layout issues result in AdSense paycuts:

  • Ad units close to call-to-action buttons.
  • Ads take forever to load.
  • Floating ad units that don’t even have a ‘minimize’ option.
  • Ad units overlapping with the menu items.
  • Ad units making page elements jump while loading.
  • Native ads that are not labeled.

Once you fix these errors, you can see a significant drop in your upcoming AdSense Deductions statement. In case you need help fixing ad layout problems, IVT audits & reports, Contact us here.

3- Use Header Bidding along with AdSense

AdSense invalid traffic deductions and how to minimize them MonitizeMore

Why would you limit yourself to just AdSense?

Header bidding is a bidding process that allows you to use multiple demand sources for your inventory, which increases the revenue generated from each impression.

You get to access a broad range of ad demand and not solely rely on Google AdSense helping you diversify your advertising revenue.

Use header bidding to make sure that the highest bid wins, regardless of the source.

Learn more about header bidding here.

How to stop AdSense deductions with Header Bidding?

  • Header Bidding starts an auction with Google Ad Manager where AdSense competes with other advertisers or bidders. In this case, ad inventory is filled through Dynamic Allocation than Google’s conventional ad space-filling algorithm ultimately reducing the possibilities of AdSense deductions.
  • Advanced header bidding integrations offer IVT protection and spam clicks filters before AdSense competes in any auction eliminating a major part of the issue.
  • Sell more of your ad inventory to demand sources like OpenX, Pubmatic, or Amazon as these advertisers pay are paying on a CPM basis. Since they use in-house solutions to flagging IVT, accidental clicks are the last thing to worry about.
  • MonetizeMore’s Pubguru Header bidding comes with IVT ‘Measure’ and ‘Block’ solutions and hides ads to bots or bad actors thus avoiding spam clicks or impressions from being delivered. Thousands of publishers saw their clawbacks decrease post using this tool.

4- Using trusted IVT Blocking Solutions AdSense invalid traffic deductions and how to minimize them MonitizeMore

Conventional wisdom might give you some general explanation on how to use only trusted traffic sources, not to click on your own ads, and make sure your ads are placed in such a way that it results in accidental clicks. That’s all good and well, but that might not be enough.

What if the invalid traffic that lands on your site push you over the threshold Google is willing to accept and gets your AdSense account banned? If that happens, all the techniques mentioned above won’t matter at all.

Look, you need to have some kind of system in place that protects your ad account from invalid traffic. It’s the only way you can get ahead of future invalid traffic and protect your business.

With Traffic Cop, you can do just that! We’ve developed a tool that detects and protects your website from invalid traffic and minimizes invalid traffic deductions.

Traffic Cop uses machine learning and fingerprinting algorithms to detect invalid traffic and block it from viewing and clicking on your ads.

Are you ready to minimize AdSense invalid traffic deductions and protect your AdSense account from getting banned? Sign up to Traffic Cop today!

AdSense invalid traffic deductions and how to minimize them MonitizeMore

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