Proactive steps to prevent invalid activity

Best practices to prevent invalid activity

While we have systems in place to detect invalid activity, it's important that AdSense publishers regularly review their traffic and ad implementations so they remain eligible to participate in the network. It is important for all publishers to review the information in our beginner’s guide to AdSense policies and follow our policies and Terms and Conditions. Additionally, we offer the following best practices to prevent invalid activity on your pages:

  • Understand your traffic and site visitors by breaking down your traffic reports into meaningful segments/channels.
  • Be very careful when purchasing any traffic, and review the traffic provider checklist to help guide your discussions with any traffic provider you’re considering. This checklist provides a list of suggested questions to ask when you start exploring how you and a traffic provider can work together. These discussions should help you understand exactly the type of traffic you’ll be receiving before purchasing the traffic, and you can avoid partnering with untrusted / low-quality parties.
  • Double and triple-check your implementation. Make sure your implementation has no programming errors, conforms to AdSense policies, and interacts properly across different browsers and platforms. Having a well-implemented page can protect against unintended consequences, like accidental clicks. Encouraging accidental clicks is explicitly prohibited, as outlined in our ad placement policies.
  • Use the authorized sites feature to prevent unauthorized use of your ad code.
  • Don’t click on your own ads. Even if you’re interested in an ad or looking for its destination URL, clicking on your own ads is prohibited. Instead, use the Google Publisher Toolbar, as described below.

Google Publisher Toolbar

The Google Publisher Toolbar is a Chrome extension that lets you view up-to-date information about your account while browsing your site in Chrome. The Toolbar provides an overview of your earnings and performance, as well as ad overlays that offer in-page reporting and blocking controls. The Google Publisher Toolbar provides information about the ads served on your page, such as the ad size, ad format, performance metrics, display URL, and destination URL. Other functionality of the Toolbar include “test clicking” on ad overlays without those clicks being counted towards ad spam, and controls to block an ad, a URL or ad network, or report a problem with an ad.

For more information, please visit the following Help Center pages: About the Google Publisher Toolbar and Install the Google Publisher Toolbar.

Your responsibilities as a publisher

As a publisher, you should take measures to understand the drivers and sources of traffic to your website. In extreme cases, an egregious traffic source that generates invalid clicks on your ads may lead to your account being disabled. Suspicious traffic may violate various AdSense program policies under "traffic sources" such as:

  • Usage of automated bots which imitate user behavior
  • Purchase of unrelated traffic from unknown networks
  • Participating in paid-to-click programs
  • Receiving traffic from unwanted email or software applications.

Some publishers have asked for information about specific traffic sources that are known to send invalid traffic. Unfortunately, in order to protect the effectiveness of our detection systems, we are unable to provide information regarding specific traffic sources that are known to send invalid traffic. This is one reason why understanding your traffic is so important. Proactive identification of the quality of your traffic sources is an effective and fast way to protect your account from invalid activity.

We also encourage publishers to report any suspicious activity which they’ve detected on their site via the Invalid Clicks Contact Form.

While we have systems in place to detect invalid activity, it's important that AdSense publishers regularly review their traffic and ad implementations so they remain eligible to participate in the network.