Monday, August 1, 2011

Invalid clicks and impressions

“Clicks on Google ads must result from genuine user interest.”
That’s the first line of the most highly debated section of the program policies.
This section of the policy lays out the guidelines for what constitutes a valid click. If you click your own ads, those clicks are invalid. If you program (or purchase) some piece of software to click your ads, those clicks are invalid. And these types of invalid clicks are click fraud. Click fraud is fraudulently clicking your own or someone else’s ads with the intent of affecting AdSense revenues or AdWords costs and is enough to get you banned from AdSense completely, no questions asked — and please don’t re-apply.
A valid click or impression has these qualities:

It’s initiated by a real user to your Web site. The actual click is performed by a real, live person. The click is the result of genuine interest in the content of the advertisement by the real, live person. Any clicks that don’t meet these requirements can be (and usually are) considered invalid clicks. Clicking your own ad even one time could get you
banned from AdSense. It’s not worth it. You don’t have to say it. I hear your objection: How are you supposed to know how the ads apply to your site if you can’t follow them? Or how will you know how the ads will look or how they will integrate into your Web site? Well . . . it’s half about trust and half about testing. Trying to view every single ad that’s shown on your Web site probably isn’t prudent. Because ads rotate constantly and each site visitor might see a different ad set — also called an ad group or an ad block — you probably couldn’t view all the ads, even if you wanted to.

Instead, AdSense has a testing capability — the AdSense preview tool. It’s a small application you have to download and add to your computer’s registry, which allows you to see what the ads look like and how they behave without having to click your own ads.
Download the preview tool from the AdSense Help Center at https://www. In the Help Center, search for preview tool. You should be taken to a search results page where the top result is a link to the page from which you can download the preview tool. The directions on the page walk you through downloading and installing the preview tool. Here’s one catch: If you’re a Firefox user, the preview tool won’t be much help. It only works with Internet Explorer. For the purposes of previewing your AdSense ad blocks, it might be wise to keep Internet Explorer as a backup browser. You don’t have to use it all the time — just when you want to preview your AdSense ad blocks.

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