How Google detects AdSense click fraud - How to keep your account in good standing

Invalid traffic includes any clicks or impressions that may artificially inflate an advertiser's costs or a publisher's earnings. Invalid traffic covers intentionally fraudulent traffic as well as accidental clicks.
Invalid traffic includes, but is not limited to:
Clicks or impressions generated by publishers clicking their own live ads.

Repeated ad clicks or impressions generated by one or more users.
Publishers encouraging clicks on their ads (examples may include: any language encouraging users to click on ads, ad implementations that may cause a high volume of accidental clicks, etc.)


How does Google detect invalid clicks in AdSense?.
. Cookies.
Most home users does not use static IP addresses, which means that they in some cases just have to disconnect and then reconnect in order go get a new one. However, if Google has implemented a cookie on your computer, simply getting a new IP address won’t help when you’re committing click fraud.
. IP Address.
Google checks which IP address that the click is coming from. If it originates from the same IP address that previously logged in to the AdSense account, then you’re probably committing click fraud. If the same IP address is constantly clicking ads on a website, then it might be either invalid clicks or click fraud.
. GEO-location.
Kind of like IP addresses. Google knows from where the clicks are originating and will most likely see a pattern if one comes up. Let’s say you’re smart enough to use different P addresses to commit click fraud, but you’re stupid enough to place all your computers in one town. Google analytics is one tool that can give you an idea how GEO-location targeting works.
. Click through rate (CTR).
A normal website does not go above a 10% CTR. It usually stays between 0.5% to 9%. If your website is getting a CTR above 10%, your website might get reviewed by an AdSense employee to check if you are doing anything against their terms. However, if you’re not breaking any terms, then you don’t have to worry.
. Your hardware address (MAC address).
Every computer has its “fingerprint” in terms of a MAC address. This address is put on your hardware instead of your software, so it never changes or goes away. It is possible that Google might track invalid click this way, but not very likely since they have more advanced ways.
. Traffic consistency.
If your website is bringing in bursts of traffic instead of a steady flow from search engines, then you might be in trouble. If Google detects that an unnatural amount of direct traffic is clicking on your ads then it might be marked as click fraud. If your website is not even indexed in the search engines yet but is still receiving a decent amount of clicks then something must be wrong, and AdSense is the first one to spot it.


. Advertiser conversion rate.
As I mentioned in my other article on how to get out of Google AdSense smart pricing, the conversion rate of the advertisers are really important. If none of your clicks leads to a conversion, such as a sale, lead, newsletter sign-up or similar for the advertiser, then you are sending very poor traffic. At first you might get hit by smart pricing, after that you might get banned. A low conversion rate for advertisers can be the sing of click fraud or invalid clicks.
. Website - ads layout.
If your website is using a messed up layout that fools visitors in to clicking your ads by disguising them as regular links or similar, then you are walking on thin ice. You are not allowed to cover or edit your ads, nor are you allowed to make them blend in too well with the rest of your content. By doing so you might be generating a lot of invalid clicks from people who didn’t know that they were actually clicking an ad. You are also not allowed to encourage ad click by saying things like “all the money generated through ads goes to people in need” or “click the ads!”.
Examples of AdSense click fraud detection.
A person with the same IP address is clicking a lot of ads on one specific website, but barely clicks any ads on other websites. Pretty easy to spot.
People that are accessing a website through bookmarks or typing in the URL directly are clicking way more ads than people coming from search engines. Why might this be?
The ad-clickers arrive at the website, they click an ad and then they close down the advertisers website. By doing this it is blatantly obvious that they are trying to fool the system to make money.
The ad-clicker clicks several ads at the same time. This might be because some people are used to double clicking on things (my mom). And by double clicking on an ad, two ads are opened. This might not be click fraud, but AdSense will mark the second click as invalid anyways.
Now put everything together.
Google does use as many ways possible to prevent click fraud and invalid clicks. They are most likely using these ways of spotting invalid click simultaneously, along with a few other ways that we don’t know about. They might also use other systems owned by them, such as Google Earth, Google calendar, Gmail, Google talk, Google search, Google sitemap, Google desktop, Blogger, Google toolbar and so on to get further information about the ad clickers.
How can I prevent click fraud?
There are ways you can help both yourself from getting banned as well as helping Google to prevent frauds. If you’re using WordPress as your website platform then there are plug ins to prevent visitors of your website to click your ads too many times. There are also ways of hiding the ads from certain traffic types, such as from social bookmarking sites. I will not give any name of such a plug-in because by the time you read this, the plug-in bight be out-dated. So just search for it and you should be able to find one.
If you think that you have been a victim of a click fraud, then contact the Google AdSense team instantly and explain your situation before you get banned for life.
Endely Automated clicking tools or traffic sources, robots, or other deceptive software.
Clicks on Google ads must result from genuine user interest, and any method that artificially generates clicks or impressions is strictly prohibited by our program policies. If we observe high levels of invalid traffic on your account, we may suspend or disable the account to protect our advertisers and users. Due to invalid clicks, you may also see a difference between your estimated and finalized earnings.
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