Editor’s note: John Brown, the Head of Publisher Policy Communications, is sharing insights and answering most common questions about invalid activity.
In this post, I want to stress why we take invalid clicks so seriously and clarify a few questions related to traffic quality and invalid clicks.
Let’s take a step back and think about the digital ad ecosystem. The relationships between Google, advertisers, and publishers are built on trust. A strong and healthy digital ecosystem needs:
- Users who trust the system and have a good experience,
- Advertisers safely investing in digital ads,
- Publishers who can sustain their business.
To protect those relationships, it’s very important to make sure that clicks and impressions are based on genuine user intent. That’s why at Google we have a global team that monitors the traffic across Google's ad network, and prevents advertisers from paying for invalid traffic.
Now, I'd like to address some of the most common questions and concerns from publishers related to ad traffic quality and invalid clicks.
- What is Google's obligation to publishers?
Google manages advertiser relationships so that you don’t have to. Publishers benefit from our vast supply of ads. To provide ads to your sites for the months and years to come, advertisers must trust our network. Our policies are in place to protect these advertiser relationships, which ultimately protects publishers that work with us as well.
- What happens to earnings held back from publishers due to invalid activity?
Any revenue found to be from invalid activity is refunded back to the active advertisers, not kept by Google. In 2014, we refunded more than $200,000,000 to advertisers from detected invalid activity. In 2014, we’ve disabled more than 160,000 sites
to protect the ecosystem.
- What can Google do to better communicate policies and enforcement?
We’ve adopted a policy of silence for the most part in order to protect our signals. We find it important to protect our signals so that bad actors cannot detect how we discover invalid activity. Additionally, we are always striving to increase transparency around our communications without compromising our techniques to protect advertisers and publishers. Stay tuned for new features which will help you have more control over your content and stay compliant with the policies.
- Will Google modify interactions with the publisher community going forward?
We realize that we can improve our communications, especially around warnings, suspensions, and account disablement. My charge is to do this. I have many people working with me on better education, along with improving the language and instructions around warnings or messages received from Google. I believe that publishers understand much better where they stand at all times when our policies are clear and when we communicate them effectively, and enforce consistently.
I hope you found these insights useful. Check back here next week where we’ll talk about what you can do as a publisher to help us protect the digital ecosystem. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.Subscribe to AdSense blog postsHead of Publisher Policy Communications