Jul 21, 2015

4 Ways to Detect Invalid Activity in Google AdSense

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Monitoring your website's performance shouldn't be a chore but a necessity. After all, how else will you know how to serve your audience better - and acquire new ones - if you don't know how they get to you, what they do on your site and who they are?
Google Analytics is a tool that does all that, but despite its sophistication, your account can be suspended for invalid activity.

This is the one thing that you have to avoid because the process of reinstating your account may take a while. That said, how can you detect invalid activity?

Before answering the question, here are some terms that you need to familiarize yourself with as they will appear throughout the rest of this post:



DEFINITIONS

  • Clicks - number of times a user has clicked on your advertisements
  • CPC - cost per click; what you get whenever a user clicks on your ads
  • Pageviews - refers to the action the user takes of viewing a page with an ad displayed
  • CTR - click through rate; calculated as (clicks / pageviews) x 100 and is given in percentage
  • Estimated Earnings - calculated as (clicks x CPC); the value goes up or gown while the earnings are still in verification process


WAYS TO DETECT INVALID ACTIVITY

1. You have a CTR above 20%. The normal range for CTR is 1% to 11%, but anything above these tells Google that there is something iffy and that may not bode well for you. So, if you notice this, make necessary changes so that you maintain a healthy CTR.

2. You have a lot of clicks but no CPC. As in, your assigned CPC is 0.00. For example, if you get about 50 clicks and don't have a CPC set, that tells Google that something funky is going on and they will not hesitate to take action. Keep in mind that they do take matters like this seriously, and which is why they employ both human and machine checking to analyze clicks and impressions.

3. You're estimated earnings rise then fall suddenly. For example, you get estimated earnings of $1.00 but the next minute this drops to $0.0. Whether it drops to zero or half the original estimated earnings amount after you refreshed the page, you know that something is up.

4. You have many clicks from one country but less pageviews. Google operates on the belief that if a user clicked on an ad, they are interested in what it has to say. So, if the pageviews are really low, that sends a wrong signal to Google and causes them to think that something fishy is happening.

So, make sure to check your AdSense performance regularly so you can spot discrepancies and address them as soon as possible before Google decides to suspend your account. 

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