Tips on how you can prevent invalid activity on your apps

Invalid activity is an important topic we'd like to discuss in today's post.

Invalid activity consists of any clicks or impressions that may artificially inflate an advertiser's costs or a publisher's earnings. Invalid activity covers intentionally fraudulent traffic as well as accidental clicks.

Publishers can take many preventative steps to prevent invalid activity on their accounts. If we find invalid activity in your app(s), you may be at risk for account suspension or disablement. We may also refund revenue generated from invalid clicks to affected advertisers.

Publishers must not artificially inflate the impressions or clicks the ads receive, either through automated or manual means. Clicks on Google ads must result from genuine user interest.

We understand that a third party may generate invalid activity on your ads without your knowledge or permission. However, ultimately, it is your responsibility as the publisher to ensure that the activity on your ads is valid.

Here are some tips on how you can prevent invalid activity on your ads:

  • Don't click on your own ads. This includes manually clicking on your live ads and employing automated means, including but not limited to robots or other deceptive software. Testing your live ads by clicking on them is not allowed. Please use test ads (available for Android, iOS, or Windows Phone) to avoid generating invalid impressions and clicks.
  • Don't encourage or ask your friends, family, co-workers, etc. to click on your ads.
  • Don't encourage or ask general users to click on your ads. This includes asking for users to support your app, offering rewards to users for clicking ads, and promising to raise money for third parties for such behavior.
  • Make sure your ad implementations don't encourage accidental clicks. User flow is very important to consider when implementing your ads. For instance, interstitial ads unexpectedly surprising the user, and close proximity of banner ads to other elements within an app, are some of the biggest causes of accidental clicks. Check out our AdMob implementation guidance for more information.
  • Avoid partnering with untrusted / low-quality parties. Some publishers have had issues with invalid activity when partnering with low-quality ad networks or app promotion sites in efforts to increase traffic to their app, which may increase the likelihood of ads being viewed or clicked. Again, it is ultimately the publisher's responsibility to ensure that the activity on their ads is valid. To help determine the source of your visitors, we recommend using Google Analytics for AdMob. For more information please visit our AdMob Help Center.