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PostHeaderIcon Google Adsense problems

This is going to be a long post…

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I have ads on my site. I am part of the Google Adsense program. I recently noticed that on Saturday, November 5, 2005, my reports indicated that there was a search done using my code, and an ad was clicked on. But there wasn’t any money credited to my account.

I know it would have only been a few cents, but its the principle of the thing. It’s also a trust thing. How do I know that other clicks weren’t recorded properly?

Anyway, I emailed them:

My search performance shows that there was one click on Saturday, November 5, 2005. Yet I earned nothing for the day. How is that possible? If a link was clicked on, then there should have at least been 1 cent in earnings.

I got an email in reply from them. I can’t tell if it is a canned message or not. And it’s signed The Google Adsense Team. I hate that. Let me know I’m dealing with a real person! Here’s their response:

Hello Graham,

Thank you for your email.

To protect your interests as well as those of our advertisers, Google monitors clicks and impressions on Google ads to prevent any abuse of the AdSense program. Google’s proprietary technology analyzes all ad clicks and impressions for any activity intended to artificially drive up an advertiser’s costs or a publisher’s earnings.

Clicks or impressions deemed by our monitoring system to be invalid will appear in your reports, but because advertisers are not charged for them, no associated revenue will be shown. Please rest assured that your account is being properly credited for all valid clicks and impressions.

For additional questions, please visit our AdSense Support site at https://www.google.com/support/adsense or feel free to reply to this email.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team

—————-
To access the Google AdSense home page or to log in to your account, please
visit: https://www.google.com/adsense

Well, I thought that was a pretty lame explanation. What makes a click invalid? A click is a click. It wasn’t me. If it was a robot following links, then shouldn’t they be able to tell me that? All I want is an answer. I don’t want to know the “proprietary technology”. I just want to know what made it invalid. So I replied:

How can a click not be valid? I wasn’t at my computer all day, so it wasn’t from me. It was a regular click from one of the sites.

I think I’m dealing with a real person now, but apparently it still took the whole team to reply:

Hello Graham,

Thank you for your concern. Each click on an AdWords ad is examined by our system. Google looks at numerous data points for each click, including the IP address, the time of the click, any duplicate clicks, and various other click patterns. Our system then analyzes these factors to isolate and filter out invalid clicks.

As previously stated, please rest assured that your account is being properly credited for all valid clicks and impressions.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team

By this point I’m getting annoyed. What made the click invalid? Why can’t they tell me what it was. The proprietary nature of their system is the algorithm that determines if it’s invalid, not the actual fact that it was invalid. So I replied again:

I sure hope I’m dealing with a person and not an automated reply. I certainly don’t think the whole Adsense Team got together to reply to me.

You say that I can rest assured that account was being properly credited, but I still don’t understand what would have made that one click invalid. I realize it would only be worth a few cents, and I’m not concerned about losing a few cents, but it raises concerns about the whole system. So what made that click invalid?

Graham

The response was pretty short. Apparently it doesn’t matter if I have any questions. Apparently it doesn’t matter if I’m helping them make money. An apparently it still takes the entire team to answer my questions! Here’s their response:

Hello Graham,

We understand that you wish to receive specific information regarding invalid clicks. However, due to the proprietary nature of our algorithm, we cannot disclose any details about how our monitoring technology works.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team

So, the bottom line is they won’t help. So here’s my questions:

  • What made my click invalid?
  • Why can’t they state clearly, “It was invalid because it came from an IP that regularly clicks.” or “We think it is click-fraud” or “It was a search engine robot” or something else like that?
  • How often do they do this? I only noticed that day because there was only 1 click. I don’t make a lot of money, but I almost always have anywhere from 5 to 20 clicks. I’ve always assumed I was paid for those 5 to 20 clicks. Now I don’t know if I’m being paid for 1 or if I’m being paid for all of them.
  • Why do they record clicks if they are invalid? That throws off the stats. If it isn’t valid, then don’t even include it, or find another way to report it.
  • Why can’t they have one person reply to my ticket? I can’t stand not knowing who I’m communicating with.

I know I’m “small potatoes” in the big pictures, but it’s frustrating not being able to get help or a satisfactory answer. I’m glad that I am able to make some money, and I don’t want to lose that. But I’m still annoyed!

34 Responses to “Google Adsense problems”

  • Artem says:

    I notice this kind of situation quite often on my sites (probably, because most of them are just taking off).

    I noticed and maybe even read somewhere in AdSense help, that charity advertisements don’t bring you money. If a person clicked “Donate to hurricane regions” you won’t earn any money, because there was no real advertiser, just the Google charity.

  • Taylor says:

    Different parts of the adsense stats update at different times. So it’s possible a click was recorded, but the stats are just off.

  • Graham says:

    Artem, I wondered about that myself. But you’ll notice that they didn’t mention this in any of the emails. If it was a charity, why didn’t they just tell me. And if it is a charity, then including those clicks in the regular stats still throws them off. They should report those separate.

    Taylor, I don’t think it was a case of not being recorded on time. On the 5th I had one click, and no revenue. It was another 7 days till I had another click recorded. I don’t think they are off by that much.

  • Gerard says:

    It seems the opposite is also possible. On several dates I had no clicks (on one of my other sites) but I earned 1 cent or even 2 cents.
    How’s that possible?

  • Graham says:

    Gerard, I’ve never been fortunate enough to have that happen 🙂

  • Artem says:

    I sometimes have the same as Gerald. Up to my understanding it happens with “pay per 1000 pageviews” (Google has not only Pay-Per-Click, as you probably know) ads. At least this could be one possiblу reason.

  • Graham says:

    Artem, I was under the impression that you only got paid for clicks. Where can I read about the “pay per 1000 pageviews”?

  • Artem says:

    There is a number of entries in the AdSense help. You can start with thу following one: https://www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/answer.py?answer=18196&topic=139

  • Yuga says:

    So it just looks like their proprietary click-fraud technology isn’t that perfect after all.

  • Graham says:

    Yuga, I don’t really doubt that they are correct in not crediting any money to my account. I’m sure they have a valid reason. But my biggest problem is that they are not telling me they are not giving me any money. Also, are they still making money on that click but not paying me anything? Their answers were certainly less than satisfactory!

  • Ozh says:

    Arent clicks on Public Service Ads recorded as well ?

  • Graham says:

    Ozh, I believe so. But if they are PSAs, then why didn’t they tell me that? And if they are PSAs, why don’t they record them differently so that it doesn’t mess up the stats?

  • Hey Graham,
    I’m sure you know this, but there are a ton of Adsense alternatives now. Many pay a bigger percentage, like up to 70% (Google won’t say how much they pay), pay more often (some pay you twice a month), and some will even pay you by PayPal. Maybe it’s time to change? Here’s a result of a quick search on Google:
    http://www.threadwatch.org/resources/advertising/contextual/adsense/alternatives
    http://www.associateprograms.com/search/adsense-competitors.shtml
    http://www.monetizers.com/adsense-alternatives.php

    PeakClick seems good….

  • Graham says:

    Good suggestions Shawn. I’ll check them out…

  • Johnny says:

    They always put “Adsense Team” because they aren’t allowed to “personnally” respond to an email. However, they do investigate on every problem. And whatever you do, Google will not reveal anything to you about the clicks, no matter what you say. It’s because they aren’t allowed to (and something about the propreitary nature, but I think that’s just like a button that they click… “Click here to insert [Propreitary Nature] and [Adsense Team] to your response”…lol!) Also, I’m sure that Google isn’t trying to steal your money… From the look of your stats, it was probably invalid because your CTR jumped or something (although I’m probably wrong… :P). Like I said, Google is a very trustable company… Also, try to make your emails official and professional, so Google can help you even more. My simpliest emails including asking about the Adsense preview tool was over 300 words, and they responded with double the ammount of words. Google is a very friendly company, and they recieve thousands of emails a day, most of them are short and useless to them. Just a small opinion, nothing much 🙂

  • karthik says:

    I too had these kind of problems on my site http://cheap-laptop-review.blogspot.com
    where i was not paid for three clicks on a day, and they are not paying for few clicks daily, which is showing 0cents for some clicks. I too dont know how to solve the problem.

  • Sharad says:

    Sometimes there is a time lag between the Clicks shown and the value credited. I have noticed if the CPC is USD 0.50 or above , they take more time to validate . Just a thought.I think they are more careful with expensive ads.

  • Dustin says:

    I’ve had this same frustrating problem with Google. I actually earned about $400 the first month I used their ads, but then my account was disabled for “invalid clicks”. I never saw one cent of my earnings. I asked what kind of “invalid clicks” led to my account being closed, but they wouldn’t tell me. Since I had the ads on a public forum, it could have been one person who doesn’t like my site sitting their clicking on my ads all day, knowing that it’d violate Google’s policies. I have no way of knowing. Google has never replied with any type of response that wasn’t canned and I’ve never gotten a response from a real person. VERY frustrating.

  • charlesgan says:

    Graham got his point!!!
    Google team got his point as well.

    i very headache as well. I been promoting my site like crazy, and still no get paid for a single click. maybe the patent of traffic not meet requirement etc.

    I ONLY promote my site within my country website now, added my website link to :

    1. my online auction website: http://charlesgan.lelong.com.my

    2. also to all online posting that I made. around 10 posting daily. with average 50 visitor to all my pages.

    3. participate and post link into forum & blog.

    4. do link exchange. manually submited link to directory and many other add link website.

    5. search engine submission to thousand of search engine.

    6. even participate the FFA. opt out later on.

    7. optimized my site for adsense revenue.

    … still getting 0 paid for adsese CTR.

    MY QUESTION, hope adsense team can provide me a little information:
    1. is the visitor clicks only valid by country?
    I mean if the advertiser from US want ads to appear to US visitor. And my Malaysian visitor clicking it through my site, I wont earning CTR is it?

    I been spending lots of time and money to adsense optimization secrete, ebooks, guru etc.
    I only manage to earn cents from page view, but not CTR.

    hope someone can guide me on this.
    i like to know the basic requirement to earn CTR.

    askthebuilder.com is earning $500+ daily… wooow… hope that I can be that good some day.

    adsense team, hope can help me on this.
    getting your help is the best.

    TQ

  • charlesgan says:

    PS. i saw in newsletter. mentioning google payout are around 78%. Nice.

  • charlesgan says:

    invalid clicks and account get banned>?

    oh noo… my site is designed for ads come first. i follow most profiting technique from adsense guru. my ads is bend to my site with the link same color and font size as my other true link…..

    hmm…. can be mistaken and accidentally clicking it when in hurry.

    i place the link on my MSN title, and tons of friend, colleague, office (same IP network) collegua pay it a visit…. ooh noooooo.

    will google think its same IP then banned my account? :'(

    i think if there is invalid click, google can go ahead canceling those CTR. furthermore i m getting 0 pay from it until now. sad. still trying for my luck.

    hope someone can help me on clerify all my questions. TQ

  • charlesgan says:

    bad mood day.. all my posting was gone.

    1. CTR cant get any paid.
    is this because the origin country of the visitor not meet the advertiser filtering requirement? they want visitor from US only?

    2, “invalid click”. so its detecting the IP, browser type, frequecy and patent to determine its click are valid or not right?
    wat if someone want to doom a site ? make many many click per day on the adsense….
    this will cause the site owner to get an email soon. terrible isnt it?

    3. i removed my shortcut keep in my IE that open my website already. no want this mistake happen to me.
    but how can i prevent others from not purposely clicks here and there? i guess advertiser wont want to pay $100 to a same group of clickers right?

    i really bluer. i was once a google adsense user. later on left it for 1 year untouch bcause not making any profit. few cents from the CPM. not the CTR even there is CTR. guess that marked as invalid as well.

    guess even i seen a very good advertizer ads and i want to read more… i oso cant.
    its a fact that recently i spend lots of money to those online product, promotion, adsense secrete, web hosting. and some are get from adsense great advertiser offers. gues i cant click from my site, and have to turn to google.com to do the search and then wait for the ads to appear then i click…. and giv profit to those middle advertizer, landing site.

    tired. but, hope someone really can giv me a light here. already spend fwe hundred to develop the site, buying adsense secrete ebook, join this n that, do link exchange etc.

  • organom says:

    My experience with adsense was terrible, as everyone else i got banned, also 3 of my friends who also got adsense got banned… O_o

    In my case, i was running my website from my personal web server, i got adsense, and everything went ok for the first month and a half. After that, suddently, i got banned… i asked them the motive, and i recieved one of those robot-maid letters to say that i have invalid clicks… i got to my server and checked all the logs, there were no invalid clicks… all clicks were made with enough time between them, and there was only like 3 clicks from the same ip from different times of a day, i checked and that was a university ip, so it was natural… i send them the logs, saying i dont agree with them, i got logs, and if they think its some kind of invalid stuff they shouldn’t lock the users account, at least without providind proofs… they returned another robot-made letter, saying that i got invalid clicks, and that they couldn’t send the logs they got (WTF?? logs must be a big secret…), also they said they would not reply to me anymore (great way to treat users)… i replyed to them 3 more times and didnt get any answers…
    I used to trust google, but after this experience i don’t know anymore… how can a company do this to its users and dont say anything?? i just have to say i don’t want anything more to do with them…

    Cheers
    organom

  • jehzlau says:

    ooooooww this post is too old.. but we have encountered the same problem.. i have invalid clicks.. but i didn’t even clicked my ads.. T__T

  • Shankar says:

    Hai friends,
    Actually I am an adsenser since December 2006. I have took many risks and lost more money and I have learnt to promote my site. I have promoted my site with an impression of 25,000 per month and my earning went to $800 . But suddenly my account is banned for invalid clix. I did not do anything against their policy. But, They have banned. I can’t understand this.

  • Kalaiselvi says:

    Actually I am an adsenser sfrom july’07. I have took many risks and lost more money and I have learnt to promote my site. I have promoted my site with good numbers of impressions and my earning went to $90 . But suddenly my account is banned for invalid clix. I did not do anything against their policy. But, They have banned. I can’t understand this.

  • Kalaiselvi says:

    I had one site which i promoted through adsense. Few days everything went on well . Suddenly my account is banned . Each and every adsense publisher should be furnished with do’s and don’ts while promoting the site.

    Can more than one person promote one site from different computers through different gmail IDs simulataneously.

    It is Google’s responsibility to reply to this.

  • Sarah Folega says:

    You got an automated email each time, I know because funnily enough I got the exact same message when I enquired about the same thing!

    I use my adsense account properly, I don’t click on my own ads or get anyone else to. So how can the clicks be invalid?

    I use affiliates as well and I am not pinning much hope on adsense to be honest. I have two supposed invalid clicks today and I have emailed yet again. Don’t know why I am bothering to be honest.

    Sarah

  • KaitabasuraMardhanaya says:

    Nice post! GA is also my biggest earning. However, it’s not a much.

  • April says:

    I have just encountered a very similar experience. I signe up a year ago (november) for Adsense. I also had web searcha nd site search on my site. I also place some ads on a couple of my blogs and stuff. I get modest traffic so I was just now reachign the $100 dollar mark. Getting excited to actually get my first check. Then BAM suddenly the code wasn’t working and even though my reports had been showing click. My account showed almost everything was inactive… Then last night I was in my gmail and there was the email. :Your Adsense accoutn has been disabled…….” WTF!!!!! So that prompted me to do a searcha nd now I am finding more and more users with similar stories. I should of looked for problems before even bothering to sign up. “If something seems to good to be real it probably is…”

  • Ratech says:

    I aslo faced asimilar problem……

  • vivek says:

    hi
    i have buy a adsense account.
    but after some time he has been disabled.
    coz of country change .
    how can i get restart my account.

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