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:
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.
The Google AdSense Team
To access the Google AdSense home page or to log in to your account, please
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:
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.
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?
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:
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.
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!