Some of you may have noticed the new “invalid clicks” column in Google Adwords reporting. The premise is solid but a little bit confusing.
In a nutshell Google is not doing anything differently about invalid clicks, they have just chosen to show them to you in real time. Any invalid clicks are automatically removed so you are never charged for them. If you suspect you have additional invalid clicks you can manually report them here http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=165472 with the invalid clicks troubleshooter.
From the Google Adwords Blogspot:
“Over the past few months, we’ve provided answers to your invalid click questions. Now, Shuman Ghosemajumder, Business Product Manager for Trust & Safety, is back to provide details on a new related feature.
Today, we’re announcing the launch of a new AdWords feature enabling advertisers to have a much more detailed picture of invalid click activity in their account. The metrics of “invalid clicks” and “invalid clicks rate” will show virtually all the invalid clicks affecting an account.
These clicks are filtered in real-time by our systems before advertisers are charged for them. The resulting data will of course differ from one advertiser to the next. In addition, a much smaller number of invalid clicks may also be credited to advertisers’ accounts after-the-fact, as the result of a publisher being terminated from the AdSense program for invalid click activity. These will appear as account-level credits.
One of the most controversial issues related to the topic of click fraud has been estimating how big the problem is. Estimates from third-parties (usually from consultants who have a financial incentive to make the problem seem very large) have been both inconsistent and greatly exaggerated due to their methodologies. Advertisers have always been able to compare their log data with their AdWords charges to calculate an estimate of the number of invalid clicks in their own account. This new tool will make estimating invalid click activity much easier.
Remember, when we determine that clicks are invalid, you aren’t charged for them, and they don’t affect your other campaign statistics. You may include the invalid clicks and invalid click rate columns in yearly, quarterly, monthly, and daily reports.”