Ash Nallawalla's blog

Google AdWords lifts veil (a little)

Ash Nallawalla

26 July 2006


Finally, Google has bowed to pressure and given advertisers a way to see what it calls “invalid clicks”. Anyone managing a large account has known that Google chucks random little amounts as account credits, which are explained as refunds for invalid clicks.

I have said in this blog for some time and in WIRED magazine that Google is good at keeping click fraud at bay, so I am not surprised to see a low rate of invalid clicks in one account.

Several participants in the AdWords forum on Webmasterworld have shared their own invalid click statistics. It seems to be below 4% for most of the posters.

But it all depends on the total spend. For a $45,000 spend, 4.2% is worth $1900 of savings because Google detected it. For a $65,000 spend, 3.7% invalid clicks add up to $2400. Advertisers can still speculate how many invalid clicks won’t be picked up by Google. The “get paid to read ads” scams are still around.

Back to the WW discussion, europeforvisitors made a good point, “ROI is what determines whether an advertiser is in or out.” Many advertisers seem to treat invalid clicks just as a retailer treats shoplifting – as long as the ROI is good, click fraud is part of the cost of doing business.

There is still a place for independent click fraud detection services. It would be great if Google were to release some more information about those invalid clicks – where they came from, IP addresses, time of day, number of clicks from each source. This is unlikely to happen, as it would drag Google into lawsuits between advertisers and the alleged invalid clickers.

Ash Nallawalla

Search strategist experienced in large, complex websites. Ash's Google+ profile

Related Posts

President Obama’s pages archived

Ash Nallawalla

22 January 2017

Other, SEO

Feel free to share...After Mr Donald Trump became the president at noon today (USA EST), many reported that the website removed references to Climate Change and LGBT. That isn’t entirely accurate. The website up to that point has been archived and can be found at The LGBT URL was but it redirects […]

Read More

Coding Australian 13 and 1300 “tel:” numbers – 404 errors

Feel free to share...Australia has six- and ten-digit local numbers that begin with 13 and 1300 respectively. The 13 xx xx numbers connect you to a local number in your city so it is a local call. The 1300 xxx xxx number is similar but is usually a single destination for the price of a […]

Read More

Older Posts