What should I do if my Google Ads account encounters an invalid traffic warning?

What should I do if my Google Ads account encounters an invalid traffic warning?

When developers and website publishers find a warning about restricting advertising traffic due to invalid traffic in the policy center of the account backend, is this a situation that is unsolvable? Especially for users who have just used AdMob or AdSense, how should they correctly handle and understand the causes and consequences of such situations? In this issue of the article, we will focus on the “current limit” warning policy and how to modify and prevent it.

ASO World teams’re all happy to assume that in order to grow a successful mobile game (or app) you need:

Encountering invalid traffic warning is not unsolvable

It is not unsolvable to encounter invalid traffic warnings. It is the key to solve the problem as soon as possible. Therefore, first of all, we start to understand the background of this situation from the three hot issues that everyone has on “current limiting”.

Q1: Why is there a mechanism to limit advertising traffic?
A: Successful monetization starts with maintaining the advertising ecosystem.

Google is committed to maintaining the advertising ecosystem and protecting advertisers, publishers, and users from fraud and bad advertising experiences. For this reason, Google may sometimes limit the number of ads that can be displayed in your AdSense / AdMob account. When Google understands you and evaluates the quality of your traffic, it may temporarily restrict your advertising; or, when Google finds invalid traffic in your AdSense / AdMob account, it may also restrict your advertising. Therefore, poor traffic quality and a high proportion of invalid traffic are phenomena that need to be eliminated in a high-quality advertising ecosystem.

Q2: Will the “current limit” continue and cannot be restored forever?
A: The system will automatically update the audit results.

Situation 1:

The ad serving in your account is currently restricted due to invalid traffic issues. The system will continue to monitor your traffic and automatically review and update this restriction based on the monitoring results. If the problem is resolved, the system will gradually restore the flow restriction measures. However, if Google continues to find problems, it may deactivate your entire account.

Situation 2:

If it is because the Google system is evaluating your traffic quality, temporarily restrict the advertising in your account. Google will continue to monitor your traffic, and automatically review and update this limit based on the monitoring results.

Important reminder:

Google will only restrict advertising for the AdMob ad network, and this restriction will not affect third-party intermediary services, house ads, and direct-sale advertising campaigns. Therefore, if you are using AdMob mediation or house ads, it will not affect the performance of other ad networks. This traffic limit is only for AdMob / AdSense ad requests.

Q3: What is the difference between invalid traffic warning and unavailable account?
A: The account can still be accessed normally and modified in time.

As mentioned in advance, the account that received the invalid traffic warning is under continuous detection, so the account user can still log in to the account and troubleshoot the cause, and make timely modifications and optimizations.

Carefully investigate and eliminate the causes of invalid traffic:

Through the answers to 3 popular questions, I believe that everyone has a clearer and clearer understanding of invalid traffic warnings. Next, let’s take a closer look at which channels “invalid traffic” and “traffic quality” may originate from, so that you can make a correct investigation.

We start with the 8 most common behaviors that are considered invalid traffic to eliminate the following or similar behaviors to ensure that the traffic sources and user behaviors of our products are compliant and fair.

1. Click on ads in your website, YouTube channel or app and game by yourself or a team member.

Publishers must not click on ads on their own websites, YouTube channels or apps and games, and must not falsely increase the number of impressions or clicks on ads through automatic or manual methods.

For AdMob publishers, please use test ads (available for Android and iOS) to avoid invalid clicks on your app or game.

If you want to click on the ad to check the landing page or view more detailed information about the ad, please use the Google Publisher Toolbar. With this toolbar, you can check the destination URL of the ads displayed on the webpage without generating invalid clicks.

2. One or more users frequently click on your website, YouTube channel, or ads in apps and games.

If publishers and developers discover this situation from user detection data, please deal with this situation as soon as possible through code, etc., to reduce repeated clicks and the occurrence of blocking ads.

3. Generate or receive automatic traffic or robot traffic.

Google prohibits the use of automated means (such as robots or fraudulent software) to generate false impressions and clicks.

At the same time, before you decide to cooperate with a traffic source, you must first review the traffic source. At the same time, please pay attention to the advertising plan that checks the links in your website, apps, and games, because they may also click on the advertising links.

4. Use lucrative traffic sources.

Publishers may not use third-party services that can generate clicks or impressions, such as paid clicks, paid browsing, automatic browsing, click exchange programs, and gifts.

5. Manipulate advertising delivery methods or use delivery materials and channels with fraudulent or automatic downloads.

6. Encourage users to support your website, apps, and games through advertising interactions.

Please pay special attention to the fact that interactive behaviors such as inducing traffic and user clicks are strictly prohibited.

7. The ad placement is deceptive to users or is prone to accidental clicks.

8. Embed the website advertisement in the application.

Publishers may not embed ads in software applications. This includes toolbars, desktop applications, browser extensions, etc., and sometimes may also include applications hosted through third-party websites (if the implemented ads will result in invalid clicks due to users accidentally clicking on the ads).

If publishers choose to serve ads in mobile apps, they can only use the AdMob SDK to implement ads.

If you want to place ads in video or Flash content, you should use the AdSense for Video SDK or the AdSense for Games SDK.

Proactively prevent invalid traffic

Although the Google traffic quality team will use automatic and manual methods to filter out invalid clicks. If your account has not received an invalid traffic warning, it is also recommended that you always pay attention to preventing invalid traffic. This is essential to reduce the monthly income deducted from invalid activities and account security. In addition to avoiding the 8 common non-compliance situations mentioned above, the following 3 reminders are worthy of you to take immediate measures to best prevent them.

1. Do not cooperate with third parties with poor reputation/service quality.

In order to increase application traffic, some website publishers and application developers cooperate with poorly reputable advertising networks or application promotion channels, which can cause invalid activity problems.

2. Understand the specifications of each ad format and its placement method, and ensure that all forms are used in compliance.

Check the AdSense and AdMob Help Center websites, which all mention the policies and correct use of advertising formats.

3. The most important thing is to understand and detect your website or application traffic and users.

Use app filters such as app name, ad unit, and country/territory to meaningfully segment your traffic reports. This will help you measure the impact of changes in traffic sources or ad implementation methods on ad traffic. You can use data tools such as Google Analytics or Firebase to get detailed information about product visitors and discover suspicious user behaviors by burying points.

You can ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Which channel and method do users come from?
  2. How do users interact with my product? For example, what is the behavior and frequency of clicking or showing ads?
  3. Which screens did the user view in my app?

Resourcing from: App Store News: Single-quarter revenue hit a record high, and revenue in Greater China increased 57% year-on-year!