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How often do you accidentally click on your own ads?

How serious is this?

     
9:07 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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It seems to happen to me every few months, when I'm trying to highlight a web address I want to block.

It's such a dumb, bone-headed move. For instance, I'm using a laptop and the mouse pointer is screwy and it's a real pain to highlight things, and there I went accidentally clicking.

I think I've clicked accidentally three times, but never with this IP address, though I doubt that matters. I'm sure my IP is logged with my adsense.

Sigh. It makes me sick that I did that.
9:12 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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How often do you accidentally click on your own ads?

In one word? Never.
9:34 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Never.
9:38 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Might sound like a joke but it isn't:

Adsense is like plutonium, handle with care. Even like the Schrodinger's cat you'll never know how looking at the reports affects the earnings :panic: ok that was too far. Yes it should be handled with care, some don't even reveal what sites are theirs (with Adsense).
9:47 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Never. Not once. Nada.
9:55 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I feel sick about it right now, trust me.
9:57 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Probably five or six times over the last nine years. Last time I did it was the same way you did littlecubpanda. Learned my lesson and now look at the ad review section to find the url of irritating ads.

Not all of us are perfect
10:05 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@ breeks

That's reassuring. I'll never, ever put my mouse pointer over an ad for any reason again.

Three times, each time on a different IP address, hopefully won't raise red flags.

Does anyone know what a first offense results in? A warning? Would they send a message on Adsense? Or just immediate banning?
10:12 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@explorador

I'd equate Adsense to old sweaty sticks of dynamite rather than plutonium. I take the horror stories seriously (not to mention the Adsense TOS) and never touch the sweaty dynamite.

As for accidentally clicking when highlighting URLS, in my experience, it's not even possible to highlight the URLS of an Adsense Ad (granted I'm usually working in Firefox and other browsers may offer different options). Of course, I'm slow sometimes and there may be some very obvious way to do it but given @littlecubpanda's experiences, it's probably not a technique that should be shared here. Clicking anywhere near an ad is living way too dangerously for me.

I'll add that putting your mouse near an ad is a bit like holding a loaded gun to your head. You can hover over ads in FireFox to see a tooltip popup of the URL but I highly recommend taking your finger off the trigger before doing so.
11:01 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@ webcentric

From 2007, but G says basically they're not worried about an accidental click and their system will discount it and return the earnings to the publisher.

[adsense.blogspot.com...]
11:25 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Never.
11:29 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I just noticed that they removed the click from the ad I clicked on it. It was the first click of the day on it and now it is gone. Whew. Good, G's system worked as it should.
11:49 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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FWIW -

1. I don't click on AdSense ads, anywhere. (Got into that habit right from the beginning in 2004).
2. I use my own non-AdSense graphics in matching ad sizes as placeholders when making changes to my websites. Once I'm satisfied that the layout looks ok, then I go live with the AdSense code.
3. I rarely visit my sites, but instead have ad-free clone versions of them in seperate directories to monitor that they're working ok.
2:13 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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3 times over the last 10 years.
Always the same - fell asleep with the mouse in my hand.
Each time, I duly reported myself.
2:51 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@ Sally

lol I can see that happening.

How do you report yourself?
4:21 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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littlecubpanda, don't worry about it. I've clicked maybe 5 times in the last 5 years. Yes, I e-mailed AdSense support to tell them, but you don't need to bother doing that now. Just don't do it again, accidents happen.
8:48 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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In in the ten years of running AdSense, I have never clicked an ad. I avoid it, as webcentric says, like the old sweaty dynamite. lol
10:28 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Once every six months or so by accident.

I did initially report the first couple of clicks many moons ago and actually received a response from G effectively saying please don't waste our time telling us about it, the odd accidental click is to be expected.

I suppose the context is also important. If you normally get a couple of clicks a day and click one of your own ads then they might take some action. If you get a couple of hundred clicks a day and click one of your own every six months or so then they will take a different view.
11:37 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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3-4 times in 9 years
12:31 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Google is all about patterns. If there's no pattern of clicking on your own ads, then you probably don't have to worry about it. I've done it occasionally, and my developer has too (that's when we switched to fake ad jpgs while developing, he didn't realize how serious it was)

They do keep track of all the IP numbers that log into your admin, I think.
1:09 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The site I own and manage - maybe like 1-2x per year. I manage a very high volume website and I know that the sales people click on the AdSense pretty regularly even though they are told not to. They don't click with ill intention; those clicks are so miniscule that it's never been a problem.
10:18 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I think twice this year so far...and probably about the same in years prior. I'm much more worried about Bots or a competitor conducting click fraud than my own spastic mouse movements.
10:26 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I did one rime when I first joined Adsense 10+ years ago to see what would happen. Never did it since.
12:40 am on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I feel sick about it right now, trust me.


You should feel sick about it. Accidental clicks happen and Google knows they do. As long as you don't do a lot of them you should be okay.
1:35 am on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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i'm using ad blocker on my sites so i don't have problems about that :) but before adblocker, i clicked like 2-3 times on my ads in 9 years
6:38 am on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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A mentioned above it's about patterns and percentages.

Don't fret about it, everybody makes mistakes. Even people from webmaster world believe it or not.
1:17 pm on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I feel sick about it right now, trust me


Nah, there's no need to feel sick about it.

I clicked my own ad two days ago trying to get the URL of an ad I wanted to block. Here's the reason why you shouldn't feel sick:

As long as you don't do a lot of them you should be okay.
1:43 pm on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Never, not even by mistake :)
5:10 pm on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I've accidentally clicked on my ad probably half a dozen times in the last year.

As others have stated, Google is about catching fraud not penalizing people who accidentally click an ad. They look for patterns, trends and the frequency of said clicks. Google always filters out self clicks but if you are purposely trying to inflate your earnings, they will no doubt know this and ban you.

My AdSense rep even told me that invalid clicks in the simplistic term is okay - this happens and Google subtracts these in real time and at month end. But if it's patterned in a way to deceive the system or artificially inflate clicks, that is where you will run into big problems.

DXL

6:51 pm on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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In seven or eight years, not once.
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