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huge difference bn estimated/balance dec

     
3:22 pm on Jan 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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There's a $774 difference between Dec. estimated earnings and my balance. Could there be a delay in valid/invalid clicks? Anyone else ever experience this? Usually my balance stays at zero for a day or so then it shows a balance and it stays that way until it's paid. This is the first time I've ever had such a drop, usually it's around $20. My estimated earnings were on par with last months so $774 difference is way out of wack.
3:30 pm on Jan 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Anyone else ever experience this?

I haven't but others have, such large clawbacks are often related to the use of link ad units. Have you recently started using these?
3:44 pm on Jan 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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No, everything has stayed the same, I've made no changes in regards to ads or even placement. Do not even use the mobile front bar ad (forget what they call that.)
4:39 pm on Jan 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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had a pretty big clawback but was expecting it. ref: [webmasterworld.com...]

go thru your dec daily earnings and see if you had a few days where earnings were way above normal. that may indicate click bomb activity.
4:41 pm on Jan 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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$774 worth? Dec. was on par with Nov. as well as being about the same from last year. Views were up rather than down for any of those months.
4:43 pm on Jan 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Did a quick look, it's pretty normal across the board for Dec. It cannot be click bombs, there's nothing out of the ordinary.
4:52 pm on Jan 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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not $774 but everything is relative. mine was 14%, the biggest ever by a huge margin. but as mentioned, it was expected. sounds like you may want to reach out to adsense, but first give it some time to see if there are others in the same boat that may post here or in the adsense forum.
5:19 pm on Jan 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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See why now. Tax withholding. I've never had taxes withheld before, that's strange. At least I'm not going crazy but wish they would have sent me an email saying "Hey, we are doing this..."
5:46 pm on Jan 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@makingitbetter, where do you see "tax withholding" shown? On the Payments >> Transactions page?

I, too, got hit with a massive clawback, like 20%.
5:51 pm on Jan 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yes, the transactions page. Is it showing withholding for you too?
5:52 pm on Jan 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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No. My clawback is listed as "Invalid Traffic - Adsense for Content".

Ouch.

I'm use to having deductions at the end of the month, but this one was HUGE. Kinda makes their real-time reporting/deductions useless then if they slap a major deduction at month's end.
6:00 pm on Jan 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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This is where a bit more transparency on Adsense's end would be appreciated. It would be nice to know which property was the culprit and over which days.

That's about a week's worth of revenue wiped out in an instant.
6:28 pm on Jan 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I have that listed too but only for $24 which is usual for each months invalid traffic. The tax withholding was a shock but a relief.
7:58 pm on Jan 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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6% clawback for December, where it's usually in the 0.5-2% range, so also quite a bit higher than usual.

Going to have to keep an eye on that the coming months.
12:17 am on Feb 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Did anyone ever figure out what the issue was? I've been with Adsense since early 2004 and have never had an Invalid Click deduction higher than like $20. But in December and January, I've had over $300 for each month which is huge for me. I've not changed anything for several years as far as ad units placement and/or units. I've never gotten a notice from Google either.

I'm just really confused as to what the issue is. I looked at analytics and there's nothing unusual. No weird spikes or traffic referrals.
4:02 pm on Feb 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I did some sleuthing and saw that I had an abnormal amount of earnings coming from Italy during all of December and half of January. When I added these earnings in with the usual clawback, the takeaway was surprisingly accurate - so I'm going forward assuming it was invalid clicks/traffic from Italy for the Xmas season. Things seem to be quiet from there now.

For comparison, I normally make pennies a day from Italy and, during the time in question, this became tens-of-dollars a day. If I ran the report for the whole of 2018, there clearly showed a huge spike in December for 2018 coming from Italy - it was the second best earning country behind the U.S. during that span, which is not historically normal for me, even going back years.

REPORTS >> COUNTRIES is the path to the report. Try that and see if a particular country gave you a spike during the Dec 1 - Dec 31 period. Run a similar report for January and see.