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Invalid Clicks & Invalid Clicks Rate added to AdWords Reports

seems to have come out of the blue

     
7:33 am on Jul 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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very interesting and detailed info. from the official blog:

[adwords.blogspot.com...]

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.

[edited by: engine at 8:24 am (utc) on July 26, 2006]
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7:52 am on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This should go a long way towards allaying advertiser fears that too much click fraud goes undetected.

Good find.

-Shorebreak

7:56 am on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Very interesting. I just ran a report for a small new account that I manage and the invalid click rate was 2.45%

These are the clicks that Google has noted as invalid and has not charged advertisers for.

7:57 am on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yep, been running some client reports. Running between 3-7% for a couple of my larger accounts.

But does this tool, that only goes back to 01-01-06, give us any clues as to how much "prior" estimated fraud there was, as in filling out the claim forms?

-Tom

10:16 am on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How do you get this info?
10:44 am on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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the data is available via the 'reports' tab; more info here:

[adwords.google.com...]

11:00 am on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Mine was 2.34%. Good stuff Google!
11:24 am on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Wow, great move Google! Next step is that you provide us with the real numbers cause none of us believes click fraud is 2,5%;-)
12:10 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It appears that the date range is only for 2006.

Also, the information is only available at the 'campaign summary' and 'account summary' report.

Lastly, one can not run a report that includes 'distribution type' to see the difference between search and content for invalid clicks.

However, the level of transparency should help to begin to reconcile your analytic data against your AdWords data.

Overall, very good move. Thanks Google.

12:35 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Great feature for my Adwords, I'd love to have the same for my Adsense account now please...
1:27 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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this is great :) 2.6% for me :)
2:00 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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fraud

This really isn't the "fraud" rate, just the clicks that have been automatically filtered. This includes some fraudulent clicks, but also includes such things as double clicks that we aren't being charged for.

2:18 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Nice feature, but of course it shows only the invalid clicks that have been detected.
2:18 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Too bad this doesn't work on a keyword level. It'd be nice to see which keywords are the ones generating the invalid clicks.
2:58 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Nice that I can run this in the MCC for each client account in one report; but yea, it would also be great to do Search vs. Content. I hope that's coming eventually.

Some of the numbers are kind of eyecatching. I have two clients in industries where the clicks tend to be quite expensive, and the competition tends to be extremely slimy, so I always suspected a much higher rate of invalid clicks for those two - but it looks like (at least as far as Google detects) one of my OTHER accounts - huge 'name brand' company selling sports equipment - has a much higher invalid click rate. Definitely interesting information.

One of my more cynical partners just pointed out to me that perhaps the above has to do with it not being in Google's interest to probe too deeply into invalid clicks involving phrases with large CPC ($5-$15/click) - but that's too cynical even for ME.

[edited by: netmeg at 3:08 pm (utc) on July 26, 2006]

3:01 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It's a good start but it would be nice to know quite a bit more. Such as what counts as a double click, is it seconds or minutes or preferably days between clicks. If someone clicks on an ad then clicks back to google then over to a new site then back to google to click your ad and go back to your site is that going to count as a "double click". What might be an invalid click to Google and an invalid click to you could be pretty different things. Google should also include the IP address of clickers to your site in a report.
3:07 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Id like to know how acurate these numbers are. Do you really think Google would give us honest numbers on this? Looking over a few campaigns the numbers are pretty low, a lot lower then I was expecting. Something tells me that Google is going to keep those numbers low so that they dont scare away advertisers.
3:09 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"Estimates from third-parties (usually from consultants who have a financial incentive to make the problem seem very large)"

Err...and google doesn't have a financial interest in making the problem seem small? :)

What a joke.

Who cares how many invalid clicks you were not charged for? What advertisers want is better click fraud protection, not a Press release from google.

3:12 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't think Google has a strong motivation to keep the "detected invalid clicks" artificially low. The bigger the number is, the more they can say, "Look how much money we saved you. Can Yahoo do this well?"

I don't see them getting too specific, though. Detailed invalid click information could be used by click fraud practitioners to determine what is being detected and what isn't.

3:20 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have one campaign with a invalid click rate over 15%.
3:28 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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My campaign average is almost 5% but I have some campaigns that hit 10-12%. It looks like the content network is the culprit. No big surprise there.
3:35 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So, maybe I missed where we definitively established this, but what is the criteria for calling a click 'invalid' or 'fraudulent'?
3:40 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Average of 9.4% for me for the month. One day hit 47%
3:53 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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when i want to add it to the report colums then I dont have the invalid clicks option to activate or add. Am i missing something?
4:00 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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oops i found it, just under 5% invalid click rate
4:10 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If I'm Joe Websurfer and I accidently click an add is that invalid?

If I'm Judy Internet and I love to explore every single ad I see are those invalid clicks?

The point is where do they draw the line?

Yeah, in Tuzhilin's report he did discuss the, hmmm, difficulty in gauging the "intent" of a click. Hey, Judy's bored, she doesn't intend to become a conversion, she just clicks on everything she sees.

4:30 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"Undetected" invalid clicks are part of the equation when looking at the return on investment, whether that number of invalide clicks is implicit or explicitly stated.

Who's arguing with that?

4:36 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Funny timing for this "feature", of course its all nonsense, its just what google claims to be "invalid". You could run your own bots and clickers to check the veracity of their system pretty easily though. ;)

This is all heading to 3rd party verification, google doesn't adequately protect the customer in regards to click fraud.

4:56 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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LOL: If Google wants us to undermine sources and opinions that have a "financial interest" in the state of click fraud, we have to definatley be suspect of them and their reporting tools. Their revenue is entirely derived from 'clicks.' Therefore, going by Google's own logic, they have a huge financial incentive to tell us there is no problem.

It is a good thing I trust Google to detect clicks. As of yet, my conversions are good and revenue comes in so I do not need to worry too much.

5:36 pm on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is all heading to 3rd party verification, google doesn't adequately protect the customer in regards to click fraud.

[webmasterworld.com...]

What's adequate may be in the eye of the beholder, but one unbiased, court-approved "3rd party" has already concluded that Google's "efforts to combat click fraud are reasonable."

It's hard to see how third-party verification would change the minds of advertisers or critics who have preconceived notions about a PPC vendor's approach to click fraud.

Also, even the worst-case scenarios from vendors that market click-fraud detection services put total click fraud in the range of 14 and 20 percent for the PPC industry as a whole. As Trillanjedi said in another thread, "85.4% genuine traffic. Impressive statistic really, I can certainly work within that." And, of course, what matters in the final analysis is the advertiser's ROI, not the real or reported percentage of clicks that are invalid.

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