How to Check Invalid Clicks in Google Ads

Abisola Tanzako | May 02, 2024

Can you eliminate invalid clicks in google ads?

Google Ads, a dominant business instrument, provides targeted advertising that connects with individuals with specific interests. It’s a tool for increasing leads and customers, increasing brand visibility, and delivering swift results. Google Ads empowers you to display your ads at the most reasonable time and location, optimizing your online marketing endeavors. Remarketing campaigns can motivate these users to return and complete the desired action, such as purchasing or signing up for a newsletter. 

Empower yourself in the monitoring process by understanding and managing invalid clicks. These clicks, often not the result of genuine user interest but produced by automated bots or individuals with harmful intentions, can be a significant challenge. However, with the right knowledge and tools, you can effectively combat this issue. This article will guide you through how to check for invalid clicks, the importance of checking for them, their effects on your ad campaigns, and tips to avoid them, giving you the confidence to optimize your online marketing endeavors.

Understanding Invalid Clicks

Invalid clicks are those clicks on ads that do not originate from a genuine user interest. They can come from various sources, including intentionally fraudulent traffic, accidental or repeated clicks, and clicks generated by automated clicking tools, robots, or other deceptive software. Such clicks can distort the accuracy of ad performance data and lead to unnecessary costs.

To combat this issue, Google has implemented sophisticated monitoring and detection systems. These systems are designed to identify invalid clicks, report them, and take appropriate action. This ensures the integrity of ad data and protects advertisers from potential fraud.

Why checking for invalid clicks in Google Ads is important

The importance of checking for invalid clicks in your advertising campaigns cannot be overstated. Invalid clicks are those that do not come from authentic user interest. They cover a range of sources, including deliberate fraudulent traffic, unintentional or repeated clicks, and clicks generated by automated clicking tools, robots, or other deceptive software.

These invalid clicks can damage your campaign, waste your advertising budget, and negatively impact your campaign by skewing your data. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to consistently check and manage these invalid clicks. By doing so, you can ensure the accuracy of your campaign data and optimize your advertising budget.

The effect of checking for invalid clicks on your ad campaigns

Monitoring and checking for invalid clicks on your ad campaigns is an essential practice that guards the integrity and enhances the effectiveness of your advertising initiatives. Invalid clicks, which are frequently generated by automated systems such as bots, can result in unsuitable increases in click-through rates, yet these do not translate into corresponding conversions. This discrepancy can distort your campaign data and lead to misguided decisions. Proactively identifying and blocking these invalid clicks protects your advertising budget from being squandered on invalid activities.

These refunds are periodically reflected as credits in your billing transactions, further optimizing your ad spend. More importantly, this practice ensures that your ads are viewed by genuine users who are more likely to convert. This, in turn, enhances the performance of your campaign, making it more efficient and effective.

How to check invalid clicks in Google Ads

Checking invalid clicks in your Google Ads helps ensure your advertising campaigns’ effectiveness and integrity. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to do it:

1. Start by signing into your Google Ads account: This is your dashboard where you manage all your advertising campaigns.

2. Navigate to the ‘Campaigns’ tab. The campaign tab provides an overview of all your ongoing and past campaigns, allowing you to manage them effectively.

3. Next, click on the ‘Columns’ button to modify them. This feature allows you to customize the data columns in your campaign overview, enabling you to focus on the metrics that matter most to you.

4. Navigate to the ‘Performance’ section under the ‘Columns’ menu. This section provides detailed insights into your campaigns’ performance, helping you understand how well your ads perform.

5. In the ‘Performance’ section, select the following metrics: ‘Invalid Clicks,’ ‘Invalid Click Rate,’ ‘Invalid Interactions,’ and ‘Invalid Interaction Rate.’ These metrics provide valuable insights into the number and rate of invalid clicks and interactions your ads receive.

6. Finally, click ‘Apply’ to save your changes: This will update your campaign overview to include the selected metrics, allowing you to monitor invalid clicks and interactions effectively.

How to avoid invalid clicks on your ad campaigns

Here are some tips to help you avoid invalid traffic on your ads:

Understand the nature of your ad traffic and the behavior of your site visitors:

This is a fundamental step in managing your advertising campaigns. By breaking down your traffic reports into meaningful segments using URL channels, custom channels, or ad units, you can better understand how changes to traffic sources or implementation can affect your ad traffic.

Monitor the conversion rate of clicks:

This is another crucial aspect. Be vigilant for sudden drops or unexpected behavior in conversion rates, as these could indicate issues with your ads or target audience.

Use Invalid Click Protection Software

Tools such as ClickPatrol protect your ads from invalid clicks and non-human activity by predicting and blocking these clicks. With ClickPatrol, you are assured of receiving only clicks that will convert on your account. 

Enable click tagging and understand how to track clicks to your website:

These are also important. With sufficient data, you can request an investigation into invalid traffic, helping to ensure the accuracy of your campaign metrics.

Ad placement is key:

Avoid placing ads in areas where users may confuse them with content or links. Ensure that your ads take up only a little space and are optimized and responsive to provide the best user experience.

Carefully manage Ad tags:

If your ad tags overlap content or are hidden behind page elements, clicks may lead to invalid traffic. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your ad tags are visible and do not interfere with the user’s navigation of your site.

Minimize Ad Targeting:

Avoid high-risk geographic locations or demographics known for click fraud. This will reduce the risk of invalid clicks and improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Limit ad exposure:

Running ads at specific times or days when genuine engagement is more likely can also help improve your campaigns’ performance. This can ensure that your target audience sees your ads when they are most likely to engage.

Use IP exclusions:

Another effective strategy is regularly monitoring your Google Ads account and identifying IP addresses generating invalid clicks. By excluding these IP addresses from your campaigns, you can protect your ad budget from being wasted on invalid clicks.

Test ads:

During the development phase, enable test ads so that you can click on them without charging Google Ads. This allows you to test the functionality of your ads without incurring unnecessary costs.

Monitor metrics:

Monitor metrics related to invalid clicks in your report to ensure you’re not being charged for invalid clicks that Google failed to detect. This practice provides the accuracy of your campaign data and protects your ad budget.

Avoid partnering with untrusted/low-quality parties:

It’s important to be careful when establishing partnerships, particularly with untrusted or low-quality parties. There can be scenarios where, as a publisher, you can face challenges with invalid traffic due to your ties with low-quality ad networks, search engines, or directory sites, all in the quest to increase your site’s traffic. It’s important to comprehend the potential implications of purchasing traffic.

Refrain from engaging with your ads, irrespective of your motives:

Remember that it’s against Google’s rules to interact with your ads, even if you’re curious about an ad or want to discover its destination URL. While Google has a system to filter clicks on your ads, these clicks are not completely ignored. If they suspect that a publisher has been clicking on their ads to boost their profits or increase an advertiser’s costs, they reserve the right to suspend the account to ensure the protection of our advertisers.

Use Negative keywords:

Use negative keywords as a strategic tool to restrict your ads from being displayed in certain regions. This approach eliminates unnecessary clicks that do not contribute to your campaign’s success.

Monitor Ad implementation:

It’s essential to ensure that your ad implementation complies strictly with Google’s ad placement policies and is free from any programming glitches. To guarantee optimal performance, it’s recommended to test your ads across various browsers and platforms. This will help you ascertain that they function as anticipated, providing a seamless experience for your audience.

Use Ad labeling:

It is crucial to incorporate an ad label on your ads. This practice aids users in comprehending the content they are viewing. Clearly labeling your ads enhances transparency and helps users differentiate between organic content and promotional material.

Avoid low-quality backlinks:

To avoid low-quality backlinks, it’s crucial to build connections with websites that have a strong reputation and are relevant to your content. It’s advisable to avoid engaging with link farms and purchasing links, as these practices can harm your site’s SEO. Additionally, it’s important to monitor your ad traffic and the profile of your backlinks regularly. Stay alert for any unusual activity or low-quality links, as these could negatively impact your site’s ranking and credibility.

Avoid using too many external plugins or software:

Be cautious about using too many. Excessive use can make your site susceptible to invalid clicks or low-quality backlinks.

Campaign performance:

Review your campaign performance regularly and make necessary adjustments based on the data. If you notice repeated clicks from the same source, consider blocking them.

Automated filters:

Google employs a robust system of more than 200 automated filters. These filters are consistently observed and updated to detect and automatically identify the vast majority of invalid traffic, ensuring the integrity and accuracy of ad traffic data.

Negative keywords:

Incorporating negative keywords into your strategy can prevent your ads from being displayed in certain regions. This strategy is beneficial for geo-targeted advertising campaigns.


The practice of checking, monitoring, and managing invalid clicks is a critical component in the successful execution of your Google Ads campaigns. Regular checks for invalid clicks, which are often the result of invalid activities or automated bots, help maintain the accuracy of your data. This not only optimizes your advertising expenditure by preventing the wastage of non-genuine clicks but also enhances the overall effectiveness of your campaigns. Constantly managing invalid clicks is indispensable to successful advertising on Google Ads.


Q.1 How does Google handle invalid clicks?

Google employs a multi-layered approach to handling invalid clicks. It analyzes clicks and impressions using proprietary technology and sophisticated filters to detect invalid traffic. Google also uses real-time filters that stop suspicious clicks from being counted before they appear in your reports.

Q.2 Do I get charged for invalid clicks?

No, you do not get charged for invalid clicks. Google takes invalid activity seriously and uses complex algorithms to detect such clicks. Any invalid clicks that Google identifies are removed from your reports and payments, ensuring you are not charged.

Q.3 Will Google automatically refund me for invalid clicks?

Yes, Google has robust automated systems to identify and filter out invalid clicks. These systems ensure that advertisers are not charged for invalid traffic. However, despite these measures, it is still advisable for advertisers to monitor their reports regularly. You can submit a Click Quality form to Google if you notice any significant issues or suspect invalid activity.

Q.4 How does Ads detect invalid clicks?

Google Ads detects invalid clicks using automated systems and human reviews. It employs proprietary technology that analyzes all ad clicks and impressions for invalid traffic that may artificially inflate an advertiser’s costs or a publisher’s earnings. This system uses sophisticated filters to distinguish between traffic generated through everyday user use and traffic that may pose a risk to advertisers.

Q.5 What recourse do I have if I believe I’ve been a victim of click fraud?

If you suspect that you’ve been targeted by click fraud, there are measures you can take. You can forward a Click Quality form to Google if you have substantial proof of such fraudulent actions. In turn, Google will conduct a comprehensive investigation into the matter. If their findings confirm that fraudulent activities have indeed transpired, they may proceed to issue a refund to offset the costs of the invalid clicks. 

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