Invalid Clicks on Google Ads: All You Need to Know

While running a Google AdWords pay per click campaign for a long period of time, you might have come across several invalid clicks. This seems incredibly scary and panicking. So you should be aware of the impact of the invalid clicks on your PPC campaigns.

There are a plenty of queries in your mind, right? Why are you getting invalid clicks? What are invalid clicks? Who is clicking on your ads unnecessarily?


With so many queries in mind, you may need plenty of time to get the correct answers while running through Google’s unending support library. But we can give you the right answers right here right now!

What are Invalid Clicks?

You might have noticed that your website gets plenty of spam visitors particularly when you have a comment box on your website. You get annoyed by numerous bot generated comments, replies and emails that can clog your inbox up, very much time wasting.

But what are invalid clicks?


Invalid clicks refer to the action when your paid ad link is clicked by someone accidentally or through automated systems on purpose with malicious intentions. These invalid clicks are ways of Google to notify you that the clicks you get are fake and fraudulent. Google never uses the term ‘fraudulent’ but ‘illegitimate’ or ‘unintentional’ from non-legitimate users.

Invalid clicks include common examples like:

a. Automated clicks by robots
b. Manual clicks accidentally by people or on purpose repeatedly
c. Accidental double clicks by users
d. Impressions to reduce your CTR (click through rate)
e. Clicks from known VPNs or shared IP addresses
f. Clicks from automated tools like botnets or adware

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These spam bots can annoy you by repetitive clicks on your paid ad links and cost you fortunes. After some time, you will realize that some of the PPC keywords are costing you more than a round of drinks, and then you find out that it has brought about a negative impact on your budget.


Competitors usually try to drain out all your advertising budget through these malicious clicks manually on your ad links and at times they also use click farms and hire people to click on your paid ad links or your posts on social media.

Obviously, no advertiser would agree to pay for invalid clicks on their campaign. Some of the keywords might cost you as much as ten dollars and if you get charged for invalid clicks, then you will definitely be annoyed. This is the reason that invalid click systems came in the first place.

Google makes sure to keep their advertisers happy or else they will stop spending on Google ads. So Google keeps their advertisers happy by reimbursement and refunds their users back for the invalid clicks they get. But this is a non withdrawable amount credited to their account. For example, when an advertiser spends $5 on a click and it is marked by Google ad invalid, then the $5 will be credited back to your Google Ads account.

Also, every non converted click will not give you refunds. Only those clicks having certain characteristics will become flagged as invalid to return your ad spends.

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How can you see invalid clicks on your Google Ads account?

While setting up your Google Ads campaign, you have the options of customizing your data views. The default setting keeps people who showed interest in your target locations (recommended settings). But you can adjust the campaign settings and filter out some invalid click activity and you can also change the recommended settings to ‘people in your targeted locations’.

Click on ‘Campaigns’> you can see 3 columns. Click on ‘Modify columns’ and then you can make addition of columns to view ‘invalid click rates’ or ‘invalid clicks’. Once these are added, you can see the campaigns that are affected by invalid clicks.

What are the ways to protect your business from invalid clicks through Google Ads?

Is Google doing anything to combat the invalid clicks?

Google has its own sophisticated system for identifying invalid clicks and it analyses each and every click received by your ads.

Many suggest that there are a lot of factors considered for determining if a click is legitimate. Some of the factors are time, IP address, device ID of users, etc.

Google gets plenty of information from the million hundreds of user running campaigns and it becomes easy to determine whether a click is genuine or not. But this doesn’t mean that Google gets it right always.

Can Google block all invalid clicks?

Google gathers information from millions of different clients from across the world and you assume that Google will be easily able to block all invalid click. But unfortunately, this is not the case.

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The invalid click detection algorithm of Google is very slow and it often takes a few clicks before it can detect an invalid click. Even after this, Google has a final say on whether to provide you with the refund for your invalid clicks or not. This suggests that there might be a number of invalid clicks sneaking to your ads and costing you dollars which you never get back as reimbursements.

Google, however, has introduced its own invalid click investigator that will allow users to report to Google all the suspicious clicks for which they have been charged. Google’s investigator will guide you through some questions and if Google requires some more data for their investigation, Google will send emails to you directly and request for it.

But chances of getting refunds from this tool are very low. You might be left scratching your data as to why you have not received a refund.

How to minimize invalid clicks in Google Ads

Google tries to track and rectify invalid clicks, but you cannot get it right all the time. If Google does not identify any duplicate click or automated clicks from bots, then they will make refunds to your AdWords account balance.

You can also conduct some easy steps for avoiding invalid clicks on your Google Ads campaigns.

a. Segmentation and monitoring of site visitors
b. Avoid the low quality backlinks
c. Avoid too many external plug-ins or software
d. Monitoring of keywords and ad budget

Advertisers using Google Ads should make blocking of invalid clicks their first priority. I you expect Google to do it, it will cost you fortunes and you will be left disappointed. Google will provide you refunds but only for those invalid clicks that are detected. But what about the other invalid clicks that cost you several dollars?

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To stop invalid clicks from wasting your budget, you need to take things in your own hands and control to increase your protection. Google Ads’ IP exclusion list makes it possible for you to create your own block list in order to avoid certain users and bots from clicking maliciously on your ads. Doing this manually is not an effective way to block fraud clicks. And no one would do this and waste their time doing this.

You can improve your Google Ads ROI through blockage of invalid clicks automatically with the help of the best click fraud prevention software and you can save a lot!


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