Once upon a time I was looking at the billing for a client and I noticed that Google had given them their money back, for “Adjustment – Click Quality” had appeared! I immediately reverted to my 7 year old mind, receiving a gift at my own birthday party from a person I actually didn’t like at all, but was invited because Mom said so. I was appreciative, but the detective in me wanted to know why.

The cause of the refund was because of invalid clicks. Invalid clicks you say? What exactly is that again? Well, Google describes them as 2 different types: 1. Repeated manual clicks. 2. Clicks by automated tools, robots, or other deceptive software.

What I don’t want you to do is freak out and have a vision of supreme paranoia that goes something like this: My competitor hates me, I mean really hates me! I just know he has a team of henchmen that search for my ads down the street and have them all click on them all day long in a back room with one of those box fans, with everyone wearing tattered Hawaiian shirts, sweat dripping and their crooked smiles lighting up as the sound of more and more clicks fill the air, constantly resetting his IP addresses along the way. First of all, that is very creepy. Secondly, it is very unlikely because of what Google has put in place to stop events such as that occurring.

Their first line of defense is a continually updated automated algorithm they employ, which deters most of the invalid clicks. They also use a team of secret service proportions, known as the “Ad Traffic Quality Team,” which investigate all suspicious click patterns that somehow sneak past the algorithm. It’s good to know that there is a group willing to travel great lengths to stop thuggish over clicking internet crimes in the hopes of instilling and upholding the tried and true loyalty towards CTR.

I’m personally glad to see they go to such measures to create order in the clicking game. So are my customers. So should you.