Beginning last month with Google’s new Adsense Transaction History, Adsense publishers now have much more visibility into how much Invalid Activity and Invalid Traffic that Adsense detects each day. I’m sure that many webmasters were probably alarmed at the amount of “invalid activity” in their Transaction History, but that activity has been there all along – Google is just now making it visible to us so it’s probably not worth getting too concerned over.
As I was obsessing over the Invalid Activity listed in my Transaction History, I began to notice a pattern. In September I ran Facebook Ads or Facebook Promoted Posts 7 times, all but one or two of those were for one day. Upon closer scrutiny of my Adsense Transaction History, I discovered that the days that Facebook Ads were used for driving traffic to one of my sites, Adsense reported invalid activity.
Wanting to test my theory that Adsense considers Facebook traffic invalid, I stopped all Facebook ads for several days. During that time Adsense reported zero invalid activity or invalid traffic.
After no invalid traffic for almost two weeks straight, created a new Facebook Promoted Post. The next day, Adsense reported “Invalid Traffic”. I stopped the Facebook promotion for 4 days, and again, no additional invalid activity or invalid traffic was reported.
I created a new promoted post, and after several hours something unusual happened. Instead of reporting invalid activity or traffic for that day, the dollar amount listed for the previous day’s invalid traffic (from several days earlier) increased. Again, I stopped the Facebook ads for 2 days and no more invalid traffic or activity was reported, but within hours of resuming my Facebook promotion, the dollar debit amount for that last reported Invalid Traffic (now on a date over a week old) began to increase again. i.e.; the last reported invalid traffic was on October 9, for $0.15 .. Each time I resumed my Facebook promotions, even though it was days later, that $0.15 on Oct. 9 increased by several dollars.
As a final test, I stopped the Facebook promotions again for 2 days. No more invalid traffic or activity was reported. Upon creating a new Facebook Promoted post, within about 8 hours, the previously day’s reported amount (October 9) for Invalid Traffic was again increased.
Total days in September and October running Facebook promotions: 8
% of days that Invalid Traffic or Invalid Activity Reported: 100%
Total days in September and October not running Facebook promotions: 40
% of days that Invalid Traffic or Invalid Activity Reported: 0%
From this testing and data I can only conclude that:
1) Adsense considers traffic from Facebook as invalid
2) Visitors from Facebook have a very high % of repeatedly clicking Adsense units
3) Google does not like Facebook very much
If you have noticed the same invalid traffic when running Facebook promotions or if you think my analysis, testing or conclusions are flawed or incorrect, please leave a comment.