We protect you from invalid activity and advertising fraud

We work hard to get you real results from advertising.

Advertisers, agencies, and publishers (including app developers and YouTube creators) all rely on advertising to help them reach new customers, grow their businesses, and earn a living. With so much at stake, it's important that the system works right. That's why we've developed powerful processes and invested in technology and an entire team of experts, to protect our customers and remove invalid activity and advertising fraud from our systems.

What is invalid activity?

In a nutshell, it's any interaction that doesn't come from real people with real interest in an ad. Some invalid traffic is accidental, like when a badly placed ad gets in the way of something the user is trying to click. Some is deliberate, like botnets or other advertisers who click on ads to waste their competitors' budgets.

How does Google defend its ad systems against invalid activity?

Our dedicated Ad Traffic Quality Team uses live reviewers, automatic filters, machine learning, and deep research to detect and filter as much invalid and fraudulent activity as possible.

Our global and diverse team of PhDs, data scientists, engineers, and researchers constantly monitors and analyzes traffic to prevent advertisers from paying for invalid clicks, impressions, views, or interactions, and stops publishers that generate invalid activity from receiving undeserved advertising income. Our efforts protect advertiser spend, enabling advertisers to maximize the return on their investment, while also ensuring that legitimate publishers have a level playing field that increases their chances to monetize their valuable content.

Our automated detection systems use machine learning and complex algorithms to protect our partners and keep our ad platforms clean.

We also manually review suspected cases of invalid activity that may not have been detected by our automated systems. Whenever we find unusual traffic, or an advertiser or publisher raises a valid concern, our team investigates the data and makes a decision or creates a new filter.

Our team uses advanced research to uncover sources of invalid traffic and to develop solutions to keep them from entering our networks and platforms.

How can you prevent invalid activity?

We work hard to protect you from invalid activity and advertising fraud, but there are steps you can take to help and to further protect yourself. The first step is to learn how to monitor the performance of your ads and content. If you're a publisher, you can take action to avoid creating invalid activity on your account and prevent people from taking advantage of you. If you're an advertiser, you can take steps to understand and identify potential invalid traffic.