Invalid traffic, also known as invalid activity, is any activity that doesn’t come from a real user with genuine interest. It can include fraudulent and artificial ways to boost ad revenue for videos, among others.
Our systems continually analyze your videos for invalid traffic and take steps to correct it. This keeps our YouTube ecosystem healthy and prevents advertisers from paying for invalid traffic on their ads.
Examples of invalid traffic on videos:
- Friends or contacts letting playlists of your videos run all day long, resulting in a boost in ad traffic due to ads playing on those videos.
- Announcing to your viewers that they should watch or click through ads on certain videos in order to boost ad traffic, thereby boosting ad revenue.
- Third parties running automated clicking bots on your videos to manipulate ad traffic.
If we detect invalid traffic on your videos, we may refund the advertiser for that traffic, limit ad serving, or both. This means that you may not see that revenue despite ads still showing. It may also cause your estimated revenue in YouTube Analytics to fluctuate and not accurately represent what your potential earnings could be. Learn more about how invalid traffic can affect your estimated revenue in YouTube Analytics.
Tips to prevent invalid traffic
- Avoid partnering with untrusted parties when it comes to video creation and building your channel. For example, some third parties might push for purchasing traffic to raise ad revenue on your views, likes, or subscriptions - it’s best to avoid working with them.
- Don’t click on your videos’ ads, even if you think it might be OK to do so. Our systems recognize when creators click the ads on their own videos, and if it happens consistently over time, your account may be disabled to protect both advertisers and the creator ecosystem.
- Never encourage friends, family, or anyone to click on your ads to help you make more revenue, even if it's for a good or charitable cause.
Learn more tips on preventing invalid traffic in the AdSense Help Center