This website has run display ads for close to 14 years. While there’s been a bit of experimentation, for the vast majority of that time, those ads have been powered by Google Adsense.
Adsense offers an easy setup for content publishers to integrate ads to their site and then the game becomes how many eyeballs can you attract to your content.
Having grown the audience of techAU to 1,418,447 views in 2020, ad revenue not only pays for the cost of running the site, but also brings in not an insignificant amount of money.
All that changed in late December.
I checked the mobile website and seen that my Adsense revenue had basically dropped to zero. The couple of days prior I had some of the best traffic to the site I’ve ever seen, after a couple of successful posts.
Over the history of the site, its not uncommon to see large spikes in traffic when posts get shared to new communities online, or linked from higher profile sites. There has been occasions where the site sees a months worth of traffic in a single day and this was an example of this. Given this spike in traffic was fairly sustained for 24-48hrs, I was expecting the revenue to reflect this, but the opposite happened.
Upon investigating the issue, I was met with a banner at the top of Adsense that reads:
‘The number of ads you can show has been limited. For details, go to the Policy center.’
At the end of the red alert banner, was a link to the Policy Center, so naturally I followed the link to find out more. The Policy Center revealed that ‘Ad serving has been limited’ and under the Issues column, it listed ‘Invalid traffic concerns’.
Naturally I start investigating what that meant and why Google thought some of the traffic to my site was invalid.
Clicking the down arrow on the page, I see the following detail.
The number of ads you can show has been limited.
Ad serving on your account is currently being limited due to invalid traffic concerns. We’ll automatically review and update this limit as we continue to monitor your traffic. Learn more about ad serving limits.
What you can do
Make sure you understand your ad traffic and site visitors. Never click on your own ads, and avoid partnering with untrusted or low-quality parties. Learn more about preventing invalid traffic. While this ad serving limit typically impacts publishers for less than 30 days, it may take longer in some cases.
I read through (a number of times) and was immediately left with more questions than answers. I don’t do the things listed here, so was very confused. I assume that Google seen the spike in traffic to the site and that triggered an