Invalid Traffic – The Complete Tutorial

In the Internet Marketing space, Invalid Traffic is one common terminology used.

Whether you are a Blogger or an Advertiser, you must have come across the term before.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn everything you need to know about it as it relates to internet marketing.

What is Invalid Traffic?

Invalid traffic is not peculiar to just one platform.

What it means is generally the same irrespective of the platform but there could be slight variations depending on the platform.

Generally, it simply means traffic that do not count towards monetization or spending.

For the purpose of this article, invalid traffic may otherwise be referred to as ITFC.

There are two sides of ITFC:

  1. From the Advertisers POV
  2. From the Publisher’s POV

ITFC From The Advertisers’ POV

From the Advertiser’s point of view, ITFC are artificial interactions or engagements on your ads that won’t count towards your spending.

If for example, Bob runs a Facebook Ad and someone keeps clicking the ad intentionally, this would not count towards Bob’s spending on Facebook.

ITFC From The Publishers’ POV

On the other hand, Invalid traffic from the Publishers’ point of view are traffic that do not count towards monetization on an ad network like Google AdSense.

Types of Invalid Traffic

Generally, there are two main types of ITFC.

Harmless ITFC

Harmless ITFC (from either point of view as described above) are traffic from known bots, spiders, and crawlers. These could be from Search Engines like Google or others.

In addition, Ad Clicks made by mistake are categorized under ITFC.

The point here is that these type of traffic are not designed to harm or do anything malicious.

Harmful ITFC

These are traffic from bots or any other non-human traffic designed to carry out malicious and fraudulent activities.

In addition, repeat and intentional clicks on ads is also classified as harmful ITFC since the intention is malicious.

Causes of Invalid Traffic

Broadly, there are two causes.

1. Intentional Causes

When someone intentionally click ads or send malicious bots to inflate traffic and cause other vices, it can be termed as intentional cause of ITFC.

2. Unintentional Causes

If for any reason someone accidentally clicks links or engage in any activity that leads to invalid traffic, it is classified as unintentional cause.

Platforms Where ITFC Takes Place

Broadly, there are two major platforms where ITFC takes place.

1. Advertising Platform

Below are some examples of Advertising platforms where ITFC can take place.

  • Facebook Ad
  • Twitter Ad
  • Instagram Ad
  • Pinterest Ad
  • Google Ads
  • YouTube Ads
  • etc.

2. Display Ad Networks

  • Google AdSense
  • Google Admob
  • Ezoic
  • Mediavine
  • Adthrive
  • Etc.

How These Platforms Fight ITFC

Both the advertising platforms and the display ad networks have an inbuilt software that tracks invalid traffic.

This measure is necessary in order to protect the advertisers from wasteful spending.

Invalid Traffic Appeal

Concerned platforms like Google AdSense and others listed above may disable an account due to excessive invalid traffic. When this happens, there may be need to appeal that decision.

Although many questions may be requested in the appeal form (depending on the platform), the most important thing to keep in mind is how you plan make ensure that ITFC is stopped or drastically reduced.

First, you need to understand the root cause of the ITFC on your account.

So, when you appeal for reinstatement of an account blocked due to ITFC, you should be able to convince the platform that you have identified the source of the problem then strategically analyze how you plan to stop or reduce it to the barest minimum.

Most times, when the appeal is written this way, such account may be reinstated.

Invalid Traffic Appeal Generator

If for any reason you are too lazy to write an invalid traffic appeal, the good thing is that there a few tools that could generate an appeal for you.

All you have to do is fill in some information and the tool would generate specific appeal for you based on the information provided.

One such tools is Web Matrices invalid traffic appeal generator.

How To Block Invalid Traffic

For advertisers, the best bet is to trust the platform’s fraud detection software to fish out ITFC.

Publishers, however, need to do more as they are more in control.

Below are some tips that can help publishers to block invalid traffic on their platform.

  • Use securities tools like Cloudflare to block malicious bot.
  • WordFence WordPress plugin, when properly setup can help to block some malicious traffic.
  • Avoid placing ads too close to each other so it is not intrusive and make users click accidentally.
  • Avoid sharing Blog URL everywhere in search of traffic. It causes more harm than good.


Invalid traffic cannot be completely eradicated, however it can be reasonably controlled.

In this tutorial, everything about it is highlighted.

If there any parts left out, mention in the comment box.

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