Confirmed Click Panalty

Google’s Confirmed Click Penalty Explained: How to Avoid & Recover


As a publisher, your ad revenue is crucial to your success, but sometimes unforeseen issues can negatively impact your earnings. Google's Confirmed Click Penalty can lead to a drop in CTR and ad impressions. Whether you're already experiencing the effects of Confirmed Click or want to be proactive in avoiding it, understanding the issue and its implications is vital.

In this article, we will explain what the Confirmed Click Penalty is, how it affects your ad revenue, and the steps you can take to prevent or recover from its impact. With the right approach and knowledge, you can ensure a healthy ad setup on your website, a  positive user experience, and protect your advertising revenue stream.

What Is A Confirmed Click Penalty?

Confirmed Click, sometimes called a Two-Click or Double Click penalty, is a measure implemented by Google to improve user experience by verifying a user's genuine interest in the ads they click on. It is applied to websites that have been identified as having a high rate of accidental clicks.

The Confirmed Click feature adds a second step before redirecting users to the advertiser's destination URL. When a user clicks on an ad, an interstitial "visit site" button overlays the ad. The user must confirm their intent to proceed. If they do so, the click is registered, and the publisher receives revenue from the click. However, if the user doesn't confirm, the publishers won't earn any revenue from the initial click.

google confirmed click

Confirmed Clicks is an automated feature implemented by Google Ads that targets specific ad units with higher-than-average invalid clicks, such as unintentional or fraudulent clicks. This feature applies to ads served by Google Ads, which is a dominant platform in the market, making it crucial for publishers to be aware of the Confirmed Click process.

Why Is It Called “Confirmed Click”?

The term "Confirmed Click Penalty" comes from the requirement for users to confirm their intention to click on an ad unit. The term "penalty" refers to the potential negative impact on a publisher's revenue and ad performance due to decreased CTRs.

Why Does Google Apply Confirmed Click?

Google applies the Confirmed Click penalty primarily due to high invalid traffic levels, particularly accidental clicks. Google and other demand partners have been actively fighting invalid traffic to create a better digital advertising ecosystem in recent years. Additionally, Google has been focusing on improving user experience, as evident by the introduction of Core Web Vitals. One of these metrics, Cumulative Layout Shift, penalizes sites with ads that load belatedly and shift page content, leading to accidental clicks.

The Confirmed Click functionality is triggered when Google's automated process detects that a publisher's layout might induce or cause accidental clicks. Google Ad Placement Policies recommend avoiding situations where navigational elements overlay ads or ads reflow into areas where users engage with content.

Examples of layout issues that may lead to Confirmed Click penalties include the following:

  • Lack of padding between ads and UI elements, navigation bars, or buttons.
  • Making content look like ads by disguising them or using a similar style.
  • Placing ads under misleading headers, such as "Recommended" or "Click Here" instead of "Sponsored" or "Advertisement."
  • Reflow, Content jumping, or layout shifting during page loading, causing users to click on ads accidentally.

How Do I Know If A Confirmed Click Penalty Impacts My Ad Inventory?

To determine if your ad inventory is impacted by a Confirmed Click Penalty (aka Two-Click or Double Click penalty), you should first look for a substantial drop in earnings without a corresponding decrease in traffic for an ad unit. Key metrics to observe include eCPM and CTR, which may drop considerably while page impressions remain at normal levels.

It is important to note that clicking on your own ad inventory is against Google’s Guidelines. To check if the Double Click penalty has been applied, you can do the following:

  • Examine the ad tag in your site's header code and look for the keyword 'confirmedClickVisible.'
  • Visit the Policy Center in your account and check the "Status" column. The Policy Center displays all issues affecting ad serving on your site or app, including Confirmed Click.

Publishers with their own Google Ad Manager account may see an impact on their Partner Health Score, which has a Quality component based partially on the percentage of invalid clicks. Since Confirmed Clicks target ad units with higher-than-average invalid clicks, the Partner Health Score may be more significantly affected.

How Can You Fix and Avoid Getting A Confirmed Click Penalty?

To fix and avoid getting a Confirmed Click penalty, follow these recommendations:

  1. Add padding to the top and bottom of ad slots, particularly for in-feed, in-article, and sticky ads, to prevent accidental clicks.
  2. Clearly label ads and differentiate them from your website's content.
  3. Declare sticky ads to prevent content jumping.
  4. Position ads away from navigational buttons and clickable content on your site.
  5. Set a fixed size for ad unit containers, especially on in-article ads, to avoid pushing content out of the way when ads load.
  6. Improve your site's page speed, as poor page speed can cause delayed ad loading and unexpected appearances, leading to accidental clicks.

To further mitigate the impact of a Confirmed Click or two-click penalty, consider diversifying your ad revenue sources beyond Google. This could include exploring options such as header bidding, which can introduce a variety of different advertisers into your ad space, reducing reliance on a single source. By diversifying in this way, the overall revenue will not be as adversely affected by the penalty.

Snigel publishers benefit from our proactive support and range of monetization solutions tailored to their unique needs. By working with quality demand partners, we minimize the impact of issues like the Confirmed Click penalty. Our experienced publisher support team is skilled in identifying, diagnosing, and resolving challenges, ensuring any disruption is as brief as possible. Get in touch to learn more about Snigel's website monetization services and how we can help maximize your revenue potential by visiting our website.

How Long Does It Take For The Confirmed Click Penalty To Be Removed?

The duration for which Confirmed Clicks remain active on a site depends on Google's assessment schedule and the improvement in overall click quality. Google automatically applies and removes the Confirmed Click functionality based on the accidental click threshold. Once applied, you cannot manually submit changes to Google for removal; you simply need to wait and monitor if your changes have helped reduce the Confirmed Click functionality.

If your ad units continue to be affected, it could indicate the presence of other invalid traffic on your website. After addressing non-compliant ad slots, Confirmed Click may still be active on your account because the system considers data over a prolonged period. Only when a sustained improvement in overall click quality is observed will the penalty be disabled and removed.

Conclusion

The Confirmed Click Panalty can significantly impact your ad revenue, but you can prevent or recover from its effects with the right approach. By adhering to Google's UX guidelines and following best practices, you can maintain a healthy ad ecosystem on your website.

At Snigel, we offer tailored monetization solutions to help online publishers maximize their revenue potential while staying ahead of the constantly changing ad tech landscape. Our team of experts ensures your website adheres to the latest SEO, user experience, and page speed standards to avoid problems like the Confirmed Click penalty. Get in touch today and let our experienced ad ops team help you create a unique monetization strategy that maximizes your ad revenue.

About the Author

Ira is Snigel's Head Of Marketing. She supports our team and publishers by creating awesome guides on the latest adtech trends. Ira's background is in software development, communications, and media.

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