Google Ads Click Fraud Refund Explained

Do all the invalid clicks your ads are getting make you feel worried? Are you afraid you’ll be forced to pay for invalid or, even worse, downright fraudulent clicks? Do you think there should be a way to ensure that you only pay for the ads with genuine clicks?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, you should know that you’re not alone. These worries are shared by Google Ads users worldwide. In fact, Google Ads is worried about it too, which is why they have a refund program.

And we’ve seen it work. But it doesn’t work always.

How Do Google Ads Invalid or Fraudulent Clicks Refunds Work?

Every now and again, the ads you place will receive an invalid click. The definition of “invalid” is pretty loose and it largely depends on who you ask. In Google Ads’ book, it mostly means double clicks, manual fraudulent clicks, and clicks by automated tools such as bots. That probably encompasses most of the threats that scare you.

As for being charged for these invalid or fraudulent clicks, you don’t have to worry. Google will not charge you for the invalid or fraudulent clicks it catches. You will find these adjustments in the “credits” part of the “billing and payment” section of the setup.

Photo: Standard Campaign report with Invalid clicks columns added. This is a quick way to see the intensity of invalid clicks Google is able to detect.

Google Ads doesn’t catch every invalid or fraudulent click. And if you catch one, or two, or ten clicks Google Ads have missed, you’ll have to apply for an investigation manually. And that’s where things start getting tricky.

How to Approach Click Investigation Requests

Right off the bat, you should understand that no one guarantees your click investigation request will yield you a refund. On top of that, Google Ads doesn’t claim liability for traffic that happened more than 60 days ago, so plan your requests carefully.

You should also be aware that Google Ads hasn’t made it very easy to reach the form marketers need to use to submit their request. The best way to do it is by going to Google Ads help and searching for the term “troubleshooting invalid clicks.”

The first result is the one you want. Click on the issue you’re experiencing, scroll down to the end of the answer, and click the hyperlinked words in the sentence “If this doesn’t answer your question, please contact us.”

That’s when the task of filling out the form starts. You have to submit proof of the invalid traffic you noticed. If you want to maximize your chances of approval, you’ll also have to include GCLID values, IP addresses, and other types of information you can find in your weblogs.

The Real Issue with Click Investigation Requests

As if the fact that the outcomes of investigation requests are by default completely uncertain, there’s another big issue with investigation request — the data. If you want to submit a good request, you need to spend a lot of time digging through logs and arranging data to make it easy for Google Ads’ investigators to do their work.

So if it’s such a drain of your time and there’s no way to know if it will be successful, why go through the whole process of sending investigation requests?

A couple of reasons. For one, you might actually get a refund, so it’s worth a shot. There’s also the fact that sending investigation requests might keep Google Ads on their toes regarding the quality of their service. Maybe even make them improve their service. But that’s not the real reason to bother with the investigation requests.

Google Ads Investigation Requests Made Easy

The real reason why you should always submit investigation requests is that you have the right to fight for every click fraud refund you can get. And you can have ClickGUARD do the fighting for you.

We provide you with the logs you’ll need for investigation requests. We pick the data points Google Ads investigators need and arrange the data in an easy-to-understand timeline. Our upcoming Refund Claim Assistant will guide you through the request process. Whether Google Ads decides to refund you or not, we are there for you.

Because even if Google Ads doesn’t give you your money back, you can still count on ClickGUARD to help protect your campaigns. Even if Google Ads thinks some clicks are valid, you can still block them if you see them as a sign of invalid activity. And ClickGUARD exists to do all that heavy lifting for you.

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