In a semi-surprising move Google has asked AdSense publishers who accidentally click on their own ads to stop informing them of those clicks. Many users (I included) would shoot off an email to the search engine giant if we mistakingly clicked on an ad on one of their blog/web sites.
Previously this was considered the “ProBlogger” thing to do (or at least ethical) in order to avoid getting Google slapped with a lifetime warranty ban. But now if you accidentally click on your own ads, the honor system no longer applies.
(Inside AdSense) As most of you know, our program policies state that publishers are not permitted to click on their own ads for any reason. For this reason, we’ve received many emails from publishers letting us know that they’ve accidentally clicked on their own ads. If you’re one of these publishers, we truly appreciate the efforts you’ve made to monitor your account and keep it in good standing. However, we do understand that an accidental click may occur from time to time, so there’s no need to contact us each instance this occurs.
Because we closely monitor all account activity using engineering systems and thorough human analysis, chances are we’ve already detected your clicks on your ads and discounted them. While these clicks still show in your reports, we filter out their associated earnings so that advertisers aren’t charged. However, please keep in mind that we don’t ignore the clicks completely; if it appears to us that a publisher has been clicking on his own ads to inflate his earnings or an advertiser’s costs, we may disable the account to protect our advertisers’ interests.
Having accidentally clicked on my own ads, (due to Firefox freezing up) I can understand why Google is asking users to not report about this as they probably receive more emails regarding this daily than I receive monthly in my spam box.
Honest people reporting known violations would be like citizens reporting J-walking offenses, when Google is more concerned with serious threats like hackers gaming the system. This is probably an attempt to free up more time for Google’s AdSense team to focus on the bad guys, especially with reports of click fraud on the rise.