Admob accidental impressions

Hello all

As many developers know, Google ask us to use special code to test adv viewing so we are not getting “invalid” impressions
Well I was wondering, say you upload the the app to the store and you download your own app on your phone, Is that illegal?

Shouldn’t be. You’re technically a legit user at that point.

Though if you start deliberately loading/clicking ads repeatedly, you’ll most likely run into problems somewhere along the line.

Well, lately I’ve not bothered to use the testing admob ID - I just use the real admob ID - but then I try to never click on the admob ad (even though the phone I test on is NOT mentioned to Google - via phone number etc.). I avoid clicking because once you start clicking (as a developer testing stuff) you are likely to be clicking WAY MORE than an average user.

By the way, apart from the double-click provision (for some admob ads - mainly the download this app type of ads) - which reduces the problem of buttons-too-close-to-admob-banner-ad - I wonder what percentage of Admob banner ads are CPC (cost per click) as opposed to CPI (cost per install) - shouldn’t the “install-this-app” type of banner ads be CPI (only pay if user installs app) ? If so, the criticality of whether excessive clicks or not should not matter.

But even if you are not clicking you are still being paid per impression and if Google wants to ban you it can easily use it as an excuse since everything is automated

I don’t think banner ads would be paid per impression of the banner ad (if that were true, then increasing refresh rate to very frequent banner ad change would lead to more revenue in a reliable way).

Interstitial ads COULD be paid per impression - because they are such a nuisance and take up so much space. And for a normal app it is difficult to show interstitials too often without bothering the user.

Perhaps you are getting the sense that “paid by impression” because of the use of “eCPM” as an indicator - this is just used as a rough indicator of the performance by dividing your revenue by your impressions. As indicated in another thread, even “eCPM” is not a stable figure since obviously it will be less if you increase refresh rate - if you double ad presentation, user is not likely to double their clicking of your ad (ad fatigue).

A better indicator of revenue for banner ads maybe based on TIME - i.e. revenue per TIME that banner ad has been shown. It is for this reason I proposed a perhaps better indicator of revenue potential for an app:

(DAU x avg-session-length)/revenue

as presented in this forum post:

Further reason why “just looking” at banner ads would not be bad - because MAJORITY of your users are just looking at the banner ads and don’t click it.

If just looking at banner ads was a negative - we would see very long session-length games seem prohibitive to Admob.

Now it is another matter IF Admob (maybe now or in the future) starts TAGGING users (by device ID) - essentially “banning” users from being shown ads (i.e. fill rate going to 0%) who are HABITUAL non-clickers of ads (!!).

However to correctly “ban” a user would require giving user a long chance (so if for THOUSANDS of impressions they still don’t click on the banner ad - then they could be classified as a habitual non-clicker). THOUSANDS because “normal behavior” IS about one click per thousand etc. (when that one click happens you get paid $1 or so - which leads to the $1 per 1000 impressions type of resultant “eCPM” number).

So a user who has not clicked on ANY Admob banner ad for 10,000 showings of ads - COULD be banned (i.e. fill rate drops to zero for THAT user).

HOWEVER, this would be a breach of trust (i.e. negative for the developer) - because they MAY be basing their app’s presentation on the availability of banner ad as nuisance (perhaps they are wanting users to pay to remove ads etc.) - and if Admob isn’t showing ANY ads for CERTAIN users - that is giving an unfair advantage to users (that “if we refuse to click ads - they EVENTUALLY disappear”).

So in short - as a developer if you just watch banner ads and never click - that would make you very very much like the BULK of the users of your app (most don’t click on banner ads - you get paid for the very few who do click).