16 Nov 2005 criswell   » (Journeyer)

Google AdSense
I have suspicions that Google AdSense may be a racket. I had been using it on several of my higher traffics sites (such as my gaming clan site and my old classnotes). Well, just as soon as I started approaching $100 (when they will actually pay me) they sent me a nasty letter:
It has come to our attention that invalid clicks have been generated on
the Google ads on your site(s). We have therefore disabled your Google
AdSense account. Please understand that this step was taken in an
effort to protect the interest of the AdWords advertisers.

A publisher's site may not have invalid clicks on any ad(s), including but not limited to clicks generated by:

- a publisher on his own web pages - a publisher encouraging others to click on his ads - automated clicking programs or any other deceptive software - a publisher altering any portion of the ad code or changing the layout, behavior, targeting, or delivery of ads for any reason

Practices such as these are in violation of the Google AdSense Terms and Conditions and program polices, which can be viewed at:

https://www.google.com/adsense/localized-terms?hl=en_US https://www.google.com/adsense/policies?hl=en_US

Publishers disabled for invalid click activity are not allowed further participation in AdSense and do not receive any further payment. The earnings on your account will be properly returned to the affected advertisers.

Well, first of all, I did not do any of the things they say here. I have no scripts or software that inflates clicks on my sites (Drupal, which I use on several sites, has a cron job that runs, but does not generate any HTML and certainly not the Google AdSense Javascript). I personally haven't encouraged people to click on my links (if anything, I've appologized for using obtrusive ads). Additionally, I've not altered their code in any way, I've just taken the code as it came from their code generation system (really, there's no need to alter it for layout or design, they have a very versatile tool for generating the Adsense code).

So this is how they work? You give them advertising on your site(s) and just before they pay you they disable your account without appeals or even any indication why your account is disabled (just this vague list that I know I didn't violate). Hey thanks for the free advertising, now fuck you, Mr. AdSense User!

This makes me wonder the following things:
  • 1: How often does this occur? How often does Google suddenly rescind their deal with users just before they are about to get paid?
  • 2: Did they really refund the money? I get a lot of traffic on my sites, and I've been monitoring my AdSense results daily. I know my sites have generated a lot of traffic and probably many sales for the advertisers. Has Google really refunded them the money, or are they just effectively cutting me out of the deal.
  • 3: What alternatives to Google AdSense are there? AdSense was/is nice because it doesn't look too bad integrated with your website. It isn't some nasty horrible pop-up ad, or piece of flash-shit that is going to detract from the content of your site. Hell, it even was context based and would generate ads that your viewers might be interested in.
Well... in the end all I can say is this is bullshit. I've done nothing to violate Google's AdSense "Terms and Conditions". I've not done anything wrong. In fact, after putting the ads on my site I just ignored them (hell, I even disabled their display in my personal browser, so I very rarely even saw them except when looking at the site from someone else's computer.) If this is how Google treats their AdSense users, then their customers need to know about it.

I have sent them a request for specific information about what they think I've done. We'll see if they even reply to me.

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