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Google AdSense Forum

Booted Out of AdSense Unexpectedly
Executed without Trial

 11:41 pm on Dec 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Logged in. Account suspended. I didn't read the TOS, that's for sure. I had AdSense on pages of "widget widget", which they definitely exclude.

I also purchased AdWords for "widget widget" and that is the title of the page so I'm surpised a bot didn't warn me. It was simple ignorance on my part because I had seed ads on similar pages before.

I guess I can live with being kicked, although I feel a warning would have been more reasonable. But the one part that does concern me is: they are keeping all my money. $2,000 in 5 weeks and only 5% of the traffic is from that suspect traffic.

I replied to the email and told them I was sorry and made a mistake. I removed the code from the pages instantly. We'll see if they realize I made a simple mistake or if they ignore me.

Am I out of options?



 11:51 pm on Dec 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you have cleaned up your act, I guess you need to be patient and wait. AFAIK, Google is a no harm company. They would not have excluded you if you have not acted against the TOS.

So, if you demonstrate that you will continue to comply, I think they will include you again later when they can. Firs they have to pay all of us for the October month. :-)


 12:13 am on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

JuniorO: Was Google explicit as to why they were canceling your adsense account. Did they refer to the specific rule that you were breaking and mentioned the offending page? or are you assuming that this was the reason?

If the later is the case, I would not assume that this was the case and try to communicate with them to find a resolution. The problem that I see is that you mentioned pages instead of sites as google could take the stance that the site contains objectionable material and decide that they don't want it in their network. Having the different content in different sites would make it easier for you to argue for reinclusion.

Good luck.


 12:39 am on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks guys.

It is a completely different domain. They mentioned it by name. The also mentioned what the violation was specifically.

I hold out hope it will be considered a simple misunderstanding. They know how little that domain generated compared to the total.


 2:39 am on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm sorry, but I don't understand what the violation is here. Could someone please explain?


 3:15 am on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

He served ads in a site that has content that does not meet the requirements of the program or that it is expressely forbidden.

Whether is sexual, copyright or something else... he did not say.


 9:38 am on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

It wasn't sexual or a copyright violation.

The page was a "links page". I re-checked the stats and that particular site had produced about 4% of my total traffic.

The more I think about this, the more I have to admit that I find the termination of the account quite extreme. Even more extreme is the fact that they plan on keeping ALL of my money.

A week ago, my AdWords account was credited $140 for "fraudulent clicks". They did not refund the other $30,000 I spent. Yet, when the Adsense account had clicks that didn't meet their standard, they keep 100% of the money. I bet they do NOT pay the publisher back for the clicks either.

Also interesting, even after terminating the account, Google continued to show targeted ads, not PSA for all the pages until I removed the code. Why would they do that? So they can keep 100% of the sale?

I'm pretty turned off to them right now. I paid them $30,000 this year. When my traffic went up bigtime, I decided to make some money back so I installed AdSense and now I see they won't even pay me that $2,000? Certainly they know which clicks came from which domain and they could just withhold that money.

I'm glad I found out in no uncertain terms who I'm dealing with before I invest too much more time in the program.


 10:13 am on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am confused, has your account been suspended or terminated? In your original post you mention you can still log in, so how do you know the entire $2,000 is being withheld? Did they explicitly say that? Does it appear as a negative line item in payment history? Perhaps google is just putting you on standby for a while.


 10:44 am on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

The page was a "links page".

Hmmmm.... I don't think that's against the TOS. I'm still a bit confused as to why you've been booted?

If the reason is one of site content, here's the AdSense TOS:-

Site Content
Site may not include:

Excessive profanity
Hate, violence, racial intolerance, or advocate against any individual, group, or organization
Hacking/cracking content
Illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia
Pornography, adult, or mature content
Gambling or casino-related content
Excessive advertising
Pop-ups, pop-unders or exit windows that interfere with site navigation, obscure AdWords ads, change user preferences, or are for downloads. Other types of pop-ups, pop-unders, or exit windows may be allowed, provided that they do not exceed a combined total of 2 per site

Interested to know which one you fell foul of?



 12:07 pm on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)


<paraphrased>Some sites not permitted in AdSense include: chat sites, personal pages, sites that drive traffic through cybersquatting or domain parking, domain registration
sites, traffic, link, and banner exchanges, and competing ad networks. As a result, we have disabled your AdSense account."</paraphrased>


<paraphrased>It is the publisher's responsibility to remain compliant with the Google AdSense program policies and Terms and Conditions. Due to the fact you placed the AdSense ad code on a type of site that we do not accept into AdSense and which we never
reviewed, you will not receive payment for the balance of your account</paraphrased>

They keep the money. There is no appeal. Ballgame.

[edited by: Jenstar at 3:34 pm (utc) on Dec. 10, 2003]
[edit reason] No direct email quotes, I have paraphrased them [/edit]


 12:14 pm on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Still can't see which one you fell foul of (why I'm curious) - there is nothing in there that says link pages are not allowed - "link and banner exchanges" are a different animal - unless your "links" page was actually referring to a "link exchange"?



 12:17 pm on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

JuniorOptimizer, I am yet to see anyone reinstated. But, a nice formal professional letter with a polite and firm tone, willing to work it out and an offer of logs to cooperate with their investigation might just be the thing to put you back on trail.

As far as giving the $ after termination, i am yet to see someone credited for their clicks. Someone mentioned this clause is in their Policies or TOS or something.


 12:24 pm on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Most aptly it was a Link Directory. Which, now that you mention it, isn't even excluded.

So pretty much I have been arbitrarily ripped off for over $2,000 by a company "going public".

LOL. The rationale of keeping the money truly isn't "fair". Since they know the EXACT amount sent from the "offending pages" they could exclude that amount alone. As I stated, they refunded "fraudulent clicks" but only the ones affected and not the entire amount I ever paid.

As a small timer, I displayed their add over 150,000 times. I get 0. NOTHING. Just a cheesy form letter email.

I pretty much have lost respect. I turned off my AdWords immediatedly. I definitely am not paying a company that is this arbitrary, capricious, and unfair. And I strongly suggest everyone makes sure to be at least somewhat diversified from such action.


 12:33 pm on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

And I strongly suggest everyone makes sure to be at least somewhat diversified from such action.

Well thanks for the heads-up on this one, and sorry you've had such a bad experience.

We started AdSense on a hobby site yesterday and results look very promising, but we're playing it very safe.

We have a web link directory type section on the site which we'll need to block from displaying AdSense by the sound of it. Even though none of the links in there are reciprocal - all outbound only.....



 12:46 pm on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

We have a web link directory type section on the site which we'll need to block from displaying AdSense by the sound of it. Even though none of the links in there are reciprocal - all outbound only.

There is absolutely NO mention within the AdSense TOS that Web Directories are not allowed. Actually, i run AdSense on sites that ARE nothing but Niche Web Directories. This clearly wasn't the reason why JO has been booted.


 12:49 pm on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

That is 100% the reason I was booted. They mentioned the site by domain name and gave the reason code above. It is a Web/Link Directory. The word reciprocal is not mentioned anywhere. You can submit without having a link to the site. It is primarily outgoing links except for the folks who link back "naturally".

The reason I thought it was okay was because I have seen AdSense on many other Directories, as you mentioned.

I also must harp on this point: Why don't they serve PSAs on a terminated site? Certainly they have the technology to do that.

If they think the clicks are unworthy of being sold to an AdWords buyer, than why do they continue to sell them and keep 100% of the revenue. Come on! That is sinister.

[edited by: JuniorOptimizer at 12:58 pm (utc) on Dec. 10, 2003]


 12:58 pm on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

There is absolutely NO mention within the AdSense TOS that Web Directories are not allowed

I agree 100%. This is why I was curious. Possibly Google put a very loose interpretation on "link exchanges".

I'm playing cautious as AdSense is new for us. We have 1,000's of other content pages so it's easy for us to remove from the links directory without causing any loss in impressions or revenue.



 3:39 pm on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think there is more to this than meets the eye. AdSense does say that you are not permitted to put ads on pages that are for showing ads.

Ads may not be placed on pages published specifically for the purpose of showing ads, whether or not the page content is relevant.


Obviously this could be interpretted many ways - were you charging everyone who appears in this directory? Could Google have seen this as being strictly ads?

Last thing to consider, could some of your links/descriptions have content that is not permitted via Google (gambling, adult content, etc)?


 3:57 pm on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

There really isn't all that much to it.

There's no questionable content. It was a link directory started about one month ago. It had around 100 links total. I was in AdSense for October, (last week only), November and the first week of December.

The traffic from the link directory was minimal at best. I was actually buying traffic to the website with my AdWords account. I "imagined" that if I could buy the traffic and that I had seen Google AdSense on similar sites, I would add the code and run some ads. The ads were always targeted to the contect of the directory and sub-directory.

Theoretically there may be some other violation that I am unaware of. I am, obviously, not an expert on their TOS. I do realize, though, that in their TOS, they reserve the right to pretty much dump any site the way. I agreed to that I am okay with being dumped.

I find the keeping of all revenue a bit harder to take. There is no reason I could not have been warned about the ONE SITE that violated the TOS, rather than receiving a Draconian No-Appeal Execution.

But that is neither here nor there. Life has been good enough to me that a $2,000 loss is insignificant to me. It could be, on the other hand, devastating to someone else. I also am confused about something else.

I applied with my one website and was accepted. That website was not the "guilty website". Two more I added later were not guilty. Only the fourth and final website was in violation of the TOS. Had I set up four accounts, only one account would be closed and money held.

The fact I had these in one account has now made me receive the death penalty for all 4 domains. If I wanted to quickly sell my website tom someone who still has an account in goodstanding, could they make commissions on their ID, or is the domain banned because of guilt by association?

These are the things I should have thought about before entering into an agreement with them. But I wonder how that works now.


 4:00 pm on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

If I wanted to quickly sell my website who still an account in goodstanding, could they make commissions on their ID, or is the domain banned because of guilt by associations.

All domains you used with that account are now blocked from using AdSense. New owners would have to take it up directly with Google.

Were you running AdSense look-a-like ads, or competitor ads on your directory?


 4:06 pm on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

So all of the domains are killed with no appeal?

Unreal. I don't believe there is any questionable content. However the site has a few independent Editors who may have added something, although a quick scan doesn't reveal anything too exciting.

More importantly, this definitely has served as a cautionary tale to me. I doubt they will make good on the payment or even respond to my email. As an AdWords buyer I had relativley shoddy service so I imagine I could expect about the same in a monetary dispute.

I have to admit to shock that a domain name is now "dead to Google" even though it didn't violate any rules and was never even reviewed to get in the program. The finality of it seems truly cold. I truly am glad that I haven't built a strategy around a 100% AdSense solution and I discovered the pitfalls quickly of relying on the income stream.


 4:20 pm on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Even if you had multiple accounts, all four accounts would have been subject to termination, as per the terms:
Multiple accounts held by the same individual or entity are subject to immediate termination.

And when you agreed to the terms, you did give Google the power to withhold payment, since your account was in violation of the terms:
Google reserves the right to withhold payment or charge back Your account due to any of the foregoing, any breach of this Agreement by You

I didn't read the TOS, that's for sure.

A good piece of advice, always read the terms of any program you sign up for, especially when that amount of money is involved. And if a publisher ever has questions about the terms/policies/faq for AdSense, they are always very prompt in responding. Not reading terms can come back to haunt you, especially when you have previously indicated that you did read them (which you would have had to do in order to complete the signup process - and at any point that the terms were modified by Google while you are a publisher.)


 4:54 pm on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

In reality I did read the TOS. I guess I didn't thoroughly examine it with enough dilligence.

I sort of had that "Google are good people" attitude you see out of most people and I didn't take into account how quickly their tenous relationship with me could end.

I guess I also posted to see if anyone had any encouraging words concerning a re-instatement or payment of funds.

I guess I also want to warn others to be extra dilligent in checking their sites. The TOS is pretty broad, and subject to instant, binding, change so it's great to get a realistic view of where you really stand with them.


 5:20 pm on Dec 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

We can't know what or what not was the reason they dis-enrolled you ;-) from the program. Anything more just has to be taken up with Google.

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