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This 49 message thread spans 2 pages: 49 ( [1] 2 > >     
Getting banned from Adsense
windowwizard




msg:1398626
 4:48 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I keep reading things about getting banned by adsense is Google as punitive and arbitrary as many on here claim or are these people trying to tweak and create unapproved changes to adsense. What is the probability of writing good content, following the rules and still getting banned? Is there some nurse Cratchet at google that likes torturing developers or is this simply a great big myth.

 

Paris




msg:1398627
 5:01 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

What is the probability of writing good content, following the rules and still getting banned?

Close to nil.

If you dig into those posts, you may notice the "Posts: 1" by their name. I am sure that some innocent folks get banned but by and large it will be folks who were clicking on their own ads or encouraged their site visitors to click on their ads.

Play it right. Play it straight. Google will be glad to have you on board for a long, long time.

anton23




msg:1398628
 5:03 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would say: even if your content is quite bad, you will be accepted. And after that the probability that you stay for some time, even as a cheater, is quite high. Conclusion: they are rather tolerant than arbitrary. Although it does not mean that they make mistakes. There are zig thousand publishers out there.

hunderdown




msg:1398629
 5:10 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)


AdSense Advisor, fairly recently, said something to the effect that people were only banned when "egregious" violations were verified.

If you are trying to follow the rules, you are unlikely to be banned, and if you do break a rule inadvertently, you may actually get a warning.

I wouldn't lose sleep over the possibility.

Demaestro




msg:1398630
 5:18 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

When I first started seeing these posts popping up I thought "Yikes" but the more I read them the more I notice people asking questions and the OP dissapears without answering.

I am starting to take this to mean that something gets pointed out in the thread or in an email from Google that they did something agaisnt the TOS, I would even bet in most cases they didn't even know it was a bad thing when they did it or posted to this site.

I think most of them come to find that they did something wrong more then they come to find that Google is has a "Cranky Nurse Cratchet" that bans people on a whim.

bobothecat




msg:1398631
 5:45 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Unless you personally do something against the TOS...you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

billcale




msg:1398632
 6:31 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

It is no myth; even those who try to follow the rules can get banned and not get back. It's a very complex environment with complex rules. But you can see from many posts that some folks are never content to simply follow the rules. There will be those that knowingly or unknowingly break the rules and many more that will push the envelope. Pushing the envelope may result in a great new strategy or the dreaded ouster from Google - big rewards and/or big risks?

It is not hard to find posts here from people that were banned from Adsense and either:
1. The poster, in discussion, found and took responsibility for his/her own action for being banned.
2. The poster denied responsibility but circumstances presented in discussion indicated a strong possibility for poster guilt.

I have been following this AdSense board since the beginning and my recollections are that overwhelmingly it indicates that Google, even if appearing somewhat arbitrary, gruff, scary and mean-spirited in some eyes, has been correct in most of the bannings.

wwuser




msg:1398633
 6:58 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I haven't been banned yet, but yesterday and today I've received multiple emails from adsense support saying that they've detected fraudulent clicks on my account. I've had adsense for almost 3 years, have painstakingly adhered to the terms, conditions, and policies, and haven't done anything resembling fraudulent clicks.

In keeping with what you can read here, they won't provide any details about what they're seeing. If they're right about the clicks, I suppose it's being done by someone who wants to shut down my adsense account, but I can only speculate. It's certainly not helping me any -- my adsense revenues have been declining steadily across the 3 year period (almost to the point where it won't make much difference if Google does cancel the account, but not quite), and they haven't departed at all from that trend recently. The sting of the accusation is such that I almost hope they shut down the account so I can put the whole thing behind me (and the thought of cancelling it myself has occurred to me).

When I ask whether they have a way to detect whether it's really me doing bad things or somebody else, they won't provide any information. I guess it may not matter to them whether the account holder is innocent -- I'm sure it doesn't matter to the advertisers.

I'm not trashing Google at all here -- even if they shut me off today, I'll have to be grateful to them for the years of trouble-free revenue. I'm just saying that it *is* possible to get in hot water with them without doing anything wrong.

Tearabite




msg:1398634
 7:19 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

at least they sent you a warning so you can at least *try* to do something about it.
IMO, that's a much better way to go about it, instead of just "you have been banned" showing up in your Inbox.

billcale




msg:1398635
 7:21 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

When I ask whether they have a way to detect whether it's really me doing bad things or somebody else, they won't provide any information. I guess it may not matter to them whether the account holder is innocent -- I'm sure it doesn't matter to the advertisers.

They won't and can't provide that kind of information and you seem to understand why. How about voluntarily suspending your ads for a week or so to try and show Google that you're willing to do anything to avoid troubles for yourself, advertisers and AdSense? Then when this blows over, get busy with some changes to your website and attitude!

Demaestro




msg:1398636
 7:21 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think wwuser brings up an excellent point. One I haven't really seen discussed here.

What if a competitor decides to take steps to shut down your adsense account. How hard would it be for me to launch a fraudulent click campain on your ads?

Sounds like it could fairly simple. I could write a script that would hit your site. Follow all the ad links, repeat 50 times a day, and I bet the adsense account holder gets an email.

Almost scary if you think about some of the less honest businesses on the Internet and what they have already done. I wonld't be shocked at all if this is happening already.

wwuser




msg:1398637
 7:26 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Then when this blows over, get busy with some changes to your website and attitude!"

I don't plan on making any changes to my website. If you'll be specific about the changes needed to my attitude, I'll be happy to address the issue.

billcale




msg:1398638
 7:49 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sorry, wwuser; didn't mean to offend. It just sounded like you have given up on AdSense and 3 years was a lot of time to invest. Good luck to you.

wwuser




msg:1398639
 7:53 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Stickymail, that is my point - if you read Google's messages to me, they don't actually say that they're accuing *me* of doing anything wrong. It's easy to read them that way, but they don't actually say that.

And why should Google care about who's responsible for the behavior? It doesn't say in their T&C that they'll make efforts to determine whether you yourself are doing anything wrong or not. If I'm an advertiser getting fraudulent clicks, I don't care whether it's the adsense subscriber or not, I just want it to stop. This is an issue that could come up in any web-ad scenario (not that I have much experience with any other system). I suppose if I were managing my own ads, I could detect the fraud and not bill the customer, but with Google, it's probably not worth the time and effort necessary to do this sort of thing.

So perhaps this is just a risk you take with adsense. It's still a good deal, because there's no downside (that I can see now anyway :) ).

bobothecat




msg:1398640
 7:54 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sounds like it could fairly simple. I could write a script that would hit your site. Follow all the ad links, repeat 50 times a day, and I bet the adsense account holder gets an email.

If it where that easy, almost everyone would be banned. I think Google takes into account such instances when determing if someone should get the boot.

wwuser




msg:1398641
 7:55 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

billcale - no sweat. I'm usually not this sensitive - it's been a rough morning.

billcale




msg:1398642
 7:58 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wow that was totally uncalled for.

Hey Demaestro; how could you know that? And what is your response about? I'd hope that someone with 319 posts had something better to say the 318 other times...

Demaestro




msg:1398643
 8:16 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

[quote]I think Google takes into account such instances when determing if someone should get the boot.[\quote]

You think they do, but do they? Based on what some have been saying including wwuser this seems highly possible. How would Google know who was hitting ads 50 times a day. It could be the webmaster it might not be but as wwuser said the advertiser doesn't care who is responsible for the fraud clicks, they just want it to stop and fast, so Google stops it by terminating the account.

I don't think this can be dismisssed that easily.

europeforvisitors




msg:1398644
 8:28 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Some of us have been victims of click attacks and are still here.

Google isn't known for hiring stupid people, and I suspect that any of their employees with 130+ IQs can easily look at a site, do a "sniff test," and get a pretty good idea of whether the site owner is likely to be cheating.

Remember, Google isn't a court of law: It's a business. Determining whether to dump or keep a publisher is a business decision, and it isn't good business to dump publishers of legitimate sites who are earning good money for Google.

Demaestro




msg:1398645
 8:39 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

europeforvisitors

That is good to hear and is why I was asking about fraud clicks. I have heard so many "I did nothing wrong" stories and not many I was attacked by a fraud click campain but got through it. So I am glad that Google can and has recognized fraud attempts made against a site but not by anyone involved in the site.

I don't believe all of the stories of doing nothing wrong, most of them hadn't even read the TOS all the way through, but I do believe a company the size of Google can make a mistake. Of course they have great staff, but not perfect.

With the amount of clients they have even if you only mess up 1 in 50,000 times that is still a lot of people getting the boot without actually doing something wrong. I don't think it matters how smart an employee is or high his IQ is.

If someone launches a fraudulent campain against your ads then it will take some work and time on Googles part to investigate the cause of the fraud and I am repeating myself here but advertisers don't care who is responsible they want it to stop, and fast.

How can Google ensure to the advertisers fraud will be stopped fast and still do a good enough investigations to clear publishers? If it comes down to keep the advertiser or keeping the publisher who will they choose?

bobothecat




msg:1398646
 8:52 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

If someone launches a fraudulent campain against your ads then it will take some work and time on Googles part to investigate the cause of the fraud

If you're making money with/for Google, wouldn't it be worth their time to investigate?

This may not apply to folks that generate a low income, but I can't see Google cutting off the flow that feeds them... that is unless they're cheating the system.

This whole theory of Google banning people from Adsense for nothing is simply B.S.

Demaestro




msg:1398647
 9:09 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree that G isn't going to shut off any of it's big accounts without time and investigation spent, but what percentage do you think the people disscussing this are that big of an account?

I don't think it is a theory that people are getting banned, they are. I am simply musing outloud about the seemingly hole in this system that would allow a competitor to launch a fraud campain agaisnt a (by your own words) smaller company and have them banned without further investigation. Maybe this doesn't apply to the big guys but again how many of us is that?

Let's say the fraud clicks were all on Dell ads that appear on your site. Now who will Google want to make happy first Dell or you?

gregbo




msg:1398648
 9:10 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you're making money with/for Google, wouldn't it be worth their time to investigate?

What matters most here is if there is potential fraud, not who is guilty. If an account is deemed suspicious by G's criteria, they have an obligation (to their advertisers) to at least warn the account holder. So it really doesn't matter whether or not someone is clicking on their own ads, or are part of a competitor's attack. G is under no obligation to continue to do business with accounts that constitute a threat to their business model.

bobothecat




msg:1398649
 9:16 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

G is under no obligation to continue to do business with accounts that constitute a threat to their business model.

Amen.

Demaestro




msg:1398650
 9:22 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

So then that means the hole exist and if someone really wanted to they could cause your account to go Bye Bye?

Scary

Glad you agree when greg says it there bob but when I do you argue it is worth G's time to investigate.

bobothecat




msg:1398651
 9:34 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Glad you agree when greg says it there bob but when I do you argue it is worth G's time to investigate.

Demaestro,

I don't agree with you because you're simply wrong... sorry. I did however agree with the statement that was quoted from greg because it's true... in my mind at least:

G is under no obligation to continue to do business with accounts that constitute a threat to their business model.

There doesn't seem to be much use in continuing this conversation... so I'm signing out.

[edited by: bobothecat at 9:38 pm (utc) on April 21, 2006]

Paris




msg:1398652
 9:34 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think you need to put a little less faith in the "I did nothing wrong" posters (and I'm not talking about wwuser here, clearly an exception -- just the AdSense newbies) and a little more faith in Google.

I know that click fraud campaigns can be ignited by a competitor but that's highly unlikely. Think about it. Why would a competitor want you booted out of AdSense? It is because your competitor is also running AdSense ads and would benefit from one less rival to share the thinning ad supply? If that were the case the competitor would risk getting booted out of the program. If it's a jealous rival that got booted for fraud, it would also already be in Google's system. If the rival doesn't use AdSense then the rival may have no idea about the inner workings of the program or how it can get one booted instead of just clicking to possibly enrich a rival.

Unless I've missed a thread here over the years I have never seen someone find that a competitor is clicking the ads with the intent to boot the person out of AdSense. I remember one thread last year a guy argued that it was a jealous ex-girlfriend doing so. I can see where someone that gets rubbed the wrong way and has a clear understanding of what it will take to boot someone may give it a go but it still seems like a bit of reach to spend sleepless nights fretting over that.

gregbo




msg:1398653
 9:35 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

So then that means the hole exist and if someone really wanted to they could cause your account to go Bye Bye?

Scary

Indeed, and that is something I have argued about for many years. It just strikes me as very un-Google-like that they did not realize early out that this was a hole, and at least put some safeguards in that limited exposure to such fraud. People who have worked on Internet protocols have realized that fraudulent traffic is very easy to generate and difficult to track, especially when it can conceal itself to look like "legit" traffic.

Demaestro




msg:1398654
 9:38 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well I should take some writing classes or you should re-read because I was trying to say the exact same thing.

I said they may ban you before bothering to look up the source of the fraud and greg said G is under no obligation to continue to do business with accounts that constitute a threat to their business model.

I guess greg has a better way of presenting things, sorry if my poor writing blurred what I was trying to convey, which was simply that if someone wanted they could have your adsense account closed by making fraudulent clicks on your site.

wwuser




msg:1398655
 9:38 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'll ignore the implication in some of these posts that I'm not being forthright when I say I did nothing wrong -- both Google and WebmasterWorld would have valid objections if I went into details here, but I'll be happy to defend myself ad nauseum to anyone who cares enough to PM me (anyone? Didn't think so :) ).

Suffice it to say that my account does *not* represent significant revenue to Google, and so my guess is that it would be much cheaper for them to terminate me than to spend a lot of time investigating (I'm still active right now, though).

This 49 message thread spans 2 pages: 49 ( [1] 2 > >
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