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This 38 message thread spans 2 pages: 38 ( [1] 2 > >     
Google shut my account down!

 3:42 am on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

So today i found out my adsense account was shut.i make quite alot of money off of adsense, and i think that may be why. I get many clicks a day aparently. i made my website for research purposes for students at my university. I think because the IP's of the computers in all the labs are similar, google may have thought ive been clicking the ads. i made an appeal to them, in a very professional manor explaining my situation. i told them i would try my best to find ways to lower the amount of clicks of that helps. i can always shut my website down for a while.during the day. i cant help it if students wanna click. well i was telling google in my appeal that i want no trouble, i just want my account back, and that ill try my best to not let this happen again. what do you think? has anyone ever gotten thier account reinstated?



 3:49 am on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hope it might help some people out there.

Banned From AdSense Unfairly?

Step 1:
Email Google - You can do this either by replying to the notification mail or using their Online Form https://www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/request.py

As far as the contents of your emails:

# Remain Nice. Rather then going into a rant on how they can’t do this or they are being unfair, remember that they are the ones that will reinstate you so kiss a bit of butt. Use phrases like “I realize that click fraud is a real issue facing AdWords Advertisers” and “I have full respect for your program and would never violate the TOS”
# Don’t Threaten Legal Action. This is a biggie because as soon as you say “I am going to sue you”, they pass your account off to the legal department who file it away awaiting your lawsuit. So unless you have already sent the paperwork, don’t even mention the word lawsuit
# Offer Anything You Can. This is most commonly logs but it can also include emails, letters or screenshots. Basically make the offers and be sure to let them know “If you need anything, Please let me know”
# Check the Grammar and Spelling. So many people put 10 seconds into their letters and not only are they difficult to understand, they severely hurt your credibility. Right or wrong, Google may think “If this guy/girl can’t take the time to properly write an email that decides the fate of their account, are they really the type of Publisher we want?”

Step 2:
Prepare Documentation - If you think your ban was due to a jump in traffic, put together your logs and burn them on to CD as a backup to your server. If there is a reason for the traffic, try to get a letter from the refferer. In my case I wrote to the Radio Show and they provided a letter explaining the whole situation and gave their contact information.

Step 3:
Don’t Give Up - Develop a regular schedule of emailing Google. Try to always save a few pieces of information so that you are able to send an email each day. It can take anywhere between 5-30 days for a human review which is what your goal is here. If you give up after 2 days, don’t expect a response.

Step 4:
Don’t Post About Your Experiences Publicly - A human review takes time so posting to a forum with all your details can only hurt your case for reinstatement.

In my case, I received a lot of this advise from others who I respected and had been in the same situation. For my account it actually worked and not only did I get the account back but all back monies were reinstated.

So if your account has been banned and you firmly believe you did not violate the TOS, there is hope. I have spoken to probably around 20 people who were banned in similar circumstances and every single one got their accounts back with full reinstatement of funds.


 4:12 am on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the reply man,

My email didnt sound mean at all, i was trying to be as nice as i could. i let them know i understood the situation and explained to them why exactly my clicks may have seemed fraudulent..

I let them know that i am on their side and i would try to stop any fraud that may actually exist, though i dont think anything does considering the circumstances.

So im just hoping that google will reinstate my account and money... im a nice guy who tried to show them i was on thier side, so lets see what happens now i guess...


 4:14 am on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

oh by the way, im not going to take legal actions, i dont want to be a jerk to google...


 8:18 am on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

adsensesyndicate, very good suggestions..


 8:40 am on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

"i told them i would try my best to find ways to lower the amount of clicks"

How would you go about doing that shiningknight?


 8:59 am on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> "i told them i would try my best to find ways to lower the amount of clicks"
>> How would you go about doing that shiningknight?

tell each of his friends to only click 10 times a day :) (half joking because it does sound fishy )

Also, how nice of you for not taking legal action: google is breathing a sigh of relief. I am amazed at how "legal action" is just thrown out there thinking that it will actually work to their advantage.


 8:19 pm on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google, whether they shut my site down or not, is still my favorite company. i love the work they do, and i admire how they put "what the people want and what the people think" ahead of what they want and what they think.

What i ment by finding a way to lower the ammount of clicks... i had something in mind such as shutting the website down for some time during the day or something like that...

i was basically babbling i think because i didn't want Google to take my account away... i was doing so well and like everyone else, i don't wan my account taken away because it would be unfair to me...

well i sent the appeal and like my other post says, i am confused. if u check out my other post, you will understand what i mean.


 8:35 pm on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

i told them i would try my best to find ways to lower the amount of clicks of that helps.

How much % of your revenue, do you think comes from students at your university?

Reason I'm asking -- if it's a small (but still statistically significant) portion of your revenue, say 5-10% ... you may want to consider adding code to your site so that AdSense is NOT shown to any IP addresses coming from your university's netblocks. It's a bummer that you'd have to sacrifice some revenue that way, but I could definitely see (and you sound like you understand) where Google might see a lot of clicks coming from the same IP address ... and especially if they all tend to have the same browser identifier (i.e.: if the lab & campus machines all have the *exact* same build/patch level of Windows, you could definitely see this). That could definitely make things look suspicious, and I'd say it's better to sacrifice that 5-10% (you could suggest to Google as a part of your emails that you're happy to do this as a way to help them out at your own expense) than to be in this situation.

If your revenue share from internal traffic is significantly larger, though, it's probably not a good idea to do that.

Good luck ...


 10:05 pm on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have heard of other people with websites that serve certain schools. They have written to the AdSense team ahead of time asking for specific approval, and the reply was to go ahead and that they put that information on their account.

That old saying that "it is easier to apologize than ask permission" it completely backwards when it comes to AdSense.


 10:10 pm on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I can see that a small # of IPs with the same user agent occurring during the same time of day could trigger a fraud alert. This is, unfortunately, one of the dark sides of AdSense: legitimate clickstreams might be flagged as fraudulent if they match clickstreams that were previously identified as fraudulent.

If you actually know the students who are clicking, and you're let back in, perhaps you should explain to them that repeated clicking (without buying or performing some sort of action at the advertiser's site) could get you banned.


 10:46 pm on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I use php small script that do not show ads from certain IP addreses: many people at my work know about my site.

Once one guy started ask me publicly in cafe room how much I earn and so on... very stupid behaviour , no manners...
he 'explained' to everybody that i get money from clicks...
the same day I blocked our work ip addresses..
so people wandered about which ads and clicks that guy has spoken about... I said : ask him, he knows if he had said that :-)

it was discussed here - ip blocking - during past summer or spring, so just search it..


 11:03 pm on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

shiningknight, you have a pretty good attitude, so congratulations for that. But the next time you start a project in order to earn advertising revenue, you should think in advance about maximizing the advertisers' returns.

This may or may not be related to why you got banned, but IMO the things you should be asking yourself are:

  • What is the type of research that goes on in these labs and that your site facilitates?
  • What kinds of ads could be shown that are relevant to the subject matter?
  • Is there any earthly reason an advertiser would benefit from an ad clickthrough that occurs during this research process? Heck, would students even be ALLOWED to make a purchase if they saw something they had to have, or are these labs supposed to be dedicated to study?

    I don't know where you are located or what the site is about, but I have a hunch that the probability of an advertiser making a sale as a result of a clickthrough from the computer lab is vanishingly small, and in that case Google would simply be wasting advertisers' money by sponsoring your site.

  • shiningknight

     11:27 pm on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

    I am not 100% sure about this, but most students who click are from the university. I have not told anyone (as according to the terms of service) that the clicks generate revenue. They click on their own most likely thinking the ads may take them to another website where they may continue research. Thats only my guess though. Im planning to shut down the website during some parts of the day so that over clicking or ad "abuse" can cease to occur. My guess is that is why i was shut down. i was getting a large amount of clicks. at this point i just have to hope google will take my word for it. If it helps... this Saturday is my birthday and it would be a nice gift from Google if i get my account back =p


     11:39 pm on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

    okay good luck... hope it works out...


     12:52 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

    The upside is you'll have plenty of time to study now that you can't check your AdSense stats.


     1:34 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

    Figure out how to not show ads to the ips of your school and then tell Google what you are doing.

    If your pages are dynamic it is easily done. If they are not dynamic then let a dynamic page parser (like ASP) read your html pages - it is just a setting. Works for me.


     1:40 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

    I DONT BELIEVE IT! i know what my adsense account was shut down.

    This Kid i go to class with aparently used to use the google adsense system. according to his friend, he goes around to all of the computer labs, clicking on my ads several times, because he wants me kicked out of the program!

    his friend told me that he was permanently banned from the adsense program aswell and since then, he has a lot against google. His aditutde is if he cant do it, he doesnt want anyone else to be able to.

    I asked the computer lab monitors if they saw anyone acting strange, they confirmed that there was a kid who was going from one computer to another, clicking on "something a couple times". The lab monitor told me he would come in a once or twice a day to do this.

    So because of him i lost my account. That would explain how i made a good amount of money, but it also explains why i lost my account! I have contacted his Parents and they are apologizing greatly for what he is done and his parents are going to deal with him.

    But in the mean time,I filed my appeal already so i'm not sure how i can get this news to Google, should i send them an email explaining the situation?


     1:59 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

    I can see that a small # of IPs with the same user agent occurring during the same time of day could trigger a fraud alert.

    I can't. If t'were so, then a bunch of AOL servers would cause fraud alerts all day long. This case is easily distinguished by the other things Google can see emanating from those IP addresses.

    On the other hand, if a set of IP addresses emits clicks for just one very narrow set of ads, resulting in a very abnormal distribution, then that should trigger a fraud alert. As it apparently did, if the OP's new theory that a rogue student is at fault is correct.


     2:03 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

    Maybe get them/him to write a letter to G and have it notorized.

    Then, Make him eligible for the vienna boys choir.


     2:19 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

    This is the problem: We have no way of judging whether that story is true, and neither does Google.

    Frankly it sounds far-fetched to me, but ultimately it comes down to having credibility with Google. Do Google have any reason to believe that you're for real? If you had a real site with natural links and organic search engine listings, that would give you some credibility. OTOH, if everybody types in your URL directly (or if you went through the labs and set your site as every computer's start page), that merely looks anomalous.

    If you had a history with AdSense or Alexa rankings that Google could check to confirm your traffic levels, that would give you some credibility. If you were geographically distant from the alleged attacker (instead of being personally acquainted with him), that would give you some credibility.

    Even with credibility, it's an uphill struggle to get reinstated. Without it, I'm not sure that they'd let you back in even if you tied the kid up and mailed him to Mountain View.


     2:24 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

    Sue the little twerp for tortious interference with a business, it's go on his permanent record ;)


     2:50 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

    I agree with Jomaxx... Let's say you do attempt at a reinstatement, some things you shouldn't say are:

    "I dont want any trouble"... Many see this as job security at G and entertain feeble attempts at causing trouble purely for their amusement. Unless you got Eliot Spitzer in your pocket, such rhetoric statements only makes your letter to them more humorous.

    "I will TRY not to make it happen"... You are pushing the burden on them and they have to answer to their advertisers. Instead, ask them to DISCOUNT clicks from the schools IP range. Show them real effort to put a stop to what they think is click fraud.

    Lastly, explain the quality of content your site offers. Show them you are providing a service to fellow students and at the same time earning college spending money. If you can without doubt find 10 reasons in their favor why they should reinstate you instead of appealing to other publishers here, there should be no reason why you can't get back in the game...

    The reality of the situation is that if the money earned from adsense was crucial to survival, you would not be in this situation, and G knows this. Let alone people here don't even reveal their sites so not to risk any fondling. Personally, I would go through the trouble of disabling the ads from anyone inside the firewall because afterall they do show the same IP. Just some points to consider... Good luck man!


     2:54 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

    BTW, all that happened in 2 hours between WW posts? You went to the lab, found a staffer whose apparently has nothing better to do than surveil kids as they type, talked to the kid's friend, found the kid as well presumably, tracked down and confronted his parents and resolved the whole matter, then returned home. Wow, are you studying criminology or what?


     3:18 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

    >> his friend told me that he was permanently banned from the adsense program aswell and since then, he has a lot against google. His aditutde is if he cant do it, he doesnt want anyone else to be able to. I asked the computer lab monitors if they saw anyone acting strange, they confirmed that there was a kid who was going from one computer to another, clicking on "something a couple times". The lab monitor told me he would come in a once or twice a day to do this.

    If I was working at Google and read this on the "Please reinstate me" e-mail, I'd laugh and share it with all. It all seems so convenient: you know who it is, why he did, caught him, the computer lab is monitoring things for you (btw, what's so suspicious about browsing the internet on a computer lab? Does a light go on on top of the computer when students pull your site up? ), and they noticed that he clicked once or twice. Is clicking "once or twice" that strange on your U's computer lab?

    Plus, from [webmasterworld.com...]
    >> when someone clicks on your ads, it actually takes some time for it to appear in your account. for me it has taken up to even a half hour.

    How did you measure the time between the click and showing on G's report?

    [edited by: walkman at 3:30 am (utc) on Nov. 8, 2006]


     3:28 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

    i went to the labs and asked if she saw anyone doing suspicious in the labs. she told me about the kid who was goign around clicking. after i found that out i went to his friend, who told me what was going on. I know it does sound farfetched which his why i dont think i will tell google. Theres no way this dude will give me a statement claiming to his fowl act, and so i really have no way of proving it...

    so im just going to have to defend my self how ever i can... if i dont get my accoutn back its not the end of the world, though i will be disapointed, only because its not fair to me..

    however the whole "ip blocking" thing, i do wish to consider. is there a way in the adsense program that i can block IP's? if so i better go ahead and block my own aswell just as a saftey precaution.


     3:29 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

    oh and by the way, i work at computer labs my self, so i know all the staff members. that dude prob went to the labs when i wasnt working...


     4:12 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

    Looks like this forum will turn out to be an investigation and interrogation forum. :)


     6:06 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

    here's another one:

    i made my website for research purposes for students at my university.

    This Kid i go to class with

    I have contacted his Parents

    you contact the parents of a kid you go to university with?


     6:15 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

    sure, its really not that hard, he is asian and has a last name that is probably not that common.. i know which state and town he is from, because we all had to introduce our selves on the first day of class...

    so yes, i found his place on white pages and talked to his parents.

    This 38 message thread spans 2 pages: 38 ( [1] 2 > >
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