homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.234.60.133
register, free tools, login, search, subscribe, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Subscribe and Support WebmasterWorld
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google AdSense
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: incrediBILL & jatar k & martinibuster

Google AdSense Forum

    
Banned and Reinstated.
Now how do I prevent myself from being banned again.
chance1376




msg:3173891
 6:50 pm on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

The day before Thanksgiving I got the dreaded adsense account disabled email. I filled out the form to appeal the banning and just got a reply back from google that the account was reinstated with a couple of pointers to avoid having problems again.

Basically what the email said was dont clicking your own ads, use automated scripts robots and the like click your ads, or encourage others to click your ads. They also took back about half of what has been earned.

Well I nor my wife who is involved in the site has clicked on any of ads especially not to amount to half the earning so far (which isn't big or anything) It takes us a few months to get a check. We haven't put together any kind of system to automatically click our ads and we haven't said boo on the site about clicking the ads for us to members. So my questions is how to prevent from being banned again.

The site in questions is a community type site based on a cms with forum (postnuke to be exact). The only ads we use are when you click read more to see the full story posted on the frong page and at the ad is at the end of the story (standard size banner). That could be covered with adlogger to prevent any mishaps or at least log ip address of clickers.

Then on the front page we have a google search box right at the top/middle of the site. This is set up to open results on the site itself. I suspect that this is where the problem was since we had a good number of clicks in early November. But the amount of money was taken back was more than we made during the day or two burst of search activity. So I am not sure if that might have caused the invalid clicks or not.

I could remove the search to be safe and use the adlogger software for content ads but its a little concerning that the account was banned for reasons mentioned above. When I know that we didn't do any of what was said.

So I wanted to see what you guys thought might prevent being banned from the future. The adlogger software I can live with but would really hate to ditch the search box since I can't be positive that was the cause of invalid clicks. Plus you guys might have better options that what I have come up with.

 

trannack




msg:3173964
 7:55 pm on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Perhaps you should try expressing your concerns to adsense and see if they can suggest anything. Perhpas provide further details of what they believe you did to violate the TOS.

chance1376




msg:3173997
 8:24 pm on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well I guess that is the thing I didn't do anything against the TOS. Anything causing invalid clicks was completely third party and out of my hands. The only thing that i could guess was the cause of the invalid clicks was a burst of search activity but at the time I just assumed someone was shopping around with the holidays around the corner.

I was planning on sending another email back to google but wanted to get some opinions here so I might be a little better informed of options that I could take or potential scenarios to cause invalid clicks that I didn't think of before emailing. Plus I am not sure if I would get a specific answer to what triggered the banning.

ann




msg:3174051
 9:00 pm on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think you got your answer: Do not click on your own ads..EVER

You just admitted you and your wife did.

Ann

sailorjwd




msg:3174057
 9:10 pm on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think it might be likely that someone in the community thinks they are doing you a favor.

Alternatively, water-board the wife.

plasma




msg:3174064
 9:13 pm on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

@ann: Did he?

greedy player




msg:3174106
 9:44 pm on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm glad to see more reinstated accounts less likely to lose google forever.

RonS




msg:3174119
 9:56 pm on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

@ann: He did?

ronburk




msg:3174121
 9:57 pm on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well I nor my wife who is involved in the site has clicked on any of ads especially not to amount to half the earning so far

Leaving us all in suspense. Which was it: y'all didn't click on "any", or just not enough "to amount to half the earning"?

greedy player




msg:3174132
 10:02 pm on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

What he's saying is that he/she couldn't of amounted to them earnings, he isn't great at explaining himself and your twisting his words.

If he has or not. then await a true answer.

level80




msg:3174144
 10:17 pm on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

So my questions is how to prevent from being banned again.

1) Don't break the rules
2) Don't have other people break the rules you are associated with (eg wife who shares same internet connection)
3) Don't count your chickens before they're hatched (eg don't count on money before you get it)
4) Optimise your site - both to maximise ad revenue and increase its popularity. The latter will make it harder for automated clickbots to take you down.
5) Realise that the scales are tilted in Google's favour - even if you cause them a financial loss of $x (by clicking on their ads) they are quite entitled to add more to that to deal with the extra costs involved.
6) Remember that your account is "small" - it's no great shakes to Google to actually lose you as a publisher if you're becoming a liability instead of an asset
7) Remember mistakes happen from time to time (both at Google's end and yours) - reply promptly to communications from them and maintain a good working relationship
8) Don't click on your own ads. Even if it's by mistake - immediately tell them. Avoid this happening at all by not having the ads display at all when you're working on the site using a hosts file or by turning javascript off.
9) Remember that Google is mostly automated, as well as not annoying the people - don't annoy the computers either. :)

chance1376




msg:3174160
 10:31 pm on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

If it sounded that way any away the clear answer is NO ads were clicked. In a nut shell the ads or search box are not displayed to us while browsing the site so I can be certain that none were clicked. The money they deducted from the account was about 150 clicks worth it wasn't something that accidentally happen and not be noticed even if we had ads displayed to us. And the wife is not a problem she isn't any different than if any of you were a business parter of mine she is knowledgeable about adsense and she does alot of the day to day work in running it.

Just for the record I have been in the program for 2 years and reading this forum on WebmasterWorld for longer than that almost everyday. So its not like some of these people who sign up and a week later are banned with 500 bucks in their account from a brand spanking new site.

The person paying us a favor could be a possibility but
any clicks come in a predictable pattern. I have picked up a couple of patterns when we will get more clicks when an article is just posted or we are linked on another forum and are getting traffic from that. I didn't see anything outside of that to ring any bells as being a problem. The only thing I noticed was a day or two burst in the search but it didn't seem like anything more than a person searching for something. If thats the case it pretty much makes the search box useless if thats what the cause was. So that might go away if i can verify that being the problem. but again the amount deducted was more than made during the burst of activity. So basically im stuck scratching my head.

greedy player




msg:3174168
 10:34 pm on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

'linked on another forum' could be causing people who do like to ban people for invalid clicks to come.

What type of forum is it (mentioning no urls).

level80




msg:3174276
 12:12 am on Dec 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

So basically im stuck scratching my head.

Advertisers could be querying clicks or Google's algorithms could be having a hard time coping with unpredictable traffic.

gregbo




msg:3174317
 12:49 am on Dec 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Monitor your site consistently for unusual spikes or other activity that exceeds what is typical. Consider disabling ads during such circumstances. (Consider what the impact to your revenues will be also, and weigh that against the impact of a possible banning.)

fredw




msg:3174329
 1:02 am on Dec 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Patient: Doctor, it hurts when I do this.

Doctor: Don't do that.

level80




msg:3174333
 1:05 am on Dec 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Monitor your site consistently for unusual spikes or other activity that exceeds what is typical. Consider disabling ads during such circumstances. (Consider what the impact to your revenues will be also, and weigh that against the impact of a possible banning.)

The first should be done anyway - to make sure it doesn't suffer a denial of service attack. Regarding atypical traffic - it depends on the source really (referring page etc) as to the effect it'll have.

To be perfectly honest it's not different website activity that is the problem per se, it's more different ad activity (eg clicks suddenly double/triple without a cause) - that sort of thing.

I agree that disabling ads on a specific page/site might be a precautionary measure - it all depends what faith you have in Google to detect and filter out this sort of thing based on IP address, user agent etc etc....

woop01




msg:3174367
 2:11 am on Dec 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just had lunch with an old friend who is now a preacher who was in the same situation. He put Adsense on his site to raise money for water wells in Kenya right before Pubcon and asked me for advice. I told him to wait until I got back to even put it on his site.

Unfortunately, he put the ads up and some of the church staff and teenagers who stay there in the afternoon got him banned within a week.

ann




msg:3174454
 3:42 am on Dec 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sorry, must have misread. NOT @Ann

Ann

chance1376




msg:3174956
 4:27 pm on Dec 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

'linked on another forum' could be causing people who do like to ban people for invalid clicks to come.
What type of forum is it (mentioning no urls). .

Our site covers a small widget collecting niche that have mass produced widgets that sell from 2-60 bucks to artist made widgets that go into the thousands. So our articles are mostly made up of artist release notices of a limited run of widgets and news of the acme company's widget line for the year. Sometimes we get the news from the artist and have the only pics of a widget in the works. So when we get the hot news is when we see referals from other forums that are in the same niche.

The niche is made up of probably 98% women that span the whole age spectrum and are located internationally (mostly US). I would say in this group who collect widgets I don't think a lot of them know how adsense works or really cares but it only takes one I suppose. Not to long ago when you asked someone for their personal website odds are a collector would give you a photo bucket or webshots url and a widget creator would give you a yahoo group url. That is still pretty much true today but now more people are starting sites on freewebs and a few going with paid hosting and a tld.

Since the question of another forum came up, I thought it might be good to look at competition as well, which would be other niche sites with adsense and forums. Right now in the niche there are only a couple of other sites in the niche that use adsense. None of the sites that have adsense overlap in use or content so it would be better to do a banner exchange than to try and get them booted from adsense.

Next we have competition with similar uses which would be other forums none these profit from adsense. Some are freely hosted and the host inserts adsense on the page but the owner just gets a free site. Most are not direct competition, because of a regional focus which is across the pond from us, probably 75% of those are non English. Or it is a specialized forum concentrating on a specific section of the niche.
After you throw those out your down to one other forum that also covers all aspects of widget collecting, competing for the same user base and competing for the same direct banner advertisers.

gregbo




msg:3175678
 5:51 am on Dec 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

The first should be done anyway - to make sure it doesn't suffer a denial of service attack. Regarding atypical traffic - it depends on the source really (referring page etc) as to the effect it'll have.

Referring page, etc. can be easily faked. It's unwise to put much trust in it. It's better to monitor your site for any anomalous behavior. Of course, anomalous ad clicking behavior is a subset of anomalous site behavior.

I agree that disabling ads on a specific page/site might be a precautionary measure - it all depends what faith you have in Google to detect and filter out this sort of thing based on IP address, user agent etc etc....

Seeing that some people who have claimed innocence have been banned, what other recourse do you have that will reduce the amount of risk that the advertisers are being exposed to by "invalid" clicks?

level80




msg:3176139
 8:00 pm on Dec 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Referring page, etc. can be easily faked. It's unwise to put much trust in it. It's better to monitor your site for any anomalous behavior. Of course, anomalous ad clicking behavior is a subset of anomalous site behavior.

Most attacks though - DDOS, mail bombing are rather unsophisticated attempts to disrupt a site. Not many will go to the trouble of faking referrers, IP addresses etc.

I agree that disabling ads on a specific page/site might be a precautionary measure - it all depends what faith you have in Google to detect and filter out this sort of thing based on IP address, user agent etc etc....

Seeing that some people who have claimed innocence have been banned, what other recourse do you have that will reduce the amount of risk that the advertisers are being exposed to by "invalid" clicks?

It all depends what you, Google and the advertisers see as "invalid clicks". Advertisers can claim this based on the site being abitrage and no content, user behaviour after the ad is clicked (click ring or paid to read), lack of conversions or behaviour through to a sales page (tracked by Google Analytics). Basically if an advertiser is spending money and not seeing a return they will either stop/pause/edit the campaign or investigate. As (unless they're running a site targetted campaign) they wouldn't know the sites their adverts are running on without checking referrer logs, they're not going to claim "invalid clicks" unless they feel they're getting ripped off.

Of course Google try to prevent this even happening in the first place by filtering clicks out before the advertiser would even see them. There are also the teething problems - like the advertiser's landing page not working because their site is down - the visitor blocking the advertiser's site somehow - things like that.

Google will only ban a publisher that is costing them more in compliance than they bring in in profit. It makes no business sense for their bottom line to just ban borderline cases - just warn. However they do have their reputation and that of the Adsense/Adwords program to consider.

There are Javascript programs that track where on a page an ad is clicked which can be compared against the Google statistics to see the difference between actual/reported clicks. I think there are more sophisticated ones too that tell you the actual ads clicked etc. An example of the former would be crazyegg . The latter are more custom javascript implementations specifically tailored for Adsense.

Basically to reduce risk the following should be done:-

1) You should read through the programme policies and terms and conditions in detail - both now and when they get updated

2) Any changes to the site, should be checked by someone who knows the above and rejected if they would breach it (or the ads removed eg from custom 404 error pages/login pages etc).

3) Don't go bragging about how much you earn from Adsense because it'll make people jealous

4) Don't do things that would anger people in a position to cause sophisticated sorts of trouble regarding clickbots

5) Be popular - it's harder to take down a popular site that has been in Adsense for years

6) If trouble does happen be prepared to provide sitelogs to help Google investigate the source of the aberrant clicks.

7) Realise that Google can be fair but there are alternatives you should consider (eg Yahoo, Valueclick, Linkworth etc) should you no longer be allowed to continue in Adsense

8) Diversify the advertising on the site and the companies that pay you for it. This way there isn't a "all your eggs in one basket approach".

9) Realise that in life that humans are prone to error and to deal with Google promptly and courteously in disputes of this nature.

10) The final recourse is the courts but very few publishers have gone down this route because of the nature of the contract with Google

11) Don't count your chickens until they're hatched (ie don't class unpaid money as yours - Google can hang on to it/suspend payment if your account is put on hold). Even after they've paid you they can still class an amount as invalid and remove it from future earnings. Think of it like the risks involving credit card transactions. Up to a year after the cardholder can institute a chargeback or the card could've been used fraudulently.

gregbo




msg:3176356
 1:18 am on Dec 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

It only takes one of the "not many" to generate fraudulent traffic using faked referrers, etc. In my experience, it is wise to be prepared for fraudulent traffic.

Ultimately, there is no guaranteed defense from being banned. My opinion: don't rely on AdSense revenue.

Re: your point about the courts, I'm looking forward to the day when G tries to take a publisher to court, on the grounds that the publisher owes money due to "invalid" clicks that were determined long after the actual clicks were received. I hope the publisher has a world-class cyber-savvy legal team that demands that G give some kind of real proof of activity that would result in the damages claimed. Maybe then, we might get some honest statements about the ability to reliably detect "invalid" clicks.

jomaxx




msg:3176386
 2:06 am on Dec 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good grief. You do not need to watch your site like a hawk for unusual activity or click spikes. You do not need to use a click logger, and these things are of less and less use anyways, as they don't work with Firefox or the latest version of IE. Google don't expect webmasters to go to this trouble.

Just don't cut any corners in order to juice up your revenue, and continue building your site for the benefit of your visitors.

BTW, it WOULD be a good idea to have access to your raw logs, just in case you don't. People that don't have them or don't know how to read them are missing a lot.

gregbo




msg:3177080
 11:03 pm on Dec 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good grief. You do not need to watch your site like a hawk for unusual activity or click spikes. You do not need to use a click logger, and these things are of less and less use anyways, as they don't work with Firefox or the latest version of IE. Google don't expect webmasters to go to this trouble.

Given that when the innocent are banned, having this type of information on hand is useful to the reinstation process, it seems reasonable for a webmaster to have it readily available.

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google AdSense
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved