Somehow I don't think a small claims court victory will be precedent-setting...
|Maybe everyone whose account was canceled, should. |
I think they should. Over the past few years I've gone from loving to hating Google for their lack of transparency.
If they're going to cancel an account they should at least give a decent answer and proof. Not some #*$!ty mathematical algorithm, same #*$!ty one that smart prices our websites based on a load of twaddle.
If Google were to close my account, they're pretty much accusing me of fraud. No way in the world would I let that go.
|If Google were to close my account, they're pretty much accusing me of fraud. No way in the world would I let that go. |
Let's just hope that they never do, then. The agreement you signed with them lets them end the agreement at any time--they don't have to accuse you of fraud, and they frequently do not, when they close accounts.
Does anyone else see the correlation between Google and the banks?
Lack of transparency
Think they are to big to fail
Large class action suits coming
I particularly am looking forward to MS and Yahoo catching up with Google. Google needs competition. Urgently.
I feel that Google is becoming more like a modern day god. All we (poor mortals) can do, at the moment, is to pray for Google God to bring us daily food, and to pray we don't sin (even unknownly) so we don't have to face his fury. Ancient people should've felt the same way about the god of rain (thunder), as they had no idea what was going on behind the cloud (pun intended).
[edited by: tonyvf at 5:04 pm (utc) on Mar. 6, 2009]
I really liked the Google ads at the bottom of the artice.
Made me smile.
|Large class action suits coming |
Really? That would be interesting, but the amount of money "lost" due to cancelled accounts would have to be substantial for a law firm to take this on a contingency basis--do you have any evidence that it is? My gut tells me that the amount of money involved wouldn't justify it. There's a reason why that guy filed in small claims court. It was a small claim.
I liked the article - Was a nice read.
No No , no evidence. Not even a rumor, certainly did not mean to start one! Just my speculation on what happens when a company seems to monopolize their respective industry. The we can do anything we want because we are too big to fail attitude.
OK, but I'm still wrestling with the comparison to the banks. They weren't in a monopoly situation. There were simply a lot of banks, all doing the same (stupid) things....
And a lot of victims. As a percentage of AdSense publishers, how many get their accounts cancelled? And of that percentage, how many can argue that they hadn't done any thing wrong?
I just don't see it.
After more than 7 years displaying adsense in the same website (a family oriented authority site, PR7, the largest in its niche, recently upgraded to 5 dedicated quad xeon servers due to the large number of pageviews), out of the blue we received an email from google saying:
<snip>Email stating termination because not site not a good fit</snip>
After 7 years they found out our (good) site was no good for our users and/or for adsense advertisers. Maybe they regulary review sites every 7 years or so? Or maybe I didn't pray enough?
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that no one is safe. Anyone can have his or her account canceled for no reason other than google's (weird) will. And that sucks.
[edited by: martinibuster at 12:01 am (utc) on Mar. 7, 2009]
[edit reason] Please read WebmasterWorld TOS. Thanks. [webmasterworld.com...] [/edit]
|After more than 7 years displaying adsense |
How did you do that since it was not introduced until June 2003?
Sorry to read your news.
|Google needs competition. Urgently. |
It's ok; it was just more comfortable to have adsense to sell ads and send us a check every month. Now we need to find a way to sell ads directly to advertisers.
As long as I remember, we have had adsense since the site was created, in 2001. I maybe wrong. It was just pennies a day in the beginning anyway, so we didn't keep track. But we had adsense for many years, I guarantee you. However, the real money from adsense started only in mid 2005.
In time, as I forgot to mention: not even the google site search works on the site now; we had to switch to yahoo. I'm not complaining, just trying to warn others. Last thing: of course we canceled all the adwords advertisement as well, as soon as adsense confirmed they would not reinstate the account.
|Last thing: of course we canceled all the adwords advertisement as well, as soon as adsense confirmed they would not reinstate the account |
No arbitrage at all. We were legitimately using adwords for other niche websites, as the "adsense-canceled" one doesn't need any advertisement at all. We just felt we had to take our business elsewhere, due to the lack of respect from google.
A few days later I received an email from adwords team asking me why I had stopped ALL advertisement and that they want me back (to adwords - not to adsense). I replied saying something like "you (google adsense) canceled me, now I'm also canceling you (google adwords)". They wrote me again trying to explain the difference between adsense and adwords... as I wouldn't know.
It's like saying "oh, my left hand hits you - bad hand! However, my right hand is good, it will make you coffee". That's BS. It's the same body/company, for goodness sake. If its left hand hits me, I won't wait for the right hand. I'll just hit back or run. Or both. :D
Somebody has to explain to google(rs) that they are ONE company.
|I feel that Google is becoming more like a modern day god. All we (poor mortals) can do, at the moment, is to pray for Google God to bring us daily food, and to pray we don't sin (even unknownly) so we don't have to face his fury. Ancient people should've felt the same way about the god of rain (thunder), as they had no idea what was going on behind the cloud (pun intended). |
Thumbs up! :-)
Have you considered being a cult leader? ;-D
Thanks coachm for posting that link. I really enjoyed reading that article. This thread should be on the home page of WebmasterWorld. It's nice to hear the little guy wins every now and then.
And yes, more lawsuits and small claims are sure to follow.
tonyvf, sorry to hear about this.
But have they actually withheld money? Closed your account? It doesn't sound like it. And it says they are disabling ad serving to that site "at this time." That suggests to me that decision could be revisited.... I can understand that you are upset but maybe if you don't burn bridges there's a way forward?
[edited by: martinibuster at 12:03 am (utc) on Mar. 7, 2009]
[edit reason] Removed email quote. [/edit]
Lack of content. He had a domain with no content. That's a violation of the AdSense terms of service. There could be other reasons too.
That he won the case does not mean he is right. From his article it's clear the paralegal and the publisher were arguing different cases. The paralegal was arguing that they were within their right, according to the contract between Google and the publisher, to end their relationship. This was a dispute about contracts, that's what she was there to argue. At heart many small claims cases are contract disputes.
The publisher however managed to turn the discussion over to the different subject of WHY Google ended the contract. The paralegal's job was to focus on the contract. She lost because she wasn't able to control the conversation. She wasn't prepared to argue why they dumped the publisher because she was prepared to argue that their contract allowed to them to end the business relationship for any reason. She wasn't there to debate or defend the reasons themselves, otherwise she would have had the reason (which looks to be a lack of content). She was there to assert that the contract allows the to unilaterally end a business relationship.
[edited by: martinibuster at 10:18 pm (utc) on Mar. 6, 2009]
It looks like the whiny author of the article was putting Adsense ads on a domain without content. I have no sympathy for him. Google should have easily won if the paralegal knew why he was disabled.
The thread is drifting far from its original intent.
I found the article fascinating. Must have been hard for the paralegal to argue G's side when they didn't even tell her why the account was terminated.
Perhaps, as the article states, everyone that is terminated should file suit. At least in this case the lack of transparency seemed to be the deciding factor, and that same lack of transparency lies at the root of many, many complaints about G.
|She wasn't prepared to argue why they dumped the publisher because she was prepared to argue a contract dispute... |
Not very prepared, if she in fact said "any or no reason". Even less so if she/G believed that "any reason" would endure even the most superficial judicial scrutiny.
Arbitrary decisions within a relationship of unequal power are often frowned upon by the courts...
|Arbitrary decisions within a relationship of unequal power are often frowned upon by the courts... |
Obviously she was unprepared and maybe naive to not think the case would turn on the reasons. If she were a better paralegal she may have been able to salvage the case by steering the conversation back to the contract, but that also depends on the judge's temperament. Some judges consistently rule in favor of the little guy no matter what a contract says. But this being small claims court, you can sometimes get away with arguing non-salient points. The paralegal may have had the right to ask for a non pro-tem judge and had a better chance.
Arbitrary means it was done on a whim without underlying cause. There is an underlying cause, but the paralegal did not feel the case hinged on arguing that because she had the weight of the contract on her side. This being small claims, she may have been naive. The paralegal came prepared to argue the facts of their contract, whether Google has or has not the right to terminate the business relationship.
|Arbitrary means it was done on a whim without underlying cause. |
Ah, the nuances of language and law.
"Without (or, with) cause" is a legal turn of phrase that is distinct from "for any reason."
Both phrases appear in the Adsense terms...
|You may stop displaying Ads, Links, Search Boxes, or Referral Buttons on any Property in the Program with or without cause at any time...You may terminate this Agreement with or without cause at any time by sending written notice of your desire to cancel |
Google may at any time, in its sole discretion, terminate all or part of the Program, terminate this Agreement, or suspend or terminate the participation of any Property in all or part of the Program for any reason.
IANAL, but I know that in labor law termination "without cause" must be handled properly else it become a wrongful dismissal. Interestingly, one of the requirements for termination without cause is prior notice - exactly what G requires of the publisher (10 days) to terminate the agreement.
I suspect G uses different wording for their part ("any reason") for very good reason. That said, I seriously doubt "any reason" would survive judicial review, particularly when "earnings" are being witheld.
It is my understanding that in contract law if I hold something of value that ostensibly is yours, I must have a good reason to keep it, not just "any reason".
All that said, if the paralegal had simply pointed out that the plaintiff was in violation of the terms he had agreed to, then she would have established cause and G would have prevailed. Alternately, if G had informed the publisher of the reason for his termination at any point in the chain, he probably would never have become a plaintiff.
Which takes us full circle, to the fact that most complaints about G have to do with lack of transparency and poor to no communication.
|All that said, if the paralegal had simply pointed out that the plaintiff was in violation of the terms he had agreed to, then she would have established cause and G would have prevailed. Alternately, if G had informed the publisher of the reason for his termination at any point in the chain, he probably would never have become a plaintiff. |
I think that sums it up.
Just to clarify: my posting here is just to show I support coachm. Google should've stated what was wrong and give the publisher some time to correct it. That's what normal business behavior in America is. Or it should be. I really don't know how G gets away with that kind of behavior... and in America! MS had fines for much less.
[edit reason] off topic remarks [/edit]
[edited by: martinibuster at 2:49 am (utc) on Mar. 7, 2009]
[edit reason] Broke another TOS. [webmasterworld.com...] [/edit]
|and in America! MS had fines for much less. |
MS is mostly punished in EU and not in Americas... Uncle sam (Bush government) cleared his (Bill Gates) name and company from almost all charges.
Realmaverick is dead right there is no transparency. I publish in hard copy and on the net. Most ad agencies I deal with are upfront and transparent about the commission they charge (standard 20%)to book ad space for their clients. When I asked Google how much commission they are charging for the space they book on my sites their response is "we cant tell you that." Thats the behaviour of a monopoly buyer. Adsense publishers are price takers they can't even set a reserve or minimum price for their ad space.
Monopoly is why Google believed they could end their business relationship with Aaron in the way they did. This case is an indicator that if Google continue attempting to contract out of nation state laws they will see a lot of action with commerce regulators some time soon.
|Most ad agencies I deal with are upfront and transparent about the commission they charge (standard 20%)to book ad space for their clients. When I asked Google how much commission they are charging for the space they book on my sites their response is "we cant tell you that." Thats the behaviour of a monopoly buyer. |
How can google be a monopoly if there are other ad agencies available offering better deals? Adsense is not the only ad agency, actually in the world of CPM banners, they're a minor player... and there is certainly no locked-in consequences.
I'm all for Google being more transparent (I understand they have to consider the spammers and other abusers with the info they provide), I just don't see how they're suddenly an evil monopoly.
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