homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 23.22.97.26
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Pubcon Platinum Sponsor 2014
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google AdSense
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: incrediBILL & jatar k & martinibuster

Google AdSense Forum

This 84 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 84 ( 1 [2] 3 > >     
Interesting Story on How a Person Got Banned from Adsense
Testimonial on a Banned Account
renoirm




msg:4247262
 2:22 am on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Article by Dylan Winter

Then two days before Christmas I got a letter from my bank saying that the check for October – worth £1,700 had been stopped.
That is £3,700 gone from my family fiancés in the two weeks before Chisitmas.

Welcome to the world of Google. Kafka would be proud of Google, whilst Orwell would be perfectly unsurprised. [duckworksmagazine.com ]


To my read he was encouraging clicks by almost not encouraging them.

 

Scurramunga




msg:4247759
 4:22 am on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I can't sympathise with him. The conditions about drawing undue attention to ads and encouraging people to click are very specific.

Further more, in Dylan Winter's own words, his business model is based on a paradigm of frugality which have fostered much loyalty and empathy amongst his subscribers who would have been more like followers.

Blind Freddy could foresee the implications of Mr Winter's actions, particularly in the context which he outlines.

CainIV




msg:4247767
 5:03 am on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

You don't need to be a lawyer to understand this...


I told my subscribers that I got some money if they visited the websites of those advertisers.


That doesn't tell the user to click the ads though. It is simply being transparent about the nature of the ads. I don't see a call to action there?

They did not, from that statement, appear to be asking others to click said ads...

the_nerd




msg:4247788
 8:02 am on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

@ HuskyPup,

Huh? Where'd you get the idea renorim is the same person as the culprit?


Stupid me. Btw. he's called renoirm, if anybody asks you.


No wonder you got thrown out, you obviously didn't read the T&Cs either.


Thank you. Now I know.

anand84




msg:4247793
 8:20 am on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I feel sorry for him. People here who think he's deserved it need to understand that not everyone can understand T&C lingo like people here. He's not a webmaster. He is just a regular layman who happens to make online money. Do you people also think people in Sub-Saharan Africa who contract AIDS because they didn't know the "rules" deserved it?

While at it, I think now that Google has a sophisticated algorithm in place, they need to modify the rules that are in place at present.

Let's look at Amazon. Their T&Cs state that you are NOT supposed to use trademarked terms like 'Amazon' and 'Kindle' on PPC ads. But what if you did it? You simply don't get paid for it. Simple.

Same way, Google can always modify rules to state that you only get paid for legitimate clicks and any violations will be responded by simply holding back those revenues off invalid clicks. You don't have to ban them for life, now that so many people live off their Google income. Breaking a livelihood is not funny.

Lame_Wolf




msg:4247796
 8:41 am on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

That doesn't tell the user to click the ads though. It is simply being transparent about the nature of the ads. I don't see a call to action there?

They did not, from that statement, appear to be asking others to click said ads...

Firstly, don't take my comments out of context.
Secondly, by mentioning the adverts, he is bringing attention to them (against TOS)
Thirdly, he thought he was being clever by writing it in a roundabout way to get clicks. He was encouraging clicks which is against the TOS. Period.

If you disagree with that, then do it to your site and let us know. Then we can report it and see how Google responds. ;)

[edited by: Lame_Wolf at 9:32 am (utc) on Dec 31, 2010]

DaStarBuG




msg:4247797
 9:02 am on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't think that disclosing your income through AdSense is encouraging clicks.
Many websites do that.
His problem however is his closed community of followers.
These tend to try to "help" the website owner by "clicking on Ads for him".

This is why I strongly suggest that people with communities evolving around themselfs in some way should not show Ads to their members.
Show it to guests because they are not emotionaly involved with the website and don't feel the urge to "help".

The decision from Google's algorithm was on spot and as tragic as it is for him he provoked it.

Scurramunga




msg:4247798
 9:16 am on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

People here who think he's deserved it need to understand that not everyone can understand T&C lingo like people here.

Sorry but I have to disagree. If it is any part about Adsense TOS which is non ambiguous and just plain easy to understand it has got to be [paraphrased] :
1. Don't click on you own ads
2. Do not ask or encourage anyone else to click on your ads by any means.

You don't have to ban them for life.
I guess there will always be debate over this and I do agree that in other individual cases past I had formed the view that Google sometimes overreacts. However in cases of blatant flouting of TOS associated with possibility of invalid clicks, I think that Google is correct in maintaining a zero tolerance position if only to deter similar breaches in the future and preserve the integrity of the program. Our livelihood is dependent on the trust and confidence advertisers have in us as publishers and this is exactly why so many advertisers prefer to use the Search Network rather than the Content Network.
anand84




msg:4247801
 9:39 am on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

If it is any part about Adsense TOS which is non ambiguous and just plain easy to understand it has got to be [paraphrased] :
1. Don't click on you own ads
2. Do not ask or encourage anyone else to click on your ads by any means.


Firstly, I think people have read too much into the lines where he has talked about telling people about the money he makes from Adsense. For one, it could be as Rogerd had mentioned earlier - in response to some queries from visitors annoyed about ads. And secondly, it may not have been those 'Please click my ads please' kinds. Even I have mentioned about getting paid by Google on my site's Privacy policy. So let's not put the fellow on a guillotine without knowing everything about the case.

In any case, the Google T&C is the only one here most of us may have ever read in our lives. Did you read the T&Cs that you agree to when going for a skiing trip or while buying at a Wal-Mart? No. We do not even know they exist. But yes, I do agree it is our responsibility to read the T&Cs.

What I am objecting here is to the condescending "that greedy fellow deserved it" remarks here. It is pretty evident he was not that sneaky teenager trying to game the system by clicking on his own ads.

Our livelihood is dependent on the trust and confidence advertisers have in us as publishers and this is exactly why so many advertisers prefer to use the Search Network rather than the Content Network.


If Google was so concerned about sustaining advertiser trust, they would have had an answer to this at least after a decade of existence:
[webmasterworld.com...]

HuskyPup




msg:4247815
 11:44 am on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

that not everyone can understand T&C lingo like people here.


In his own words:

I have worked for the newspapers, magazines, radio stations and TV stations. One of the things you get used to as a freelance is being sacked.


Surely that makes him "some kind of" journalist/reporter therefore he should be expected to have a reasonable command of the English language?

drall




msg:4247837
 1:31 pm on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

He clearly broke the biggest rule of all. If he valued his relationship with Google he would have read the terms, takes around 20 minutes to fully digest it.

Lame_Wolf




msg:4247840
 1:41 pm on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Surely that makes him "some kind of" journalist/reporter therefore he should be expected to have a reasonable command of the English language?

And for someone who has had so many jobs, it should be second nature to read contracts.

jchampliaud




msg:4247841
 1:49 pm on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I once got an email through one of my sites something along the lines of "Nice site, how do you make any money with it?" That was on a site with AdSense and affiliate links. That's the way it should be. You're making money off your site but visitors don't know (or can't see) how. One of the best email I've ever gotten. Don't tell people how you make money.

Brett_Tabke




msg:4247886
 4:38 pm on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

> I told my subscribers that I got some money if they
> visited the websites of those advertisers

That is not encouraging clicking! That is called DISCLOSURE and may be required BY LAW in some places and some industries. Especially if he is even remotely connected to politics or the family member of a politician holding public office (I am). Even if it isn't required by law, it is simple common ethical courtesy to tell your audience that you are receiving money for the endorsement of those ads/products. If do not disclose it, are you guilty of fraud?

renoirm




msg:4247890
 4:42 pm on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

It would be interesting if this story got pickup by the "uninformed" media outlets. I'd bet they would paint Google as the corporate bad guys in this.

Most people in the world have no idea how websites make money. CPC/CPM/CPA sound to them like people you'd hire during tax season.




We really need an org that performs the function of a union for webmasters to resolve and arbitrate such conflicts...

Brett_Tabke




msg:4247899
 4:58 pm on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

>I'd bet they would paint Google as the corporate bad guys in this.

No necessarily because they are probably riding the google beast as well.

The story is on Techmeme - so mainstreamers have seen it.

This story comes around about once a year.

Lame_Wolf




msg:4247902
 5:02 pm on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I told my subscribers that I got some money if they visited the websites of those advertisers


That is not encouraging clicking!


It sure can be seen as hinting at it. And it brings attention to the adverts, which is against the TOS.

And to some people, it's like putting a $100 bill in your driving license for the cop to take as a bribe. Okay, you didn't say to the cop to take it and forget about what happened, but you both know what it meant.

That is like putting an advert on the site and surround it with flashing arrows pointing towards the advert.

Would it be okay to put an advert on the site and surround it with flashing arrows pointing away from the advert?

Some would argue that it is okay because the arrows are pointing in a different direction.

Would you risk it ?

I can tell you of a site that was asking people to click on the adverts directly above every adsense advert.

Not only that, they had up to 21 adsense blocks on the page.

They eventually got banned. BUT were reinstated months later.

Did they learn their lesson ? No, because when they were allowed back in they had five adsense blocks per page (using 2 accounts)

They were reported yet again. The second account disappeared, but they still have adsense on the site till this day.

And when they were reinstated, the cached pages were still asking to click on the adverts.

Plus, they asked on other people's sites to click on the adverts. (link pages etc).

This is worse case of fraud I have seen and surprised they are still allowed in.

renoirm




msg:4247912
 5:44 pm on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Brett,

I don't know, plenty of my friends who are struggling journalist would love to paint themselves as victims. Being that the guy is in UK it wouldn't get much press here but as you said, this happens a couple times a year. So maybe next year it'll be some laid off autoworker.

Someone with a story.

BillyS




msg:4247982
 8:40 pm on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

He doesn't hint, he tells them to click the ads so he can get paid... It's not disclosure, he's telling them that they don't need to pay for his films if they can get Amazon or someone else to pay for his hobby.
On the top right hand corner of this page there is an Amazon advert – if you enter Amazon via that weblink I get a referral fee – its between two and five per cent of whatever you spend on that visit – so if you spend £100 or $150 through Amazon by entering through Keep Turning Left and then send me an email saying thats what you have done and I will sign you up to the site for three months for free – they pay me in Amazon vouchers on the day the goods are dispatched to you – but I will sign you up straight away. Good eh!

I doubt any of the sympathizers on this forum have ever lost thousands of dollars to fraudulent clicks. If you did, you wouldn't feel the way you do. He’s basically ripping off advertisers to pay for his hobby. He manipulates his followers to carry out his fraud.

I don't buy the "he probably doesn't understand" arguement. He knows where the money comes from... He didn't realize he could get caught.

buckworks




msg:4247985
 8:46 pm on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

referral fee – its between two and five per cent of whatever you spend on that visit


Disclosing his commission when users buy stuff from Amazon is very different from encouraging clicks on AdWords.

[edited by: buckworks at 8:47 pm (utc) on Dec 31, 2010]

Brett_Tabke




msg:4247986
 8:47 pm on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

That is post google BillyS. He has already changed over to an affiliate model.

Scurramunga




msg:4248019
 12:16 am on Jan 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Firstly if Winter's disclosure or anything else on his website uses the language like that found in the following statements (and there is plenty more to be found in his aforementioned article) then I would consider it an attempt to manipulate:

I was still losing money hand over fist on the sailing – after all, making films is a labour intensive business, some are 25 minutes long and take two weeks to cut and master and each represents at least three days editing - some take two weeks to make.


A master at portraying himself as the underdog, in his own words he says:
The subscribers can see that I cut every possible financial corner in an effort to keep costs down and the project going.


He acknowledges that subscribers are "loyal" and visit Amazon to help him out. I wonder if that logic extends to his subscribers behaviour in regards to his former Adsense account.

It was jolly nice of my subscribers to take the effort of taking the extra step of entering Amazon through my site. Loyal lot these KTL subscribers. They all own small boats and love to see another bloke sailing his boat.


Looks like he does acknowledge that a subscriber might click in order to show appreciation, doesn't he?:

I allow my subscribers to leave comments on the films. If one of them mentioned clicking on adverts to show their appreciation – well it’s a nice gesture,


I did get the odd subscriber sending me an email saying that he had clicked loads of adverts. This is called demon clicking. I would reply that I would prefer them to only click on adverts they were interested in.

To his credit Winter talks about his actions in discouraging those who emailed him telling him that they clicked. But if I had visitors making the effort to write to inform me that they had clicked my ads out of loyalty I would be more than just a little worried. One word comes to mind; 'foreseeable'

Well that's my opinion anyway.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4248036
 6:33 am on Jan 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Computers can't tell who is "good people" and ANY business would do well to help "good people" through minor website issues. I think this guy qualifies as "good people" and his content is both unique and quite interesting. I think Google would want to work with this guy, even if the "sack algo" canned him, because his future works (and 20,000,000 youtube views) are sure to be valuable.

He wrote this...
The click through rate on Keep Turning Left was at 6 per cent which I now know is high enough to upset a Google Algorithm.


While most of my sites won't come close, one does, should I worry too? I think my layout is appealing and I've broken no TOS but I can't control the CTR, nor would I think I should want to if it's good.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4248037
 6:47 am on Jan 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

I also noticed that the adsense is gone from his youtube videos but Google still runs an ad in the top right for themselves. Google is still willing to make money from him.

The big truck videos are long, don't cater to a ready group of truck buyers making matching ads to them tough and they have a website link embeded into them... all things that make the stats for the truck video less than ideal.

Interesting to see that Google STILL cannot step outside their algo and see that it's a darned fine video (as are his others). Google's loss!

If I was him I would create 30 second long "previews" to those videos for youtube and host the full videos on my own site. They are valuable.

incrediBILL




msg:4248040
 7:31 am on Jan 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think this guy qualifies as "good people" and his content is both unique and quite interesting.


Maybe, but his viewers qualify as click fraudsters.

Why would Google want to work with someone that attracts people that click to "tip" the film maker of that "darned fine video" and defraud the advertisers?

It's not good for the advertisers, and what's good for the advertisers is what's good for Google, not the quality of the videos or the amount of views.

Otherwise, allowing the problem to continue, Google is open to being sued for defrauding the advertisers, it's happened before, they don't want it to happen again.

Google did the right thing IMO, protecting people that are paying their hard earned advertising money attempting to make a living from their ads.

They're also protecting the rest of us in AdSense from advertisers opting out of the content network because of problems like this.

Google did the right thing for all of us.

Scurramunga




msg:4248242
 9:26 am on Jan 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google cares not about "good people". The only issue relevant to Google is whether clicks are 'valid' or not.

Lame_Wolf




msg:4248268
 12:12 pm on Jan 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google cares not about "good people". The only issue relevant to Google is whether clicks are 'valid' or not.

Scurramunga, I am surprised you came out with that. Did Google do a background check when you signed up ? No.

As long as your site fits the criteria and you follow their rules, they will allow you on board. If you break the rules, you're out. Plain and simple.

What makes a "good person" ?

Scurramunga




msg:4248463
 7:23 am on Jan 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Double post [removed]

[edited by: Scurramunga at 7:27 am (utc) on Jan 3, 2011]

Scurramunga




msg:4248467
 7:26 am on Jan 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Lame_Wolf
I think you might have misunderstood me. Just like you, I am trying to say that the point made in a previous post about Google and 'good people' is moot. The only interest Google has is in the validity of clicks, which is what you are alluding to when you say:

As long as your site fits the criteria and you follow their rules, they will allow you on board. If you break the rules, you're out.

tangor




msg:4248484
 8:51 am on Jan 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I find it interesting that the fellow managed to get booted off Google and then ends up with more "viral" links to his bad acts. We live in interesting times.

Lame_Wolf




msg:4248490
 9:13 am on Jan 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks for clearing that up, Scurramunga :)

renoirm




msg:4248555
 2:16 pm on Jan 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

tangor,

Not sure if he went "viral" but I do believe a lot of webmaster who rely on adsense as a source of income should take notice. As we are building our business sometime we miss things on purpose or not.

This guy's cautionary tale should be a good training on what not to do.

Someone in this thread should but together a few of these stories so we can have a repository of the testimonials of those banned by the big G.

This 84 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 84 ( 1 [2] 3 > >
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.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved