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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

 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.



 2:43 am on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

He was clearly breaking the TOS...

Oh yes, I was also running little blocks of adverts provided by Adsense and, yes, I told my subscribers that I got some money if they visited the websites of those advertisers – all of whom were interested in selling stuff to sailors.


 2:54 am on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Interesting..still see adsense units on his page.


 3:17 am on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Interesting..still see adsense units on his page.

I don't see any. Duckworks is not his site, he is a guest writer.

Personally, I wouldn't have adsense on a page where you talk about being banned and clicking adverts. Just my opinion.


 3:24 am on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ha...good point


 3:32 am on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have seen far worse in terms of violations (asking people to click on the adverts directly above each block). They too lost their account, but was reinstated a few months later. And to make things worse, it was allowed back in when the cached pages still had the offending text. Go figure :/


 4:03 am on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

From recent comments by M. Cutts it seems they will be more vocal on what constitutes on-site "problems" via Webmaster. Not sure that will be the same with the adsense team. The "micro" warning I think will be enough to convince(errr...scare) people to follow the white light.


 5:23 am on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the reminder. I pulled adsense from a lot of my sites last year, I need to get it off of the rest of my sites soonest. No way I need to be doing business like that AND be giving Google all my traffic information while I'm at it.


 5:28 am on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

What should bother everyone is that instead of dealing with the exact "offence" they eliminate and ban you for life. And Adsense is not a case of a secret algorithm, it must have been a clear offence that must be clearly told to the webmaster and dealed with it.

Are we all suppose to be the best lawyers so we understand all the small text?


 6:42 am on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Are we all suppose to be the best lawyers so we understand all the small text?

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

Encouraging Clicks
Publishers may not ask others to click their ads...

The offender already said... I was also running little blocks of adverts provided by Adsense and, yes, I told my subscribers that I got some money if they visited the websites of those advertisers.


 7:12 am on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

As Lame_Wolf said, the guy broke the rules. He broke THE rule actually; encouraging clicks is #1 on the "Do not do" list. If they let this guy claim ignorance they might as well let everyone do it and claim ignorance.

If this was such a huge source of income for the guy, you'd think he'd bother to at least look over the basic rules of Adsense. It's really hard to get kicked out. We just hear the one-sided sob stories over and over; we never hear from the vast majority of people who follow the rules and make good money.

Speaking of his videos, he should be thanking Google for hosting them in the first place as he would have never had the bandwidth to host them himself.


 7:56 am on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

If the cheque was issued on a UK bank then he could sue Google for the first £1700. Technically a cheque is a promise to pay independent of any other transaction. In theory G should have let the cheque go through then taken him to court. That at least is my rather hazy recollection of long hours memorising the Bills of Exchange act for my Law Relating to Banking exam nearly 40 years ago before switching to IT.

Of course if I was G's lawyer I would respond with a separate claim for every penny ever paid to him due to his failure to conform to the terms of the contract.


 8:53 am on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

This whole thing makes me chuckle.

People blaming Google when Google did nothing wrong.

Read contracts and all the T&C when you sign them, especially if they earn money, and don't have a stroke if you violate the rules and get your contract terminated.

Ignorance isn't bliss in business, it's a recipe for disaster.


 9:25 am on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

He got Greedy. Broke the rules. And he is now out.


 10:18 am on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google did nothing wrong. He repeatedly broke the rules by prompting people to click on his ads, which leads to the situation where people click bomb him 'as a favour':

"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."

The thing is, he was clearly aware that this sort of thing wasn't allowed (hence why he says he replied saying not to do this), so why didn't he remove the messages saying that clicking on the ads benefits him?

Plus he doesn't follow the proper post-invalid-click procedure of reporting it to Google, and instead he tries to cover it up:

"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, but I would edit their posting to remove the mention."

All in all, I'm surprised that he wasn't suspended earlier. Google have been more than fair IMO. He's earned thousands despite asking people to committ click fraud.

Of course, I doubt he'll listen to logic. After all, he knew what he done wrong and instead of accepting it, he goes on a public rant and then does the usual 'Blame the big rich people' thing:

"You may have had school friends like this – the rich ones who owned the football. As soon as they had enough of the game, or mummy called them in for tea, or they got in a huff, they would pick up the ball and walk off with it."


Ah well, one less bad Adsense publisher out there. Well done Google :)


 11:27 am on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

He was encouraging clicks - plain and simple. Hard lesson to learn but by promoting a model that indicates the site will gain if its visitors click the adsense links is stupid. Being greedy is usually the cause.


 1:05 pm on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think it's sad the "newspaper report" analogy he mentioned. If you were a reporter and had your friends call you advertisers mentioning the pieces you wrote, with fake intent to purchase that would be fraud.

It wouldn't be fair to the advertiser who believe in good faith in the quality of your product.

Google saw that the side wasn't providing quality and removed it.

Also I thought the 1 cent clicks for sailing was a bit suspicious. I would think that niche would definitely have a higher cpc.


 3:24 pm on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't have a lot of sympathy. As far as being banned for life for one mistake - if I had X amount of resources to spend on administration and support for publishers, I sure wouldn't want to spend them on people who have already shown they can't read the contract or follow the (obvious) rules. I mean, those of us who DO follow the rules can't even get support, so why should this guy?

(He also broke my cardinal rule against staking his livelihood on an entity he has no control over, but I've done that argument enough in 2010 already)


 3:45 pm on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

He said " I was also running little blocks of adverts provided by Adsense and, yes, I told my subscribers that I got some money if they visited the websites of those advertisers."

Yes if you are that stupid and costing advertisers money ..you are out


 4:24 pm on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

"And I have a special little box from Amazon. If a sailor buys a sailing book by entering Amazon via my website, I get a 5 per cent referral fee. If some-one spends $200 on a Kindle or a camera, get their next three month s subscription for free."

Against Amazon's TOS of giving rewards for purchases. Mr. Winter, you need to start reading what you're signing.


 4:42 pm on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

That text does sound like the webmaster was guilty of encouraging clicks. With community sites, though, the policy raises some interesting issues about what one can say about Adsense ads. For example, say a member posts something like, "Why do we have to look at ads?" or "This site is making tons of money from our content!" The site owner would have to respond in a way that addressed the concern of the member without doing anything that would encourage clicks. Pointing out that operating a community site costs money and advertising helps keep it free, or that Adsense is hardly a gold mine for a typical community site, all could be read to imply that a user could help the site survive by clicking.

While I'm usually in favor of addressing such concerns in public (if one member posts something, there are probably lots more thinking it), the better approach might be to remove such posts and address the member privately.


 6:36 pm on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)


they sacked you - for a reason. You know it and others told you in the posts above.

Now you can do 2 things:

1. Cry "foul" and hope that somehow you'll come back. Believe me, you won't.

2. Find other ways to monetize your films. Why don't you add trailers or "commercial breaks" that point viewers to your own website and sell your films, sell sailing equipment as an affiliate, etc.

I was thrown out years ago - still don't know why - found other ways to make money from the website and now make 10 times the amount in affiliate earnings that I made with adsense. I get paid when my partners make money. No need to track clicks, no worrying. Win-Win.


 6:44 pm on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)


they sacked you - for a reason. You know it and others told you in the posts above.

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

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


 7:42 pm on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

The most interesting part for me was his honesty in telling Google what he did, and did not even think it in violation of the rules

29_UserIncentive: Some of them click adverts to support the films - they have emailed me and told me so. I tell them not to but to only click on adverts that are of interest to them

If you want Google to reinstate you, this is definitely not the way to do it


 8:15 pm on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yeah this poor guy had no idea what the rules were. It is unfortunate he did not get a warning first. Especially since the majority of his adsense income seem to come from YouTube which was not in violation.

Sad case b but I can see both sides on this one.


 8:51 pm on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yeah this poor guy had no idea what the rules were.

Ignorance is no excuse.

His livelihood depended on knowing those rules.


 9:08 pm on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Technically a cheque is a promise to pay independent of any other transaction

In my state of NSW in Australia, a cheque is evidence of a debt. Many trade organisations advise members to at least get a cheque, post dated if necessary, even if you are sure it will bounce. You sue on the basis of the cheque not the work done. The only defence is that the cheque was obtained by fraudulent means.


 9:16 pm on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm big on reading manuals and the fine print on nearly everything I buy or think about buying. I agree with incrediBill, ignorance is not an excuse.

I'm also a advertiser and I don't appreciate fraud either. He had to know that someone was paying for those clicks.

I think he should be happy he was only kicked out of the program and not asked to return all the money he stole from advertisers.


 11:11 pm on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Naturally the comments on various boating forums are mostly on Winter's side. His defence seems to be that the google contract was "too long". Funny that, I spotted the restriction on soliciting clicks without burrowing through the small print when I signed up.


 3:06 am on Dec 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

This person should be careful about what he says publically.
That postage stamp sized box on my front page is shifting $10,000 worth of business through Amazon this month (December 2010). So, it’s pretty good for them, pretty good for me.

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.

I was looking at Amazon's operating agreement and I saw this:
14. You will not offer any person or entity any consideration or incentive (including any money, rebate, discount, points, donation to charity or other organization, or other benefit) for using Special Links (e.g., by implementing any “rewards” or loyalty program that incentivizes persons or entities to visit the Amazon Site via your Special Links).

On the website, I found this:
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!

It's unfortunate that people are willing to enter into agreements with large companies and not understand what the agreement entails.

Let's look at this from Google's view. This person committed fraud. He told his blokes to click ads. That cost an advertiser money. I'm certain Google is going to return all of the money to advertisers - but it doesn't sound like they're suing this person (yet). I'm not sure he should be playing the victim...

If you've ever been the victim of click fraud (I have), you know how much it hurts when you're paying for visitors and no one is buying anything.

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