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What to do When a Competitor Tries to Get you Banned from AdSense?
jost




msg:4497361
 2:36 pm on Sep 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Its hard to prove 100%, but im pretty certain at this point there is a coordinated effort to get my portfolio of sites banned from adsense.

Sudden, aggressive reporting of content "as adult", when its not, aligned with a click bombing campaign, then my sites were DOS attacked, and now im even getting warnings from google adsense that I have 3 days to make changes on a site that has NEVER RUN ADSENSE.

Has google lost its fricken mind?

There is no way to report this "pattern" to google, so I fear they may actually get me banned somehow with this multifaceted attack.

Seems ive grown too big and am on a lot of peoples radar now. Im beating more and more competition, and they are trying to shut me down instead of beating me on merit.

What would you do? I wish I could talk to someone at google so they dont see this as separate events.
I figure, if you get enough warnings within a small timespan they will just ban your entire account.

How can you ever get really big, if the bigger you get, the frequency of warnings go up, which leads to banishment?

My sites are 10X more squeaky clean than my competitors.

Im tempted to just start reporting the hell out of all the porn on my competitor sites daily. They are really really in violation of google TOS, and I bet one of them is doing this to me.

What would you do?

(im currently setting up direct advertising, and getting rid of google altogether. Their business model is completely flawed because it allows you to get banned so easily for no good reason)

 

jost




msg:4498785
 12:21 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Googles TOS/program is absolutely flawed, and its easy to describe why.

If a webmaster is running sites that are 100% compliant under the google TOS, and its still fairly easy to get them banned from the adsense program via bullshit reporting, then thats a flaw with google that can have a very real impact on peoples lives.

Ive seen plenty of webmasters lives literally destroyed by getting banned from adsense, who were completely dependent on adsense for their families income. You can claim that is dumb, but that just adds evidence to the fact that googles program is flawed.

Their TOS is completely subjective. Give me 100 google employees that review reported adsense violations, and I will show them pictures and ask them if they are of adult nature. I guarantee you 100% of the time, they will be split 50/50 on all the carefully chosen pics I show.

So there you have it, a completely arbitrary system of compliance, where people can get be perma-banned, with no appeal process, no one to talk to, just a tight fisted draconian life destroying decision, by some google employee that just happens to be having a really really bad day, and perma-bans you adsense account because there is a perfectly innocent picture of a 40 year old mom showing a bit too much ankle!

Oh, you want me to only choose pics that are really really really absolutely compliant? That wont work either. The only thing that accomplishes is a delay a game. It becomes a statistical fact, that sooner or later, a picture will get reported to a google employee who is a right wing christian freak going through a terrible divorce, is really pissed off, and that day decides that more than 1 inch above the ankle bone is way too much skin, and hits the perma-ban button. Your life is now over. You are FIRED.

If googles TOS applied to google, google would be banned from adsense every day of the year. Ive seen google AD's on my site that are 10X more adult than pics ive been flagged for! How absurd is that? The hypocrisy is mind blowing.


I am now convinced, I can get any of my competitors banned from adsense using a smart multifaceted approach. That is simply just wrong, but apparently we are playing in such a dirty game, this is what has come to.

The warnings I have received are simply mind boggling. I showed a team of my people the pic we got flagged for and jaws hit the floor with murmurings of "you gotta be kidding me?!?!?" I wont even allow a picture of a fully clothed woman on my sites now, its gotten so ridiculous. However wants me banned is a playing a numbers game. They know that if they report enough pics, and hit the right google employee on a bad day, they will eventually get me.

If you never want to get banned by adsense, and you are aware there are people out there actively trying to get you banned, then the google TOS becomes so absurd, its almost impossible to have any picture content at all without risking a ban, and you know how worthless google is when they slam the hammer. We provide all this content, make them money, and they treat us like shit. Its infuriating. The "Don't be evil" motto has become a joke. Destroying peoples lives with no real appeal process, and using a system where completely innocent people can easily be banned, is in fact completely EVIL.

And to those saying I should look at logs, you are joking right? Google doesnt ALLOW you to track clicks on their ad's. Your weblog analyzers are worthless when dealing with the kind of traffic I have. What are you going to do, correlate the time of the google AD click to whats in the log file? Oooops you dont HAVE the time of the google AD click, youre not allowed to track it! Google makes it impossible to defend yourself with idiotic rules like this.

They should have timestamps in their reports for webmasters so we can correlate to log files. But no, we rather you not have any evidence at all to defend yourself with so we can ban you, shut the door, and dont even allow you to speak and explain. ARGH.

Im getting out of the google game as fast as I can. But its a lot of work and will take a lot of time. I just hope I have my revenue streams switched over before this idiot gets me banned because some girls pinky toe was showing in a family beach picture.

Lame_Wolf




msg:4498786
 12:32 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

If a webmaster is running sites that are 100% compliant under the google TOS, and its still fairly easy to get them banned from the adsense program via bullshit reporting, then thats a flaw with google that can have a very real impact on peoples lives.

Ive seen plenty of webmasters lives literally destroyed by getting banned from adsense, who were completely dependent on adsense for their families income. You can claim that is dumb, but that just adds evidence to the fact that googles program is flawed.
I haven't. All the ones I know about were breaking the TOS in one way or another.

The warnings I have received are simply mind boggling. I showed a team of my people the pic we got flagged for and jaws hit the floor with murmurings of "you gotta be kidding me?!?!?" I wont even allow a picture of a fully clothed woman on my sites now, its gotten so ridiculous. However wants me banned is a playing a numbers game. They know that if they report enough pics, and hit the right google employee on a bad day, they will eventually get me.
I take it that you are the photographer of these pics, or the person who took them works for you. Or are they really, really, copyright free?

Or are they ba$terdized pictures? I see many like that. Because they compiled them, they think they are now the copyright holders.

wydady2008




msg:4498806
 1:54 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

he already got banned from adsense several times , even got my domaine name black listed :

[edited by: incrediBILL at 3:28 pm (utc) on Sep 23, 2012]
[edit reason] url removed, no specifics please, see TOS [/edit]

Leosghost




msg:4498810
 2:03 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Probably because your domain fires pop overs , contains, links to ripped off movies , links to warez and to ripped off "scans" adult material nude teen manga, and ripped off "scans" extremely violent manga..

Donc..pas d'adsense pour toi ..evidement..

( translation...Thus.. no adsense for you.. obviously )

Google's adsense TOS exists in French..you should read it..

To anyone who visits ( I would strongly advise against doing so, looks the kind of place, where if you are on windows, might well give you a drive by "nasty" ) that link before the admins get to it..to close the pop ups etc .."fermer" means "close"

[edited by: Leosghost at 2:12 pm (utc) on Sep 23, 2012]

jost




msg:4498816
 2:10 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

"Probably because your domain fires pop overs , contains, links to ripped off movies , links to warez and to adult material nude teen manga, and extremely violent manga.. "

This is complete nonsense based on pure ignorance. They contains none of the above. How could you possibly know?

Please stop making up pure nonsense.

Im very very aware of the google TOS. Its printed out and stuck to my desk.

As ive pointed out, the problem is, its incredibly subjective.
Every google employee has a different internal definition of what the google TOS means. No two google employees could possibly agree on what it means. I could show the same 1000 pictures to any two google employees, and the probability they agree on all 1000 pictures is virtually zero.

My sites are extremely clean, especially compared to my competitors which I can find blatant nudity on. Yet, I get flagged and they run fine day after day. I think ill form a team of people just to report my competitors every day until they are all shut down. Seems were at war, so I might as well fight right?

Leosghost




msg:4498817
 2:14 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm talking about the link posted by wydady2008..right above my post..try reading carefully as opposed to just knee jerk..

This is complete nonsense based on pure ignorance. They contains none of the above. How could you possibly know?

Please stop making up pure nonsense.


You were so quick to jump in to try to pick a fight, rather than to read..all of what I posted.. that you missed that I was referring to him and his site in French..because that is what is the language on his site..

Your site ? I only know what you have posted about it ..and I was obviously not commenting about it..

jost




msg:4498830
 2:49 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

My apologies. You didnt quote him, so I figured this was about my sites

Play_Bach




msg:4498833
 2:56 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ive seen plenty of webmasters lives literally destroyed by getting banned from adsense, who were completely dependent on adsense for their families income.

You can claim that is dumb,

Yup. It is.

Im getting out of the google game as fast as I can.

Sounds like a plan. Good luck.

jbayabas




msg:4498875
 5:40 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Jost, I  agree with you 100% that Adsense TOS  in regards to adult content is completely subjective. They have tried to explain it further on what constitutes adult content:

"Our policy prohibiting mature content may include any material not appropriate for all audiences. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, images of real or cartoon nude people, in provocative or lewd poses, or in see-through clothing."

But then again a Google employee can interpret a perfectly innocent photograph as adult content. An example is a picture of a swimmer in low hanging speedo with his butt crack slightly exposed can be interpreted as adult content even when it is not. 

The point is Google does not care about publishers like us. What's important to them is their advertisers where the money is. They want to protect the advertisers. They want to make them happy. So no matter how loud you scream to protest, it'd likely fall on deaf ears. 

Lesson of the story: You simply can't argue with Google. 

Lame_Wolf




msg:4498877
 5:41 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

he already got banned from adsense several times , even got my domaine [sic] name black listed
Does he have access to your server ? No.
You got yourself banned. All he did was report it.

netmeg




msg:4498878
 5:45 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Nobody's entitled to AdSense. Sounds like your site isn't going to be a good fit (or they've decided it isn't a good fit) A lot of sites aren't having the same problems with content.

Like the rest of us, Google isn't required to do business with sites that they don't want to.

Hope you can find another plan soon. If you get good traffic, you should be able to sell direct. It's more work, but ultimately more control and more money.

jost




msg:4498902
 7:40 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

" A lot of sites aren't having the same problems with content. "

A lot of sites arent as big.

If I just had a few sites, with a couple hundred pics on them, I would be 100% fine forever.

The problem is, if you want to go big, I mean really big, lets say you have so many users that you expect a million pictures a year to get uploaded, you are screwed.

Because adsense doesnt care that you are in 99.9999% compliance. It only takes one violation to get you shut down permanently.

That is why their system is so completely flawed. It doesnt scale realistically at all.

If they offered a contract that was reasonable, and stated you were allowed 0.1% violations a year, then I could confidently move forward with user generated content sites.

I would be allowed 1000 violations a year for 1 million image uploads. Its something tangible I could track and respond to and tighten things up before being banned.

But their draconian model, makes it impossible to grow really big without being almost immediately shut down, because one human, screws up, one time, and approved something against the TOS and kaboom, youre out of business? That just really dumb business. Really really dumb.

No, were not entitled to be a part of adsense, but the market rules, and even google isnt immune to it. Ill be taking my business elsewhere and I suspect a lot of big sites will too.

Google is also at risk for discriminatory practices. You cant just legally throw someone out because of A, when its trivial to prove they let A slide on thousands of other sites. Thats discrimination. Some greedy attorneys are going to latch onto this and file a class action lawsuit some day and they will have ample evidence of googles hypocrisy an unfair practices.

Lame_Wolf




msg:4498913
 7:53 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

The problem is, if you want to go big, I mean really big, lets say you have so many users that you expect a million pictures a year to get uploaded, you are screwed.
Sounds to me that you are talking about a site where users upload images.

If so, I am yet to see one that doesn't post copyrighted material.

netmeg




msg:4498969
 8:20 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ah, you didn't mention that it's UGC. That has always been an issue (and always will be an issue) with AdSense unless you have someone previewing every single upload first.

Doesn't matter if you think their business model is draconian, it's theirs, and the one they choose. Just like you get to choose your own business model, so does Google. They don't need to amend theirs to fit you (and you don't need to amend yours either - unless you want to participate in their program, in which case you need to live by their rules). Their content policy is probably one of the few things they haven't really modified since they opened the doors. (And frankly, I don't think there's anything wrong with it myself, specially when it comes to UGC. I'm an advertiser, and I'm pretty picky about what my ads appear next to) I don't know how long your site has been up, but presumably you knew what it was when you signed up, and have experienced how subjective it might be over time.

I'm still kind of flummoxed how you could build a big site like this just relying on AdSense (which you know you have no control over) but again, if it's that big, you should have no problem using other monetization. And there's lots of other options, including selling your own ads.

And while I'm not a lawyer, I doubt very much you'd get anywhere with a discrimination lawsuit. Everyone's allowed to discriminate if they don't care for your content. Unless you can prove that they're specifically targeting you, and nobody else (or very few) you probably won't prevail. But you can always try, who knows.

Play_Bach




msg:4498974
 8:38 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Some greedy attorneys are going to latch onto this and file a class action lawsuit some day and they will have ample evidence of googles hypocrisy an unfair practices.

I wouldn't bet on it. AdSense has been in play for nearly a decade and so far seems to have survived. If it's one thing Google has a lot of, it's lawyers. They also have a lot of experience dealing with frivolous lawsuits. But whatever jost, go for it.

jost




msg:4498987
 9:47 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

"...unless you have someone previewing every single upload first. "

Every single submission is in fact previewed.

This isnt a blind content farm. Our users spend time creating content.

Once again, ill state, all this would work fine for a small small site.

Googles model falls apart because it doesnt scale.

Its a numbers game. Humans make mistakes. If your business model requires humans over many years to make zero errors, your business model is completely flawed. Google is losing content providers for no good reason other than sheer bad luck at times.

Our sites could be 99.9999% in perfect compliance AND ITS NOT ENOUGH. They will eventually get shutdown because of the sheer volume over a period of many years.

Imagine that, 99.9999% perfect compliance for years, and BAM, one piece of subjecetively borderline content gets you shutdown.

Its just a really dumb dumb model.

netmeg




msg:4498989
 9:59 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's only dumb because it doesn't work for *you*.

You've been complaining about this for at least two years now [webmasterworld.com...] so you've known how it works for at least that long. If you've known all along your site could get shut down at any point, why are you still relying on AdSense at all?

Other large scale publishers seem to be able to make it work; their content and earnings are evidently valuable enough to Google to bring them premium publisher status (and obviously, different rules). The ones that aren't either modify the way they display their content, or get warnings till they get tossed out. Google can afford it.

If you are that large, and you don't have a rep or an offer to become a premium partner, then the writing is probably on the wall. There's a lot of things to criticize Google about, but this isn't one of them. You're blaming them because YOUR business model doesn't fit theirs. They don't need to scale to you. You need to scale to them. (Or don't)

Lame_Wolf




msg:4498990
 10:00 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Our users spend time creating content.
Please elaborate.

Do you mean extracting parts of other images and blending them together, to make a new image?

jost




msg:4498993
 10:09 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

"It's only dumb because it doesn't work for *you*. "

No, its dumb because its obviously dumb. For every site that got googles secret "blessed" status, how many got blown out of the water for some stupid random reason? I wager plenty.

I could create a far superior, but similar model to theirs quite easily.


" You're blaming them because YOUR business model doesn't fit theirs. "

If by that you mean a business model which includes *Growth*, you are correct.
*Growth* is risky in googles model. Any model dumb enough not to take into account a high level of compliance will only work with smaller sites. If youre lucky enough to get into their premium circle before being banned, then maybe the model works, IF, you are lucky enough to make it that far before getting banned.

Lame_Wolf




msg:4499009
 11:12 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

No, its dumb because its obviously dumb. For every site that got googles secret "blessed" status,
You mean the ones that follow the TOS?


how many got blown out of the water for some stupid random reason? I wager plenty.
Actually, none. There have never been a random reason. I do think they should give warnings about certain things, and if an on-page violation, to give a proper example.

I could create a far superior, but similar model to theirs quite easily.
You won't last long. There would be so many lawsuits filed against you from advertisers for not doing enough for fraud. Good luck with that.

And if that were the case, why haven't you done so already? Instead, you rely on a product that you only receive a small cut from.

jost




msg:4499028
 12:25 am on Sep 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

"You won't last long. There would be so many lawsuits filed against you from advertisers for not doing enough for fraud. Good luck with that. "

You say that without even knowing what my model would be?
You cant have any basis to make such a claim. Your claim is made on the false assumption that my model wouldnt take fraud into consideration.

Googles model + a small tweak would make it far superior and reasonable.

Pretty much everyone here agrees that relying on adsense as a source of revenue for your life is a dumb idea.

Why is that? Does that not prove beyond any doubt that their model is totally flawed? I think it obviously does.

Imagine if google had a fair system, where content providers that actually make a more than reasonable effort to follow the TOS, had no chance of ever being perma-banned from adsense.

Then I would be willing to commit all my resources into building my google adsense supported portfolio of sites and growing the crap out of them.

Instead, im working very hard on leaving adsense completely.

If that doesnt prove their is an issue, then people are just being naive or biases.

Anyone who thinks its dumb to try and make a living via adsense is effectively admitting there is an issue with their program.

Lame_Wolf




msg:4499029
 12:34 am on Sep 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

You say that without even knowing what my model would be?


You've already said that it will be like Google's, but better. Well, Google's program is PPC.

Anyway, doesn't matter if it is PPC, in-text or what, it will be open to fraud, and that will be your #1 priority.

You cant have any basis to make such a claim. Your claim is made on the false assumption that my model wouldnt take fraud into consideration.


Oh, when you are a publisher, you don't like Google's rules, but will have stronger rules than Google when you make your model. What planet did you say you were from?

If I were you, wait on the bridge for a larger goat to come along. I see there is no point in continuing.

jost




msg:4499084
 3:20 am on Sep 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

"Oh, when you are a publisher, you don't like Google's rules, but will have stronger rules than Google when you make your model. "

Strawman fallacy. Please stop making making stuff up and attributing to me. I havent stated what my improved model would be, so everything you have said so far is simply made up crap.

Its a moot point. Googles TOS is subjective, their model doesnt scale, everyone agrees its stupid to make a living from adsense, which proves their model is horribly flawed. Nothing much left to discuss.

kemcar




msg:4499163
 6:57 am on Sep 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think there may be some serious issues behind Google Adsense banning your sites. There are chances that your competitors are doing this but it may also be the case that there is something wrong with your sites. I believe before panicking you must try all avenues to get in touch with Google Adsense support options.

jost




msg:4499353
 2:22 pm on Sep 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

kemcar,

Ive seen lots of webmasters complain about google warnings and getting banned and when they show their sites, its like OMG, nooooo duh, you have violations everywhere man.

That is not the case with my sites. They are squeaky clean.
I can pick any of my competitors, and find violations within a minute, easily. You may have to look for hours to find something even borderline on my sites.

I havent been flagged for a warning in forever, considering how many sites and the size of them.

Then suddenly, all at once, I get flagged for nonsense, I get adsense click bombed, and I get DOS attacked. Hard to believe this is a coincidence. All within a couple of days.

Im surpassing my competitors with quality content, and someone has decided to take me out.

What nonsense am I flagged for? Let me put it this way, right now im looking at a snorgtee's advertisement with a young girl in underwear with what might be a little bit of cameltoe showing. WTF google?

If that image was part of my site, whoever is watching closely would report it to google as major adult content and google would carelessly turn off all my AD's, just like that, without warning, without nothing.

Can you say hypocrisy? They are so damn careless with content providers, and im sick of it.

Meanwhile, my competitors that have all this actual adult content, are getting tons of traffic from it, putting me at a huge disadvantage because I follow the rules to a T.

jimbeetle




msg:4499369
 3:00 pm on Sep 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Pretty much everyone here agrees that relying on adsense as a source of revenue for your life is a dumb idea.

Why is that? Does that not prove beyond any doubt that their model is totally flawed? I think it obviously does.

It just proves that it's poor business judgement to rely on any one source of revenue, especially with anything as ephemeral as the Internet.

Lame_Wolf




msg:4499396
 4:11 pm on Sep 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

That is not the case with my sites. They are squeaky clean.
That's not always been the case, has it? And what about copyrighted material?

I can pick any of my competitors, and find violations within a minute, easily.


Then stop whining and report them. I do (unless someone asks me to check their site over. That's different.)


You may have to look for hours to find something even borderline on my sites.
I very much doubt that. Didn't you say that users upload images?
I know a ton of artists and photographers, I bet I oould find a violation in minutes. And that aside, common sense will should tell you if a photograph is copyrighted or not. And if it is a ba$tardized image, then the chances of being copyrighted are even greater.

I havent been flagged for a warning in forever, considering how many sites and the size of them.
Actually, it was around June 2011 that you had a reported violation. Let me remind you... [webmasterworld.com...]


Let me put it this way, right now im looking at a snorgtee's advertisement with a young girl in underwear with what might be a little bit of cameltoe showing.
Giggity.


Meanwhile, my competitors that have all this actual adult content, are getting tons of traffic from it, putting me at a huge disadvantage...

Then report them.

...because I follow the rules to a T.
Sure.

What some people seem to forget is HOW the photo is used. For example, I do not have a problem with people having Adsense on a lingerie site, and yes, there maybe a photo of a lady in her underwear.

However, if that same photo was placed on a blog (with adsense) that showed nothing but titillating images, then that is different.

Also, the chances are, the lingerie site probably paid for a model and photographer, whereas the blog just took them without permission.

jost




msg:4499485
 11:04 pm on Sep 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

"Actually, it was around June 2011 that you had a reported violation."

Right, well over a year ago. In the context of a butt load of sites with a butt load of traffic, thats forever.

And yes I have user uploaded content, and every single piece of content is closely reviewed. My sites have about a 70% rejection rate. Were careful, because we assume google is careless, and it only takes one violation and a google employee having a bad day to ruin your life.

Lingerie sites with adsense on them? How is that even remotely possible? Did you not read what this thread was about?

I guarantee you, if I started reporting a lingerie site as "adult" to google enough times, I would get it shut down.

There is no way in hell, I would allow a single lingerie picture on any of my sites. Even if it was an innocent product pic, where the model isnt being remotely sexy. You are just asking for an adsense ban with this kind of content when people are out to get you. Ive been flagged for less. A woman in shorts with a snug tshirt and nothing showing through? No way, we reject that.

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