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Google AdSense Forum

This 40 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 40 ( 1 [2]     
Google Disables AdSense Because of Forum Spam

 11:36 pm on Jun 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

I own several forums with a lot of posts (possibly millions messages)

I've used adsense for 9 years, no complaints whatsoever from their part until last august, google sent me exactly 4 messages like this in 10 months:

"You have 3 working days to make changes to your site"

I always replied quickly, but I missed the last one; my email server was down the day they sent me the message, so I didn't even notice it until they disabled serving adsense on my website & sent me a message telling me about it:

"Google AdSense ad serving has been disabled to your site"

Turned out, some moron spammed my forum with crack/serial number request, google rightly didn't like that.

I deleted the spam, appealed & explained, they re-enabled adsense for that website after 4-5 days.

I told myself: lesson learned and started watching adsense control panel's "messages" section every day.

Today (exactly 3 weeks after this last incident), I got another "ad serving has been disabled to your site" message for a different website, only this time they did not ask me to remove the content before:

Google just directly disabled serving ads on my website without prior alert!

This time I was online when their system sent the message; I immediately did a manual scan, removed several spams that went through (all within the hour), then I appealed and explained (I also complained that I didn't get a warning)

I've been a good citizen for more than 9 years, never had any problem, never attempted anything even remotely unethical. Adsense earnings has been my main income for years (I kind of regret that now), I'm not stupid to jeopardize it, and I'm not going to do that any time soon!

But not giving me a warning left a very bad taste in my mouth, it's as if they put my account under close watch or red-flagged my account as a potential cheater or something, and I don't like that.

My question is: Given the situation, am I at risk of getting my account banned? Is there something I can do to avoid having my account banned (if such violation gets repeated (*)? Is there a way to explain to google that it's impossible to have full control over user-generated content and that this is NOT intentional in any way?

In other words, is there something I can do to get my account back to "normal" (with "green lights on") the way it used to be?

(*) The fact is, the amount of data to monitor is too large, I put an aggressive home-made spam filter (like 8 years ago), I frequently manually review threads. More than 99% of my forums is clean, I don't think there's much else to do.

Any advice would be more than welcome,




 8:47 pm on Jun 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Lurking is quite common to forums.


 9:53 pm on Jun 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

There's a Wordpress forum plugin called bbpress.


 3:58 am on Jun 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Somewhat related question.
Consider this scenario:
If the forum is a part of large info (editor generated content) site and there is no Adsense ads on forum page but there is adsense on editor generated content pages.
Somebody spams forum.
Is there still a chance that whole site will get banned from adsense?
What is your opinion?



 5:31 am on Jun 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

On my forums, I purge all new users that registered more than 3 days previously

This seems horrendously counter-productive. On most forums you would want people to quietly read posts for a long time before jumping in with their own opinions. On some forums of course there's no choice: if you want to read, you have to register.


 5:37 am on Jun 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've seen members lurk for YEARS before posting and becoming highly productive forum regulars.

Regarding this topic, I really think if you're going to run a forum, you'e got to be serious about it, and that means heavy moderation, not throwing up a forum script and forgetting about it, or skipping posts you can't be bothered to read. A forum is basically a license for the scum of the internet to come and deface your website...

If you can't put in the time and effort to moderate effectively, indeed, delete your forum.


 10:19 am on Jun 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have never run Adsense on any forum, but if I did, I'd use whitelisting, i.e. each forum page has to be approved to run Adsense. Find the most read "archived" pages or threads of the forum using Analytics or GWT and manually flag them as approved. Have a PHP/Python/whatever snipped to include the Adsense code only if the particular page or thread is flagged as approved. I don't know if there are plugins for that, but implementing it in any forum software would be pretty simple.


 11:40 am on Jun 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

yaix2, that's an excellent suggestion. It works if the forum complies with the AdSense guidelines on prohibited content. If the forum hosts content that does not comply with AdSense policy on prohibited content, [support.google.com] then it might not work because of the way those policies are worded:

The AdSense network is considered family-safe, which means that publishers aren't permitted to place Google ads on sites which contain #*$!ography, adult, or mature content.

One can quibble and say that the policy in places says the ads can't be placed on "pages" in references to certain specific prohibited content. But the stakes are pretty high and most web publishers may find it prudent to play it safe and keep AdSense off of sites that feature prohibited content.


 4:18 pm on Jun 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Another way I know works on a per page basis is content with blacklisted words on the page as the ads will stop until the page content is corrected.
IncrediBILLl, this is an interesting comment. Do you know if an official blacklist like that exist or perhaps unofficial but still useful in practice? I implement my own, mostly containing curse words, but I have a feeling Google may have something completely different in mind.

 4:41 pm on Jun 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

very bizarre, but i just received the 3-day warning email while reading this thread. really, no joke. not much i could do but remove adsense from the entire site which allows people to post info freely.

i can see both sides of the argument on this. google's advertisers don't want to pay for someone's freedom of speech and so self censoring is the order of the day.

this also seems to coincide with their initiative to clean up child exploitation references. in that case it's a good thing even if there's collateral damage.


 5:40 pm on Jun 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

...advertisers don't want to pay for someone's freedom of speech...

1. Freedom of speech is misunderstood. It's often confused with the freedom to pop-off. Nobody has a right to it. Just a right to not have the government unduly step on it.

2. If advertisers don't want to pay for it then the site publisher is paying for it. Is paying for trolls to pop-off a business model or a social/political act?

3. When a site publisher places ads on a site it's understood the publisher is doing it for the money. If that's not the goal of the site then maybe placing ads is not a good fit.

This 40 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 40 ( 1 [2]
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