|earning vs. payments reports way off|
adsense support no help so far
Ever since I saw the finalized earnings for october I contacted adsense support as there was something (to me) obviously wrong.
So far I've been unable to get them to even acknowledge there's a problem and instead gotten boilerplate nonsense, even asked for an escalation only to get even less to the point answers.
So are there others who have this problem ?
I'm getting my reports in EURO (not USD), should that make a difference.
FWIW, it more and more feels like their currency conversions are being done twice or so (hard to tell as it's all as transparant as a brick)
I've scaled all numbers by a factor I'll not tell so as to not upset anybody with me giving the real earnings.
November earnings from the performance report: 426,09 EUR
October earnings from the performance report: 422,60 EUR
Yet in the payments overview it's starts out with very different amounts:
oct1-oct31: earnings (adding all types): 353,78 EUR
on Nov 18 they deduct 0,24 EUR for invalid traffic
and they pay the remainder on Nov 22.
nov1-nov30: earnings (adding up all types): 374,80 EUR
(no invalid traffic yet - but I don't expect that for a bit)
But there's almost 20% gone for October and more than 13% gone for November with no apparent explanation, and even after pressing them, begging them, threatening them, sending them screenshots, rereading their explanations asking for escalation, they have given NOTHING that makes any sense to me.
I get from their explanations there are realtime corrections (but those don;t show in the reports AFAIK)
and that there are adjustments for invalid traffic (but they show and are for very small amounts compared to the totals. BUT nothing that explains the significant difference between these two reports.
It's a problem to me - not the money as such, I take what they give me - but for being able to defend against the tax man during an audit: my daily detailed earnings (which I have to provide) do NOT match up with what I'm getting paid. That in itself is a red flag for the tax man and I cannot get Google to even come near a sensible explanation, let alone one that I can defend during an audit if it ever omes to that.
So I'm likely to get fined/convicted for evading taxes while it's Google refusing to give a reasonable explanation/willing to look into it with a little bit of an open mind and not resorting to standard pre-chewed answers that miss the point utterly.
So, my point of posting here:
- Any of you out there seeing this same discrepancy in their reports ?
- Anybody getting paid by direct deposit in EURO ?
Any I got this too would be great, or any sensible explanation one has.
I've never seen this prior to October - ever.
I've also asked them a few times if I'm still in good standing but - predictably they don't answer that point.
I guess at this point in order to avoid more complications with the tax man that I'll just not show/track/keep the daily amounts - that's less of a problem I hope than to have numbers that do not match in any way and no explanation that makes any sense at all to explain it.
Now since we have no transparency on exchange rates anymore (everything in in EUR nowadays). Why am I pondering of a double application of the exchange rate ? Well ... right now 1 USD seems to be worth (according to Google Search): 0,73 EURO - which somewhat varies over time but still is in the order of magnitude of the missing money... even though both reports are in EURO, not in USD.
But I'd assume not to be the only one if that were the case...
Could it be a Billing time (US Pacific time) versus Local time issue?
Nope 20% would be far more than a day (the earnings between days are relatively similar, no huge spikes).
A fifth of a month would be many days worth ... and there's only 9 hours difference in timezones.
Moreover that doesn't explain why it wasn't there prior to october.
You know one of the answers after it got escalated was to verify MY logs. As if my web logs could ever in any way explain why their accounting numbers don't add up between two of their reports.
It's so frustrating to deal with Adsense support. Maybe it's time to part ways, dunno. The more I think about it: the website started long before I could earn anything with it - even long before Amazon, Google or any of them even were conceived. At the time it was a hobby, a source of stress relief. Now it for sure earns more money than it costs - and that's good but it has also become a source of stress, and that's very bad.
In the mean time Media.net contacted me a few times. Even called me from India (international call during my waking hours nonetheless). I think I'll have little choice at this point but to take a better look at their offering. Sure the grass is always greener etc.
But the frustration levels with Google's Adsense just have to get lower one way or the other.
Ah forgot to mention. There is this on G's help:
but it too is unhelpful AFAIK:
- invalid activity: its not this as that shows up on the payments page explicitely
- and 20% is a lot to take as a hit for an advertiser cheating G out of getting paid and it gets even worse if they manage to do it a more than one month in a row.
Anybody else ?
I had the very same problem. My current balance is 15% lower than what I earned for October. This has never happened to me before so Google have changed something as my site has not changed in months. If your traffic comes from premium counties - UK, US etc. give Media.net a try. One thing for sure they have good support and respond instantly.
Well first of all, I'd lose the daily reports anyway. Every year I give my accountant one finite number for AdSense - the total amount that landed in my bank account payable from Google for the twelve month period, and that's it. Honestly, I can't even imagine why you'd have tax problems with it though, even with your daily reports. You just explain that Google reports how it reports - you can't be the only one in your country with this issue.
I know from my own inquiries, reports, and monitoring that invalid bot activity is WAY WAY up over the past couple months. And I'd be willing to bet it's not just me. Google as much as confirmed it to me when I went all netmeg on them trying to get some answers. Because I am seeing so much of it (not in all sites, but heavy in *some* sites) that's my first go-to in explaining increased clawbacks due to invalid activity.
Of course, since they won't give me any specifics or actionable information, there's not a lot I can do about it; my hardest hit sites are now serving AdSense only to search and referral traffic - anything without a referrer gets affiliate or Amazon ads.
But I suspect eventually the bots will spoof referrers as well, if they aren't already. There's a metric **** ton of money that can be made by sending an ad clicking bot trolling through the Display Network - times tens of thousands for all the people capable of writing one.
(All invalid activity does NOT show up on the payments page - when an advertiser failed to pay for his ads, that showed on the payments page. When Google deducted a higher than usual amount at the end of the month and told me it was bots and my account was not in trouble, that did NOT show up on the payments page)
|Now since we have no transparency on exchange rates anymore (everything in in EUR nowadays). Why am I pondering of a double application of the exchange rate ? Well ... right now 1 USD seems to be worth (according to Google Search): 0,73 EURO - which somewhat varies over time but still is in the order of magnitude of the missing money... even though both reports are in EURO, not in USD. |
But I'd assume not to be the only one if that were the case...
Exchange rate is not the issue here, my account is not in USD ,yet lion's share comes from the US, and the haircut last month was less than one percent.
This reminded me of how I used to get 10% haircut years ago. I guess it has something to do with the popularity of the website, sources of traffic, and the amount of the earnings.
Do you get a lot of direct traffic?
Problem is that the rules out here require details. And actually require me to make an invoice and send to to Google. But Google is too big, dealing with too many that don't know the rules etc. and they change the game one-sided. The compromise is ok: go along with them not getting invoices, but provide daily details instead. The books need to proof I didn't cheat the system as far as taxes go.
I live in a small country. Not that many publishers out here, let alone many that will do it properly and declare the income in a business as they should.
I'll speak with my accountant to see how far I can push it. But numbers that mismatch by as much as 20%: that's a no-go.
Maybe I need to start to geotarget the adserving and serve adsense only to developed countries minus webhosting ISPs. Should not be that hard (I already do that for the forum to have less spam trash).
Anyway never ever before october there was this difference - and then 2 months in a row without any usable explanation. Morons! I'd be happy to block the crap visitors if they only tell me that's what the problem is - and if they can identify them: great I'll ban them across all I have.
But from what I get they are doing those in real time: they don't show in any report.
Unless that was misinformation by adsense support...
Google systematically choses to make it hard by acting as if I'm the culprit instead of me being their partner in delivering a good deal to advertisers. The same goes with the crap ads they continue to run: I don't want them, ban them by the dozen but it's a whack-a-mole game with the subpar tools they give me.
(e.g. any ad mentioning "free": I wan tit gone, permanently. Why? "There's no such things as a free lunch".
Media.net: well they are responsive when they contact you. When I contact them it's a bit slower so far. And while I have my biggest site approved by them long ago, I can't get them to see the light and approve my test site (it's low traffic, mostly the same same topic, adheres to any and all rules and has genuine unique content on it). I'm not going to give them main site traffic till I can see what code they send out.
Moreover even though they claim async operation, it feels (not measured yet, but strong impression) that it is much slower if you have their code on it - stops the page from rendering for a bit - with the ad where it is now that's a problem. SO if that's to happen it won't happen before a redesign of the bigger site.
I'm all for calling G out when they are wrong (they are wrong not considering me an ally, and not giving me what I need to have to win the fight against the bad guys, they are wrong for implementing a joke of a support system for publishers - actually it's an insult for any publisher). But they are still AFAIK the best game in town so I'd rather try to fix it with them before jumping ship too fast.
That doesn't mean I want to not keep an open line to media.net, or others, but I've only so many hours in a day...
And I understand I'm not a huge fish, but after so many years - they should know better than to assume me the enemy.
|Do you get a lot of direct traffic? |
For the last 30 days, according to G analytics:
If I look it up for 30 days from before the problem started:
So direct traffic actually dropped (relatively - I'm in real slow season right now - my topic is unpopular in this season.