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".displaying Google ads in a manner that is not compliant."

Yes, it's the heart attack message...

     
3:57 am on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So, in over two and a half years of running AdSense I got what must be my second "compliance" email from Google yesterday (the first was immediatly after signing up, referring to text I used on *other* ads). I nearly had a heart attack, especially since AdSense accounts for mid five digits of income per year.

I'm not certain if these messages are generated by crawlers looking for specific text, but in this instance it had located a single forum message written by a general member from some months ago that basically responded to someone's request for a recommendation on products and, among other advice, said for more info they could click the ad at the top of the page. The referencing text was specifically hotlinked to one of our in-house advertiser's websites. At the time that linked advertiser had bought all ads in that forum, so they were running exclusive. The only Google ad on that page since then is an AdLinks box.

At any rate, I immediatly removed the text and emailed Google back mentioning this. Fearing this might make an unsightly blemish on my Google record, I explained the isolated nature and fact that it specificaly did not reference Google ads.

So, I received a response back thanking me for removing the text along with the explanation, and saying they had noted on my account that this was an isolated incident and did not reference Google ads.

Now I'm fully aware that what's said in an email and what goes in my record could be two completely different things, but at least this goes to show that Google *doesn't* just cut your account off without warning, and as long as you're helpful and complaint seem willing to work with you.

Of course there's an even more ironic side to the timing of this, but I'm afraid I can't say why. :-)

4:24 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Wow -- so instead of screening new postings for four-letter words, forum masters really need to be watching for posts that have words like "click" in them!
9:06 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I too received such an email two days ago. I believe that Google employees QC people that periodically checks on publishers' web sites, as when I checked the "details" of the Email's "properties" (to make cerain it was REALLY from Google), I noticed the name "lois" in the corp.google.com email address.

A certain page was referenced in the email as an example of TOS violation. After viewing the page, the best I could determine was that on of the Google AdSense blocks was situated close to the righthand column title - "Latest News" which heads a column of links to latest news stories, naturally. I suppose some people looking quickly might confuse the two... BUT I just removed all the AdSense ads from that section of my web site. Why give Google employees ANY reason to nitpic when that portion of my web site generates less than 0.05% of my revenue?

I replied to "The Google AdSense Team" using the original email I received from them, and explained that I immediately remedied the TOS violations that they brought to my attention, and asked them to let me know if they discovered any other problems so that I may correct them. I received a friendly, personalized response the very next evening (last night) saying "Thanks for making the requested changes to your site in order to comply
with our policies."

Bottom-line: Google wants all publishers to be successful (within the terms of service), because it insures GOOGLE'S success!

1:33 am on May 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Add me to this list. I've had AdSense since September 2004, averaging anywhere from $130-250 per month since the 3rd month. The other day I got my first slap on the wrist for a page posted in May 2005 that mentioned AdSense in RSS feeds (and gave my opinion of the concept). Google said that it violated policy. Trick is, I don't put AdSense in my RSS feed, so how could I possibly have been encouraging people to click on ads that I don't have? Regardless, I immediately took down the page. Wasn't worth trying to keep it and I let the AdSense team know that while I disagreed with their conclusion, I complied by removing the page completely and I apologized for the violation ("Thank you sir, May I have another?" ;-) ). They replied thanking me for the prompt action. This was within a few hours of getting the email.

Unfortunately, now I'm getting PSAs on the front of the site. Never had this before. There's more than enough content to pull ads, and I only have 1 ad unit, 1 link unit and 2 referrals for different products. All perfectly legal. Inside pages are fine showing ads and I'm still generating income, so I'm wondering what's going on. I wrote again to ask. I figure why not, I have nothing to hide.

4:50 am on May 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Plug in some "Alternate URLs" into the ads that are showing PSAs.

I have recently started to insert alternate URLs into my ad codes as I revise pages. Am noticing a slight rise in my $ stats.

1:22 pm on May 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well, that was strange. I considered doing an alternate URL but decided instead to put in collapsing ad units to at least close up the space until I figured out what to do next. Same size ad, with the script link, copy & paste in the code and viola! I'm getting ads again. I have no idea what happened, but I guess something got "stuck" and refreshing the code got it going again. I have no idea, but I'm glad.
5:49 pm on May 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I got a note too. I'd use the phrase "click on the above ad", but it was an Amazon ad and I was suggesting people click on the ad to get a current price (Amazon don't pay for clicks so there's no dishonesty involved here).

I presume Adsense crawled the site looking for stuff like "click on the ad".

I rephrased the wording and took out the "click on the ad" text and replaced it with something like "check on the current price on the Amazon website", emailed to Adsense to ask them to approve the new text and they said OK.

6:43 pm on May 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is encouraging - That Google don't just ban you as could be inferred from some threads but that they warn you and enable you to take action. I try to do things absolutely within TOS but I'm often thinking have I done something by mistake which will get me an instant ban?
10:32 am on May 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I presume Adsense crawled the site looking for stuff like "click on the ad".

While I understand the scare those "slaps" give you, searching for "click on the ads" definitely was a "must-do" for Google.

Google's lack of this kind of searches was beginning to be a taint ot its reputation.

Oh well, I wonder how long will it take before we start seeing things like "CL1CK 0N THE AD5"

3:26 am on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I remember back in the day when search engines enabled the user to create truly complex queries (Alta Vista in particular comes to mind) you could find situations with "this word" within "3 words" of "that word".

So Google probably just ran a "if site has Adsense" and page contains "click" within 3 words of "ad" then "send warning".

 

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