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Questions About a Suspension Due to Sudden Traffic

   
11:20 am on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I expect there will be some rolled eyes at this one but I am looking for a little bit of advice. I don't think my post is the normal "Banned by AdSense" post and although this is my first post here, I am an experienced webmaster and forum poster. With that out of the way, this is my situation:

I have been an AdSense publisher for some time (Maybe a year) and have received checks in the past. Unfortunatley I got the dreaded letter last night that my account was suspended.

It seems it was either due to the sudden increase of impressions or the increase to the CTR (although it was still completely reasonable).

Now a little more history of this site. It has slowly been growing over the last year and a half and up until last week had on average about 1,000 uniques a day. Then one of our tools was featured on a syndicated radio show in the US. Suddenly we had been announced to around 10 million people. We were also included on this shows newsletter as the "Kool Site of the Day" and on their website.

Our uniques increased from 1,000 to 50,000 a day. Obviously our AdSense went wild and was still making a signifigant amount of money up until last nights suspension.

I have written a well worded email in reply to Google basicaly explaining the situation rather then complaining. I truly believe that this was a mistake by an automated system which will be rectified by a human.

My questions are:
1.) In situations like this, what type of time frame am I looking at. Obviously every day I am down is lost revenue
2.) Is the best course of action to just keep explaining?

By the way, I know the TOS quite well and just to be safe, I never put images or text close to the ads (despite this being a popular trend)

As an AdWords advertiser, I am truly a publisher that believes in doing things the ethical way so this turn of events has come as a bit of a surprise.

I am also willing to provide the name of the Radio Show and the accompanying website. It has only been ommited to make sure I conform to the rules of this forum.

11:44 am on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



i've gone from 8,000 visits a day to 30k the next. never had a problem... i think the problem is when you're earning say $10 a day and suddenly the next day you're making hundreds.. that is very iffy...

if your account is in good standing i don't think it will be a problem, the system could of just flagged your account until someone reviews it.. thats IF you have a good account history.. then you stand a chance getting your account back.

11:48 am on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Hopefully this is the case. I obviously don't want to post exact earnings but it was a similar difference to your example. If anything the gap was much more signifigant and the numbers much higher.

When accounts are reinstated, are earnings also?

I would imagine they would have to be, but it is hard to tell by reading about the very few that have publicly posted about a reinstatement.

11:51 am on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



i would assume if they reinstate your account and there were no invalid clicks then they would let you keep the balance.. though i am just speculating.. best and wait for googles reply.
12:04 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I'm thinking that I may be briefly featured in a national UK newspaper - i don't think it will generate a huge number of impressions etc, but it could spike to maybe 5 or 10 times usual (if i'm lucky). If I know, I think it's worth pre-warning google...
12:07 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



>>>We were also included on this shows newsletter as the "Kool Site of the Day"

Well, was this newsletter distributed by email to half million people? If so, it could be considered spam and it is not against the ToS to exclude you in this situation.

12:14 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>> the system could of (sic) just flagged your account until someone reviews it

They could have done and it's a shame they didn't and that they sent him a suspension letter, not a warning.

yfs1, as you may know some members here have been reinstated so I'd keep up the diplomatic efforts. Should they reinstate you I don't think you have more than a 50-50 chance of recovering the income they suspended. To them restoring that money is like making a written admission that they screwed up with a false positive and/or that - contrary to ASA's assertion - there's not always a human review (or just a low quality one) prior to a suspension.

Tips for comms with them:
Keep it brief. Word it so that no sentence can be answered with a standard canned response. State your support for the program, your dedication to be fully compliant at all times and your appreciation of the fact that they have a tough job. Offer whatever cooperation it takes - from logs files to transcripts of the radio show - and make sure you come across as honest and trustworthy in everything you say even if it means having someone proof your text (for example, avoid negative words like "fraud" and "invalid clicks").

Good luck.

12:22 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



>>>Well, was this newsletter distributed by email to half million people? If so, it could be considered spam and it is not against the ToS to exclude you in this situation.

Probably more but I'm not sure why that would be considered spamming? Just to clarify that notion, it was the Kim Komando show. Feel free to remove that reference although I think that it has some bearing as it is an extremely well known show and I highly doubt its very popular opt in newseltter would be viewed this way

oddsod-

Thanks for your post. I have actually been a long time supporter of the AdSense program, many times defending it in different forums. I hope that I get the chance of a follow up with AdSense support.

In my original letter, not only did I explain the boom in traffic but I offered to provide my logs to them. I also provided links to where we were featured. I imagine most people in the US know of her show. Obviously if it gets to the point where it is neccesary, I can get an email from the show explaining their reach and its affects on sites traffic. They seem to be very aware of the affect a feature can have.

>>>>Should they reinstate you I don't think you have more than a 50-50 chance of recovering the income they suspended. To them restoring that money is like making a written admission that they screwed up with a false positive

As an AdWords advertiser, I understand the need for protections. So if it is handled in a respectful and time conscience way and the funds are reinstated, I will have no ill will. I understand how things can look. After reading a few more threads similar to mine, I just hope I am large enough to merit a human review. This month would have been low to mid 4 figures which I hope is enough to be taken seriously.

Thanks

12:45 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



To me this is kind of scary.

What does this mean? Don't build your sites "too well" because if you get featured on another website, your account may be suspended?

What if we have photos that are impressive, and a photography site puts our link on their front page as a featured site?

Do we have control over what happens to our site and who links to us?

I could understand, if a person knew beforehand that you were suddenly going to receive thousands of untargeted traffic, removing some of the adsense from pages, especially the homepage would make sense. But most of the time, they don't tell you beforehand that you were featured.

Once we were featured on a local news website. All the company did was email us and said, "We are featuring your website this week."(But we weren't running Adsense at that time, fortunately?)

12:48 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have a very good feeling that you will be fine :)
12:59 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



What reason was given for the suspension?
1:00 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I hope things work out... It does sound like some kind of automatic trigger set this off.

Unfortunately I think it is a fine line that Google walks. If they don't do something when weird occurences like that happen they risk advertisers losing money, and if they do do something, they ocassionally end up getting an innocent publisher.

I definately think explaining the situation to them with all the relative documentation is the way to go.

1:06 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



>>>>What reason was given for the suspension?

It was the standard email

Our site has been featured before on some pretty big sites but nothing compared to this. There are very few sites that will deliver the amount of traffic that they did in such a short span. We weren't suspended before so I don't think your local newspaper would cause the same thing to happen.

If is a fine line which I respect. A system where you have a 2 day probation period in which to respond might suit both although I'm not aware of the complexity of their automated system.

The problem is so many people looking at AdSense as a quick buck which make it difficult for the hard working publishers looking at the long term. I have spent the last year building my tools and promoting them. I believe in unique content that is a benefit to visitors. I am confident (although nervous) that Google will recognize this and come through.

Time shall tell though.

3:34 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Also:
Does anyone know if the team that handles AdSense support is centralized or are they all together. I guess what I am trying to ask is if you only get responses from 9-5 California time or do they have regional teams which would mean around the clock coverage?

Thanks

4:08 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I'd be real interested to hear what what response you get, as I have been in a similar situation as far as traffic. I have an extremely seasonal site that builds from a few hits a day in May to almost 30,000 per day by July 4, and then drops back down to almost nothing once the season is over. It was made even more dramatic this year because it was featured in some local papers and the state put a link to it on their .gov site. I'd hate to think I'd be penalized for that.
4:29 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I will definately post back the gist of any responses (Obviously not word for word as that is agaisnt the TOS).

It is a bit rough when you are an honest publisher trying to do things right and then you see a post like this thread:
[webmasterworld.com...]

Again, I have full confidence that AdSense Support will come through and do the right thing.

5:26 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



While we await word on the outcome....allow me to beam my best vibes to yfs1...~~~~~~~~~~~....and to ask a question.

Has anyone ever experienced first hand or heard from a credible source of "lost earnings" being retrieved from Google (voluntarily, of course...as part of good customer service practices)? Ever?

5:41 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



yfs1, if you've got a history of posts here in another nick praising Adsense it may be useful to tell Google your original nick here and point them to some of your threads. If your nick is EFV for example - which I'm sure it's not - that should count for a bit ;)

To answer your previous question - I always got the impression they were all in PST.

6:18 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



what I am trying to ask is if you only get responses from 9-5 California time or do they have regional teams which would mean around the clock coverage?

I don't think anyone really knows the answer to that.

You seem to be based in the UK, so there is a possibility that UK questions may be answered by one of the European offices.

Bottom line is nobody knows

7:23 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I was banned and then reinstated after discussing the situation with adsense. I took a very similar approach as you, offering my log files and politely explaining the specifics of my situation and my respect for the system (i am also an adwords advertiser).
The entire process, for me, took about 3 weeks.
I did get all funds that I had earned previous to the banning. Of course, there was no compinsation for my "down time".
I found the team to be entirely reasonable and open to deal with. Perhaps a bit slow, but everybody seems slow when you are talking about your own money :)
Good luck, and my guess is that if all the facts you have stated are the only issues in effect, you will be fine.
10:19 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hooo no...

I did a post about this some time ago:

[webmasterworld.com...]

It have not happened yet, but I think now that if this is going to happen and you know in advance even if you botter them to much is better to let them know in advance too.

Of course, if you have no idea there is not too much you can do but here is the reason of paronoia that GG put on us.

I hope everything work out just fine for you yfs1.

CS.

9:02 am on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



For those following this thread, the issue has been resolved. Although I did not recieve any correspondence over the last week my account was rightfully reinstated yesterday. I just happen to come across a page of mine where I hadn't removed the ad code and I saw ads. I signed in and just like that all was back to normal.

Thank you to everyone who provided advice. I always was confident that because there had never been a violation of the TOS, I would be reinstated.

This thread plus a few others I have seen here hopefully show that if your account is suspended but it is not because of a violation, the best course of action is a calm one. Don't threaten lawsuits etc, but instead contact Google and be willing to provide anything they ask! I didn't have to but I had a letter from the Radio Show which explained the traffic, my logs downloaded and ready to send and was open to any questions.

AdSense is a huge program and by far the best out there. Although I wouldn't wish this on anyone, the reinstatement has shown that if you do things right and follow the TOS, you will not lose your account.

Hope this helps someone else going through the same thing

10:12 am on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lammert is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Thank you for sharing the positive end and congratulations that you are back in the program. This shows that AdSense is not solely controlled by robots and automated procedures, but there is some sort of human supervision that reverses errornous decisions by the algorithms. We will add your name to the list of people that got reinstated.
12:31 pm on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



They only reinstate sites that are going to provide long term revenue.

Well Done :)

1:04 pm on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



All you can do is take it up with Google and/or visit one of the other dozen quality ad programs out there.
2:48 pm on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



welcome back in adsense
9:15 pm on Sep 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



To be fair, 2 days after my last post I did receive a letter from Google to confirm that my account had been reinstated. I imagine it must have either been delayed or they first make sure your AdSense is succesfully turned back on before sending it.

That should complete this thread.

Thanks Again!

10:03 am on Sep 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



well done,

but sis you get your balance recognized in your favor?

9:18 pm on Sep 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Yes, all earnings were credited up to the day of the suspension
9:32 pm on Sep 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Options

Have other adwords accounts

Get a deal with Overture etc and be able to switch the results immediately.

Doug

This 31 message thread spans 2 pages: 31
 

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