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I have sent an email to Google, but as expected they are extremely slow in responding. I've also read responses that other people have received for the same question, all of which were less the useful and basically leaving it up to us to interpret the policy as it's worded. It appears so far that a simple "yes" or "no" is beyond adsense support's ability or desire to provide
That couldn't be any clearer except by saying "actions of or in conjunction with the use of any software application such as a toolbar." It's actually very clear by implication, but a few extra words would dispel any possible misinterpretations or ambiguity.
>>includes a search box = no way possible, on two fronts: toolbar app and search.
[edited by: Marcia at 3:46 am (utc) on April 11, 2008]
It just all begs the question that if it is so clear cut why have all responses from Google been so non-committal?
I've also read responses that other people have received for the same question, all of which were less the useful and basically leaving it up to us to interpret the policy as it's worded.
Even if there were any question, which in this case their definitely isn't because the TOS applies specifically enough (toolbar and search can't be clearer), I can't see any CSR taking the risk upon themselves of giving their own interpretation as final and authoritative policy.
It appears so far that a simple "yes" or "no" is beyond adsense support's ability or desire to provide
[edited by: Marcia at 4:38 am (utc) on April 11, 2008]
"Due to our high email volumes, we're unable to respond personally to this particular message. For this reason, rather than reply to this message, we kindly ask that you read below for more information about invalid clicks."
Real helpful, especially since my question had absolutely nothing to do with invalid clicks... thanks Google, once again you've lived up to my high expectations for customer service. Pathetic.
A site or third party cannot display our ads, search box, search results, or referral buttons as a result of the actions of any software application such as a toolbar.
All clicks will be generated by the user. The tool bar only serves to return the search results, nothing more, the same way the Google tool bar works. This has nothing to do with invalid clicks or bots designed to create clicks.
I find it ridiculous that there is no mechanism to ask Google a specific question about a totally legit situation and get a real answer back. This isn't the first time I've had this problem, to the point that in the past I've had to resort to just going ahead and hoping it's ok because the only way to find out for sure is to see if your account is disabled.
Regardless, you are simply wasting their time. I fully agree with dibbern2. Further, AdSenseAdvisor, a Google AdSense employee, has undoubtedly read this since he posted on another thread less than an hour ago. His silence on this is for a reason. He's not interested in arguing with you.
You have two options...do it and risk account termination or accept that those who have commented have no problem with accepting the clarity of the Program Policies and give up on your wishes. Enough is enough.
What you are doing right now is looking for loopholes in what is fairly plain language, just because you really want there to be loopholes. But here's the deal, even if there is a loophole in their language, you will lose, because Google is the sole arbiter of whether you get to keep your account or not.
This board is full of posts by people that play it close to the line, looking for loopholes. They are usually folloed up a couple months (weeks, days) later with a post about how the evil google banned their account for no reason.
Google has a less than stellar record with replying to small publisher queries, but I can't blame them for not wasting their time with responses that the TOS are very specific about.
As mentioned, this is not the first time I've had problems with Google over adsense. I’ve previously contacted them while with another company to inquire about a site / software combination to see if it was a problem, but never received an answer. In this case we had created a custom kid safe Internet browser that was designed to exclusively use our custom Google search engine that used the Safe Search options to filter content. The software in no way manipulated results or falsified clicks, but only used this page as the homepage. Without any response from Google we went ahead and applied for an adsense account and were approved. Two months later it was disabled with the standard form letter and no response to our inquiries. My personal bet is that it was disabled because the searches, and hence clicks, would have been limited to the users of our software, which at the time would have been a relatively small number of repeat users. I can’t see any other reason since Google could not be aware that visitors were using our browser. It seems like extreme overkill since they basically disabled the account because a number of unrelated visitors repeatedly came back, performed searches, and clicked ads (also, this was adsense for search). The search volume (about 100 per day) and click through rate (about 4%) should have been enough to know this wasn’t fraudulent, unless they really think we planned to get rich on about 40 cents a day
I also love this line on their disabled FAQ page:
“We're always willing to work with you to resolve any issues you may have. If you feel that this decision was made in error, and if you can maintain in good faith that the invalid activity was not due to the actions or negligence of you or those for whom you are responsible, you may appeal the disabling of your account.”
How can you be “always willing to work with someone” if you won’t even respond to their inquiry? Has anyone actually managed to get a response to an appeal besides another form letter (we didn’t even get that much)
Is there any policy reason why we can't use an adsense account in conjunction with this toolbar?
It's not allowed. Refer to the Program Policies.
Google is unmoveable on TOS, and truly: it does no good to try to stir up the unwashed masses to an outcry of revolt when those masses don't agree with your "cause."
There comes a time when it's best to stop being an injustice collector and face up to the reality that life is not always agreeable to our personal wants, desires and opinions. That's how it is with the reality of life and love on this planet we live on, and we all have to learn to live with the facts of that reality.