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AdSense Account Banned - what steps do I take?

     
5:44 pm on Jul 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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God this ticks me off. Why? because I know I did nothing against their policies. As a matter of fact, when I found out that I was getting click attacked from India I stopped serving adsense ads to India. And I reported it each time I seen that it happened.

So my question is how do I contact them and see if I can get my account unbanned?

6:07 pm on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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They will also ban accounts that put their advertisers at risk.

And I reported it each time I seen that it happened

Since this keeps happening, Google must figure it's easier just to not deal with it.

6:22 pm on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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That is possible but it stopped happening because the ads were no longer showing to that country. Total it happened about 5 days off and on over 2 weeks. It hasn't happened since I fixed the ads about a week ago.
6:24 pm on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Bummer. :(

Here are some posts that have good information about getting reinstated.

I've been Reinstated
[webmasterworld.com...]

HELP - I"ve been banned from AdSense
[webmasterworld.com...]

What to Do When You are Kicked Out of Adsense
A tutorial on your recourse when booted from AdSense.
[webmasterworld.com...]

Good luck!

mb

6:32 pm on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thank you MB. I'll read through those. I'm hoping it was an auto-ban and when someone really looks at it they will see that I'm not trying to game the system.

Now I'm wondering if I should swap the AdSense code out for other ads while I'm waiting on a reply. Anyone have thougths on that?

8:58 pm on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Now you know why some of us block problematic countries to begin with.

It's easier to let your server block ads (or the entire site) to certain geo-locations than it is to get down on your knees and beg Google for reinstatement.

However, I've been told that Google doesn't like sites blocking certain geo-locations entirely because then their SERPs have broken sites in them.

OH WAH!

Can't have it both ways, especially for AdSense publishers which heavily attract scrapers (other AdSense publishers) trying to steal our income.

9:02 pm on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately I don't have that kind of access to the server. I'm small time. I wasn't even sure HOW to block a geographic location until I really dug into it. I've been mostly focused on driving highly topic-targeted traffic to the site.
9:07 pm on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Sure you do, it's called the .htaccess file on an Apache web server and it's goes in the httpdocs folder. There are quite a few "block a country" websites out there that will actually build the code for an .htaccess file for entire countries you pick.
10:19 pm on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Looks like I may have access to that file. Apache isn't something I know much about. I'll have to check more into it and see if I can find some code. Thank you! I thought you were talking about a firewall solution at first.

I blocked them a different way and it has been working for over a week now. The click attack person even went to the site after they were blocked and weren't able to click any ads. Unfortunately, just this morning is when Google got around to banning me.

11:23 pm on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Now you know why some of us block problematic countries to begin with.

Glad you wrote "some" iBill since in my widget trade India is the #2 producer/supplier in the world behind...China!

Jhet - I had a similar situation last year and notified Google immediately that I had many thousands of "strange" clicks. G was already on the case but I never knew from where these were emanating.

G acknowledged my e-mail and no more was said even though it went on over a couple of weeks on many different sites. Whoever/whatever it was tried several different domains every day and then it just stopped in my metrics.

I assumed that I didn't get a similar e-mail to yours since my sites are so well-known authority trade widget sites that it comes with their territory?

Are your normal earnings in the hundreds/thousands per month? This would probably the decisive factor for G if the problems are on-going?

11:44 pm on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Glad you wrote "some" iBill since in my widget trade India is the #2 producer/supplier in the world behind...China!

I too get good traffic from India but I have to throttle some bad behavior.

Had to block one of their major wireless broadband carriers for a few months until the trouble-maker went away.

Not pretty, but sometimes you have to throw a few innocent surfers under the bus in order to salvage your operations.

Don't know what more you can do Jhet, but I'd get some security in place before writing AdSense and then tell them you've blocked what appear to be problem sources before asking for reinclusion.

What's more amusing in my mind is that if they can detect the fraud activity you can claim you see, they would just block it as well and I know they block detected fraud, credit back advertisers, etc.

Is it possible it's something about your site or any advertising or inbound links to your site that could also have resulted in the decision to ban?

Have you been buying links from less than reputable sources?

12:18 am on July 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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My earnings and traffic have been going up pretty rapidly but I've always earned less than $100 a month. Each month both have increased.

I can't think of any other reason they would ban me. As far as I know I'm 100% whitehat. I don't buy any links. No money to do it if I wanted to. I use social media to bring in traffic. I have some banner ads on the site but nothing that would be against the adsense policies.

[edited by: martinibuster at 1:51 am (utc) on July 29, 2009]
[edit reason] See TOS. [/edit]

6:48 pm on July 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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How did you find out the click attack was from India? I'd have real trouble working that out on my site.

I've got visitor information in the logs, and Google tells me there are some clicks, but marrying the two together would be near impossible as I don't know when and where the click was made or by whom.

Sorry for the slightly off-topic. Hope things get better and you get the reinclusion request worded just right enough to have someone look at it.

7:16 pm on July 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It wasn't that hard with google analytics. I went to visitors - network properties - network location - adsense revenue tab and then sorted by adsense ads clicked in decending order. That will show the network that has all the extra clicks. Then I just searched for that network on google and seen it was an isp serving india.

Also you can go to the map overlay section and mess around with the detail level there.

7:31 pm on July 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Aah, thanks, I've not experimented with analytics.
2:42 pm on Aug 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Well I got disappointing news today. AdSense rejected my appeal. I'm still trying to work with them but I don't have much faith that anything new will happen.

What's ironic is that I'm one of the few people in my niche that actually provides real content. A lot of other sites simply mass reproduce canned articles from article sites and throw adsense on the site.

9:43 pm on Aug 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hi Jhet, sorry to hear your probs. I had a similar problem a while back - my site had been running ads for a couple of months when I noticed someone overclicking on the site for two days running - banned the next day! I was very very small time, and guess not worth the hassle to G, despite my explanations to them. Just got a standard auto-reply ban letter. My site is squeeky clean with disclaimers, privacy statement etc, so felt pretty let down.
I'd be interested to know if you find a good alternative - I tried a couple of others, but due to my low traffic they really don't seem worthwhile. I'm now trying to build up traffic to a level where it makes sense to reinstate ads on the site.
Best of luck for the future
11:24 pm on Aug 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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What's ironic is that I'm one of the few people in my niche that actually provides real content.

Then it's possible that advertisers have abandoned the niche. It's difficult to justify putting money into an environment like that.

11:47 pm on Aug 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Steak - What I'm trying instead of adsense for now is affiliate banners. If Y or MSN approve my applications I'll try those too.

Tim - There are tons of advertisers for the content of my site. And I'll gaurantee that they will never dry up. The reason people are not putting up real content is because it is much easier to just put up MFA sites and make money. For both the sites and the advertisers.

1:45 am on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The reason people are not putting up real content is because it is much easier to just put up MFA sites and make money. For both the sites and the advertisers.

No, there are two reasons why most people aren't putting up real content: (1) it's hard work, and (2) they don't have the skills.

2:54 am on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Well good. I'm glad you agree with me. Since that was pretty much exactly what I said. "It is much easier to put up MFA sties" ie "putting up real content is hard work."
3:33 am on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Don't forget the "They don't have the skills" part. I'd guess that a lot of thin affiliates from the early 2000s, for example, have morphed into MFAs and click arbitrageurs during the AdSense era--not because they're lazy, but because their skills are on the technical or gamesmanship side rather than on the content side.
3:55 am on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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You would think that Google would have figured out a way to deal with click attacks by now. Ban the fraudulent clicks and not the honest publisher.

How long have you been a member?

1:56 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I think a few of them do have the ability to do the work honestly. I think they just prefer the churn and burn more than building up a decent site. I have no proof of that of course. Just personal oppinion :)

I had been a member for about 9 months I think. For the first 6 months or so I just threw adsense on a hobby site. I wasn't trying to build traffic or earn money. It was a site that is in a near dead niche. Then for the last 3 months I started building traffic to another site I had that was intended to be more of a money maker. It still will be, I'll just have to monetize it another way. Too bad they banned my account. It was just starting to earn some ok money. In 3 months I increased the traffic by over 10 times.

3:02 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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That's a pretty big traffic growth, and a pattern that (unless seasonal) would probably cause someone at Google to sit up and take notice.

If your niche is a target for constant invalid clicks, or if the source of your traffic exhibits patterns of that behavior, you could have been banned for that reason. Remember - it's the advertisers that get protected at all costs. Doesn't really matter if you yourself did anything to encourage the bad behavior, if you're enough of a target long enough, then you may become a liability. Unfortunate, but I'd bet it's true.

3:46 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The growth has been large but the overall traffic is still on the low low end. I had less than 10k visits to the site per month. I'm betting that is why they decided not to reinstate the account at this time. I'm too small to matter to them.

It was one person from India who did it. They'd view 2 pages and click on ads for 6 minutes. By time I noticed, they had already been doing it for a few days. I put the code it to stop it from happening and they stopped doing it. After that is when adsense banned me. Go figure.

4:28 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hi Jhet, I looked at Y, but being based in the UK found I couldn't use them - they seemed to be pretty good though. Tried Adbrite for a while, but found the banners being sent to me were not appropriate to content despite manual filtering (I think my traffic is too low to interest the advertisements I want)- gave up on them to concentrate on building traffic for now - will look again once traffic is large enough to interest the advertisers.
Like you, I'm a little peeved that G does not listen to reasoning, but guess we have no choice but to accept it. Maybe in the future there will be enough decent competition to make them have to reconsider their auto-banning policies, but until that day.....
 

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