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Wave of AdSense Account Closures July 2016

     
11:38 am on Jul 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Good Day Everyone,
Please I need help Here! I started blogging 2 years ago but was newly given Adsense approval after activating the custom name - my blog is domiciled on blogger.

Ads have been displayed on my blog but received a mall yesterday the 4th of July that my adsense account has been cancelled.
.
What could be wrong and what should do?
12:01 pm on July 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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There have been 1000's of reports of this in the last 24 with no official word from Google (july 4th weekend)

From what I can tell and observe is that almost all the cancellations appear to be either are inactive accounts, hardly used account or low volume traffic accounts - ie accounts that are pretty much useless to the ecosystem.

There has been a little speculation that this was a bug or hack at Google.

Nothing more can really be done or said until there is some more info coming out of Google to clarify.
The Top Contributors over on Google's own Adsense help group have escalated this to google staff for more info, but nothing from them yet.
12:23 pm on July 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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[productforums.google.com...]

Yes, this seems to be widespread and folks are waiting on clarification from Google.
5:35 pm on July 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Google says they're inactive accounts. Which is weird because I have an inactive account (my old personal account) that has a $98 balance, and I didn't get a notice. I need to shut that down, I just never think of it.

[marketingland.com...]
8:45 am on July 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I find it odd that Google decided to do that on July 4 when there is unlikely to be any one from google around.

However, there are solutions, and if you've been one of the AdSense accounts with the message, you can reapply

See this message from google for more information.
If you received this message and would like to reactivate your AdSense account, please reapply by logging into your Google Account...

[productforums.google.com...]
3:49 pm on July 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Bear in mind that when reapplying you will get a DIFFERENT TOS agreement than the previous. This MIGHT, of course, be the entire reason. (speculation only!)
4:21 pm on July 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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It's also important to avoid the same mistakes that caused the account closure notification in the first place.

1. Make sure you're active in your account.
2. Make sure you're optimising your site to get the best out of it.
3. Make sure your site is interesting, preferably unique, offers visitors some value, and works in mobile and desktop.
4. Then, consider re-applying.
4:16 am on July 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Not such a bad thing in my view. The Adsense ecosystem needs a huge enema.

The people complaining on Google forums because their Adsense account earning $2-10 a month has been shut down are quite funny.
5:06 am on July 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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$2 to $10 per month can pay for a domain for a year and or domain hosting for a year. I don't see the joke in that.
12:02 pm on July 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Adsense doesn't exist to pay for hosting for mediocre websites. Those concerned should either pay for their own hosting, or work on improving their website content/traffic.

From my perspective I'd be happy to see Google become a lot more selective about who it lets into Adsense.
5:56 pm on July 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Adsense doesn't exist to pay for hosting for mediocre websites. Those concerned should either pay for their own hosting, or work on improving their website content/traffic.

By the same account you could say that people who rely on Adsense for their income should get "proper jobs".
6:14 pm on July 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Websites that can't be found in Google or Bing doesn't equal mediocre. Lots of people write interesting things and create content that can't be found. Not everyone is an "expert" but at the same time they still like to create. Aside from that, if you get approved, then it does appear Google doesn't disparage small sites. Obviously they have changed their tune, but that's on Google not the person who was running Adsense via an approved website. Google changed the bar, fine. It doesn't mean those people are dirt.
7:27 pm on July 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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By the same account you could say that people who rely on Adsense for their income should get "proper jobs".

They have proper jobs: they are publishers. Those who don't make a living or part-living from their sites are hobbyists.

Google changed the bar, fine. It doesn't mean those people are dirt.

I didn't say they were. I just find their moaning rather odd. There's nothing at all wrong with building a blog or a niche or hobby site that garners a few visits a day. I have had a couple of those myself (not monetised with Adsense). However if you have an Adsense site and you don't update it, promote it, add content, work on SEO, etc. then I'm not sure you can complain about being booted from the program. Adsense is often called passive income but it shouldn't be that passive. If you're not actively working to maintain your site, I'm not sure you can complain.

As you say, it seems Google has shifted the bar, at least for dormant sites. And as I said, I think that's a good thing.
10:26 pm on July 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Purging inactive or barely active accounts isn't much different from purging inactive Webmail addresses or inactive names on voter-registration lists. It's just a form of maintenance.
11:18 pm on July 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Another aspect re: closing these "inactive" accounts is keeping the money and avoiding the cost of paying out small sums. Sending the email "if you think this is in error" starts a time clock toward "abandoned" and thus keeping those "nickles and dimes" if the account owner does not respond in "x" time period.

Has another beneficial aspect in that if the account owner DOES respond it will kick start them into getting more involved with the program.

I'm not saying this is what is happening. Just saying that I have done this myself in other venues of business where a little bit here and there gets "lost" in the shuffle and something needs be done to clear the books and the outstanding.
1:01 am on July 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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From my perspective I'd be happy to see Google become a lot more selective about who it lets into Adsense.


Agreed.

But it still isn't nice to laugh at people only making pennies from their sites. Everyone starts somewhere.
1:13 am on July 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Will g set the bar high enough that all those potential millions of publishers will not be allowed to play? Not sure. The publishers might make pennies, but g does not---all those pennies add up on their side of the ledger. One of those wait and see what happens kind of things.

If g DOES set the bar that high there will be a back lash for a period of time as the market readjusts and will provide an opening for competition willing to play in "small numbers" at the get go.
5:31 am on July 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I would say this is the start of the pruning. Less ad spots out there, in theory I should get better ads or better pay outs. I think if this were simply abandoned accounts then we wouldn't be hearing as much about it. As Google has more options on their own properties, less spots on websites are needed. This is only the first move but it's only wave one. I've taken the hint a while back and moved my thinking beyond what Google provides me that's for sure. At the very least this is an eye opener. Pink slips on mass scale? It's a first and it's significant any way you slice it. We only have a lot of speculation about things, but at least this is actual evidence. No way this is a one off either.
7:48 am on July 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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But it still isn't nice to laugh at people only making pennies from their sites. Everyone starts somewhere.

But that's the point - they're not starting out, they're effectively finished. These are inactive publishers who don't maintain their sites. One guy was moaning about being deactivated, while boasting that he hadn't updated his site in two years.
1:51 pm on July 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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As Google has more options on their own properties, less spots on websites are needed.

That might have been a reasonable argument in 2004, when AdSense ran only text ads, but it doesn't work in the display-ad era. (Google Search, for example, doesn't run display ads.)
7:18 pm on July 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Google says they're inactive accounts. Which is weird because I have an inactive account (my old personal account) that has a $98 balance, and I didn't get a notice. I need to shut that down, I just never think of it.



Just a thought and question - Has anyone who has been in AdSense from the beginning (or close to the beginning) without any history of problems with AdSense received one of these closure notices?

FarmBoy
7:22 pm on July 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Not such a bad thing in my view. The Adsense ecosystem needs a huge enema.


I basically agree. Wish they had done some purging a lot earlier, whatever this turns out to be.

Maybe if they had been more selective all along, this whole adblocking thing would have been avoided.


FarmBoy
8:18 pm on July 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Looks like a desperate attempt at revenue padding by Google. Erase those payables from the books. And along with it foreign webmasters who earned a few good dollars but for one reason or another won't be able "just to reapply", either because of language barrier or they moved , lost email access etc.

They are grabbing last remaining ad dollars from you and giving to their former employees, friends, family and whoever is on their A, "do not flag" list. In front of your eyes. Keep cheering.
==

>> @MrSavage: $2 to $10 per month can pay for a domain for a year and or domain hosting for a year. I don't see the joke in that.

Agree, some people ARE clueless. Multiply that $50/domain/year by 1000 domains, and you have a good business.

Although never mind, this has been also killed by Google in 2013.

>> @trebuchet: Advertising doesn't exist to pay for hosting for mediocre websites.

So what you are saying is that mediocre scraper site with poor design, no original content and in violation of Google's ad guidelines, Google.com, should not exist?
9:31 pm on July 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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All of this is interesting speculation based on a very small amount of info. I can't see that evergreen sites (fixed content which do NOT require updating) should, by that criteria, be dumped as "inactive". That wouldn't make sense. What I'd like to know is what criteria g is using to determine "inactive" and, more importantly, what is the remaining unpaid balance in those various accounts (remembering the threshold for payouts).
1:54 am on July 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@Farmboy
Has anyone who has been in AdSense from the beginning (or close to the beginning) without any history of problems with AdSense received one of these closure notices?

NO!
2:56 am on July 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Agree, some people ARE clueless. Multiply that $50/domain/year by 1000 domains, and you have a good business.

The only "clueless" people here are those who cannot read, or those who post without first researching. Google is closing INACTIVE accounts that are not being managed, accessed or updated AND are not generating enough to meet minimum payout figures. If you are banking $50,000 a year from Adsense then clearly your account is not inactive.
3:12 am on July 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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INACTIVE accounts that are not being managed, accessed or updated AND are not generating enough to meet minimum payout figures.

By that criteria, G is going to pocket all the small change from many thousands of sites who initially bought into the "set it and forget it" paradigm of early adsense. That unmet minimum payout is not chump change. To g, of course!

Not meant to start a fight. There's two sides to every story and in this one g is clearing off the non-earning which will free up space for more active/current sites ... and clear off an increasingly enormous accounting headache wherein some bought into the program with good heart and failed to earn enough to make a paycheck.

This also precedes a new TOS for existing (mark my words) in the near future and those banking $50k/yr might find themselves on the short side as "too small" for the full bit.

Nature of the beast. The strong get stronger and that's the way it works. The market place as it is today is spread too thin for either advertisers or the publishers. Advertisers want results they can rely on and publishers want better ads instead of pennies per. And g is in the middle, making bucks, either way.
3:40 am on July 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@tangor, I agree. There is some financial benefit to Google in hoovering up all these dollar and penny accounts. Also an administrative benefit, making the ecosystem slightly smaller and slightly easier to manage. I don't think advertisers would disapprove. They want their ad copy appearing on busy, active, well maintained sites - not sites that have failed to attract an audience despite being around for years.

We all love Adsense because it's open and democratic. Anyone can join and if you're good enough you can make a few bucks. But not everyone is good enough and I don't think Adsense or their advertisers are bound to humour them endlessly.
3:41 am on July 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I wonder how many of these inactive accounts have even seen the notice in their email? I know a few small (more or less abandoned) evergreen sites where the publisher doesn't even check email on a regular basis.
5:22 am on July 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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With regards to Google keeping the money from all these accounts, on the Marketingland link that Netmeg posted the notification email from Google states that there will be a final payout for any account affected with a balance of more than $10.

Obviously they are still going to rake it in from all the accounts with a balance of under $10 but the usual minimum monthly payout threshold does not apply.
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