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Have you Experienced This with Adsense?

     
4:18 pm on Oct 26, 2017 (gmt 0)

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First off, I'm not brand new to the forum, I changed my computer, and lost access to a bunch of autofilled logins I can't remember.
So, I can't log in here, or the email used here originally. I'll probably need Admin help for that. Original name = Mr_Jefe.


That's not what this thread is about, though. Forgive the long post incoming.

Yesterday morning, I got hit with a site level violation which stopped ad serving to the site.
I have had Adsense on this site since it was launched approximately five years ago. My Adsense account is about 9 years old.

So far, I have put in 5 review requests, all of which have been turned down a few hours later, with a generic response.
The violation they're going with is:

"Content that enables dishonest behavior"

On the Adsense content policy page, this is described as:

We value honesty and fairness, so Google ads may not be placed on pages with content that helps users to mislead others. Examples:

Content that promotes creating fake or false documents such as passports, diplomas, or accreditation;
Content that promotes creation of fake or false identities;
Sale or distribution of term papers, paper-writing or exam-taking services;
Information or products for passing drug tests;
Content that promotes fraudulent activity


The site in question does not remotely engage in any such activity. It is a comedy and humor site. It features video comedy skits, jokes (family friendly) etc.
A lot of the content gets submitted by the video creators, and some we just post as embedded Youtube links, along with our write up or commentary.

Only content from one comedian is available for download on the site, as well as streaming the embedded Youtube link.
We are authorized by the comedian to do so.

All other videos present on the site are only embedded.

The two links they provided as examples of the violation happen to be of this particular comedian's skits.
So my guess was the download links triggered them.

I sent in the first review request, letting them know we are authorized to make the skits available for download.
I thought they would then request proof or something. Instead, they sent this:

We received your appeal request but we noticed that the URL submitted in the form leads to a page that doesn't have any AdSense ad code on it. Before we can consider your appeal, you'll need to make sure to include the URL of a page with ad code, even if ad serving to your site (site name) is temporarily disabled.

Once you've re-added AdSense ad code, submit a second appeal by visiting our Help Center. When you submit the appeal, enter the URL of the page with ad code into the "Affected Site URL" field.

Alternatively, if you permanently removed all ad code from the non-compliant page then please provide an example of a compliant page in your site with ad code in the appeal form. Lastly, if you all delete AdSense ad code from your entire site and you no longer intend to use AdSense on the site in the future, then you don't need to submit an appeal.

You can find more detailed information in our help center regarding AdSense program policies.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team


I added the code back to the pages they deemed in violation, removed the download links on the page and sent another review request.
I got this:



Hello,

Thank you for submitting an appeal. However, after thoroughly reviewing (site name) and taking your feedback into consideration, we are unable to enable ad serving to your site again at this time, as your site appears to still be in violation.

Example page where violation occurred: (URL)


As stated in our program policies, Google ads may not be placed on pages with content that helps users to mislead others. This includes, but is not limited to, content that promotes creating fake or false documents, information or products for passing drug tests, and content that promotes fraudulent activity.

Please take some time to review your site again for compliance. When making changes, please note that the URL mentioned in your policy notification may be just one example and that similar violations may exist on other pages of your website. Appropriate changes must be made across your entire website before ad serving can be enabled on your site again.

If you'd like to have your site reconsidered for participation in the AdSense programme, please review our programme policies and make any necessary changes to your webpages.

Once you've fully resolved any issues with your site, please review this Help Centre article to learn more about how to create a successful appeal.

We appreciate your cooperation.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team



I sent three requests following these, and received the exact response as the one above.
In the last one, I asked if they could tell me the specific violation, and I will resolve it immediately. I got the same canned response above.

The "additional info" field in the request form only allows 120 characters (about 20 words). So you can't even present a detailed case, or ask a detailed question.

This is frustrating, to put it mildly.
They have no way to be contacted, even by email and they won't handle the review communication in human form.
Just some dude clicking drop-down menu responses and moving on to the next.

My Adsense account is not affected, just that site.

Has anyone experienced something similar and been able to get a hold of someone that could do something?
4:35 pm on Oct 26, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Just wondering... does the comedian mention any of those "misleading" behaviours in his skits, even in jest? It could be that someone's grandma viewed the videos and reported this to Adsense.

Whatever the reason, you have my sympathy. Adsense is appalling at providing this kind of information. I went through a similarly arduous process after receiving a warning for "encouraging accidental clicks". After a week of scrutinising code, cross-browser testing, etc. I still couldn't find the problem and they would not offer any specifics.
4:45 pm on Oct 26, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I thought the same thing too, but watched the skit on the page they gave multiple times to see if it was that.
There was nothing to indicate "misleading" or even questionable activity in it.

I just don't understand the rationale for this kind of communication (or lack thereof) from a major corporation.
Tell people exactly what the problem is, and they can effectively resolve it right away. Won't that just make the ecosystem run smoother?
12:53 pm on Oct 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Just wanted to update this thread to say ad serving was re-instated on the site.

All I did was completely delete the two posts they offered as violation examples in the policy center. Then I re-submitted the review request stating I had deleted those pages.

It was re-instated about two hours after the review request was sent.
1:25 pm on Oct 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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maybe you were just dealing with a computer all along, rather than a human, and it was only ever going to accept one solution: deleting them. it's probably not set up to understand your other replies
8:52 pm on Oct 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@iondrum
Yeah, I was thinking the exact same thing.
Either way, good thing that got squared away sooner than later.
1:10 am on Oct 30, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Jefe,
Did you mention any URL in the option ?
10:09 am on Nov 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@995amit

I'm not sure exactly what your question is, but in the final review request, I only entered that I had deleted both URLs they specified.
I did not include the URLs, as they already have them.
8:01 pm on Nov 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I've seen this kind of thing before. Removing the offending content is easier and faster than talking it over.
3:06 pm on Nov 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Got one of those violation e-mails today for the DNS history of a domain name. Sometimes I wonder about Google and their abject cluelessness about domain names.

Regards...jmcc
12:32 pm on Nov 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@jmcc

What violation classification did they file that under?
12:56 pm on Nov 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The people in Google are not the brightest despite what their PR says.

"False claims of downloadable or streaming content
- Linking to content that does not exist
- Redirecting users to irrelevant and/or misleading webpages
- Text on a page unrelated to the topic and/or business model of the
website."

This was the domain name hosting history for the a domain name with the word "video" in it (registration date, nameservers, nameserver changes, deletion date). The site has the domain name hosting history for over 500,000,000 domain names going back to 2000. It doesn't redirect or link to other sites apart from the official registry WHOIS lookups. It might have been an automated flagging though I don't hold Google's domain name expertise in high regard given the absolute mess these people have made of Google's new gTLDs. If it wasn't an automated flagging then the individual responsible should not be allowed on the internet without adult supervision.

Bear in mind that Google is so clueful about domain names that it managed to sell "google.com" for $12 to someone because its own registrar software wasn't properly tested.

Regards...jmcc
4:41 pm on Nov 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, a healthy portion of their flags and violation strikes seem insane.

Another aspect of it is Google crowdsources a crap ton of these things on crowd-work sites like Mechanical Turk etc.
The people being tasked to review and flag things are clueless about any of it, and just click through as fast as possible.
The faster they go through them, the more money they make.

Same as Youtube content. They're constantly posted there for random people to flag for "adult content," "offensive content" etc.
When one moron clicks whatever option as fast as possible, the poor content creator gets their video pulled and demonetized, pending further review.

It's a messed up system.