Ah, Google Adsense, we hardly knew ye!
2007-05-18 adsense

In an entirely unexpected development, Google has decided to terminate my Adsense account. Not sure why, but my God! Whatever shall I do without the scads of money rolling in from my vast Internet empire?

Seriously, given that I wrote most of the content on this site years ago, it wasn't bad getting a few bucks for free every month, but it was strictly recreational book-buying money. Nothing to write home about. But tonight I am profoundly glad that I didn't make the time to bring in ad-revenue traffic. If I were depending on Google for my livelihood, I would be in a world of hurt with absolutely no recourse whatsoever.

Here's what their email said:

Hello Michael Roberts,

It has come to our attention that invalid clicks and/or impressions have been generated on the Google ads on your site(s). We have therefore disabled your Google AdSense account. Please understand that this was a necessary step to protect the interests of AdWords advertisers.

As you may know, a publisher's site may not have invalid clicks or impressions on any ad(s), including but not limited to clicks and/or impressions generated by:

- a publisher on his own web pages - a publisher encouraging others to click on his ads - automated clicking or surfing programs, or any other deceptive software - a publisher altering any portion of the ad code or changing the layout, behavior, targeting, or delivery of ads for any reason

These or any other such activities that violate Google AdSense Terms and Conditions and program polices may have led us to disable your account. The Terms and Conditions and program polices can be viewed at:

https://www.google.com/adsense/localized-terms?hl=en_US https://www.google.com/adsense/policies?hl=en_US

If you have any questions about invalid activity or the action taken on your account, please do not reply to this email. You can find more information by visiting https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=57153.


The Google AdSense Team

Wow. I'm underwhelmed -- this gives me absolutely no information whatsoever as to what might have happened. Now, since my daughter has been in the hospital this week, I really haven't been online much at all. So whatever did happen, I know it wasn't me.

So I thought, OK, I'll appeal it, what the hey? Here's what the appeal form looks like (bolding is mine):

As you know, Google treats instances of invalid clicks very seriously. By disabling your account, we feel that we have taken the necessary measures to ensure that invalid clicks will not continue to occur on your site. Due to the proprietary nature of our monitoring system, we're not able to disclose any specific details of these clicks.

Publishers disabled for invalid click activity are not allowed further participation in Google AdSense. However, if you can maintain in good faith that the invalid clicks we detected on your ads were not due to your actions or negligence, or the actions or negligence of others working for you, you may appeal the closing of your account.

Google reserves sole discretion in considering whether to take any action on an appeal.

In order to appeal the disabling of your account, please supply us with the details requested below. We're unable to consider appeals that do not contain all of this information:

Company's name (If applicable):

AdSense Login (Email Address):

Publisher ID:

located in the AdSense code on your website with the format, pub-################

Date Account was disabled:

Who are the intended users of your site?:

What is the source of your site's content?:

How often do you update your site?:

How do users get to your site? (How do you promote your site?):

How many people are involved with the administration of the site? :

Any relevant information that you believe would explain the invalid click activity we detected

Any data in your weblogs or reports that indicate suspicious IP addresses, referrers, or requests:

And then the button for the appeal form: Submit. Yeah. Never has that default text seemed so appropriate. But what sort of floors me is that the entire exchange is like this:

Google: We're cutting you off. Have a nice day!
Me: Wh-- what? Who? Why would you do that?
Google: We don't know. Do you have any relevant information which could explain our unilateral and arbitrary action?
Me: Yeah. I got your relevant information right here!

A deeply disappointing experience.

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