30 Aug 2006
Yesterday I received an email from Google Adsense telling me that I had been kicked out of the programme.
I’ve been using Adsense to monetize my blog and other websites for about a year now and have been pleased with the results. Not only did it pay for typepad, hosting of the old site, and my monthly broadband bill it also sometimes generated a little bit of a surplus which I was able to use to do things like give away a free flickr pro account and help pay for the wemedia fringe venue. I’d link to the posts but I can’t currently find them on my own site because Google has deactivated my site search too.
I appealed by following a link in the original email from google and today I got back this response to my appeal:
…After receiving your response, we re-reviewed your account data thoroughly. We have reconfirmed that invalid clicks were generated on the ads on your site in violation of our Terms and Conditions and programme policies…
Fair enough – if they’d simply provide some evidence – but they haven’t. Not one shred. Not a single indication of why I was kicked out of the adsense programme.
I’ve got a few ideas why I might have been kicked out. The first of which is unexplainable, at least by me:
- I had a look at my adsense revenue for the month of August the other day and it was indeed higher than for the previous month. I reckon there would have been, by the end of August, a 200% increase month on month from July to August. I didn’t click ads on my own site at anytime but it is, of course, entirely possible that some idiot sat there clicking ads – nothing to do with me and google should be able to, if this happened, supply me with some IP address or something as evidence.
It’s possible that I did, many months ago, violate the terms and conditions of the programme but it was a long time ago and I really don’t think they’d come after me for it now:
- Around 9 months ago I posted the amount I’d made through google adsense for the month in an attempt to be transparent about this. I realised that this was a grey area of the terms and conditions (I didn’t disclose the click through ratio) and stopped doing this.
I also recently made a slight change to the way my google search works although I figured this was fine – maybe mistakenly:
- I recently installed a thing called "blogbar" on my site. It’s that nice looking search box in the top right corner. I installed this after I had noticed the increased ad revenue for the month so it didn’t directly contribute to that. Within about two days of installing blogbar, my adsense account was closed. Blogbar has extensive information on integrating their blog widget with adsense so I assumed they’d taken the time to sort things out with Google, but had they and, if not, is this the reason I got kicked out of Adsense? I’m sending blogbar a link to this post so watch the commentspace below…
And finally, I might not have done anything wrong but, instead, have been the victim of a malicious attack:
- A couple of months ago I blogged about a spam blog that was republishing my content and my attempts to get it shut down by contacting it’s ISP, domain name host and google adsense. I hate to sound paranoid – but maybe I should be.
That’s all I can think of but, as I wrote above, I honestly don’t know why I got kicked out of adsense because Google won’t tell me. So can I force them to? I’m going to try to use the Data Protection Act (alternatively see this pdf on your rights under the DPA) to force Google to disclose what information they hold on me and how that information is used. I’ll let you know how I get on with that. If anyone has other ideas as to how I can find out what, if any, evidence of wrong-doing google might have with regards to my adsense account, do get in touch.
In the meantime, I’ve switched over to Swicki for my site search and I’m looking for some other way to pay for typepad, and cover my hosting costs and broadband access. It’s not a huge amount of money but I think it’s worth trying to keep the blog paying for itself if at all possible. Let me know if you have some ideas (like this)…