how I got kicked out of google adsense

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)…


  1. I have a similar experience, not with my weblog but with a business information service in China ( We combine that website with an email mailing list that goes a few times a week to about 15,000 subscribers, so that would obvious cause some extra traffic each time. So, the service was kicked out of manipulating traffic. We decided not to put effort in doing something about it, the revenue stream was not that interesting, but it did annoy the hell out of me.

  2. Robin,
    Sorry to hear you’ve been kicked out of Adsense.
    I hope this is not due to the use of Blogbar; I think not, and I’ll try to explain it on our blog. I’m doing it on our blog right now so that everybody using Blogbar can have a look at it (not to steal you trafic ;) and because it’s easier to make hyperlinks on our blog engine than here.
    Check the trackback above in a short while, hope it’ll solve any misunderstanding and that you’ll be convinced. Anyway, I’ll check both our comments (on Blogbar’s blog and here) to continue the conversation if need be,

  3. If you haven’t already, do check out the response from blogbar to this post. I’m really impressed at how quick they were to respond and on their own site which – much credit to them – does a lot to make me trust them.
    I’ve dug through the Google Adsense T’s and C’s and have come up with seemingly contradictory information there. Section 2 says:
    If You have elected to receive Search Results, You will display on Your Site(s) a Google search box (a “Search Box”) in accordance with the specifications provided by Google.
    This seems to me to be saying that you have to use the code supplied by google. But later on the page, in section 5, it says:
    (vi) directly or indirectly access, launch, and/or activate Ads, Links, Search Results, or Referral Buttons through or from, or otherwise incorporate the Ads, Links, Search Results, or Referral Buttons in, any software application, Web site, or other means other than Your Site(s), and then only to the extent expressly permitted by this Agreement
    This isn’t really clear to me. Is using a new interface to access the google search in violation of this clause? I’m not sure.
    It could, of course, be that I fell foul of some other rule but, as I said in my original post, I don’t know because Google won’t tell me. My Data Subject Access is in the post which gives Google 14 days, + a day or two to recieve the letter, to send me the info requested… more soon.

  4. Good luck with google – does sound a bit harsh…
    However – i think the DPA subject access request has a 40 day time limit for them to reply, however, isn’t it possible that your data is held by Google and not Google UK hence they won’t need to respond?

  5. You might be right Jon. I’m not sure if the data is held in the UK or US or whether that matters (???). Maybe someone else who comes across this post will know how that affects their need to comply with my subject access request.

  6. Google Adsense – flagship of contextual advertising! Really the best webmaster program for earning money..

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