Tuesday, October 4, 2011

AdSense random(?) account terminations

I've got a friend who is the admin of a big unofficial university forum. Until now, the mods and admins were paying for the server expenses themselves but with the Greek crisis and the constantly growing userbase of the forum, that was no longer possible. So they decided to put some ads on the forum. They started with adf.ly but the  money was not that much (using banner ads for outgoing links) so they removed it. I suggested they go for AdSense since I was using on this blog for years with no problems (although I haven't yet reached the money needed for a postal check payment).

AdSense was making some good money for them. They were going to make more than the server costs and they would be able to keep the extra to cover future server expenses. Until one day the AdSense account was disabled for "suspicious clicks" or something like that.

And now I wonder if Google is trying to make money by randomly closing accounts, which I doubt since stopping cooperations like that will eventually make you loose money both for making a bad name for yourself and because closing an account means that you loose precious placements for your ad network. So what is going on? Do their algorithms suck? Are they giving false positives? Because I am 100% sure that my friend wasn't clicking on the links. I had stressed a million times that doing so would get his account banned and I got him scared enough to watch every click he made in the forums not to accidentally click an ad. He also told every moderator not to click on ads without a reason. To our knowledge there was a mod that was clicking on some ads because Google was showing ads that he considered really interesting so those were genuine clicks. Even if Google thought that those weren't genuine clicks, he was a moderator so he should look like a normal forum member as far as Google is concerned. He was not connected to the AdSense account in any way.
I a few words: no one had access to that Adsense account and the admin who had access never clicked on an ad.

After asking for account reopening they answered that the clicks were examined by both a program and a human and that future communications regarding the issue will be IGNORED. How rude! And how can a human give false positives? I can only suppose that someone, a moderator or a simple user, did a lot of clicks but since it wasn't the administrator, and since there was nothing in the forum asking people to click on the ads why are they closing down the account, practically stealing the 40 euros in the balance? If they doubted the legitimacy of some clicks they could simply not pay for those clicks instead, or at least give a warning with advice on the actions the admin should take! They behavior is practically driving people away!

No wonder why people all over the internet are complaining about absurd account terminations in AdSense and not in other ad networks. After reading all those complaints I removed AdSense from my blog and I replaced it with adf.ly. My friend is considering adBrite and infolinks. I still haven't tried either but I am waiting for approval on infolinks to test it out.

Oh and to give them some credibility, adf.ly actually paid my friend, so I think you can trust them.

Popular Posts