here we go again, a rant, and some nice things

I have a rant, but I’ll leave that til later in the post. Let’s start with nice things first, eh? Barack Obama gave a Presidential pardon for wagging to a 10 yr-old girl. She’d gone to a town-hall meeting with her Dad, and when he was asking a question and mentioned she was there, Barack offered to write a note.

The Pirate Party took 7% of vote in Sweden (yay Pirate Bay!!) for EU elections. Yep, that’s right, having been “convicted” in court by judges and a prosecution who didn’t even what the crime was (or if there was one) the Pirate Party (an offshoot of The Pirate Bay) went to the people on a platform of internet file-sharing freedom and got a seat!!! This girl obviously has the stupidest mother at a retail store (courtesy of notalwaysright). You have to read it to believe, and even then you may not.

Well, the open home type visitors never showed after all that work. Agent rang an hour or two before-hand to say they weren’t coming….at least the house is real tidy now.

And now for the rant (I may retract some of it later, but the point still needs to be made!). I received an email from Google advising me that my Adsense account has been deactivated due to activity which “has posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers”. Now, first off, this activity which “has posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers” is unspecified, because to tell me what I’ve quote done unquote is not possible

[b]ecause we have a need to protect our proprietary detection system….we’re unable to provide our publishers with any information about their account activity, including any web pages, users, or third-party services that may have been involved.

From this I can only surmise that I have been rigging my site to cheat.

Interesting!!! Because, I haven’t launched yet, my site doesn’t exist, no-one uses it….in fact, I have two domain names, which are both currently administered by Google by being pointed at Google’s DNS so they can display Adsense for Domains. I don’t visit them at all, because they are just holding at present. I also have a site in development on two of my localhost servers, but only I get to them and I don’t click on the ads (trust me, I don’t).

OK, so it happens, I can appeal the disabling and….this is the interesting part (and I know I signed the usage T&C, so I’m not saying Google’s “broken the rules” – I’m purely ranting about their application of the rules)…. they will review my disabling and tell me within 48 hours (24 down, 24 to go) the outcome. I get NO discussion, NO appeal to that decision, and NO IDEA what the original problem actually is!! I am never ever ever allowed another AdSense account again in my life!! Not only that, but they may disable other AdSense accounts that they feel are “related” to mine….again,

we’re unable to provide our publishers with any information about relations we find between publishers’ accounts

and they also remind me that:

Google reserves the right to disable an account for any reason

Yep, that’s right, you got it. According to this, if Google decides that “your name is funny”, “you’re about to earn too much money”, “today is not your day”, or even “today is a day ending in ‘y’ ” they can just cancel your account, keep the money, and you’ve agreed to it. Hmmmm, I think to myself, I signed up and accepted those terms figuring that I wouldn’t cheat, so all would be well; you know the rules are there to catch bad guys, and Google’s clever enough to weed through the problem sites. So far, not so. I thought to myself, what would happen if Google disabled my account just before payday?? A search online found quite a few similar issues including this one and this one(also this one). From the second one:

Google has seemed to have found loopholes to do shady business all around the globe. You don’t have to search far or ask around and you will find numerous publishers and advertisers who have been ripped off by google adsense and adwords. When I first put the google ads on my site I was warned by more than a few people that they would let me build up revenue and right before payment time they would disable my account for some reason. So I thought they would not really do that unless I was breaking some terms or was clicking my own ads repeatedly. Well to make a long story short they disabled the account due to invalid clicks. We average around 1000-1500 hits per day and only received around 5-10 google adsense clicks a day so that is hardly invalid clicks. I filed an appeal and all I received was automated replies saying my account was reviewed and invalid activuty was found.

Now, I’m actually tending towards the attitude of the first guy, because he actually sounds rational and not chasing the big internet conspiracy angle. I honestly don’t believe Google is running a scam with AdSense, I just don’t think it is best handling all scenarios. Based on the first link, and his upswing of 169 clicks one day, I do recall having similar on one of my Google served pages about two months ago (he was disabled within days, so I’m not sure if that links??), so I’m going to wait and see how the appeal goes, and if unsuccessful, write in like his letter. My biggest concern remaining though, is that if a one day surge of a few (or few hundred) clicks can justify disabling an AdSense account, as my first link says:

I can go to any website that features Google ads and start clicking on ads non-stop for a few hours – you will have to disable the AdSense account on that website. So any malicious user can make bring someone’s source of legitimate revenue down.

Meanwhile, I have done some research and found a few other ad providers, unfortunately they use targeted ads, but not real-time targeted ads:

Now, I am not endorsing any of the above services, however I was glad to find a reasonable set of options so quickly, and I would prefer to stay with Google, but we’ll see.

Edit: 16.06.09 – well, I got my reply back from Google AdSense, apparently I am the evil-doer and I am posing a “significant risk to [their] advertisers”. I have replied to this with a link to my previous mentioned article in the hopes that they see the light, but I’m not holding my breath. I still reiterate the point made by Stason, that any malicious user has the ability to cause a new (or possibly even, established) user of AdSense to have their account disabled by simply visiting it and clicking the links “excessively”. As I said, I did have a flurry of clicks a few months ago, which has probably triggered this. I’ve offered to not accept the pile of cash this generated ($1 !!) and asked Google to review my overall history, as I don’t feel that I have been profiteering at all and I know that I haven’t been illegally clicking my links.

Best I end on something a bit more light-hearted though….the Men’s ! Liberation Front (M!LF):

and my favourite of the “Intel – Sponsors of Tomorrow” ads:

Peace out.

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About Cameron
I'm a final year Computer Science/Information Systems major. Already finished my BA in Politics/Philosophy. I do web and software freelance on the side, while I finish studying. Hoping to be self-employed by the end of my degree, otherwise off into the real-world I go....

3 Responses to here we go again, a rant, and some nice things

  1. Pingback: another day dawns « whileloop

  2. Duane Haas says:

    hey cameron! Do you own whileloop.com? I went to that and noticed that it sends me to a google login page. Maybe they think you are mooching off of a google page by having whileloop.wordpress.com. I dunno just trying to get you some help. Google is the 900 lb gorilla, but there are plenty of ad networks to make some money. I am using two different ones with google and technoratimedia.com. Good luck with your sites Cameron!

    Duane

  3. Pingback: it’s been a while « whileloop

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