Tuesday, January 11, 2011

*sigh* Ads, Again:

UPDATE 5:08 PM CST: I changed the time on this post to keep it at the top of the blog. There is a new mashup below, though.


After reviewing our records, we've determined that your AdSense account poses a risk of generating invalid activity. Because we have a responsibility to protect our AdWords advertisers from inflated costs due to invalid activity, we've found it necessary to disable your AdSense account. Your outstanding balance and Google's share of the revenue will both be fully refunded back to the affected advertisers.

Please understand that we need to take such steps to maintain the effectiveness of Google's advertising system, particularly the advertiser-publisher relationship. We understand the inconvenience that this may cause you, and we thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

If you have any questions or concerns about the actions we've taken, how you can appeal this decision, or invalid activity in general, you can find more information by visiting http://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=57153.


The Google AdSense Team

Yes, this is all the communication I've gotten on the matter: I have no idea what invalid activity they think my account might be at risk of generating, or why they think it might be at risk of generating any invalid activity at all. They don't, apparently, have to tell you.

Yes, I am unhappy and inconvenienced.

Yes, I have submitted an appeal.

No, I am not particularly understanding or cooperative.


El Gaucho said...

The same thing happened to me. I'm convinced that Google AdSense is just a big legitimate scam. They're more than happy to run ads on your blog, until it comes time to actually pay you, then they're going to find any excuse not to pay you.

And best of luck with your appeal, but I've never heard any anecdotal evidence of anyone ever winning their appeal.

Eric said...

Google has gotten more and more unresponsive to its users in nearly every way. What happened to "Do No Evil"? I stopped using their search engine a few months ago since they wiped out my personal history of search terms because, you know, they know better what I want to search for than I do. Never thought I'd do it, but I moved to Bing for most of my searches and haven't looked back. I hope your appeal works out. I guess we plant people just aren't to be trusted. Grr.

Sentient Meat said...

Could this be the cause? Maybe too large a proportion of your readership is tech-savvy and using ad-blocking software. I'm not sure if that could be tripping their monitors (or what exactly they're measuring).

Apparently, I both AM and AM NOT tech savvy enough. I do run ad blocking software. I also tried to add an exception for PATSP but it still seems to be filtering.

Anonymous said...


I like your blog - it's different and refreshing to read and learn about your plants.

Not tech-savvy so dont know much about this Adsense withdrawal thingy - does it affect you much? If not, WTH, good riddance to them!

mr_subjunctive said...

El Gaucho:

Looks like. I've gone searching for the text of the e-mail they sent, and it does seem to happen a lot, to people who insist they weren't doing anything against the AdSense agreement.


Fleeing Google because it's evil and running to Microsoft as the replacement seems a little questionable to me. I've begun playing with Scroogle as of today, though. May or may not stick with it.

Sentient Meat:

No, they wouldn't care if lots of readers never saw the ads, I don't think. The problem is that they think I'm telling readers to click on the ads even when they're not interested in the products, to get more clicks, and therefore more money, in a way which doesn't benefit the advertisers. Or they think I have an agreement with someone else like, I'll click your ads if you'll click mine, or something like that. That I'm trying to cheat.

Since they don't divulge what makes them think that, or even what gets a blog flagged in the first place, and there's no way to argue against it (aside from the appeal process they provide, which, as El Gaucho says, is probably meaningless anyway), there's no way to argue the point or find out what the problem was or in any way rectify the situation. And, since they don't check for click fraud until after you've gotten enough clicks to be getting a check, you're guaranteed to lose money you thought you were getting, which makes it kind of extra cruel.

On the plus side, I now know how to financially hurt any bloggers I dislike: I just show up daily for a couple months, click lots of ads every visit, and wait for the AdSense bots to decide to flag the blog as a cheater and take away all the AdSense money they've accumulated in the last couple months. Which I guess is useful information to have.


Yes, it affects me. I'm not employed, and this would have meant I'd have money coming in occasionally -- not enough to justify all the time spent on the blog, but at least something.

Eric said...

It was with great reluctance I went to Bing, but after several issues with Google, Chrome, and Google Updater, some of which violated their own terms of agreement, I'd had it with them. Utter unresponsiveness. I'd heard about Scroogle, but hadn't gotten around to trying it yet. Maybe that's an alternative. At least MS is getting very little from me via Bing since I never click on ads and use Firefox and some of its privacy plug-ins. Alas, there is no perfect solution.

Ginny Burton said...

May I just jump in here and do a little cheerleading?

Please note the DONATE button at the top. This man works so hard to entertain and educate us -- don't you think he deserves some monetary thanks? Sending money via Paypal is really easy -- it can come from your bank account or be billed to your credit card. There is no minimum amount, so if you're having a tough time financially, then send just a couple of bucks. How much do you spend on your morning coffee? Netflix? Cable? Come on, y'all! If you don't pay for the things that you enjoy, someday they may be gone.

Kenneth Moore said...

I would really hope that Mr. S doesn't disappear because I haven't yet worked a donation into my budget. I would feel eternal guilt for destroying him and taking his skillful wordplay away from everyone else in the world!

But, no, seriously, I'm much more inclined to donate--maybe for the laugh I got while reading the old Cryptanthus profile last night, or the amazing wealth of information and quirky insight that I relish on a regular basis?

Yeah, y'all, he so worth it.

Derek said...

Same thing happened to be back in the day. http://www.powazek.com/2003/10/000215.html

If you complain loud enough they may reinstate you. It's arbitrary and opaque and annoying. And unfortunately they're really the only game in town.