“Google Banned my Adsense Account”… Yeah, You’re Screwed
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Thousands of people have the same question: “Google banned my Adsense account but I did nothing wrong… What happened?” Let me tell you what happened and why you’re screwed.
I was talking this past weekend to two acquaintances who both had their Google Adsense accounts banned. When you get your account banned the process is you will get a cryptic email telling you the account is banned and then telling you either a vague reason why, or a vague couple of possible reasons why. What is very frustrating for people is that Google will never tell you exactly what your account got the ban hammer. And if you own white hat websites, you try to build useful sites with unique content and good information you feel like you got sucker punched and there’s nothing you can do about it.
In talking to these two guys I tried asking them about their websites, their Adsense stats and whatever else I could glean from them. I also went onto Google (oh the irony) and searched to find articles, comments, and blog posts about this topic and I came up with a few of the common reasons why your Adsense account got banned. I also learned that almost everyone who tried to dispute this and get their Adsense account back failed without so much as a reply from Google. Oh the hubris Google. If you try to find a contact number or email to talk to someone about your Adsense ban don’t bother. You won’t find anything. In fact, you will go through a loop on the Adsense policy FAQS. They simply won’t talk to anyone one on one about this. And the kick in the balls is that whatever money your Adsense account had earned in the last month that has not been paid out yet, plus the money you’ve earned this month so far… well, neither is coming your way. In the email Google tells you that they are returning the money to the advertisers. Imagine if you did nothing wrong and was waiting on a $10,000 paycheck in the next week and then you are told you aren’t getting that or the $5,000 you’ve earned so far this month. I read one blog post from a guy that this happened to. Google did not pay out the $15k and they did not give him a solid reason why. It must be good to make your own rules and not have to care about anyone else.
So let’s talk about some of the reasons why your Adsense account may have been banned according to my findings.
1. Someone is fraudulently clicking the ads on your site. If this is you than shame on you, you deserve to lose your Adsense account. But if it is not you but a jealous competitor, ex-girlfriend, or that kid you picked on in the 3rd grade than this really sucks for you. You are losing out on money that you earned and did not wrong. Seems like this should not be legal, but then again you agreed to the Adsense terms and conditions and when you check that box you are giving Google 1000% control.
2. You are using MFA (Made for Adsense sites). These are thin 5 page sites which are made specifically by you to try to monetize Adsense. If you provide 5 great articles I don’t have a problem with this but Google still does. Does not seem fair to me but than again, you signed the terms and conditions so you are powerless.
3. You own too many sites. This is either truth or an urban legend (only Google can say) but one of the guys I was talking to this weekend had 300 sites and his belief is that Google doesn’t like that and they banned his account. What makes no sense to me is that if I’m Google, I’d love a guy with 300 sites because that is 300 more opportunities for me to generate revenue. This too many sites claim is very popular among people out there so I’m not sure if this one is fact or fiction.
4. Your click through rate is too high. The second guy I was talking to had amazing click through rate… somewhere in the neighborhood of 25%. The average clickthrough rate is something like 2-3%. When Google sees a high clickthrough rate are they assuming that is must be fraudulent activity? In this guy’s case it was not, he found a niche where the advertisers created very enticing ads that solved a problem for people. He put the ads at the top of his site and at the bottom of his site. When people landed on his site a lot of them clicked the ad at the top right away because the ad drove clicks. In his site he gave good informative articles which were filled with great information, but people wanted a solution, and he could not offer them a solution and so when they finished the article they would click the ad at the bottom of his site. An example of this (don’t want to give away his niche) but if you want to have a mole removed. He would have an article about all the possible treatments to have a mole removed, but he didn’t have a product he was selling and he wasn’t a doctor offering this service, so people clicked the ads because the ads promised a solution. This was a strategy he developed by focusing in on action niches that naturally and organically resulted in clickthroughs and he got the ban hammer as a result. I understand he signed the terms and conditions but at what point does it become too much and someone needs to step up to Google and require some accountability on their end. People are working hard to build an online business and it can all be gone without explanation because Google feels like it.
What is hard for people to swallow is after they get the Adsense account ban there is not great alternative that they can easily switch to in order to monetize their site. The other ad companies like Google are very weak. Amazon or Commission Junction are much harder to integrate through a site to maximize effectiveness and those are only product or service driven and a much smaller variety, and trying to sell ad blocks on your site is a challenge in and of itself unless you have a very popular site.
I also read a blog article about a popular website owner who got banned and Matt Cutts even heard about this and commented that it was a shame. Come to find out a few weeks later his Adsense account is reinstated and his site is serving ads again. I guess if you have some clout than Google will take a look into your issue… I guess for the 99% of us that fall outside this than we are all screwed if Google decides to rain on our parade.
Some people create a new Adsense account. Not sure this is the best move out there. If Google finds out you made another one you will get a quick exit stage left from them. Also, it is pretty big footprint if you are placing Adsense on all the sites that were linked to your other account. But to each is own so if you give this a shot than I wish you well.
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