A 3rd Party CAN Get You Banned From AdSense
Note: This was moved from blogs.digitalpoint.com to here, because well… blogs.digitalpoint.com is no longer a sub-domain we use (user blogs were wiped when we migrated to XenForo).
I’ve heard people claim they were banned from AdSense unfairly for this, that and whatever other reason though the years… and to be honest, I just chalked it up to them doing something they shouldn’t have been and just not admitting it.
Low and behold, it *can* happen to even larger publishers (I believe we were approaching over 1,000,000,000 [yes, billion] AdSense impressions over the years). Note: I can’t confirm the exact number because, well… my AdSense account was disabled.
We get advertising inquires daily and we even go so far as directing people to AdWords and explain to them how to use Site/Placement targeting if they wish to advertise on digitalpoint.com. It’s less money for us, but in the end it’s easier and less to manage. I would guess Google has gained at least 200 NEW AdWords advertisers because of this.
Even more ironic is we actually run the largest AdSense support site to help publishers. Google’s own AdSense support site has 75,783 discussions vs. 760,145 for our AdSense help forum. We’ve even had Google AdSense representatives posting in our forum.
In the last month, we received 30 warnings for running AdSense ads on non-compliant websites (gambling related). These are sites that I don’t own, have no affiliation with, nor do I know who the owner is. I have no idea why someone would want to use my AdSense publisher ID on their site, but I guess that’s beside the point really. AdSense allows you to set a whitelist of your sites just so this doesn’t cause problems. We have used this whitelist for a long time (since we first heard about it), and none of these gambling related sites were on our whitelist.
Hell, I even got an email from Google *because* I use a whitelist (and STILL didn’t turn off the whitelist function)…
Your Allowed Sites settings blocked $220 in earnings last week
We noticed that you’ve been receiving ad activity on sites which aren’t included in your Allowed Sites list. If a URL displaying your AdSense ad code is not on your Allowed Sites list, ads will still be displayed, but you won’t receive any earnings for that URL.
For your reference, sites that display your ad code, but aren’t included in your Allowed Sites list generated roughly $220 from May 2 through May 8.
After seeing a zillion of these notices coming in, I responded and let them know that these are not my sites and that I use their whitelisting feature (and that none of these sites are on my whitelist).
Sarah H. from Google’s AdSense Team responded back a couple weeks later letting me know that, “If that site or URL is not in the Allowed Sites List within your account, no further action is needed and this issue won’t negatively affect your account in any way.“. Alright… no further action is needed.
Fast forward a couple days and I get this email from Google letting me know my account is now disabled because of violations of program policies… specifically, AdSense publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on sites with content related to gambling or casinos. I *still* don’t own a gambling/casino related site (nor have I ever), so I’m assuming it’s related to the 30 warnings I got in the last month for someone else trying to run my publisher ID on their sites.
While I still think the majority of people who claimed to have their AdSense account unfairly terminated are probably just whiners that got caught doing something they shouldn’t be, I can say for 100% certainty now that it can (and clearly does) happen sometimes.
I guess it’s time to finally start managing advertising in-house… Just one more thing to add to the “to-do” list. /sigh