Perhaps you have noticed that the ads that appeared on the right and at the bottom of the posts have not been there in recent days, and now look different. Perhaps you didn’t. Perhaps you are saying “What ads?”
Google Adsense notified me a few days ago that my account was suspended and that they were taking back the 66 dollars and some-odd cents that I had earned so far. Why? This is the best part: they won’t tell me. They say that if they tell me why it was suspended that will reveal too much about their (and I am quoting) “proprietary detection techniques.”
They have an online appeals process. You fill out a form and get a response on whether the appeal was granted or denied. Part of the form asks questions such as if I had noticed any suspicious activity on the blog, but they don’t explain what they consider that to be. It also gives you the opportunity to address the reason the account was suspended – except that since you don’t know why it happened, there’s not much you can do to address it. My appeal was denied.
One of the things Google Adsense tells you when you look into whether you should have their ads on your blog is that they won’t tell you how much money you might make because of variables in the program. They literally say that the best way to find out is to put the ads there and see how much money comes in. That’s like saying the best way to find out how deep the pool is, is to just dive in. Well, I dove in and found that the pool was too shallow for me.
Perhaps they didn’t like the content (the suspension notice and the appeals rejection both came within hours of the last two times I posted new content – four days apart.) Perhaps I didn’t get enough traffic. Perhaps since the traffic I did get came in spikes it was not regular enough for them, or the spikes triggered some computer algorithm. Perhaps I shouldn’t have told that penniless Nigerian prince who contacted me that I would help him recover his family fortune if he clicked on the ads on my blog. I could speculate all day and might not get close to the truth.
The simple fact of the matter is that according to the agreement that Google Adsense presents to you, they have every legal right to cancel any account, for any reason, at any time. The suspension literally came hours after I had made my 100th post. Is that a trigger for review? Who knows?
(My gut feeling is a computer algorithm got triggered by the spikes in activity. I once spent 20 minutes in a store verifying my identity because my credit card purchase had triggered a bank’s algorithm for invalid purchase activity and I was about to be arrested. As you can imagine, this was not a positive experience. Once the bank agreed I was the valid owner and let the purchase go through, I cut up their credit card and told them to cancel the account.)
I’m not angry about the suspension. I’ve got to laugh about it. Oh sure, there was five minutes or so where I was all “I shall build this site to hundreds of thousands of followers and Adsense will regret ever tossing me aside! Mwaa-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah!” (cue lighting flashing and thunder crashing outside my window.) I quickly got over this and just kept the (now less maniacal) laughter.
I’d like to thank everyone who did click on ads now and then (especially you, Mr. Robert Mbuto – good luck with your family fortune.)
Anyway, I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. What this means is that if you buy something from Amazon after following a link from this blog then I get a small percentage of the sale, and it costs you nothing extra.
I’ve replaced the Adsense ads with Amazon ads and I still have the Amazon links at the bottom of the posts that allow you to easily purchase a movie or book that I have recommended. If something looks interesting to you then please consider following one of these links to make your purchase(s) from Amazon. To be clear, these links do not mean that Amazon supports or endorses my recommendations.
Finally, a note for any lawyers with no senses of humor – the Nigerian prince stuff is a joke. I didn’t pay anybody to click on the ads on my site. For any lawyers with senses of humor, here’s one you may have heard a few hundred times – Why don’t sharks bite lawyers? Professional courtesy.