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Summary:

Google comes down hard on publishers who abuse its AdSense program — so much so that innocent publishers who run afoul of the rules can feel like they’re in a Kafka novel. Now, the company is trying to improve the rules and appeals process.

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Google’s AdSense program, which lets publishers earn extra money by putting ads on their sites, has long been a money machine for the company and its partners. But publishers who innocently run afoul of AdSense policies can find themselves quickly — and sometimes inexplicably — thrown out of the lucrative program.

Google is now responding to publisher complaints with a new AdSense education program that features videos and more detailed guidelines about “bad clicks.”  The company is also proposing a “tenure” program to ensure the accounts of trusted publishers will only be suspended, not terminated, when suspicious activities occur.

The new features, described in a blog post Wednesday morning, include video tutorials and are part of Google’s ongoing efforts to protect the integrity of its valuable advertising machinery. In 2006, the company settled a class action case brought by advertisers over “click fraud” — when unscrupulous publishers use tricks to rack up fake clicks on their ads.

Google refunds the money if advertisers pay for fake clicks but the company also has harsh policies to punish publishers who abuse the system. In recent years, however, some publishers have complained that the system is over-vigilant and that the appeals process is flawed — a process Google itself acknowledges.

“We’ve heard from publishers that it can be distressing, that they’re trapped in Kafka’s The Trial,” said AdSense product management director, Jonathan Bellack, in a phone interview.

Bellack did not disclose if Google will devote more people to AdSense oversight but said the new tools would make the rules and appeals process easier to understand. The rules themselves cover not just fake clicks but also things like placing too many ads on a page or placing ads to closely to text links.

  1. This problem hit me close to a year ago. I had an adsense account for a long time and had only made $100 or so from it over a couple of years and I was about $75 on my next $100 check when they killed my account. Their reasoning? They said it was because it MIGHT be possible to abuse the account. They didn’t say it was being abused and I watched my impressions/click traffic really closely so I know there wasn’t any click fraud going on but just because it may have been possible to abuse my account, they killed it and my attempt to appeal it was fruitless despite the fact that their guide says they will work with publishers to fix problems. They gave no technical details as to what triggered the killing of my account or anything. It was one of the most frustrating processes I have ever been through, especially when it took a month just to hear back on the appeal.

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  2. yes – nothing is more damaging than dealing with the likes of mega corporations … be it cable or telephone or gas and electric ….
    it is called calculated neglect … they’ll even absorb penalties and fines while screwing the consumers who make them rich …

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  3. Jessica FantasyStockings Sunday, December 9, 2012

    I hear that people get their Adsense closed down all the time.
    I have it on my own blog too, it works OK, but I feel that sometimes the ads they play don’t make too much sense in terms of being relevant to my content.

    Jessica
    http://www.fantasystockings.com

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