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Banned from AdSense and AdMob

Earlier this week, I decided to log into the AdSense dashboard and was greeted with a message that said:

Account Disabled
Your AdSense account for this login is currently disabled. We recommend checking your email inboxes for any messages we may have sent you regarding your account status. Sometimes our messages can be caught by email filters, so please be sure to check the Bulk/Spam folders of your email accounts as well.
If your account was disabled for invalid click activity, please visit our Disabled Account FAQ for more information.

I honestly wasn’t concerned, because as far as I knew, I hadn’t done anything wrong. I checked a few of my Gmail account, and that is when my jaw dropped.

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

If I hadn’t tried to login to the Adsense site first, I would have just assumed this was a lame phishing attempt. It wasn’t. I was banned for “risk of generating invalid activity”, whatever that means. I started to search around on the Internet and it seems this is a very common occurrence. Many people theorize that “invalid click activity” refers to paying for services or writing scripts to click on your own advertisements. I, of course, have never done such a thing. Besides, I’ve only made a few dollars from Adsense so far. My first thought was that perhaps someone went click happy on my site, and all that I would need to do is send a message to Google to sort it out. I was wrong.

Thank you for your appeal. We appreciate the additional information you've provided, as well as your continued interest in the AdSense program. However, after thoroughly re-reviewing your account data and taking your feedback into consideration, our specialists have confirmed that we're unable to reinstate your AdSense account.
Please know that, once we've reached a decision on your appeal, further appeals may not be considered, and you might not receive any further communication from us. Note that AdSense publishers whose accounts are disabled for violations of our Terms and Conditions are not eligible for further participation in AdSense. For this reason, you may not open new accounts.
Also, accounts disabled for invalid click activity will receive no further payment nor any reissue of previous payment. Your outstanding balance and Google's share of the revenue will both be fully refunded back to the affected advertisers. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
We understand that you may want more information about your account activity. However, because we have a need to protect our proprietary detection systems, we're unable to provide our publishers with any details about their account activity.

And that is that. No further communication responses. No further chance of being a part of AdSense. This is the same experience that thousands of others have experienced. Something triggers the Google Adsense detection scripts, and rather than really deal with it, the user is just banned with no real chance of appeal. There are a few cases online of popular bloggers and sites making a stink in the news enough to get Google’s attention, but unfortunately my couple of readers and I won’t be so lucky.

I thought that would be the end of it, but no, next up was being banned from AdMob with the exact same blanket email. In doing research, apparently AdMob was purchased by Google, which I knew, and they are slowly moving Web Apps into the AdSense umbrella. It is against the rules to put Web Ads in Apps as of the beginning of this year. Oops! I suppose the technique I blogged about a little while ago is why I got banned from AdMob, and probably Adsense as well. It’s a shame they won’t hear me out, but after doing a ton of legwork on my own I was, I think, able to figure out why I’ve been banned for life from Google Adsense and AdMob.

About the Author: Sprawl

Stephen Russell is a Mobile App developer and all around IT geek that spends his days running data centers and his nights coding. This site is the go to place for all of zSprawl's work and the infamous development blog. In his free time, he enjoys tinkering with web code, playing video games, and otherwise plotting to take over the Internets.


7 Responses

  1. Sorry to hear about your account. This appears to be a growing trend with google as they “out grow” smaller publishers and start to focus on larger agencies and companies. I have yet to hear about this happening to any large publishers. Google has made attempts at preventing others from creating invalid click activity on your ads by allowing you to limit your adsense blocks to only those sites which you confirm in the account backend, but there is nothing stopping someone from pointing a “click script” at one of your approved sites. Without any inside knowledge it’s difficult to prove that they are using the whole “invalid activity” angle as a way to purge there systems of low performing publishers, but the outcry from thousands of banned users with similar stories is very telling. Don’t loss hope, there are other methods of monetizing your sites and like many others you may find that being weened off the Google teet is the best thing that ever happened to your income statement. You may have to do some testing and optimizing but you can achieve better results by tailoring your ads yourself. Good luck.

    • Yeah it seems a bit unfair, but oh well. It wasn’t making me the big bucks yet. I’ve heard much worse Google AdSense banned me stories.

  2. A co-worker of mine had this happen to him a year or two ago from serving his ads through iframes to allow him to refresh them. At some point in the past 6 months, his ban was lifted without any notification, so there may be some hope of being able to use your account again after a while.

    • That would be cool. It wasn’t crazy money or anything, but I just don’t like that I’m banned from something with no chance to explain and no second chances.

  3. I received the same non-sense letters from google myself. I believe this is just random click-bombing by hackers who can’t get girlfriends. It’s a shame that google has decided to snub the very people who have helped made them successful. If they continue this kind of poor behavior, it will contribute to their demise.

  4. Mark

    Same thing happened to me. I had used Google sites to create a product page. Google sites makes inserting adsense simple. All was fine (although not really making any money). Then one day I received notice. This caused a ripple effect. My monetized YouTube videos then removed monetization due to my Adsense account in bad standing. It is really a shame that it seems the advertisers are who are being protected and publishers are just cut off with very little to go on. I guess if you were a good enough publisher, you might hold some sway.

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