You may or may not have noticed that the banner ads have been removed from my sidebar. Well, here’s the story for those of you who might be interested.
I received an email from Google AdSense on Saturday morning. I was driving back to KL, and was at Simpang Pulai R&R when I got this Gmail notification.
Wonderful news to destroy my mood. I was at $80-ish (USD) when I checked last month, I reckon it would have been over $90 at the time of this email notification. The minimum cash-out limit is $100.
Bloody fuck. I was looking forward for my first Google cash-out. Great of them to pour cold water on my anticipation at the eleventh hour.
When I reached home, the first thing I did was to submit the appeal form. I even attached my Jetpack site stats for good measure. Actually that’s the only stats I keep track, I don’t maintain all those high tech tracking stuff.
Surely there must be some mistake? I never clicked on my own ads, and I have never encouraged or misled my readers to click on the ads. You guys didn’t blindly click on my Google ads, did you? Unless Google considers all those spam visits and comments are my fault.
Here’s the reply to my appeal, it came when I was driving back to Penang.
Apparently, when you are banned from AdSense, it is a lifetime sentence, meaning you will no longer be able to see any AdSense banner ads on my blog ever again. And unless I sue Google (which I am not going to do, who hires a lawyer to chase $90?), I will never know what is the actual invalid activity that caused my demise.
I’ve been searching the web to see if there are similar cases as mine. Turns out there are a lot of people who got the same shit, from similar small time blogger like me, to some serious website owners who were making $20 000 per month from AdSense. I have yet to see anything about anyone suing Google for this. Apparently it is a losing battle, because when we signed up, one of the clauses specify that Google reserves the rights to terminate us and withdraw all our payments for whatever technical reasons that they find.
Oh well, if people who are making five figure income from AdSense are not bothered to chase their money back, I suppose I should just move on. It is intriguing to try and guess why I was banned though, isn’t it?
From general consensus, these are the few main reasons why AdSense bans their publishers (bloggers/website owners):
1. Artificially inflating ad banner clicks – Could be self clicking, or asking friends to click repeatedly, or buying clicks from other internet people. This one is out, never did this.
2. Causing readers to accidentally click on ad banners – classic example would be embedding the ad banner into a bigger misleading banner, like those YOUR COMPUTER IS AT RISK, DOWNLOAD THIS: banner where inside is a Google ad banner. This one is out too, never did this.
3. Click-bombing – Competitor website owner causing artificial inflating of ad banner clicks on your website to screw your income and make you go bust. Don’t think this applies to me, at least not that I know of. I’m a personal blogger, what competitor?
4. Abnormal web traffic growth – Unusual amount of traffic to your website compared to usual trend. Well, well…
If I am to make a wild guess, I would guess that I was banned from AdSense because of reason #4. You see, I have been blogging and having AdSense banners on my blog since 2008. From then until 2 and a half months ago, early July 2014 (6 years), I had about 35000 page views. That translates to about 6000 views per year, or 500 per month. The AdSense account was at $50-ish.
Then I migrated from blogspot to the current personal domain and began to blog with renewed passion. In July 2014, my total page views was 1327. Last month (August 2014) it was 3656. It is halfway through September now, my current page views for the month is slightly above 2000. The AdSense earnings almost doubled in the space of 2 and a half months.
Don’t get me wrong, in terms of serious blogging, these are still peanuts figure. Those money making blogs are usually talking about 100k, 200k views per month at minimum. But it still is many times more than my usual. Growing too rapidly for AdSense’s liking it seems?
Of course, I’m just guessing, I will never know the real reason, but I suppose a simple advice for anyone who are aspiring to generate income through AdSense, don’t do it when you are building your website. Do it when you feel your growth has been maximized and your monthly visitor count has stabilized. Else you might end up like me and countless others 😐 .
For me, I’ve lost interest with these banner advertising stuff. Initally it was just with that local company, now it includes this international big bully. I’ll create a separate Affiliate page to house that Zalora banner when I have the time and keep the rest of my blog squeaky clean. Maybe I’ll do more affiliate programs if and when my blog grows bigger. We’ll see 😉 .