DEC 2018 UPDATE: On the advice of another blogger who said that several others had their accounts reinstated in the past year or so, I gave it another try. I filled out the simple appeal form which asked for items like my name, email address, URL, and whether or not I had ever purchased traffic to my site. It also asked for logs from my site that may show where the “suspicious referrers or invalid activity” had come from, which of course I do not have after 7 years, if I ever had it at all. After only 2 hours and 36 minutes I received the following.
Yeah, 7 years later and it is still not helpful. And why do they even have an appeal form if the email then says, “As a reminder, further participation in the AdSense program by publishers whose accounts have been disabled is not permitted.” But, yet I’m being told that some publishers were able to appeal successfully.
I am just confused. First, the questions that it asked are leading and accusatory. If I do not know why my site was banned, how would I know what logs and URLs, etc. to submit that were suspicious traffic??
Read my original post from 2011 below:
Yep. A couple of days after Amazon.com Fired Me, I got an email from Google saying that my Adsense account was deactivated for “invalid activity”. I am just writing about it now because I was trying to get some help and waiting to see what happened with my appeal. I had no luck.
Here is the email that I received:
This message was sent from a notification-only email address that does not
accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message.
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
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
The Google AdSense Team
Can you say vague? Well, I was floored, especially by the line that states “Your outstanding balance and Google’s share of the revenue will both be fully refunded back to the affected advertisers.” Say what?? This means that any other affiliate accounts that I had tied into my Adsense account had to be contacted immediately so that I could get my payments in another way. And one is still waiting to see if Google really did refund their money.
There are SEVERAL things wrong with this. I so wish that there was a way that I could get back into my Adsense account and look at the data, but of course, I can’t because it is deactivated, so these dates and amounts are from memory.
I opened my Adsense in I think July 2007. For over 3 years I never really tried to make money from it. I put a couple of texts ads on my blog and on my photography website. And I plugged my pub ID into other sites that I write for that said “you can input your Adsense account here”. But I never really tried. Honestly, I gave up on it because it was making pennies a week. By December 2010, there was about $72 in my account. I figured I would finally get to $100 by 2012.
But on January 25, I read a post on That Tech Chick (you will see a comment from me there) about a WordPress plugin called “Ad Injection” that automatically puts ads in your posts and allows you to customize how often they show, where they show, etc. I had tried a couple of plugins in the past but did not like them. But this one sounded good. So, I installed and configured it and initially set it to put 3 small ads total on long posts only. Also, on some advice that I heard from others, I stopped using the text ads and switched over to image ads which have a higher click rating. I immediately saw a difference in my earnings. Before you know it, the day finally came. My Adsense account was FINALLY over $100! I even tweeted about it. But you know what? When I tried to find my tweet just now using Google search and several other online search tools my tweet was nowhere to be found. Hmm… Conspiracy? (Sidenote: Twitter search only holds stuff for a week, but you can usually get a pretty good search using Google.)
UPDATE: Years later Twitter has beefed up their search tools. I found the tweet!
Attention, attention: I would hearby like to announce that after having a Google Adsense account FOREVER the balance is FINALLY over $100 🙂
— Kris McDonald (@LittleTechGirl) January 28, 2011
Anyway, my earnings continued to go up a few bucks a day which I was happy with, until one day they just stopped. It was like a switch was flipped and it was back to pennies a day. I wondered if I did something wrong by changing around my ads while I tried to decide on the best position, etc. and best type of ads. I started doing some research. I headed over to the Google Adsense forum and posted a question about the drop in earnings. I also found some other research that said that I may have jumped in at a good time (holiday season) when advertisers spend more money on ads which means better CPM. That made perfect sense to me since I basically *started* in January and by the end of February earnings dropped. I let that go and decided to just be happy with what I was making. Although, I know there are some others that get a check from Google every single month and make a living from it. I decided to just wait and see what happened. I was happy that I was FINALLY going to get a check from Google after almost 4 years. So, I logged in to see when I could expect payment. Based on my earnings and when they hit $100 it should have been by the end of March. I checked my payment settings to make sure that my checking account number was current since I had recently gotten a new account. I had to go through verification since I had never received a payment before. Google deposited 34 cent in my account to verify. Once that was done I sat back and waited. I had already thought about the couple of bills that I would be able to pay with the extra money. The money that never came. The total on my account was about $198 when disabled.
Instead, on March 9 I got the email above. Just in time for payday. How ironic, right? I appealed immediately (probably too fast) and my appeal was denied. The appeal form asks a bunch of cryptic questions that some of us can’t possibly know the answer to unless we are obsessive about tracking site activity via IP logs, etc. As far as I was concerned I did nothing wrong, so it had to be a mistake. I have never clicked on my own ads or encouraged anyone else to do so.
It just so happened that I had been emailing with someone from Google on an unrelated issue so I mentioned it to see if I could get anywhere. The only bit of additional information that I was able to get was that my account was disabled for “spam”. Honestly, that makes it even more confusing. Spam where? What type of spam? Spam from who?
I just think it’s sad that this is happening to people all over and we are not really given any guidance to correct the situation. If Google is the one stating that there was invalid activity they should be able to tell us from where so that we can stop it if something is fishy on our end. If there were really invalid clicks or spam tell me from where. And instead of immediate deactivation, how about a warning? “You have X number of days to fix this, this, and this on your site or you will be deactivated.” That would be too much like right I guess. Furthermore, I find it HIGHLY suspicious that this happened right as it was time for me to finally be paid.
I may appeal again for the hell of it. Although I’m sure this post won’t help my situation. But, what do I have to lose? I’m just stating the facts. And there are other ad networks out there besides Google. Before this, I had recommended Google everything to everyone because it all rocks. Now? Well, I won’t be recommending Adsense. But, I’m just one little ol’ peon, so what do they care?
Hello, you still have ads running? Was your appeal sucessful?
Sure wish there was more detail on what sets Google off. Now I’m just terrified, and I haven’t made $10. Must be devastating for folks with real income. I had my Amazon account suspended but only after writing a few product reviews.
I feel your pain. The exact same thing happened to me in the same way. For what it’s worth I found this post about alternatives to Adsense. I’ve tried a few of them but to be honest nothing even comes close the results I was getting with Adsense. http://www.rosswalker.co.uk/adsense_top10/
Hope it helps.
Thanks David. I have read that one myself before as well. And you are right.. none of them seem to work as well. I wish they were just more helpful in their support instead of just immediate closure, etc. It makes no sense.
It’s sad to say this is still going on today. I am very sad that I spent my life promoting their search and other services to have them kick me out of their club without a warning shot or valid reason. I suspect a bug in their system, check out this post: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/AdSense/thread?tid=125659d9bfb85656&hl=en
That or we have uncovered a nice scheme, constantly kick people out of the program and keep their money. I need to find one instance of someone being refunded the money that was taken from the disabled account. The money is supposed to be refunded to the company who purchases the ads. Let’s all go look for one instance of refund and put this to rest?? I’d love to find out that no refund ever happens…
I’m super depressed about my Adsense being deactivated. Happened yesterday, I also appealed and now am waiting to hear my fate. I have completely original content on my blog, I write and research it all myself, I work hard to get followers and more readers… and I don’t try to get clicks or anything. My ads are on the sidebar not in the text, and I got the exact same email as you. I am way bummed. When I was deactivated, I also had over $100 in my account.
Anyway, I’m looking around for other ad networks. Who do you belong to? I need all the help I can get.
My account was disabled today as well. I had around $160.00. I’m just disgusted and a bit lost. I was depending on this income. I also started investing in more sites for adsense to generate a good income. Guess that ended my dreams!
Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]
This just happened to me today – nearly the exactly same situation. Just as I put in my special mailed PIN code to get my “over $100” payment, they deactivated my account. I’m blown away that we are not the only ones this is happening to, yet they are still doing this to other people.
Wow! Sorry to hear that. We should start a revolt. LOL!
I’m so sorry this happened to you…it really is unfair…and ironic how it happens to those making money. Who oversees Google anyway?
Kris the same thing happened to me this week and I stand to lost a 5 figure annual income because of it. I also filed an appeal immediately and was basically told “sorry charley.” It sounds (from the rumblings on the blogging boards) that they did this to quite a few of us and I can’t for the life of me figure out WHY. I’d accept this with a valid explanation, but I received the EXACT same email that you did.
OMG Zippy, that sucks!!!! That really sucks if you were making that much. What sucks even more is that they do not have to give a good reason. Because they are Google. They are big time, so they do what they want. Ugh. I got no reply at all to my 2nd appeal, not even the courtesy of a denial.
Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]
I got the same email, same situation today. It’s very suspect.
That is crazy that they can not give yo any answers. I still have the plugin activated and was just paid for $121. The month of March I made over $100. I am just holding my breath for them to deactivate me for some unknown reason.
I’m sorry to say that this exact thing happened to me just this past month as well. Right at payout, my account was deactivated for invalid activity with no warning.
I appealed and was denied. I then went around in circles with “a top moderator” in the help forum who kept coming up with all kinds of bogus reasons why my account was deactivated. He even said “this post could be seen as duplicate content” and post a link to a Disney on Ice review I did with my preschoolers. There was not one word, photo, or video copied and pasted from anywhere. I even informed them I would contact that event management company for the show to vouch for me. It got me nowhere. Then he started saying that when I appealed I should have quoted this stat and that stat and ips, etc., however, as you said how could I do that if I couldn’t even login to my account?
It is infuriating that they can slander your blog and take your money and not offer proper support to resolve the issue. I do hope you get somewhere but if not, I hope your post makes others aware of this deceptive practice.
Sarah-Miss Virtual Reality
I have heard some bad stuff about plugins for Adsense, that is why I don’t use them. I wonder if it was the plugin that doomed your account? I hope you can get it appealed, but you should seek out other afffilates or ad networks.
April M. Williams
I use Google adsense on both my blogs http://www.cyberlifetutors.com and http://www.aprilmwilliams.com though find the revenue is almost nonexistent. With Amazon deactivating their affiliate program, it will be interesting to see how the market changes.
Sears and Kmart are building their affiliate network and I encourage you to check them their offerings.
same here after I get upto 200$ and I want to cash out then they disable me :/
I just edited my post to say so, but my account was at I think $198 when disabled. Very interesting.
Man that sucks. I have had no luck with any programs like this. I had made a whopping $5 before amazon cut us off!