Monday, January 7, 2008

Banned From Adsense? It's Your Own Darn Fault

Here are five reasons why you've probably been banned from using Adsense, if you don't already know:

1) You are clicking on the ads. If you are clicking on your own ads, you should have rotten tomatoes thrown at you. Look, if Google has a technology that can pick up ambient noise, they sure as sugar can tell that there are multiple clicks from the same IP address. They don't have enormous data centers to impress their stockholders. They have enormous data centers to collect loads of granular data about everything related to the click - who, when, where and probably more.

2) You are asking someone else to click on the ads. I'm sure you're very popular, but so is Google. If you're silly enough to ask random people to click on the ads, you will be found out. I mean, I wouldn't report you but I know people who would. And they make loads of money and don't want you mucking it up just to earn a few dollars a day.

3) You are in a network whose sole purpose is to click on ads. Yes, newbie advertiser, there are networks of scammer/spammers that work together to click on each other's ads at the thousands of domains under their control. But fear not, this publisher activity does not go unnoticed. It's true that it takes a little longer for Google and other networks to piece together the puzzle, but if advertisers voice their complaints about a specific source of traffic in a timely manner, action will be swift and fierce across the board.

4) You are using an automated click fraud software. This goes back to traffic quality. You may very well have a very savvy media bot that can mask all sorts of things and rack up the clicks. If you do, send me an email - kidding. Google, I'm totally kidding. The thing about click fraud software (just like click fraud networks) is that it's simply a matter of time before they get caught. Sure, advertisers are going to pay more for clicks on average, but it's no different than the amount you pay as a result of shoplifting at a retail store. The cost is built in. Plus, if you don't like the traffic you are receiving, leave or lower your bids.

5) You are presenting the ads in a way that misleads users. Some usability maven at some point in the last 18 months suggested that publishers should place images around the Adsense that is displayed on a site. The result is that it generates a higher click-through as you're calling more attention to it. Some take this to an extreme, the result of which misleads users into clicking on an ad that they really think is part of the content of a website. Google doesn't really care for this - it's against their terms and conditions if you read closely - and it can get you banned if you take it to the extreme. It's true, complaints usually fall on deaf ears once you've been broken up with. But it's probably because you think you're smarter than the thousands of brilliant, wealthy programmers and can circumvent their hyper-advanced click fraud technology with a click-bot you purchased from some third-world programmer. Of course, none of the advertiser complaints about the poor-quality traffic your network delivers had anything to do with you being banned, dumped and kicked to the curb. The reason that Adsense is one of the most successful revenue generating programs on the Web is because it works - and not just for other big media properties and networks. It works for anyone that wants to monetize on user clicks at their own Web properties - as long as you follow the rules. If you don't, count on being banned.


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