Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Google AdSense Account Terminated - What Should You Do?

Once you have decided to take your marketing campaign to Google's AdSense pay per click program, you agree to a number of rules including:

- No hidden pages. You must have a clear hierarchy and each page needs at least one link to get there.
- No broken links. If you link outside of your site, make sure you check your links often. No more than 100 links per page.
- When designing your site, create one that is helpful to a user; don't design a page for search engines. Make sure you clearly define what your site is about.
- Your TITLE and ALT tags should be precise and descriptive.
- You need a site map to help users find what they are looking for if your menu doesn't.
- No hidden text.
- No redirection of your site

Even if you follow all these design rules, you may still be at risk of losing your AdSense advertiser account or have temporarily been fined a penalty in the form of your ads being removed from rotation on other sites. The penalty may go away with time, but it's best to double and triple check your site then file a re-inclusion request (instructions below.) Include in your request which changes you've made and that it won't happen again.

Your competitors might have a plan that could get you banned. It's called "click bombing" and it's against Google's policy.

Click bombing happens when someone, be it a competitor or not, repeatedly clicks the pay per click ad for a business in order to raise flags with Google. Google rates their ads based on relevance, so the more an ad is clicked, the more relevant it becomes, and the higher up the list it moves. This has made it very easy for business owners to move themselves up the relevance list, so Google countered this practice by red flagging any business that has a significant spike in AdSense hits. If the hits all trace back to the same IP address or addresses, the advertiser is removed for "invalid clicks".

Finding out about this strength in Google's search engine, sneaky competitors have started to exploit it by purposely clicking the competitions ad again and again, in order to ban the ad.

If this has happened to you, or if you've been banned for violation of any of the design or technological terms of your contract, you can sometimes have it overturned by contacting customer support. You can contact Google support by visiting http://www.google.com/support/bin/request.py. Make sure you type "Re-inclusion Request" in the subject of the email. Keep your request simple, short and to the point. No need to threaten Google that you'll stop advertising with them or list how long you've been a customer.

It is imperative, though, that you run reports frequently and store the data outside of your Google account. This will help prove to Google that a click bombing happened should you be removed. You are not guaranteed a reversal, however. In fact, most pleas to Google to have a banned account go unheard.

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