As loyal readers of this site will notice, the layout of this blog has changed a little bit. This was done partly because it was time for a change and also because I have a new ad sponsor on this site because I was recently banned from Google Adsense because, and I quote, "After reviewing our records, we've determined that your AdSense account poses a risk of generating invalid activity" You may be wondering what exactly that means, and I can't answer that question because I honestly don't have a clue.
I started this site almost a year ago, at first I planned on blogging sparingly maybe one or two a month, but as time progressed I found I enjoyed blogging and found it almost therapeutic to rant about the idiocy that I seem to encounter on a day to day basis. As I continued blogging, I decided I would enroll in the google adsense program since I figured any money I made from blogging would be a bonus, I certainly didn't have delusions of being able to blog for a living or making a ton of money- but I was not going to refuse the possibility of getting paid for something that I actually enjoyed doing.
I put my ads up in February. Things started out slow as I completely expected they would. Going from memory, since once you've had your account disabled, Adsense doesn't even allow you to login to look at your stats, I believe I made something like ~$15 in February- For those unfamiliar with Adsense's policy they only send you money once you've passed the threshold of $100 USD or your currencies equivalent, so the $15 rolled over into the next month. In March I had some medical issues early in the month which led to only 5 blog posts- the majority of which were put up late in the month. After I started to feel better I posted on a much more consistent basis in April-- which is the same time that I decided if I was going to blog I was going to put some effort into promoting the blog, to be honest if you're reading this there's a good chance you were referred to this blog from facebook, twitter or reddit. There was an increased spike in traffic as I had hoped there would be. Because of this I ended up over the $100 threshold in April and was actually paid by Google in May, I was thrilled. Moving into May we had the whole Osama Bin Laden death/questions issues which provided another sustained spike in traffic. I won't continue to bore you with details but I accumulated $95 in May and in the first half of June had about $50.. so when I had my account disabled on June 15th, the $145 that I thought I was going to receive went back to Google. It was both disappointing and a tad frustrating but I'm not going to lose any sleep over that $145.
I'm extremely proud of the fact then when I started I would be lucky to get 100 views a day and as of this writing this blog averages anywhere between 900 and 1500 views a day and it's been a very steady gradual increase. I'm appreciative of everyone who bothers to come to this blog, whether you like & agree with what's written here or not. Hopefully I provide a few laughs and might even make you think about things, which is never a bad thing.
I also think it's important to stress that I'm not angry or bitter towards Google and their Ad Sense program, truth be told I was paid once by them which is a bonus as I've already stated that whole purpose of starting this blog was not to make money. My problem is with their seemingly arbitrary decision making process to just disable someones account. What exactly does generating invalid activity mean? I wasn't getting thousands of clicks a month, when I first started I would be lucky to get a few a week, by the time Adsense was disabled I was getting an average of 5-6 per day. Were the people who clicked not really interested in what they clicked? Were they people who were perhaps unhappy with what I had blogged about? I know for a fact there are people who vehemently dislike some of the things I've said in the past, was it some sort of revenge? Does that mean if I have enemies I can just go and click their ads and they'll get banned too? No one really knows and that's bush league by a company that seems intent on taking over the world.
Google offers an appeal-process for those who have their account disabled but to be honest the appeals form is one of the biggest jokes I've ever seen. They ask questions such as "why is your traffic important to advertisers". How can I possibly answer that? I'm not yahoo I dont get millions of visitors a day, then they insult you with this question: "why do you think your account was disabled". What can you possibly say here? "my neighbour is trying to ruin my life" or the Russian Mob is after me because I stole nuclear secrets? I DONT KNOW WHY IT WAS DISABLED, WHY DONT YOU TELL ME?!? To add further insult to injury, when they emailed with their appeal decision, they included this gem: "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." That's right we didn't even bother reading your appeal, you can just go pound sand, our specialists (who for all I know are monkeys in diapers flinging their poop at a dartboard to see whether or not you win your appeal) said you're done so you're DONE!
So after I had my account disabled I did a google search- yes irony is a wonderful thing but I just can't bring myself to use BING- anyways I found that accounts getting disabled with no explanation is a fairly common occurrence. It's really quite sad when you think about it since many many moons ago Google wasn't the big fish in the pond, they were simply a startup trying to find their way. You would think they would be more understanding towards the little guy, and perhaps treat them with at least a modicum of respect, rather than just flexing their muscle and doing as they please.
Again I don't want this to come off as an Anti-Adsense post, I'm simply sharing the head-scratching experience that I had. Either way I want to thank you for reading this blog, some of you read it on a regular basis and I truly do appreciate that.
Please feel free to comment on this post, share your experiences, or hell even insult me, any feedback is good feedback.
Thanks for reading (and continuing to read) http://www.ihatesaturday.com!