Saturday, March 1, 2008

Why Google Adsense sucks

I am not a Google fan.

If you've been catching up on my posts in Technically Speaking, you might already know that. I am no fan of Google, but I admit that I use their search engine and blogger. (I stick with blogger only because there is no easy way to move my posts to Windows Live.)

Until recently it was just that I was not a fan of Google. Just that. I never hated Google. Until when I decided to use Google Adsense...

More than a year ago, I explored ways of monetizing my blog and website, in the modest hope of making enough money to pay for the hosting. I found that nobody notable (including Microsoft) offered the kind of advertising services that Google offered through the Adsense program. Cornered by lack of competitors, I decided to give Google a shot.

Google has a 'secret' way of determining how many clicks/hits/impressions their ads get and then they pay you a 'secret' amount for every click/hit/impression/whatever. The whole process is 'secret' and they don't tell you how they come up with the few measly dollars or cents that you earn every month (and you say Microsoft is not 'open'). Google finally pays you when you accumulate $100.

So there I was, putting code snippets on almost all pages of my website, and on my blog - so that Google could place their ads there. My pages started looking ugly, "so what?", I thought, "at least it will pay someday".

But 'someday' never came. Even with the kind of hits I was getting it took almost a year and a half for me to accumulate $100. And when I finally did accumulate $100, I was in for a shock - they refused to pay!

Here's what they said:

Hello Shijaz Abdulla,

While going through our records recently, we found that your AdSense account has posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers. Since keeping your account in our publisher network may financially damage our advertisers in the future, we've decided to disable your account.

Please understand that we consider this a necessary step to protect the interests of both our advertisers and our other AdSense publishers. We realize the inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

If you have any questions about your account or the actions we've taken, please do not reply to this email. You can find more information by visiting


The Google AdSense Team
This message was sent from a notification-only email address that does not accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message.

Wonderful. They post ads on my website and blog for a year and a half and then they dont pay for it. Do I look so generous that I would place ads on my website for free?

Nevertheless, I submited an appeal online to reconsider the situation. As per Google policy, I can submit the appeal only once after which no correspondence will be entertained. Two months after I appealed, they replied:

Thanks for providing us with additional information. However, after thoroughly reviewing your account data and taking your feedback into consideration, we've re-confirmed that your account poses a significant risk to our advertisers. For this reason, we're unable to reinstate your account. Thank you for your understanding.

As a reminder, if you have any questions about your account or the actions we've taken, please do not reply to this email. You can find more information by visiting


The Google AdSense Team

I am beginning to suspect that this has got something to do with the content of my blog - and the fact that my posts reflect that I'm no Google fan and I'm pro-Microsoft.

Goodbye Google Adsense!


Shijaz said...

Another victim shares his experience:

Shijaz said...

Google Adsense doesn't like people who criticize Google

Anonymous said...

Sign the petition!

Tom OKeefe said...

Startups listed on who have Google Adsense as their revenue model earn only $0.06 per visitor (EPV). Even with those low numbers 21.5% of all startups listed (on Bizak) rely on Adsense as their primary revenue source.

Michael Hendrickx said...

I had the exact same thing, I was kicked out from adsense just like that.

Tom said...

That sucks! Have you checked out Chitika yet? Chitika has been a breath of fresh air for a lot of publishers. Check out this Chitika review for more info.

PALS said...

Actually, i never reached $100 dollars yet and i think that there will be a less possibility that i will get payed due to the increasing number of Google Adsense publisher who did not get payed. Google should post a press release that will investigate on this matter. Google earns from advertisers and we don't.

Thank you
Money Making and Blogging Tips

Matrika said...

Great work.

Avalon said...

Keep up the good work.

Shijaz said...

Interesting story - Someone sued Google Adsense for not paying his money without giving a solid reason - and won!

Read all about it said...

This is interesting that Google waits right to the moment when they should send a check and than they stop payment without further explanation. We liked Google ...

Anonymous said...

I can find no way to resolve my issue with them. They say my account doesn't exist, it's associated with an unapproved application. Going through hours of trying to contact them to resolve the problem takes me in unhelpful loops back to the original message. I am frustrated beyond belief.

Anonymous said...

I have the exact same thing. I have a great idea for a niche website and started off on my first day with 100 visitors without even advertising. I put up Google ads and when I got around $50, they cancelled me, for exactly the same reason (I'm pretty sure they have a copy and paste email they use). I did nothing wrong as far as I know. Why won't Google just tell us what part they are concerned with instead of just lumping it all under "invalid click activity"?

Maybe instead of small claims lawsuits - a class action law suit needs to be filed.

Ed, Maria and Matthew said...

I think google adsense pays out in an unconventional way with clicks and they have a scientific way of determining reasonableness and they wind up closing so many accounts without paying a cent. They are a major company that is tight with the purse strings. Who needs them! I agree they can go take a hike!

Ed, Maria and Matthew said...

Google adsense is a way to make some extra "pocket change" and if you are lucky enough for the $100 payout chances are your account will be disabled based on a violation or one to many clicks based on scientific reasonableness. Google adsense is a pipe dream!