Getting Banned by Google Adsense

Dear fellow hubbers, if you are one of my sister’s (cheerfulnuts) followers, then you probably have read about her latest hub already. To summarize, she wrote about her unfortunate experience about getting her Adsense account banned by Google just a few weeks ago. She had also mentioned that my account was also disabled a few days later. We are currently searching for different opportunities to earn online other than Adsense.

My Online Experience

I never knew about the opportunities of earning online through writing until my sister told me about it. She was reading an article about making money online when she learned about this website as a writing platform. She tried the website and submitted a couple of articles here. Although she didn’t earn money instantly, she liked the experienced and had urged me to join as well. I was busy with my job and house work and wasn’t really excited about the idea. However, both of us had always wanted to earn more. So I agreed and here I am.

For the first few months, my articles didn’t garner a lot of traffic. Because of the wonderful community of Hubpages, I have learned from fellow members about the different ways to promote my articles. I’ve joined social bookmarking sites such as digg, reddit, and stumbleupon. I’ve also started a blog to promote my hubs there. Although all these sounded a lot of work, but I was willing to try a lot of things in order to promote my articles. Soon after, I started to see a slow increase of my traffic, but no clicks yet.

One thing I like about here is the Hubpages Ad Program. It allows user to earn money through impressions rather than clicks. Since my traffic isn’t that huge, I quickly opted for the said program. Soon, I was able to see some steady earnings and was glad about it. However, many people are mistaken to think that you can still earn without Adsense. This is not true. In order to benefit from the said program, you are still required to have an account and associate your ID with the program.

I have later learned about another great money-making opportunity other than Hubpages - through a website called Webanswers. It’s a website where you answer questions while earning. I’ve joined the site, and have seen some Adsense clicks for the very first time. I was euphoric. Everyday, I would log into my Adsense account to see my earnings increase each day. It’s just too good to be true. I have my Hubpages account for a slow but passive income, and Webanswers account to boost my current earnings.

My "Perfect" Plan

Many online writers advise us to not put all our eggs in one basket. I thought I was doing it right. I would create a hub or two each month on Hubpages while I participate on Webanswers daily. I earn from two different sites. That’s great. But I was dead wrong. Though Hubpages and Webanswers are two separate sites, but I was still earning from one single entity – Google. So it was a big mistake on my part to think that I was putting eggs on two different baskets.

My Sister Cheerfulnuts Got Banned

I was checking my Hubpages earnings when I asked my sister cheerfulnuts about her earnings. When she went on to check her own earnings, she was puzzled to see an error message found in her earnings report. Because of the error, she tried to check her account by logging in Adsense. She thought that there was some mistake with her configuration with Hubpages. Soon after, she learned that her account was somehow locked – she cannot access her Adsense. She checked her email; there she got the notification by Google about her account being disabled. She was very shocked and devastated.

After receiving the email, I reported this incident about my sister to the Webanswers community to ask for some advice. Many were helpful and supportive. They suggested that my sister gather enough information from her Google analytics and fill out the appeal form.

Panic Among Webanswers Members

I soon learned that my sister was not the only person who got banned. I saw many similar questions by other users about their Adsense account getting disabled. They, too, had received the same dreaded email. I was doing some follow-ups on those questions, and had deduced that Google was making a major autumn cleaning among the small publishers. Webanswers has released a new policy on their TOS, that is, members from certain countries with high occurrences of fraudulent activities are no longer allowed to earn in their Website. They provided a list of high risk countries that are prohibited to join – which includes the country of my residence. Whoever (Webanswers or Google) made the list was unclear to us. The site administrators stated however that current members who belong from those countries are still allowed to participate and earn. The said policy was only applicable to new users who wish to create accounts there. So, it seemed that we were safe. Yet, panic arose when members – including long-time quality members – were being banned one by one. As expected, my turn to receive that dreaded letter came.

What's Next?

After getting banned by Google, I filed an appeal to them. However, I do not expect to get reinstated at all. As to why I was banned, I still do not know. The letter – obviously sent by a bot - did not even give me a basis for my fraudulent activity. It only stated that I pose a risk to their advertisers. More so, there was no prior warning to my account’s deletion. They simply sent me the letter, and that’s the end of it. The earnings I had accumulated over time went back to the advertisers’ pockets. Some banned publishers had speculated that it was because Google is getting bankrupt. That is why they have to do this drastic wipeout in order to get away with paying small publishers. Of course, those were just speculations. The thing is, Google makes all the money, we, as online writers, are subject to their rules. Even by abiding with their rules, there is still no guarantee that our accounts are safe. They are the king. We are the slaves. They could do whatever they want, whether we like it or not.

Life After Google

Of course, there are many more opportunities other than Adsense. I learned that sometimes, hard work is not enough. I have worked hard as an online writer, but my efforts were just wasted. I realized that working smart is better than working hard. The Internet is an ever-changing place. What works now might not work in the future. That is why we should always keep track of changes. Google doesn’t want me anymore, and it’s time to move on. My advice to you all is to never be complacent to where you are now. You might be earning a lot right now through Adsense, but you’ll never know what Google would do to you later on. Always have a backup plan. Even the most successful Hubbers here do have a backup plan. Besides Hubpages, submit articles on other sites too that use other ad network. If you're the type who prefers to stay on just one writing platform for earning, you should at least try to optimise your Amazon or eBay modules available here rather than relying solely on Adsense. That way, you get to earn money from many different sources. Best wishes to you all.

Copyright © 2011 by seriousnuts. All rights reserved.

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Comments 34 comments

cheerfulnuts profile image

cheerfulnuts 5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

Seriousnuts, this is a very useful hub. I wish I knew these things before getting banned from Adsense.

I don't want us to be sad anymore, so can I just rate this hub as "funny"? LOL. Just kidding. Voted up and useful.:)


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Let's not be sad. Time to move on. Thanks for the vote up. And you know you could always rate it in whatever way you want.


Serena Gabriel 5 years ago

Very interesting. I'm in the U.S. and had my account disabled on the same day. I'm not familiar with WebAnswers, but I'm at Triond and many Triond writers have had their accounts inexplicably disabled.

I have been wanting to get away with Google. There is more to this company than meets the eye. They are very sinister. I'm in the process of completely disengaging from them, although this is difficult. They have the best search engine, the best engineers (beats the incompetents at Yahoo!), they have YouTube, Blogger, Google Maps (a huge privacy concern for everyone), Gmail and they probably own a ton of other little subsidiaries.

I have had serious privacy concerns about them for a few months. So, although I am upset that they have blatantly stolen from me, I'm happy to get away from them. It's like getting away from a boyfriend who beats you up and steals your money!

A vote up! Accolades and following!


Suramya.K 5 years ago

I don't know what to say. This month has been so devastating for we WebAnswers users. Let's hug each others and move on!

All the best !!


Edmagneto profile image

Edmagneto 5 years ago

That's the spirit seriousnuts! Like I told your twin sister, we can all get through this. I'll try to succeed with affiliate marketing. Good luck to all of us!


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Serena Gabriel, my sister told me about you. Your observation about Google is so true. What they did to us is a stupid move. They banned our accounts without stating any concrete reasons. They said we pose a risk to their advertisers - but in what way? We all feel cheated. We all feel like we're being dumped by an abusive boyfriend/girlfriend.

It is really hard to get away with Google completely. I admit I am still using Blogger and Google search engine even after their unreasonable treatment toward me. I wish you all the best. I believe we can all be successful even without Google Adsense. Thanks for your support.


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Suramya.K, crazy month right? I still feel bad for the rest of the members who got their accounts disabled. Let's keep each other updated. I am hoping to hear a success story (even without Adsense) from any of you. Best wishes to you!


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Edmagneto, thank you for your support. I highly appreciate it. Yes, we can all get through this. I truly believe we can still be successful through other means of money-making such as affiliate marketing. Let's keep each other updated, and I hope to hear a success story from you soon.


Kawaljit kaur profile image

Kawaljit kaur 5 years ago from JALANDHAR, Punjab (India)

a voted up hub and inspiration for many like me. My account was banned on the charges of violation immediately after I just got it opened. after opening, when I looked at 'my accounts' and noticed it was banned. I could not make out what had been done by me. Your hub has motivated me. Thanks.


moiragallaga profile image

moiragallaga 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

Seriousnuts, you can add me to the group. After putting in really hard work to get approved I finally got my adsense account after several weeks (I'm based in one of those countries in the blacklist). I was quite pleased and my earnings was doing well in a matter of a few days, so I felt my initial inconvenience of having to wait a while and build up my online presence to get approved simply because I reside in the Philippines wasn't such a big deal.

I hit my pay-out limit in less than a month and even before my PIN arrived. I finally got my PIN yesterday and I excitedly registered it. Then today I get informed my account is disabled. I'm devastated. I'm new to all this and I'm not tech savvy so I keep things simple and make sure I'm careful to follow the TOS and policies and not do anything invalid. I can't really understand on what basis I had my account disabled, I got the same stuff you received about their need to protect their adwords.

I just feel bad about it and I find the treatment really shabby and so arbitrary. I filed an appeal though after going over the FAQs, Google can just very well do what it pleases and doesn't even have to explain itself.

Thanks for this hub Seriousnuts, it at least gave me this opportunity to get this off my chest and some measure comfort to know that I am not alone in this experience.


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Kwalijit kaur, I'm so sorry to hear that. Did Google mention what kind of violation you committed? What's so unfair is that they never give us any prior notice before closing our accounts. They should at least warned us before disabling our account so we could fix the problem. I'm glad to have motivated you. Thanks for the vote up.


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Moiragallaga, it's not only us, there are many out there who got their accounts disabled for no reason at all. It's not our fault that we reside in a blacklisted country. We never violated their TOS, and it's really stupid move on Google's part. I feel bad for what had happened to you. Google reserves the right to close any accounts they wish to remove without explaining themselves. It's really sad to have us work so hard for something, only to see the hard-earned money taken away from us. I'm sorry for what had happened to you. It will be a good thing if Google reverse their decision, but for now, the only thing we could do is move on and look for other opportunities.


moiragallaga profile image

moiragallaga 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

Thank you for your kind words seriousnuts. You're right, not much we can do at the moment but to move on.


Serena Gabriel 5 years ago

My theory on "blacklisted countries":

I don't think there is anything wrong with these countries' IP addresses, etc., as they may be claiming.

It's just that you are outside the U.S. and even less able to sue them than those of us living in the U.S.

You have no recourse against a company outside your national jurisdiction. So, if you've been singled out for special abuse, this is the most likely reason.

I'm saving my messages from them, though. Who knows, but one day there might be a class action lawsuit against them. I won't hold my breath! But, if you live outside the U.S., you'll never have recourse and they know that.

Here in the U.S., each state is, by law, like a separate country. So, it is hard to sue someone in another state. Google is headquartered in California. They have had one suit against them and that was from a guy they robbed who happened to live in the same county. He was awarded a small amount of damages, but Google still refused to admit wrong-doing and never re-instated his account.


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 5 years ago from Philippines Author

That's an interesting theory, Serena. I am seeing many reports on Webanswers about users getting banned by Adsense. Most are from Asia and India. Those who got banned understand each other. They know they didn't do anything wrong, and it's definitely a mistake by Google. However, as I see it, some users (who still have their adsense intact) are still skeptical about it. They think that there must be some "mistake" we are doing, that's why we got banned. Well, I think they are either in denial, or they are just too complacent with having Adsense as their sole source of online income. To those who are reading this hub, I urge you look for some other income sources besides Adsense, and never just rely on Adsense for your income. Google is highly unpredictable.

I still don't understand it though, why Google has to do this move. Asia and India has a large population. Cutting a majority of publishers from their system is a big loss to their revenue.


Serena Gabriel 5 years ago

Seriousnuts,

Re: Denial. I hate to go back to the abusive boyfriend/husband analogy, but it seems appropriate here, somehow. When a husband is abusing his wife, typically she will try to get help from everybody she can, but they won't believe her because the abuser seems like a nice guy (He's good-looking, friendly and maybe he wears a nice suit!) and he isn't abusing them. They think the wife is just being difficult, trying to cause trouble, spreading falsehoods about her husband, etc. It can't be as bad as she says it is and she must have done something to bring it all on her self, etc., etc.

That's exactly what this is like. The denial about Google is so thick you could cut it with a knife. Despite the fact that there are all kinds of complaints against them with regard to both their Adsense and Adwords programs. They have been accused of making unauthorized charges to people's credit cards and stealing the money advertisers put into their AdWords accounts! (Thank goodness I didn't take the bait to run advertisements with them!) And, once again - no recourse. No way to e-mail them. You can't call them on the phone. Only a scam company operates like that!

Since the stalking incident I had a couple of months ago, I'm not doing any web design or internet marketing for people, but I feel absolutely terrible that I have recommended these programs to people in the past because I thought they were legitimate!


shailesh549 profile image

shailesh549 5 years ago

Very nice article, I wonder although we are banned by these bozos why are they still showing their money making ads on our Hubpages articles? People must be clicking on our ads making Google earn without us earning a dime out of it


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Thank you shailesh549. It's ironic right? They banned us, but they are still using our articles to earn money. For what I know though, part of it goes to Hubpages. I hope we'll get better luck with Amazon and eBay.


The Fanboy profile image

The Fanboy 5 years ago from South Africa

Hey seriousnuts, great hub. I have also had my Adsense account banned because of WebAnswers. I have been a member of Hubpages/Google Adsense since 2008, happily going along until I joined WebAnswers a few months ago. Like you, I was thrilled to see my Adsense earnings increase daily, and then, out of the blue, my account was disabled.

In a way, I am glad it happened. It freed me from the chains of the all powerful Google who feel that they can do whatever they want, to whomever they want, without consequences. I have been looking for alternatives ever since and have discovered some great alternative programs and opportunities to earn online. I hope to publish an article on it soon to help other writers.

If you're interested, you can read about my experience with Google Adsense/Webanswers here: http://webupon.com/search-engines/google-adsense-a...

I wish you all the luck!


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Fanboy, I'm sorry about your Adsense account, but it's a relief to know that you've gotten over this. Instead, you feel very glad getting free from the chains of Google. I myself don't like to be bound by Google. When I think about it, I also feel very relieved after this incident. I don't have to worry about following the TOS anymore, which by the way, whether you follow or not, will still get you disabled if Google feels like doing it. Anyway, thanks for the link. I will check it out soon.


The Fanboy profile image

The Fanboy 5 years ago from South Africa

Hi there, thanks for reading my story and leaving the encouraging comment. I wrote about my experience in the hope that others will not fall into the same trap. The best piece of advice I can give to everyone here is, use Adsense by all means, but please do not put all your eggs into one basket. Develop multiple online income streams with various programs and writing sites. Good luck to you all.


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Very well said.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

11/21

seriousnuts . . .Great read. Informative and in-depth. Loved your presentation. And writing style. Very well said. I voted UP and away. And I am honored to follow you. Sincerely, Kenneth Avery, from a rural town, Hamilton, in northwest Alabama that looks like that sweet little town, Mayberry, on the Andy Griffith Show. YOU are cordially invited to check out my hubs and you may get an unexpected laugh. KENNETH


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Kenneth. Thanks so much for your appreciation. I will check out your hubs soon. Have a nice day.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hi, seriousnuts! YOU are very welcome. Anytime. My job, or calling in life, is supporting genuine friends like you. And that gives me happiness. YOU have a great day and a Nice Thanksgiving.

Kenneth


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Hey seriousnuts! I read your sister's article yesterday and I am so sorry to see both of you have to go through this! You were both an asset to the community and I appreciate all the comments you left on my Hubs. I do hope that you don't totally disappear! I hope you can fix this soon and get back to normal! Regards.

JSMatthew~


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi J.S. Matthew, thanks for your concern. It's been a while already. This incident has somehow discouraged me to write more often. It's okay now, I have moved on already. I am more active on Blogger right now, where I could earn through other advertising networks. I'll still hang out here in Hubpages, though not that often. This has been a wonderful community where I have met a lot of nice Hubbers (including you of course!). Have a nice day.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Glad to hear that you won't disappear seriousnuts! What is your blogger address? I'd like to check it out. This is a great community and I am sorry to hear about your situation. Regards.

JSMatthew~


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 4 years ago from Philippines Author

seriousnuts.blogspot.com

I've also included links to my different blogs on my Hubpages profile page. Thanks for your interest. Nice to hear from you again.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Thank you. I'll check it out!

JSMatthew~


whoisbid profile image

whoisbid 4 years ago

Your Hub was interesting. It shows that Google favors certain countries. I know from experience that this not only applies to adsense but also to Google search. If you are in India or China and you want to get your message around the world then it is better to use a friend to register your domain in the United States. If you want to see how other countries see search engines and websites you will need to use a proxy server. Some people might be surprised to find that the internet you see in your country is completely different from the internet other people see elsewhere.


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 4 years ago from Philippines Author

I see, I didn't know these things regarding Google search. Thanks for the additional input. It's nice to hear from you again after so long. I haven't been very active here after the Google ban.


whoisbid profile image

whoisbid 4 years ago

I just got banned from Adsense yesterday and so did a whole bunch of people I know. One of them needs the money for their old parents and they loved Google Adsense and made good money over the years. That person was a good law abiding citizen who never clicked on her own ads or encouraged others to do so. Shame on Google for crushing a lonely lady trying to make a few dollars by working overtime on the internet. I guess Google is going to become very unpopular in 2012 by showing how greedy and unfair they really are. Good luck to you without Google. Maybe it is the best thing that ever happened to all of us. Who cares about them anymore? http://hubpages.com/business/BANNED-ADSENSE-ACCOUN...


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 4 years ago from Philippines Author

I'm sorry to hear that whoisbid. That is very unexpected. You are probably right. Google will become unpopular in the near future. I'm now using Chitika, Infolinks, and Nuffnang in my blogs and they seem to have great potential. Good luck on you too.

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