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Google Adsense Good Faith

A friend of mine forwarded me the email from Google after is Adsense account was disabled, pointing out that he was disabled not for invalid click activity actually happening, but because Google says “we’ve determined that your AdSense account poses a risk of generating invalid activity”. The email goes on to say that the revenue will be returned to the advertiser.

I understand that Google has a vested interest in proactively disabling Adsense accounts that have suspicious patterns to prevent future fraud, but I think they have an ethical obligation to pay out the remaining balance to the publisher if no actual invalid click activity was found. The publisher has given something of value to Google Adsense and the Advertisers in Good Faith, often for a month or more, as Google has a tendency to disable accounts right before the first payment is scheduled to go out (net 30 from the last month in which $100+ was acquired by the account). If Google finds invalid activity, by all means they should both disable the account and return the funds to the advertisers, but if Google is acting on a predilection of future abuse, but currently only has valid click metrics from the publisher, they ought to disable the account but still pay the publishers.

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1 Comment

  1. Sandy K
    Mar 16, 2011

    Not only is Google judge and jury, but they make it extremely difficult for a small site publisher to contact them to appeal a decision. It would be interesting to learn more about the activity that triggered the disabling of the account.

    Author Note: I actually dont have much of a problem with Google being Judge and Jury. My problem is with the specific way they handle accounts that are disabled BEFORE they actually find any fraudulent activity. Imagine a museum that pays local hotels a commission for sending their visitors to their exhibits. The museum notices that one hotel is sending suspicious looking people to the museum. They are paying for their tickets, but they just don’t look right (maybe they like to wear facemasks). The museum then calls up the hotel and says not only are we canceling your commissionable contract, but we aren’t going to pay you for all the customers you already sent. Sure, the museum should protect its property, but they shouldn’t steal the revenues that were legitimately generated while the commissionable contract was valid.

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