Google AdSense Fraud Leak Seems Fake, Publishers Doubt It & Matt Cutts Calls B.S.

Apr 30, 2014 • 8:27 am | comments (64) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdSense
 

Google AdSense FraudLast night, some anonymous person claiming to have worked in the Google AdSense department for "several years" posted a story named "Google AdSense Leak." In where he describes the fraud he firsthand witnessed at Google regarding defrauding publishers from earned income.

You can read the whole story over here but if it is pulled off, here is a copy.

The details are very long but as I read it, it seemed to me, that it was written by a publisher and not a former Googler. I immediately emailed the team at Search Engine Land and said that it "seems way out there." As I dug deeper, it seemed more and more to me that a disgruntled AdSense publisher wrote it. Of course, in the back of my mind I felt it could be true.

Scanning the forum threads at DigitalPoint, WebmasterWorld and Hacker News, it seems most people don't believe it as well.

One senior member at WebmasterWorld said, "I don't believe it," and then went on to explain why. The forum moderator there also said "this makes no sense" and goes on to explain why.

Google's Matt Cutts posted on Twitter that this is B.S.:

I did the same thing, I immediately Googled and Binged the term [aq3c] and nothing came up. To keep that a secret for so long is almost impossible.

He also responded to tons of people in the Hacker News thread outright calling this a lie. Here are some quotes:

Everything about this post strikes me as a conspiracy-laden fake, from the typos to wrong terminology to untrue policies to the lack of specific names of people. I passed this pastebin to the ads side to confirm for sure, but I would treat this as completely untrue.

Added: Yup, I'm hearing back from multiple people on the ads side that this is pretty much untrue from start to finish.

Also notice that the "rmujica" account that submitted this item has never submitted any other story or written any other comment on Hacker News before today.

hosay123, I've worked with the people this post talks about since 2005. Even though I'm the head of the webspam team, I'm familiar with how AdSense deals with fraud.

For example, I often see disgruntled publishers complaining on the web, and from time to time I've followed up on specific blog posts to get the other side of the story. In addition, the group that manually fights webspam at Google is a sibling organization to the group that fights adspam.

Finally, I passed these claims directly to the ads side and so far I've gotten three (now four) different "this is fake" responses from people I trust and have worked with in different capacities for years, including an engineer that I worked with in search quality who later went to work in ads.

Google has given statements that this is indeed false.

Now, I know a lot of you will call me a Google supporter and such. Yes, there were mass Google bans, more than I can link to here. Yes lawsuits around AdSense publishers as well, that is all known. His last point, I cannot verify.

Again, my gut says this is a disgruntled publisher posting his conspiracy theory.

Forum discussion at DigitalPoint, WebmasterWorld and Hacker News.

Previous story: Google Holds Webmaster Meetup At Google Taipei May 15th
 

Comments:

Jason Dexter

04/30/2014 12:39 pm

A Google employee denies this happens? Shock! Other employees deny it, too? Shock! Whilst I have no opinions on this with regards to it's validity, we can't just assume that Google employees are going to reply with "Yeah well actually, it is true"

StevenLockey

04/30/2014 03:35 pm

True, but you would expect someone who claimed to work at Google for several years while 'monitoring' this, to actually post something vaguely regarding evidence. Also you would expect them to know the correct terminology e.t.c. which they clearly don't. It looks very very fake and not even a very good fake to me. Unless evidence comes to light to support it (which I very much doubt it will), it sounds like a spammy publisher with sour grapes trying to get one back at Google.

Durant Imboden

04/30/2014 03:39 pm

"To keep that a secret for so long is almost impossible." I'm reminded of a Neil deGrasse Tyson quote from a recent NEW YORKER profile, in which Tyson commented on the claim that the NASA moon landings were faked: "If there were ever a state secret that the government wanted to keep, it would be the behavior of President Clinton’s genitals, O.K.? But that got out!...You’re going to hoax a Moon landing by telling ten thousand scientists and engineers to keep it secret for forty years?" http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/02/17/140217fa_fact_mead

RyanMJones

04/30/2014 03:47 pm

the whole reasoning doesn't make sense. he says it's about money, but if that were the case wouldn't they let the accounts continue so they could take 50% of their revenue for life instead of 100% of it for one month?

Galileo

04/30/2014 03:51 pm

How long did Snowden work for NSA and how many others had the same information and did nothing ?

Jason Dexter

04/30/2014 03:53 pm

The evidence, I'm with you on. Although this isn't to do with National Security and could bring financial ruin to the *leaker* so I imagine this could be in the pipelines. I'm not sure, simply playing devils advocate. What evidence could they post? What terminology have they got wrong? Just curious. I don't touch Adsense apart from a 100 quid a month account.

Galileo

04/30/2014 03:57 pm

You assume that a loos of publisher means loos of revenue. Why do they ban the publishers for no apparent reason? Your logic suggests that they would do anything to keep the publishers ? Actually the whole premise is false. There is an (almost) unlimited amount of publisher. It makes no difference to them if ad inventory is served on a "mega" site that earns 10k+ or on a multitude of small sites that make $100 a year. Any publisher that was (is) in a 10k+ a month category will confirm some of the claims from that leak.

CaptainKevin

04/30/2014 03:59 pm

I thought Google employees did not know in detail what goes on in other departments? It seems odd that a web spam employee could accurately comment on the happenings of the Adsense team.

StevenLockey

04/30/2014 04:00 pm

He didn't. He worked for a contractor. Also he had proof, like you would expect from someone who had been in that sort of position for that period of time. What evidence? The internal e-mails about this for example... Images of documents. Recordings. You know, the basic stuff anyone who was actually trying to whistle blow would have collected over the years working there. It couldn't do any harm to the leaker even if he leaked it. All NDAs are inadmissible and invalid in cases of reporting crimes or suspected crimes to the authorities.

Barry Schwartz

04/30/2014 04:24 pm

Yea, this guy's intelligence and evidence collection is far from Snowden.

Search M.D.

04/30/2014 04:38 pm

Bogus story, if there was any company that had some "serious financial losses" it wasn't Google. Look at the stock price ever since 2009, up up and you guessed it, up.

asdf

04/30/2014 05:27 pm

What I find odd is that Matt says the leak is fake and the terminology doesn't match, but he never says that the claims are untrue.

Naveed

04/30/2014 06:16 pm

Well said Captain

Durant Imboden

04/30/2014 07:07 pm

Matt Cutts said "untrue" twice, and in the linked TechCrunch article, a Google spokesperson is quoted as saying: "This description of our AdSense policy enforcement process is a complete fiction. The color-coding and ‘extreme quality control’ programs the author describes don’t exist." Matt's comments and Google's statement seem pretty clear to me.

wertwert

04/30/2014 07:08 pm

The notion of blindly ignoring claims on that rationality is ignorant and dangerous. What were the odds that priests could keep their child molestation secret for decades?

Durant Imboden

04/30/2014 07:58 pm

The odds certainly changed when the Internet came along.

wertwert

04/30/2014 08:30 pm

Which would be a good point if how long a wrong doing is kept secret actually mattered.

thisischouhan

04/30/2014 08:53 pm

Google AdSense Fraud Leak Seems Fake, Publishers Doubt It & Matt Cutts Calls B.S----- it is very unfair & disgusting jobs in the internet world...We hate this...

Durant Imboden

04/30/2014 09:14 pm

Well, you asked: "What were the odds that priest could keep their child molestation secret for decades?" As for "blindly ignoring claims," what about blindly believing anonymous posts that aren't supported by evidence, as you seem to be doing? The burden of proof is on the person making the allegations.

asdf

04/30/2014 09:16 pm

Here is some evidence that some of the claims may be partly true. Poll shows 70% of bans occur within 4 days of payout... https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7672910 It's probably not a crime that google engages in this, but I certainly understand why a publisher would be upset about it.

wertwert

04/30/2014 09:30 pm

I don't... as per asdf's post I find it hard to believe 254 people would collectively lie on short notice. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7672910 therefore... I'm not saying it is or isn't true at this time. I just think it is stupid to dismiss the claims solely based on your book of quotations.

F1 Steve

04/30/2014 10:10 pm

Yap yap yap goes lap dog Durant!

F1 Steve

04/30/2014 10:15 pm

Mat commenting on the affairs of other departments? What about this so called "Chinese wall" Durant harps on about, isn't that meant to prevent this? I guess the Chinese wall is only between two departments when it’s convenient not to comment!

Durant Imboden

04/30/2014 10:29 pm

Well, if this so-called leaker is telling the truth, he'd better be ready to cut a deal with a prosecutor, because he's admitted his complicity.

wertwert

04/30/2014 11:10 pm

If it amounts to anything it would probably be civil and not criminal. If whistleblower protection kicks in she'll be fine... If she is lying then Google has every right to sue for the $10 she has left in her bank account after banning her site. (Just saying, could be a woman too...)

Durant Imboden

05/01/2014 12:22 am

I have no idea whether Google times its publisher bans to inflict the maximum amount of pain on publishers who violate the AdSense program policies, but if so, why not? "Bud, you just lost a month's ill-gotten income" sends a stronger message than "Pal, you just lost three days' worth of ill-gotten income."

NewWorldDisorder

05/01/2014 01:01 am

Inflict maximum damage to who? I don't recall ever getting reimbursements to my Adwords account because of fraud committed by Adsense users. Has Google changed this or are they still making advertisers pay for publisher TOS violations?

Durant Imboden

05/01/2014 01:15 am

Here's a Search Engine Roundtable post from a few months ago on that very topic: http://www.seroundtable.com/google-adwords-invalid-activity-refunds-17927.html

Yo Mamma

05/01/2014 01:18 am

I for one believe the information to be not only credible, but highly probable considering the dubious track record of his employer

Yo Mamma

05/01/2014 01:22 am

If you're good at analyzing intelligence, where does your intelligence lie? Between the two?

mynameisnunofubiz

05/01/2014 01:32 am

they guy saw something and heard something but he was a under link... some of the unjust disabling and banning in adsense were not just related only to the money and revenue... it seams google is using and has been adsense as a weapon to attack its rivals. The resent case is facebook. they had a mass dump of sites which had fb as the source of their traffic to counter attack the new set of facebook ads which directs lots of quality cheap traffic to your site and the fb in general (because the fb is ruling out the search as the main source of traffic... you can see this in the new sites... people pay more attention to make a site more social friendly than SEO) Anyhow, as has been said, adsense is an awesome revenue stream as long as you have it... but it shouldn't be the center of you business plan... you are better of to put buysellads, adhitz, CPM based ads, affiliate networks and make your site around them and make less money in the first year, than go full retarded and tie your livelihood to a single corporation.

Yo Mamma

05/01/2014 02:31 am

Someone commenting a Valleywag article said, “I never participated in adsense (fuck google) but I was part of a big online group who used it hard. Thousands were banned without reason in a single sweep near their payout date. It matches this description perfectly. I always suspected foul play and now this describes exactly what happened around that exactly time. Coincidence. I don’t think so…And what a group of small people could do against mighty Google?” http://www.webpronews.com/google-accused-of-stealing-money-from-adsense-publishers-2014-04

Matthew White

05/01/2014 06:09 am

Something that's interesting is that if you use Google trends and put in the search term "adsense disabled" you can see allot of people start to search for that term in March 2009.... which corresponds to article on pastebin, the allegation that Google started this in March 2009 during the financial collapse.

Soni Sharma

05/01/2014 06:23 am

I doubt this story. New adsense system moving towards transparency. I suggest they should make it more and more transparent. By providing managing ads and CPC stuff on publisher website so that they can control ads and calculate approx value 60/40 ratio

user2

05/01/2014 06:53 am

"quality cheap traffic" ??

User2

05/01/2014 06:55 am

its because its during that time they do a thorough check on accounts flagged as doing something fishy, they do this check before sending out the payouts hence these bans usually occurs almost a few days before the actual payout dates

James

05/01/2014 07:52 am

You are childish. Why are you so obsessed with Durant? Do you stick pins in his picture? Or perhaps you kiss his picture good night and have sweet dreams about him. You are entitled to disagree with his comments but rather than post a considered reply you just call him names. It really is pathetic. That said, don't stop, it makes me laugh (at you, not Durant).

Keeper

05/01/2014 08:21 am

Yeah keep spreading propaganda. Many ex google employees (worked in headquarters) study with me in my masters classes and they tell us all how Google is no different from Nazi. It leaves our professors in total shock. How the employees are handled is known to us. Looks like NWO already started in Mountainview. Matt Cutts will always disagree with the truth because apparently he owns some google shares.

F1 Steve

05/01/2014 08:36 am

James, you misunderstand, I love him… in a world of change Durant is my constant. The one thing I can count on is his daily, non-compromising defence of the millionaire Mr Cutts and billion dollar corporation Google! Now go back into the corner James like a good little man ;)

StevenLockey

05/01/2014 09:47 am

Don't worry, you have another constant, your IQ. It'll never make double figures so you can be content with that.

F1 Steve

05/01/2014 10:03 am

OUCH!!! Now insult my mother Steven, I double dare you! lol ;)

StevenLockey

05/01/2014 10:06 am

Ok, Your momma is so fat, they fitted a warp drive to her and called her the mothership! :)

F1 Steve

05/01/2014 10:23 am

that's a good one ill give you that!

Yo Mamma

05/01/2014 11:34 am

When all the lies surface and its decline is insight, remember not to blame just the Jews that head this company, like its founder Sergey Brin, but remember too those like Larry Page and Matt Cutts. Oops, my bad, Page's mother is Jewish too.

higoogle

05/01/2014 12:45 pm

Somehow I am inclined to believe it was a guy who used to be a publisher and now banned and lost a significant source of revenue. Being in such a situation definitely is frustrating. That being said, it still raises questions on the whole ecosystem of adsense. Here are some of my insights about the whole issue: - Google making such a strong rebuttal officially as well as through Matt is kind of fishy. Big companies tend to act quickly on matters which has potential to be destructive. We never see Google and Matt justifying any SEO related debate that aggressively. They simply read and laugh. Here they are sweating to not let it go to another level. Why do you have to defend anything so loudly where things are absolutely fake? May be the guy's claim matches some of the foul play from Google and may be they are scared the stupid claim from a destroyed soul could lead into investigation and eventually bust Google. May be no color codes exist but what about similar codes or whatever that has same end results? - Another fishy thing is that Google actually bans account before the payout date. Why? Why don't they do it after they make the payment owed from a month before and ban the account on the 1st of the month when they actually post finalized earning? You get paid on finalized earning. If something is finalized why would you ban and claim to return it to advertisers? May be they return a little bit to advertisers. But who knows when the main party does not have transparency. Why can't they just provide a list of advertisers that were returned their money with the ban? I am pretty sure it will be a copy paste job if they really wish to be transparent. And it is important that Google provide some explanation. Even in a situation where publisher deserves to be banned, Google should understand that they used their property for whole month. It is not only about advertisers when you used someone else's territory to satisfy your advertisers. I now am a adsense publisher and have accumulated little bit of money using the service. But somehow this kind of issues bother me even if I had and have complied with policies and always intend to do so. If I happen to face such a devastating situation for no reason I will definitely sue Google for soliciting my property. Imagine being in Jail and you actually did not commit a crime? - Another fishy thing is that Google emails during ban notice says to protect itself. Here is how it reads: "We're limited in the amount of information we can provide about your specific violation. We understand this can be frustrating for you, but we've taken these precautionary measures because intentional violators can use this information to circumvent our detection systems." Why would Google be scared? When someone is punished, they should be used as example for others to not do something similar. But somehow Google is being totally protective here. May be there are valid reasons but when you make someone sign contract at least tell them what violation occurred, you don't have to tell them how they detected! That is just like a landlord physically evicting a tenant without any explanation. Can tenant sue? Yes. Look at this innocent guy acting like a guy hit with baseball bat in his head and not knowing what's going on: http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/adsense/oTUG94qwqc8

Bigots-are-us

05/01/2014 12:59 pm

Whats with all the antisemitism? You need to crawl back under the rock mate. You are clearly stupid!

Yo Mamma

05/01/2014 01:22 pm

Takes one to know one is what I say mate. You know many deny that Hitler was a Catholic, but his mummy was Catholic and he married a Catholic. I guess that is 'antisemitism' in your eyes too mate..

PattiSluth

05/01/2014 07:44 pm

When a public relation's person (Matt Cutts... ex NSA by the way) screams "conspiracy theory", I know it's a conspiracy. Bank on it. And this has NOTHING to do with money. Google is a government front company funded by In-Q-Tel from day 1. This is all about screwing a ton of online marketers - that's the REAL reason for the bans. The funders behind Google print the money... they don't need the money. Shame on Barry Schwartz for shilling for Google. Disgusting.

asdf

05/01/2014 09:03 pm

You opinion is about as impressive as your math skills.

Diesle A-Dogg

05/01/2014 09:43 pm

GO check out my youtube channel if you guys like gaming vids link here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO_fc7MOIoa5oUlj6Y-Vtzw I don't really believe it though.

Guest

05/02/2014 03:35 am

Yep. One of my friends worked for Google. Was absolutely shocked at what goes on in the company, with much of it being patently illegal. He left after only a few months, as he couldn't stomach working for a company that morally bereft.

Guest

05/02/2014 03:37 am

Because he's all over every article defending everything Google does. He's obviously either a Google employee or owns massive amounts of shares.

Andy

05/02/2014 02:01 pm

Unfortunately I'm going to have to agree with what this "employee" wrote as I have experienced the exact same banning scheme for my adsense account. I made a lot, got close to a payout then poof, banned for invalid clicks I wasn't making... My appeal was denied the 1st time and ignored the 2nd.

tb

05/02/2014 04:46 pm

I think another important section of the leaked document is also being overlooked 'It first began with just altering data reports for Analytics account holders that also had an AdSense account, but they ran into too many issues and decided it would be simpler just to skew the report data across the board to remain consistent and implement features globally. So what this means is that the statistical data for a website using Google Analytics is not even close to being accurate.' This means that Google are also skewing the analytics data across the board including ADWORDS.... I know my data in analytics is inaccurate and not just on 1 adwords account. I wonder how much of PPC is down to fraud aswell?

Jayson

05/03/2014 09:43 am

​In response to Google comments, this is a the second letter posted ihttp://pastebin.com/DXTu8Mcm I am the former Google employee that had leaked the information regarding AdSense. I am writing this second part as a response to certain misconceptions and confusions my previous leak has generated within articles and websites regarding it. Firstly, many have asked why I did not approach the leak in a more official capacity and bring my information to the attention of law enforcement. I want to make myself perfectly clear, my employment documents (such as the NDA's and non-competes) have very strict wording when it comes to releasing internal information in regards to processes and privy information. Google is not just some little company with little means of repercussion. They have gone after other internal leakers and were successful in damaging and ruining their lives on multiple levels. I do not want to be the next one. I honestly believe very little would have been done if I had brought the information solely to law enforcement, even on the federal level. Google would have simply lawyered up and made it go away (which they have done before). I felt it was better to release the information to the public and let the publishers who suffered the thefts bring forth a civil case against Google. I think a civil action against Google will carry more weight to it, and have a much stronger outcome to the public than a federal case would. The second reason would be that my identity would be front and center if I had approached law enforcement, and if Google were to have squash it immediately I would not have been able to anonymously release the information to the public as a backup plan. The third reason is fear. I do not want to be in the direct identifiable crosshairs of Google's legal department. I have taken very extreme measures to cover my tracks and identity. I know what they can do, and I know which services and servers do what. I have made sure everything leads to dead ends and that tracking will be virtually impossible. I wasn't hired by Google for my body. I know, right now, there is a team inside Google working very hard to track me down. They will scour every service and product they have access to in an attempt to find me. But they might as well quit right now, I am an insider and know the inner workings. I know the how's, the why's, and who's. It will be quite futile on their part, but I will still exercise extreme caution. In regards to my wording of the leaked information. I had planned and carefully thought out every word and every way I had said it. Everything was planned. The timing. The wording. Everything. It is not by accident, nor are there any accidental omissions. Of course I was not going to use terms only employees and former employees would know to explain everything. That would be simply foolish. I kept it informative and only mentioned a few select terms so that Google themselves would know I was who I said I was, because only an employee would have known. So everyone must know that I wrote it for the public, not for Google employees. Lastly, and more importantly, there has been lots of talk about my information not stating any names and that I did not provide any hard proof. Many individuals have brushed off my information as a falsehood solely due to that and claim that I have nothing substantial. I want you to go a reread my previous information release. Where did I exactly say I did not have proof or hard evidence? Because I do. I have communications. I have documents, I have files, I have lists, and I have names. I have all of it. Like I said from the beginning, I have carefully waited and carefully planned everything out. I do everything with reason and purpose. I have to be exceptionally careful in every way. So you ask why haven't I released it? The answer, if I release everything I have now, it will give Google too many possible avenues to discover my identity. Also doing thing such as publicly naming people and giving Google a pre-emptive look at what I have will only make them prepare for the class action lawsuit that will hit them. They won't be caught off guard and they will have time to come up with excuses and explanations in attempts to rid themselves of this issue. I do not want that to happen. I want the people to win. I want those who had money they earned, that was stolen from them, to get the right to fight for it on equal grounding. That is why I have chosen to only release it to the legal representatives of the class action lawsuit against Google in regards to AdSense. If those representative decide to release it, then it is up to them, but right now as it stands, I will not. I will carefully monitor the situation and wait to see how it forms and pick the right timing for the release of the evidence to the legal representatives. If several months go by and no class action lawsuit manifests, then I will have to selectively release a few key pieces of evidence to the public at large. The information and evidence I have is extensive and quite detailed, it will also paint a very different picture of what Google is really like to the public. For those who have a difficult time believing my information I ask you to simply ask Google and their representatives the right questions related to my first release of information. Force them to answer those questions specifically. Ask them "is there a VIP status for publishers", ask them "why do account bans always seem to occur just before payouts", ask them "why do you fail to provide reasons and evidence of your allegations against publishers". Keep asking such questions, keep digging, and you will come to find out by yourselves that everything I have stated is completely true. Like many have said, it will be difficult for them to hide it now. ​

CMIMark

05/04/2014 12:49 pm

Conspiracy theories build combine truth with myth -- often telling the story we want to see. The assertion that Google disables accounts just before payout is often true, as are occasional "mass disablings". As well, there is plenty of evidence that sites/videographers who overly rely on social media for traffic building get nailed (in part probably because the relationship between the viewers and publishers is far closer than between viewer/advertiser -- thus encouraging some to "help" and others to "hurt". Also, notably, there are indeed organized click fraud rings out there -- if you want to say there is a conspiracy, it could well be the conspiracy "against" google. This doesn't mean AdSense is perfect and that some publishers are caught by the bots unfairly. In the law of massively large numbers (of publishers/advertisers) I'm sure this is the case. As well, since Google is quite concerned about relationships between disabled publishers and "others" I expect some publishers are pulled in to the "account disabled" trap because they know someone who knows someone (and this may not be 100 per cent fair to the disabled publisher.) The disabling before payout obviously makes sense because the logical time to nail a publisher is, well, just before you pay. (My perceptions are shaped by experience -- I had a business account disabled (validly) but survived with an equally valid personal account, started helping out on the AdSense help forums, and then got sabotaged by a nut-case who didn't like my answers on the forums -- resulting in a second disabling. Thankfully, there was lots of evidence of the cause of my second problem and it seems Google staff were about to name me as a Top Contributor (moderator) on the forums. This happened a few weeks later -- meaning I have had a true 'rise from the dead' experience.) Note one commenter suggests you should never stake everything on one program/customer/client, and this is absolutely true. This is a business relationship and clients can ditch you anytime -- best to have many worthy clients, indeed.

shopify

05/06/2014 09:10 am

Part 2 has been published on pastebin http://pastebin.com/DXTu8Mcm

Anonymous

05/08/2014 03:35 pm

To all you people saying you can't keep something like that hidden for so long please just stop. Have you not heard of Snowden? And that's a much bigger company hiring people who didn't even go to college. So yes, something like that can be kept secret and you'd be amazed how many things like that exist in the world. Corporate deviance has been around since before corporations. What's really scary is the reasons he gives for not disclosing his identity. Whether true or not, it's scary nonetheless. Another point is that whether or not he really worked at Google his points about cheating people who game Google out of their commissions is valid. Just do a search and you'll see how many people and how much money - and that's just the ones who complain online. In 2012 it was estimated that Google click fraud could be as much as $1bn according to this Forbes story: http://www.forbes.com/sites/investor/2012/06/18/is-click-fraud-a-ticking-time-bomb-under-google Google does give refunds to advertisers but I would imagine it's only in a tiny fraction of the most severe cases. I bet the vast majority of the time they ban the publisher, don't pay but don't refund the advertiser.

cayn0r

05/11/2014 02:20 pm

I’m a webmaster since over 10 years and I’ve heard at least two dozen stories from webmasters who got their account banned for no apparent reason. And while I think that the “leak” itself is fake, the reactions show that Google is doing something wrong with how they handle account bans. As an affected webmaster you don’t even get to know the exact reason why your account got banned. And you don’t have a chance to ever get it back – as all decisions are final and only a lawyer is able to get you insight into your case (which 99% of users don’t do – getting a lawyer) So I think Google really, really needs to improve the way the handle account bans. They have to hire more customer care people who are going to work with the affected webmaster and help him to get his account back and tell him how to avoid getting banned again. This would help a lot with customer care and people wouldn't have to be scared 24/7 that their account is going to get banned. I’ve detailed out these issues on my blog post: http://1ksociety.com/2014/05/05/google-adsense-leak/ bye, Wenzel

Sandeep Dahiya

05/13/2014 07:54 am

I will try to answer the question asked by this "Google Employee": PS- I am neither Google Employee nor adsense publisher, and no-one is my close family or friends work with Google. 1. Is there a VIP status for publishers? A- Yes there should be. Google Manage million adsnese account, and there should be firms who are are working with Google for long time and those are trusted partners. Its obvious to put them in VIP status. And this is not VIP Section, this must be Loyalty Section. Everyone favors Loyalty, be in your friends, your customer or your partners. This is how world works. 2. Why do account bans always seem to occur just before payouts? Ans: Because they are responsible to check if the money they are giving is going to the right hands. You cannot really check if an account is working genuinely or is fake unless they have been there for sometime. How will you analyse something if there is no data? So my best bet is Google check every account before sending the payment if the earning is genuine or not, and then they decide whatever is right. 3. Why do you fail to provide reasons and evidence of your allegations against publishers? Ans. Let's be practical here. Just go to forums like BlackHatWorld and search for ways to create fake Adsense account. You will find hundreds way where you can create fake accounts and there are even people providing freelance service to create one for you, just for 20$. According to my guess, there must be 10k+ account each month those are getting banned. And it needs lots of manpower to reply all those accounts in person. And for what? If you genuinely believe that your account ban was wrong, just re-apply and they will review your application. And a few more things I would like to add: 1. Google doesn't keep the money that is generated from the banned adsense accounts. The money is returned to the advertisers. Of-course they must be keeping some part of it, and that is genuine because of all the trouble they go through. 2. It is strictly mentioned that they wont reply to any mail regarding banned accounts. That is a policy and you were given the right to reject that before applying for account. 3. And you cannot ban someone's account by aggressively clicking from one computer. Yes I agree that if you have skills and understanding of adsense accounts, it can be banned, but not the way this "Google Employee" says. Again, I would like to mention that I am neither Google Employee nor Adsense publisher, and no-one is my close family or friends work with Google.

Dont be evil

05/16/2014 10:43 am

A company that the slogan "dont be evil" are the most likely to be precisely that. It is like fastfood companies putting "good coffee" on their cups and serve you an insult to coffee in that same cup. Why do they need to put it out there to begin with if not to distract. That and Google has done plenty of things that are hard not to see as manipulative and therefore evil. So while this does not prove the whistleblower to be real, I am more likely to believe anyone other than Google when it comes to corporate finance because as soon as there are big money involved the first victim is common decency. Anything goes as long as you're not caught.

Naomi Love

05/23/2014 04:29 pm

GOOGLE IS EVIL. They are harming countless publishers who don't call themselves publishers but YouTube content creator. The perfect web of evil, they ban many from Adsense for Invalid Click Activity for which YouTubers have absolutely no control over as how can you control the general public? They also dont' provide proof or evidence of the accusation leaving them to be jury, judge and executioner. THE FRAUD IS REAL. It happened to me and of course. . . right before they have to cut a check! Absolute power corrupts Absolutely

jb

06/16/2014 02:30 pm

Matt Cutts was in the Adsense section before he moved to webspam.

Trails of Doom

07/01/2014 07:17 pm

Adsense is even more damaging to youtube content publishers. I run TrailsOfDoom a paintball youtube channel. I advertised for adsense for 3 years from 2009 through 2012. I invented a new way to film paintball and my channel blew up in February of 2012. I was invited into the "pre-roll" advertising back then and one of my videos was featured on a paintball companies facebook page, which went out to the 100,000 people who "liked" their page. So my video got thousands of views in under an hour. Since they were from all over the world, and the fact that my viewship on youtube was blowing up, I would assume it flagged my account, and in one month I finally hit the $100 threshold to get my first check. But, instead of a check, I got the "your adsense account has been flagged for possible invalid click activity". I appealed and got the computer generated response a week later (at 4:30 in the morning EST). My channel has continued to grow (ad free now) and is getting ready to hit 10,000 subscribers, and I average 100,000 views a month now. With my average viewer watching around 5:00 of each video! Which is amazing retention for youtube. All for nothing, as I have never made a single dime from the hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars spent on camera gear, and editing... I didn't click on my own ads, or do anything wrong. And it is a LIFETIME ban, and there is NOTHING you can do about it. As they lock your adsense account, and you can't get rid of it. So I am in fact a youtube partner, with no ability to monetize my content... I have all the other "features" though on my youtube account. So when I think of Google now... I think of the evil they have done to me... As a youtuber with a big following in paintball, I never recommend others to get into the game, as Google always wins. And the little guy like me get screwed.

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