Appealing an Adsense Suspension

In my last post I detailed how one of my sites had Adsense disabled due to a violation of Google’s policies, in this post I’ll explain changes made and the appeal process.

After receiving the warning email I thought I’d made all the required changes to bring my site into compliance, however obviously not, as the site was now suspended but my Adsense account was still active (though my best Adsense performing site was now full of white space and earnings were significantly down).

After crapping myself for the second time it was a case of going through both emails, Adsense policies (again) to see if I’d missed anything. Policy wise I think I was fine however looking at the warning and suspension email there was one significant difference:

Warning email:

Action required: Please make changes to your site within 72 hours.

Suspension email:

Action required: Check all other remaining sites in your account for compliance.

So basically my main site that I’d fixed all violations with had been suspended because some of my other sites still had issues but were showing ads. Kind of strange but I knew what needed changing, so performed the same modifications as in my previous post.

I also had a dozen or so other sites (with Adsense on) that I’d created years ago when I first started out on my online journey. Some of which were certainly over “optimized”. Fixing these proved a real pain in the ass. Firstly I had to find them (in Adsense you can look at the sites report to see which sites your ads are being served on, this is also a good way to find which shitty scrappers are stealing your content). Next I had to find which hosting company the servers were with (yup I’m still working on my “Don’t flush money down the drain” badge). Then reset passwords, download the site and make required changes. With a lot of the sites I just removed Adsense entirely as they were spammy as shit, in their time had performed quite well but not something I wanted to be associated with now.

So all the changes were made and it was time to send off an appeal to the big G. I searched around (using Google of course) to see what others had written in this situation and appeal results seemed pretty 50/50 but successful ones explained in depth what changes had been made and how they would ensure future violations would not happen in the future. So that’s the tact I took, my appeal email was as follows:

Thank you for pointing out that my Adsense placement was not in compliance with your policies and for giving me a chance to remedy the situation. I reread your policies and believe I found the violations. I edited the following sites – displaying Adsense advertisements – as described below and included sample links of the updated pages. Also included is my understanding of why the ads violated policies. By all means, If there still exist any violations on these sites I would be happy to make additional changes.

SITE: xxxxxx
* Removed the Adlink units that were above and close to the category menu in the lefthand side column on all pages (suspected violation: accidental clicks)
* Removed the Adunit that was at the top of all category pages in the category description box, e.g. xxxxx (suspected violation: ad mislabeling)
* Removed the Adlinks beside related posts at the end of every individual post page e.g. xxxxx (suspected violation: accidental clicks or ad proximity)

SITE: yyyyyy
* Removed the Adlink units that were close to the category menu on the lefthand side column on all pages(suspected violation: accidental clicks)
* Removed the Adunits that were at the top of all category listings e.g.yyyyyy (suspected violation: ad mislabeling)

SITE: zzzzz
* Removed the Adlink units that were above and close to the category menu in the lefthand side column. (suspected violation: accidental clicks)
* Removed the Adunit that was at the top of the category pages in the category description box, e.g. zzzzz (suspected violation: ad mislabeling)

SITE: wwwwww
No changes (different structure and ad placement versus sites above with no evident violations)

I also have a number of older sites which are no longer maintained. I have now removed all Adsense units from all pages on those domains as well:
* Spammy site 1
* Spammy site 2
* ………………

To avoid future violations I will consult the latest program policies prior to making any ad placement or site design changes. And if ever in doubt I will contact my AdSense Optimization Specialist at Google, *Name withheld*.

Thank you for your time in this matter.

All I could do now was sit worry and wait. I went over my finances and it was a significant loss but with my other revenue streams I was still okay to cover all my bills (both personal and business), though I was going to put an offer in on a new house, this is now on hold (very thankful this happened before I’d bought the house and not after).

I sent my appeal on the Tuesday and had very mixed thoughts on how it would go. We’d already made plans to have a weekend away in London the following weekend, so I tried to put the revenue loss out of my mind and enjoy the break. After a somewhat messy Friday evening at the hotel bar I checked my email before retiring, to find this:

Regarding your Google AdSense Policy Violation Appeal
Hello,
Thank you for making the requested changes to your site in order to comply with our policies. After thoroughly reviewing xxxxxx, we have now re-enabled ad serving to this site.
Because ad serving to your site was temporarily disabled, you many notice a delay of up to 48 hours or more before ads begin appearing on your site again. We appreciate your patience and cooperation.
Sincerely,
The Google AdSense Team

Holy crap, that was the biggest sigh of relief EVER. Sure enough after checking the site, ads were showing again. So a messy Friday night turned into a VERY messy nad most enjoyable weekend.

Lessons Learned
When I’ve spoken at conferences I’ve always harped on about spreading risk in both traffic sources and revenue streams. This event totally confirmed it to me and I will be practicing what I preach a lot more in the future. I’m also going to do a lot more reading before clicking I agree to any Terms and conditions. I’d recommend anybody that uses Adsense or other services that you rely on, make sure that you are abiding by their rules. With the changes I made my revenue is down about £50 a day but it could have been a hell of a lot worse. If you’re not doing anything this weekend I’d suggest checking your sites for school boy errors.

About Al Carlton

Al quit the 9 to 5 rat race in January of 2007, before then he was a software engineer and systems architect of financial system. Nowadays Al spends the days running his various businesses and experimenting with different ideas and opportunities.
Al can be found on twitter at AlCarlton.

Comments

  1. Anthony Tuccio says:

    Great info. Getting that email from Google is one of my biggest fears.

  2. Thats quite a process you went though. Im in the process of monotizing some videos on my youtube channel, i didnt realize how finicky it could get. Its deffinetly a good point to read through all the agreements as well, something ill be very careful to do going forward. thanks for the great info.

  3. Another thing you could do is inside Adsense set your account so ads only appear on the url’s you set. That would have stopped the old sites from effecting you as well as Google will only pay based on your pre approved url’s.

    You might want to enable that anyway because if someone finds out your pub ID they could put it on a spammy URL and get your account in trouble.

  4. Hi Al,

    Thank you very much for this article,

    Have Adsense recently improved in re-activating accounts after disabling them?
    If you include a detailed explanation (Click Activity, Traffic Hits etc.), how likely is it that you will receive a re-activation?

    Greatest of Regards,
    Fraser.

    • I don’t honestly know Fraser. If it happens all I can recommend is being honest about what you think you’ve done wrong and give as full a description as possible of what you’ve corrected and how you’ll prevent it happening in the future.

  5. Adsense bans users quickly than it approves them. And also, the criteria for banning also varies, from landing page quality to fraudelent clicks. And it takes forever to convince them to unblock your account, and even if they do, they always keep you under the scanner.

  6. Glad to hear you got everything back up and working without any other issues. Google can be a witch sometimes.

  7. Thanks for posting this because it gives me hope that Google will turn my Adsense account back on. I should have read all the rules more carefully when I signed up. This morning I tried to left justify the ad in my sidebar and got an email a few minutes later saying my account was disabled. I sent an appeal apologizing for my ignorance and mistake, and hopefully they will be nice and reinstate my account.

  8. Hi Al, how do you get the Adsense optimization specialist?

  9. Ritugupta says:

    it gives me hope that Google will turn my Adsense account back on. I should have read all the rules more carefully when I signed up. This morning I tried to left justify the ad in my sidebar and got an email a few minutes later saying my account was disabled.

  10. I haven’t heard these kind of positive answer from G before. Congratulations! :)

  11. I have fought long with, and think never google will open my account again. I still do not know exactly what I have done wrong or where. Fact is just that when I started driving traffic I was banned

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