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:
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Losing a 6 Figure Revenue Stream

I am a big fan of Google Adsense. They’ve been one of my best revenue streams having paid me over a million dollars through the years and I pride myself on quality content and playing by the rules. You know that statement all good thing come to an end well I was somewhat startled to receive the following email:

Google AdSense: You have 3 working days to make changes to your site

This is a warning message to alert you that there is action required to bring your AdSense account into compliance with our AdSense program policies. We’ve provided additional details below, along with the actions to be taken on your part.

Issue ID#: xxxxx
Affected website: xxxxx
Example page where violation occurred: xxxxx
Action required: Please make changes to your site within 72 hours.
Current account status: Active

After spending the next ten minutes crapping myself, the day was dedicated to refamiliarising myself with Adsense policies and ensuring the site was in compliance. I also have an agent at Google that has helped me with optimizations in the past so I shot her an email explaining and asking for any advice she could give.

The warning email highlited that I was in violation in 2 different ways:
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Adsense to blend or not to blend

There have been many discussions on Adsense placement, with the two extremes being make them really stand out so that your visitors can’t fail but see them or blend them in making them look like they are part of the content on your site. This is my take on the two extremes.

Standout Ads
There are various ways to draw attention to your ads (without breaking Google TOS):

  • Google heat map
    Bt positioning your ads where your visitors eyes are naturally drawn they are obviously going to get attention and if relevant, clicks
  • Using color can make them stand out from the rest of your content (though maybe not in a good way)
  • Multiple units, I often see this on low quality sites where they are splattered with Adsense units and you often have to scroll to see the actual content. Whenever I see two vertical rectangles next to each other it’s the first and last time I’ll visit that site.

Blended Units

  • Link Color
    Making the links on your ad units the same color as your regular links. I generally like this approach as it adds to the aesthetics of the site.
  • Making your content look like an Ad unit
    This is when a site is laid out so that the actual content, or navigation uses the same layout as an advert.

Both of these methods can work, but it should never be just about the clicks, it’s also about quality. If you trick a visitor into clicking an ad by excessive blending you’re going to suffer in two ways. First you’ve lost and likely upset your visitor and second they are unlikely to convert for the advertiser which will upset Google, if traffic from your site has a poor conversion rate you are likely to be hit by smart pricing, meaning you get paid less per click.

What I find works best is to use adsense but not give it too much prominence to my regular visitors or visitors to new content, readers like this I want to make feel welcome and encourage them to come back (I’ll make money from these using affiliates and CPM ads) whilst with search engine traffic and older pages I’ll give Adsense more emphasis by both blending and optimal position, without I hope degrading the look of the site. I’ve been trialling this for the last couple of months and while Adsense income is down I’m finding affiliate income on the rise and I personally feel happier by the look of the site.

On the advertising theme I received the following great example of an offline advert in the post. It was a product I had no interest in but the way they’d done it certainly got me to read it.
BT Advert

If you don’t recognise the layout, in the UK you receive very similar looking slips when you miss a parcel delivery (something I do a lot) so I thought this was very cleverly done, if it was on your door mat would you of picked it up and read it?

Stop Adsense Bashing with a Few Tips

Yesterday Scott wrote about how one of his goals was to be Adsense free, I think a better goal would be “Not to be Adsense reliant”. In this post I want to share a few tips on how you can improve your Adsense earnings, I’m not saying do solely Adsense but if you use it you might as well make the most of it.

Improve Relevancy with Section Targeting
One Adsense feature that I think is often overlooked is section targetting, this is where you can tell Google which areas of your page contain content that is the most relevant for contextual advertising. It’s simple enough to implement using html tags:

<!-- google_ad_section_start -->
Here's my content that is what the page is all about.
<!-- google_ad_section_end -->

Further info can found at the Adsense support center.
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A goal achieved and a goal to be Adsense free gained

BuildI managed to achieve another goal of mine this week which was a boost!

At the start of January I stated a list of 7 goals I wanted to achieve in 2008, so far No.2 on the list has been achieved - to get involved in an offline venture, a rocky start with the vehicle breaking down but a few jobs under the belt there and one landscaping job just signed up for this month that comes in at £4900 of which over 50% is naturally profit.

A goal achieved
This week I can chalk off No.7 - goal number 7 was working for one client on one keyword, my personal goal was to get them top 10 and then top 5, we reached top 10 in February and this week we reached top 5 which was quicker than expected. The good news is that this is an ongoing arrangement so the £800 ($1600) per month is to be added to my stable income for the foreseeable future.Continue Reading

What Do You Do When Your Adsense Earnings Plummet

Adsense logo
Since Christmas I’ve seen a hefty drop in my Adsense both the CTR (Click Through Rate) and CPC (Cost Per Click) have fallen resulting in the CPM reducing more so. I was expecting a downturn after the Christmas season but the drop is more dramatic than I’ve experienced in previous years. Looking around forums it seems I’m not alone in this as many others are also seeing a slide, this is likely due to January being a slow time of year for many sites and retailers and could also be influenced by how the world markets are at the moment. So what can you do about it?
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Income Breakdown for December 2007

For the past few months I’ve been concentrating my time to make the most out of the silly season, AKA Christmas. At this time of year my gadget blog out performs the rest of my portfolio by some margin, so was the extra effort worth it (and did you win $100), this is how my main site did last month:


Graphs are all well and good but the exciting bit are the figures Continue Reading

My First $1,000 Adsense Day

Over the past month I’ve been pushing affiliates sales with varying levels of success and I’ve been pretty much ignoring Adsense and even removing it from some pages to concentrate more on sales, so I’m some what surprised to be sat here on Cyber Monday writing about hitting one of my Adsense goals, the $1,000 Adsense day :) 😀 .
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Buy for 2 years income and repay yourself in one year

Return on investmentStill bargains to be had
I bought a website with an old friend who wanted to invest money with me last month, he doesn’t work online, the most important point being that it was zero maintenance as it would be unfair for me to have to run a site and him profit so we bought a site advertised on Digital Point for 24 x monthly income which needed zero maintenance and cost us in total USD $7000. Making just under $10 per day the site would take a full 2 years to pay itself back which for an established low/zero maintenance site is about right in my opinion.Continue Reading

AdSense for mobile launches in Beta

Just a quick update rather than a post, a feature high up on the request list for some has now come to fruition. I received an email tonight to say that I was invited to test out Adsense for Mobile.

What is Adsense for mobile?
Well it kind of does what it says on the tin, Adsense for mobile allows publishers to place adsense contextual advertising on website designed for mobile (cell) phones to monetise that traffic.

We have successfully conducted initial testing on the product and today, we’d like to invite you to try AdSense for mobile on your mobile website.

Adsense for mobile

As part of our efforts to develop new and improved AdSense products for our partners, we will begin a limited beta test for AdSense for mobile. AdSense for mobile allows publishers to monetize their mobile websites through the placement of targeted text ads. Publishers can take advantage of the fast-growing mobile advertising market and benefit from our targeting technology. 

So if you are wondering when we will get Adsense for mobile site, have a mobile website or a mobile version of your site, Adsense have created a new product in beta to cater for just that!