Wednesday, April 5, 2017

OK, so apparently cheaters DON'T prosper

Remember the whole thing where I asked you to click on the ads in my blog so I could make a few bucks? And how I even thanked you for doing it after my Google Ads account balance shot up?

I included this line at the end of that thank-you post when it suddenly occurred to me that what I was doing may not have been entirely ethical: "You don't think the Google AdSense people will read this and take away my cash, citing some obscure rule about soliciting ad clicks or something, do you? Maybe we should just keep this between ourselves..."

Well, guess what! (You already know where this is going.) I received the following note of reprimand from the Google Ads people:

We recently detected invalid activity in your AdSense account. As a result, we’ve temporarily suspended your account for 30 days. During this time, no ads will be served on your sites. 
Why was my account suspended?We found instances of one or more users clicking repeatedly on your AdSense ads which is prohibited by the AdSense Program Policies. Clicks on Google ads must result from genuine user interest. Publishers may not ask others to refresh or click their ads. This includes asking for users to support your site, offering rewards to users for viewing ads or performing searches and promising to raise money for third parties for such behavior. Additionally, clicking your own ads, automated clicking tools or traffic sources, robots, or other deceptive software are also prohibited.
The note was actually much longer, but the gist of it was:

  • We know what you did, smart a**.
  • There's a rule against that to which you clearly agreed, but you never even bothered to read it, did you?
  • Your account is suspended for 30 days, which means no ads will appear on your blog AND we're going to withhold the payment to which you were otherwise entitled AND we're probably going to refund all of the revenue you've recently generated to the affected advertisers.
  • And there's nothing you can do about it. Nyah nyah nyah!

Yes, the earnings that pushed me over that magical $100 payment threshold are probably going to be rescinded. That's $40 in income gone in a flash, and there's no doubt I deserve it.

So yeah, I screwed up. I should have read the fine print a bit more closely and realized (as a marketing professional myself) that solicited clicks aren't of any use to advertisers.

I guess, then, my request to you is to stop clicking on the ads unless you're really, genuinely interested in something. I appreciate everyone chipping in with a few clicks, but them's the rules, you know?

I guess we'll put that classical CD buying binge on hold for a bit...


  1. Ah, I heard one time that there's fraud in everyone's heart. I thought that you were the one that made that statement FALSE.
    Well, here's the best side of all of this Scott, your blog loaded faster than it's ever loaded and furthermore, I didn't get any cookies infiltrating my filters. So, what usually takes longer than reading your blog, didn't take any time at all...

  2. Thanks, Kerry, and that's a good point. I may see where I stand, revenue-wise, after the dust settles with this. And if I'm still close to the payment threshhold, I'll probably just keep the ads around long enough to LEGITIMATELY get a payment then turn them off for good.