Is it just me or has Google decided that they want to bite the hand that feeds it? Either that or they have decided that small businesses and entrepreneurs are just not worth partnering with anymore. What has happened to the relationship between Google and their publishers? The Internet Marketing world has been recently shocked with stories coming from all over about big-time Adsense players having their accounts banned.
I’m not sure how much money is generated by these smaller businesses, but it can’t be small potatoes. I have heard of at least 8-10 people who’ve had their Adsense account banned that were bringing in at least $10,000 a month in revenue. So if those 10 people were bringing in $100,000 a month between them, that means that Google was bringing in roughly $42,000 a month for just those partners alone, if I have my math right. That’s half-a-million dollars a year! Obviously not everyone who has had their Adsense accounts closed is making that kind of money, but it all adds up. Plus, what’s half-a-million dollars to Google?
And on top of that, Google is adding an extra review step into the Adsense account creation process. According to a recent blog post on the Adsense blog, Google is going to be reviewing the site after the code has been placed on the website. Once the site passes this approval process he continues to say “These publishers are then welcome (and encouraged!) to add more ad units to their submitted site and to any other policy-compliant sites they own.” Maybe they should add, until we ban you.
Earlier in March, Google announced their latest Adsense In Your City tour, where they travel around the country providing the opportunity for Adsense Publishers, just like the ones they just kicked out of the system, to meet with the team where they “offer customized tips and recommendations, and collect feedback.” I’ve had the opportunity to attend one of these events in the past and the Adsense In Your City team is a great group of people and they are excited to look at your site and give recommendations. On top of that, I felt like I had a partner who was interested in helping me to make money, since it helps Google make money. After reading about these recent actions by Google, it makes me want to contact that team and ask, “What gives?”
You might be thinking, “Oh these are just isolated cases and those who were banned must have been doing something wrong.” Those affected are some really big names in the Internet Marketing world. These are individuals who are leading the way and teaching other’s as they go along. People like Spencer Haws at NichePursuits.com, who was making as much as $13,000 a month on Adsense alone, had his account banned last week. There are many others and in every case they received the same email.
This message was sent from a notification-only email address that does not accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message.
After reviewing our records, we’ve determined that your AdSense account poses a risk of generating invalid activity. Because we have a responsibility to protect our AdWords advertisers from inflated costs due to invalid activity, we’ve found it necessary to disable your AdSense account. Your outstanding balance and Google’s share of the revenue will both be fully refunded back to the affected advertisers.
Please understand that we need to take such steps to maintain the effectiveness of Google’s advertising system, particularly the advertiser-publisher relationship. We understand the inconvenience that this may cause you, and we thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.
If you have any questions or concerns about the actions we’ve taken, how you can appeal this decision, or invalid activity in general, you can find more information by visiting http://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=57153.
The Google AdSense Team
With every situation, there is no clear understanding about what they were doing that was “posing a risk of generating invalid activity.” But clearly Google appears to be on a manhunt taking out businesses that were building websites based on Adsense advertising.
So why is Google contradicting itself when it comes to Adsense partnerships? On one hand they are spending real money, sending a team of employees out to visit with publishers in order to help them make more money, which in turn brings in more money for Google. Then on the other hand, they are taking the ban stick to those same publishers and pulling all support and income with a generic statement that they did something that could pose a risk of invalid activity. It just doesn’t make any sense. It’s almost as if one side of the company doesn’t have any communication with the other.
How bad is it? It’s bad enough that there is a site setup to help those who have been banned. Adsensebanned.com, has been around for 2 years, so this isn’t a new issue. Publishers have been nervous about being banned by Google for about the same amount of time that the program has been around. The people I talk with who are building sites with Adsense advertising are walking on eggshells dreading that day when Google decides that they don’t want to partner any longer. Well unfortunately, it looks more and more like that day has come.
As result of this latest news, I’m seeing more and more articles about what to do as an alternative to Google Adsense. What bothers me is where is Google in this? Why aren’t they rushing in to calm down the partner network and clearing the air about what is happening. All we hear from Google is silence, which is a statement in itself. AdsenseFlippers.com posted an article this morning after hearing the news from Spencer, discussing the “Disaster Plan” when Google visits you with their ban stick. It can’t be a good thing when your partners are planning their exit strategy.
Of course there are also plenty of people out there saying I told you so. These people have been preaching not to put all your eggs in one basket and so on. I completely agree with them on that and it’s a wise individual to spread out the income streams. However, I know of many people who are just starting out trying to build a business and they start out with Adsense with a desire to build up some income so that they can start to diversify. Moves like this by Google, do nothing but discourage those individuals and anyone else thinking about using Adsense for advertising on their site.
So as result of these latest stories, I am in the process of finding alternative sources of income in case I find that email in my inbox in the near future. If some other advertising provider can find a way to match or even surpass the income being generated by Adsense for its publishers, they would likely see a mass exodus head their direction. Don’t forget Internet Marketers are good at talking with each other and word spreads like wildfire in the IM circle. Some of the big players I’m hearing about as being a possible alternative is Media.net and Infolinks.com and there are many more out there.
Regardless of which you choose, the important point to be made is that people are looking to leave Google. Will the loss of revenue get Google’s attention? Will Google even care? That remains to be seen, but the day has come that publishers will need to consider carefully about signing up with Google Adsense.
If you’ve had your account banned or have some ideas for alternative income streams, let us know in the comments below. I’d love to have your feedback.
Internet Marketing can be tough and discouraging. It’s not as easy as everyone makes it out to be. “Follow this plan and you’ll be making ten bazillion dollars a minute!” You’ve probably been there and tried their plans only to find that it doesn’t quite work out. I’ve been down that road and have realized that, and I know it’s shocking, but … Internet Marketing is a LOT of WORK! Yes, I know there are quite a few ‘successful’ Internet Marketers out there that have hit the big time with their first product or project. But for the vast majority out there, our success comes $1 at a time, not $1,000 at a time.
So as I slave away trying to build a business that will run automatically, without my constant attention, that I was promised was entirely possible, I can get discouraged and frustrated. Why should I continue slugging away without seeing success? Why torture myself for a dream that just seems to be outside of my grasp? Well, in spite of all I just said, it is possible to succeed as an Internet Marketer. A vast majority of these courses and guides will work perfectly as described. But it might not work for you.
As an individual, you have to self examine yourself and determine what are your skills, where do you find your success. Are you a great sales person? Are you a creative type? What makes you tick. Once you understand that better, then you can find the ‘blueprint’ that will work for you. Personally I’m the creative type, however, I’m not a very good sales person. I’ve found more success in creating than I have in selling. By leveraging what you do well and outsourcing what you don’t, you can find that success.
So I want to encourage you to take your skills and your talents and put them to good use. Don’t try and force yourself into a corner where you just don’t perform well. Find ways to utilize your natural talents and you will find that it’s much easier to do what you do naturally than it is to try and do something that is completely foreign to your nature.
But more importantly, with Internet Marketing, you must do something! If you don’t try and sit on the sideline constantly ‘learning’ from the latest e-book you won’t make a dime. I promise you that! Take your skills and find a need out there that you can provide a solution for. For example, if you’re good at making videos, there are Internet Marketers that are willing to pay for quality videos about roofing companies (check Fiverr.com). If you have a great voice and can do voice overs on videos there are Internet Marketers that will pay for that (oh look, check Fiverr.com). Be creative, think outside of the box and do something! Quick comment, there are other places other than Fiverr.com to sell these services, but I just wanted to point out that there is a place you can start.
So don’t be discouraged, but pull yourself up by your boot straps (what are boot straps anyway and why would I want to pull myself up by them?) and start creating something wonderful. As the cartoon says here, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!” Sometimes struggling through a process can be the best thing for you. It makes you reconsider your situation and refocus your energies to become even more effective than you were before.
So I encourage you to stand firm, re-focus yourself and start a new day with a new hope. I hope that you will find success in your work.
I’m in the process of testing out several different template options. I liked the first template that I worked with, however it didn’t fit very well on all screens. Plus the forms and pages just didn’t display the text the way I would like it to. So I’m in the process of testing another theme to see if this will work any better. So far I like the setup and the pages and forms look a lot better overall.
It’s a growing process and one that will take some time to iron out all the details with. Until it gets nailed down, I do hope that you will pardon the dust as I work through the issues. Hopefully, you won’t notice the blemishes that I see here and there. But then again as with just about any artist, most of the audience doesn’t see the mistakes and problems that the artist notices.
So, back to work and hopefully I’ll get things ironed out in the near future.