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<!-- TITLE=My Google AdSense Account Was Suspended - Now What?-->
<p>
My <a href="http://www.shlomifish.org/humour/bits/Mastering-Cat/" rel="nofollow">“Mastering
    cat” April Fool’s feature</a> proved to be very popular. It was
<a href="http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/04/01/1211240" rel="nofollow">featured
    on Slashdot</a> and on other sites, and drove a lot of traffic to my
site. However, as it seems it had one unfortunate effect of Google suspending
my <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AdSense" rel="nofollow">AdSense</a> account. Or
at least I suspect that was the problem.
</p>

<p>
On 5-April-2009, I received the following message from Google AdSense:
</p>

<blockquote>
<p>
Title: Google AdSense Account Disabled
</p>

<p>
Hello,
</p>

<p>
While going through our records recently, we found that your AdSense
account has posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers. Since
keeping your account in our publisher network may financially damage our
advertisers in the future, we’ve decided to disable your account.
</p>

<p>
Please understand that we consider this a necessary step to protect the
interests of both our advertisers and our other AdSense publishers. We
realize the inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you in advance
for your understanding and cooperation.
</p>

<p>
If you have any questions about your account or the actions we’ve taken,
please do not reply to this email. You can find more information by
visiting
https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=57153.
</p>

<p>
Sincerely,
</p>

<p>
The Google AdSense Team
</p>
</blockquote>

<p>
I went to the page, filed an appeal and got the following response (sent
in Hebrew due to Google localisation and quoted here):
</p>

<div style="direction:rtl; text-align:right;" xml:lang="he-IL">
<blockquote>
<p>
שלום,
</p>

<p>
אנו מודים לך על שהעברת אלינו ערעור בנושא השבתת חשבון AdSense. הודעה זו מאשרת
שקיבלנו את הערעור ששלחת.
</p>

<p>
נשתדל לבדוק את את חשבונך בהקדם, אך בהתחשב בהיקף הבקשות המופנות אלינו, ייתכן
שיחלפו 48 שעות או יותר עד שנענה. כמו כן תגובתנו יכולה להתעכב, אם שלחת את בקשתך
במהלך סוף השבוע. בנוסף שים לב שערעור על השבתת חשבון AdSense אינו מבטיח שהוא
יוחזר.
</p>

<p>
כתזכורת, אם יש לך שאלות לגבי חשבונות שהושבתו בשל פעילות מודעות לא חוקית, עיין
בסעיף ’שאלות נפוצות לגבי חשבון מושבת בשל פעילות לא חוקית‘.
</p>

<p>
תודה על הסבלנות וההבנה.
</p>

<p>
בכבוד רב,
</p>

<p>
צוות Google AdSense
</p>
</blockquote>
</div>

<blockquote>
<p>
Original Message Follows:<br />
------------------------<br />
From: shlomif@iglu.org.il<br />
Subject: Invalid Activity Appeal<br />
Date: Sun, 05 Apr 2009 20:02:58 +0000<br />
</p>



<p>
01_Origin: helpcenter<br />
02_FormType: appeal_form<br />
03_Language: en<br />
04_AdSenseLocale: en_US<br />
05_IP: 62.219.139.216<br />
06_ctx:<br />
07_Name: Shlomi Fish<br /><br />
08_CompanyName:<br />
09_AdSenseLogin: shlomif@iglu.org.il<br />
10_PubId: pub-2480595666283917<br />
11_ExampleUrl: http://www.shlomifish.org/ , http://fc-solve.blogspot.com/<br />
12_DisablingMonth: Apr<br />
13_DisablingDay: 5<br />
14_DisablingYear: 2009<br />
15_AlreadyAppealed: no<br />
16_OtherAccount: no<br />
17_OtherAccountList:<br />
18_WebAudience: It’s my personal homepage, so people who arrive at its
various resources: pages about software, stories and aphorisms, technical
presentations and essays.<br />
19_UserGeography: My site is mostly written in English and appeals to
International surfers. I get traffic from many countries.<br />
20_UserAccessMode: I haven’t checked, but expect mostly from homes,
offices, universities and other schools.<br />
21_ScrapedContent: None, except limited quotations and some pages that
became offline and were preserved on my site.<br />
22_ContentSources: It’s almost entirely my own.<br />
23_NumAdmins: Only I.<br />
24_UpdateFrequency: Normally, a few times a week.<br />
25_BoughtTraffic: no<br />
26_UsePayTo: no<br />
27_TrafficSources: From search engines, and links in news sites/blogs. I
promote recent features of my sites on my weblogs, in news sites such as
http://osnews.com/ and http://reddit.com/ and to a lesser extent as blog
comments on other people’s blogs.<br />
28_AdvertiserValue: My site has a lot of high-quality content, and attracts
many visitors.<br />
29_UserIncentive: Don’t think they would.<br />
30_ViolatedTerms: No.<br />
31_InvalidActivity: On April’s Fools’ Day 2009, I published the following
feature on my site:
</p>

<p>
http://www.shlomifish.org/humour/bits/Mastering-Cat/
</p>

<p>
It got featured on Slashdot here:
</p>

<p>
http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/04/01/1211240
</p>

<p>
(And possibly other sites).
</p>

<p>
I suspect that it may have increased the traffic to my site (at least
temporarily) significantly, which as a result got erroneously classified as
suspicious activity.
32_SuspiciousData: I don’t think there was, but I’m going to go over the
logs from March and April, just to be sure.
</p>
</blockquote>

<p>
The Hebrew tells me that they’ll try to inspect my account soon, but that
due to the many requests, it may take them “48 hours or more” to return to
me. I haven’t received a human response to my request (after this automated
reply) since this appeal was sent in 5-April, despite the fact that I
submitted another appeal, a few weeks ago.
</p>

<p>
Next I tried <a href="http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/AdSense/thread?fid=44cc07435e1c137700046969d43e997b&amp;hl=en" rel="nofollow">asking
    the Google AdSense support forum for help</a>. Some people there responded
but none of them were Google employees. Someone suggested it was caused by
the fact that I didn’t have a contact form, which doesn’t make sense because
my unobfuscated email is clearly visible at the bottom of most pages,
and because I have a <a href="http://www.shlomifish.org/me/contact-me/" rel="nofollow">visible
    “Contact Me” page</a> with many other ways of reaching me. They also
suggested it was caused by the fact I lacked a privacy policy, which is
admittedly a problem, but
<a href="http://www.shlomifish.org/meta/privacy-policy/" rel="nofollow">I added one</a>
since then and if Google were so concerned about it, they could have
requested that I add one, and I would have happily complied. And the
lack of privacy policy does not cause a “significant risk to advertisers”.
There was
also something about “not allowed on personal sites”, which makes no sense,
because I’ve seen Google AdSense on many personal blogs and sites.
</p>

<p>
After the initial announcement (which could have been sent automatically
without human intervention for all I know), I have been unable to log into my
Google AdSense account. I later tried contacting a friend who works for
Google, but he’s working for Google Open Source, and could not help me with
AdSense. Someone I talked with told me that Google give awful support to
people with AdSense and AdWords, and it seems that I’m not an exception to
this.
</p>

<p>
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AdSense#Criticism" rel="nofollow">According to the
    Wikipedia</a> Google claimed that they have disabled the AdSense
accounts due to click fraud. I can swear that I have never engaged in
click fraud, unless you call occasionally clicking on a few ads (probably
less than 20) that were published on my site and that I found interesting
as “click fraud” (during the entire time I had AdSense). I don’t rule out
that someone else has repetitively or in an automated manner clicked on my ads,
but they would gain nothing from it, because the revenues from the ads goes
to me. Therefore, it seems unlikely.
</p>

<p>
I have received at least two payments from Google from my ad revenue and was
happy about that, but I lost all the revenue from the last payment, including
that generated by the “Mastering cat” feature, which has significantly
increased the number of hits on my site on 1 of April.
</p>

<p>
I’m publishing this entry here so hopefully someone from Google who is able
to help me, would volunteer to do so. If that fails as well, I’ll have to
look for a different ad provider. It’s sad that Google handles innocent
web-masters like me so badly, and lack so much efficiency (despite the
fact that their motto is “don’t be evil.”), especially on the service
that brings them the most revenue.
</p>

<p><a href="http://shlomif-hsite.livejournal.com/11327.html">See comments and comment on this.</a></p>