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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    Account Cancelled
    I am totally perplexed. At 10pm last night I got an email that my Google account had been cancelled because I violated policies. They then proceeded to list "possible" policies that could have been violated. I know that there is no way I could have been running any kind of software that was simulating clicks, so I suspect that it was just a standard email.

    The only thing I can think of is that I violated some kind of term against gaming and casino sites because I had added one google ad to my learnbadugi.com site. I didn't think that it violated the terms because it is not a casino site itself but rather just a tips and tricks explanation of how and where you can play badugi. Is that enough to be in violation??

    I would ask Google myself but they provided no way to contact them in the email and their support on the website specifically says that you cannot call them. I submitted a complaint in the contact form but will probably never hear back. I make less than 100 bucks a month from them (sometimes less than 25), so it is not like I was really raking in the dough. But it still really makes me angry that they would just cancel my account without even giving me the courtesy of explaining definitively what I allegedly did wrong!

    Tricia

  2. #2
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    Anytime someone gets their account cancelled they should have an explanation to exactly why. CJ does this too, doesn't give a reason. I don't know about your situation but did you have ads showing when you put that on your site? If so there was an inventory for it. Don't know.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    We were getting ads for Texas Hold 'Em learning sites. When I saw those, I assumed that you could run Adwords for sites like mine. So I tried to set up an Adwords campaign and it initially told me that it was blocked as a casino site but that I could apply for an exception. I applied for an exception, stating that we were not gaming but rather just tips. The exception got denied yesterday morning and then my Adsense account was shut down last night. The only thing I can figure is that when they did the manual review of the site for Adwords, they saw the Adsense on it and made the decision that I was violating policy.

    What is truly crappy is that my main site is a site for Moms and has been running Adsense for 19 months with no trouble! Now I lose the Adsense for that site because of this dumb badugi blog that I was just helping a friend get going. Google really should have issued a warning first allowing me to just take it off.

  4. #4
    Not that fat. ReallyBigGuy's Avatar
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    How can you promote Walmart as a cash-back store on your site? Isn't that against their agreement?

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    That's actually something that I have been looking into pulling this week after talking to Linkshare at the Affiliate Summit last week. We had been approved by them with our incentive site listed and thought that we were okay. But I went to talk to Linkshare about our sites at AS just to make sure that we are in compliance with everything and they mentioned in passing that Walmart is one of the only merchants that they know of that does not allow incentives. I always check around the other incentive sites and see that some of them list it and some of them do not. We're a little more careful than most about making sure that we do not violate rules though.

    I've got an email in right now and if I hear back definitively that we have to pull it, I'm going to just have to explain it to my members. Rather that than risk getting in trouble.

    Not sure what that has to do with my Google post, but I'm an honest person, so I don't have a problem answering.

  6. #6
    Not that fat. ReallyBigGuy's Avatar
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    It's up to you how you run your sites, but in my opinion, if you knew it was against their rules and you did it anyway, and the way you said you're skating on the edge of the casino sites rules, and who knows what else you're doing, and maybe google sees those things, and just doesn't want to risk dealing with you.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    That's actually what bothers me the most about getting cancelled. I don't just bury my head and violate the rules. As soon as I find out that I might be doing something wrong, I try to fix it. I probably disclose TOO much information to my affiliate managers and program managers because I am always bugging them about my compliance. The deal with Walmart is that I just assumed that they would not have approved my incentive site if they did not allow incentives. But I was new to incentives and didn't realize that they may have approved it but expected me not to give the cash back.

    This is a tough business because when you comply with the rules, you lose out to your competition who doesn't comply but doesn't care if they get busted because they are in it for the quick money and not the long-term reputation. I'm truly concerned about my long-term reputation in this business and want to understand what it was that I did wrong with Google.

  8. #8
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    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...%3Aen&q=casino

    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...GLD:en&q=poker

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...&q=poker+chips

    I think they made a mistake with you. You can't do actual gambling but you can do gambling related stuff. The thing is most gambling sites have a free .biz that they advertise even on TV but that's just to get around the law and then they try to get you over to the paying .com version.

    Off topic a bit:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/...n1812590.shtml

    They go after these guys but you still see commericials for the "free" sites they run.

  9. #9
    Not that fat. ReallyBigGuy's Avatar
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    I agree with you about losing out to competition who don't obey the rules. Its a tough game, and the competition is fierce; its getting harder and harder to make money.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Off topic a bit:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/...n1812590.shtml

    They go after these guys but you still see commericials for the "free" sites they run.
    Wow. I had no idea that all of this was so messy. I'm hoping that someone at Google will actually respond to my email and see that I can easily just take that one Adsense link off of the badugi site and allow me to keep my Helping Moms links in particular. I don't really sell anything at all on that site or allow popups or anything, so the Adsense was at least paying for the hosting each month.

    Thanks for the link to the article, I'm going to forward it to my best friend (the badugi queen who I actually set the site up for).

  11. #11
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    happened to myself as well. I got a reply after their bs "research" that my account was somehow "associated" with another one that was banned. i eventually got an "explaination" that due to their secret algorythm...they could not tell me why or what!?

    did they automatically assume i was a dumb@55?

    thats the point i can't everything and anything to do with them. i dont even read the SEO material about google anymore...i ignore them. i suggest allot of folks around here do the same. that's no tto say it has not "cost" me...but it's relative, they are not the only game in town and i know 100%, with no margin of doubt, that their overall intent is to banish the little guys so they can help produce a corporate mamby pamby internet with nothin in mind but the benefit of big companies that issue 5hitty paychecks like these lamers collect....

    my only advise to them is to start eyeballing their 401K plans because the likes of crap like realnames.com always falls by the wayside.

    in the end we are in charge and no one should forget that....especially those tards we helped to start off in the first place. ungrateful sods.

  12. #12
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    It sounds like they're hitting it based on the content. It doesn't say activities, it just says gambling or casino-related content - so content can do it, and they're covered.

    Site Content

    Site may not include:
    • Excessive profanity
    • Violence, racial intolerance, or advocate against any individual, group, or organization
    • Hacking/cracking content
    • Illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia
    • Pornography, adult, or mature content
    • Gambling or casino-related content
    • Excessive advertising
    • Any other content that promotes illegal activity or infringes on the legal rights of others
    • Pop-ups, pop-unders or exit windows that interfere with site navigation, obscure Google ads, change user preferences, or are for downloads. Other types of pop-ups, pop-unders, or exit windows may be allowed, provided that they do not exceed a combined total of 5 per user session
    • Excessive, repetitive, or irrelevant keywords in the content or code of web pages
    • Deceptive or manipulative content or construction to improve your site's search engine ranking, e.g., your site's PageRank
    • Incentives (monetary or point-based) to users or third-party beneficiaries for online activity including, but not limited to, clicking on ads or links, performing searches, surfing websites, reading emails, or completing surveys
    Adsense Program Policies

    I didn't think that it violated the terms because it is not a casino site itself but rather just a tips and tricks explanation of how and where you can play badugi. Is that enough to be in violation??
    According to that, it's enough to be in violation of policies by reason of the content.

    We had been approved by them with our incentive site listed and thought that we were okay.
    They may also be hitting incentive sites with a broad brush because of complaints from publishers in the content network about ads running that are covered by the incentive guidelines.

    Was the incentive site the site you originally applied with?

    (can't get rid of the bold formatting)
    Last edited by webworker; July 19th, 2006 at 02:18 AM.

  13. #13
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    Because I wasn't sure about my poker info, I removed Adsense from those pages, send a mail to Google and explained I wasn't sure. They replied with this after a few days :

    "Thank you for your email. I've reviewed xxxxxxx - as long as it does
    not drive traffic to online gambling sites, you may place AdSense ads on
    this page.

    We appreciate your concern and your efforts to uphold our policies."

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador
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    Thank you for your email. I've reviewed xxxxxxx - as long as it does
    not drive traffic to online gambling sites
    , you may place AdSense ads on
    this page.
    But that isn't so in this case; there are affiliate links to online gambling sites on learnbadugi.com

    It might also be a matter of an incentive site; without particulars it's not possible to tell which it is, but according to your email having the affiliate links on the site wouldn't qualify it for a policy exclusion and reinclusion.

    Another avenue to check:

    Thanks for the link to the article, I'm going to forward it to my best friend (the badugi queen who I actually set the site up for).
    How come this friend didn't use an Adsense account of her own on the site set up for her? Has she been enrolled in the Adsense program ever? And does she also have other sites, which are or were in the Adsense program or link to affiliate programs? And assuming she does, what's the whois info and would the affiliate IDs match up on this site and other sites?

  15. #15
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    "I know that there is no way I could have been running any kind of software that was simulating clicks"

    There are a lot more options:

    1) A competitor doesn't like you.
    2) You partner / friend / family is trying to "help" you by clicking many times.
    3) A visitor of your site doesn't like what you are saying.
    4) Besides click fraude : too may adsense on one page, manually changes of the Adsense code, and many more options.

  16. #16
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    I am a little confused. You asked them about running an adwords campaign for a site running adsense and that got you flagged? Their rules seem pretty clear... but then from what they approve, not really.

    I have a site that I think violates their rules a little bit, but they asked me to add adsense to it so i got it in writing (an email) agreeing they okay the site and that if they decide later they want it removed, it will not affect my other sites. But I waited to act until I got the confirmation, you seem like you jumped the gun a bit which probably just set them off.

    As others said, email them, they can be reasonable.

    Chet

  17. #17
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    Unhappy
    As others said, email them, they can be reasonable.
    Chet they probably are reasonable, but like when asking for a search reinclusion, you have to get the site squeaky-clean before asking them to reconsider. It doesn't work if there are still "rules" violations; like you wouldn't ask to be reincluded if there were still hidden links on a site.


    I applied for an exception, stating that we were not gaming but rather just tips.
    Well, in their eyes it could look like more than just a tips site. It could easily look like a gambling affiliate site with tips for content, since it has links to online gambling casinos with an affiliate ID in the linking URLs.

    How many of the thousands of gambling sites out there are actually online casinos? Rather, the vast majority have content, but are affiliate sites that send traffic to the actual casinos.

    The exception got denied yesterday morning and then my Adsense account was shut down last night. The only thing I can figure is that when they did the manual review of the site for Adwords, they saw the Adsense on it and made the decision that I was violating policy.
    Sure, they did a manual review and not only saw the Adsense, but they also saw the affiliate links. That makes it a lot more than just a tips site, it makes it a gambling affiliate site. Whose affiliate links are they helpingmoms, yours or your friend's? That could make a difference.

    Without even looking further into the site, just on the homepage there are links with referral IDs to

    goldenpalace.com
    doylesroom.com - and

    bospoker.com on which the following notice appears:

    IN LIGHT OF COURT PAPERS FILED IN THE UNITED STATES, THE COMPANY HAS TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED THIS FACILITY PENDING ITS ABILITY TO ASSESS ITS FULL POSITION. DURING THIS PERIOD NO FINANCIAL OR WAGERING TRANSACTIONS CAN BE EXECUTED. FURTHER INFORMATION WILL BE POSTED ONCE THE COMPANY IS IN A POSITION TO DO SO.

    The BETonSPORTS.com
    customer support team
    Does it make any sense to ask for reinclusion while links like that are still on the site?

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    If we would have to take the affiliate links off of the site, I would not even ask to be included. In fact, I don't even care if the learnbadugi site or the incentive site get the google ads. The incentive site only had one google ad (on the "freebie" page where it was specifically mentioned that no rewards would be given for anything on the page) and the badugi site only had the one ad up for about 3 days.

    My best friend is leaving her job and starting to work with me on my websites because I need manpower now. She had registered the badugi site and was about to get hosting. We agreed that I would just add it to my server and help her get it launched and then we would share in any profits in return for my paying for all of the start-up costs of all of the different websites she will be helping me with. It's just kind of an "apprentice" thing where I was helping her learn about scripts and affiliate programs on a really small scale. Guess I blew that one!!!

    The site that I am really upset about is helpingmomsconnect.com. That is the one that I had adsense ALL over the place. I've replaced them with banner ads, but I just don't like that. I liked having the content-related adsense links.

    I fully expected with TOS for tons of different programs across multiple different websites, I would end up missing something here and there and getting called out for it. I am just surprised that there was no notice and chance to correct it. Especially when I see how many incentive and poker sites are running google ads and google doesn't care.

  19. #19
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    The site that I am really upset about is helpingmomsconnect.com. That is the one that I had adsense ALL over the place. I've replaced them with banner ads, but I just don't like that. I liked having the content-related adsense links.
    Contextual ads are nice. How about applying for Yahoo Publishers Network?

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    I'm hopeful that will work out. And I will only be putting them on helpingmoms no matter what the TOS says. LOL! I applied the night before last as soon as I got the email from Google (who still hasn't replied to me). I do not have any experience with the Yahoo ads. Are they as good?

  21. #21
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    They're supposed to be, but they don't have as much inventory so their targeting is reputed to be less than accurate - not like Google's. From what I've seen they seem to run a lot of Vonage, but everyone uses phones.

    To be honest, you didn't ask for a site review but I'll give my unsolicited 2-cents worth, anyway. What I seemed to notice a LOT of is Lane Bryant banners. Truthfully, sure there are Moms who shop for plus size clothing, but that isn't the primary focus of their shopping needs and online interests, and you could do a lot better and earn more with more "parent/kid" shopping focused type of affiliate links.

    You might want to ask for a site review over in that forum here to see if you can get some good ideas and recommendations. I don't know if anyone will tell you specific programs or niches, but a fresh look by different pairs of eyes can never hurt. OK... might hurt the ego a bit sometimes (I've been told a design of mine is ugly and on another that the colors are atrocious...LOL) - but that's not what's important for an income-producing site.

    Added:
    We could have a real field day with just your helpingmomsconnect homepage.

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    This might sound totally stupid, but I was actually always wary of asking anyone to review my site because I didn't want it to seem like I was just asking for a handout! I probably need to just get over my fear that everyone will eat me alive on these boards. LOL!

    It's strange about those Lane Bryant banners. It is actually a rotating Burst pay per impression script. I guess since the site has so much mom content, they keep loading those dumb ads. I put those up real quick to take the place of the Google ads until I can get something better. I'm considering just chucking the whole right border thing and adding more targeted affiliate links on all of the pages. But with 100s of pages, it's going to be a big undertaking that I really want to think through.

    Thanks so much for all of the advice in this thread. It really is helping me work through the google issue (which at first I thought was the end of the world for some reason!)

  23. #23
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Yahoo stock plunging on announcement of a huge quarterly revenue drop and delay of releasing a better contextual targeting Adsense clone package. Funny Vonage gets mentioned as a big chunnk of the 20 million monthly advertising spend goes to the hated Spyware/Adware industry who love popping Gambling Ads too.... Ben Edelman's newest look into the Adwhore industry... http://www.benedelman.org/news/071806-1.html Shame on Vonage, aQuantive's Atlas advertising, 24/7 Real Media, Traffic Marketplace, emarketmakers etc etc. Now it's Spyware Ad inserts into Google -eBay and any darn site they target.

    Complete look into why MOMS should hate making them, and their kids targets, from your freebee and other affiliate links to the bad actors. For heavens sake get www.siteadvisor.com installed on you own system and checkout who your feeding your members too when placing Ads.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecomcity
    Complete look into why MOMS should hate making them, and their kids targets, from your freebee and other affiliate links to the bad actors. For heavens sake get www.siteadvisor.com installed on you own system and checkout who your feeding your members too when placing Ads.
    Yep. Just did that in the last couple of weeks. I've been going through the site and starting to take out a lot of things that I just did not understand before. It's amazing how much there really is to learn about websites and affiliate programs. When I started doing this last year just for fun, I thought it was cool to make $50 a month getting people to click on a few banners here and there as long as the content wasn't pornographic or whatnot. It has only been because of ABW in the last 6 weeks that I have been learning about spyware and the parasites. It's going to take me a bit to get everything in shape, bit it is definitely my goal!

  25. #25
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    One thing you could do is to turn on the option of blog comments. I just tried to say how much I loved the BB7 live feed as a comment to your post - it says no new users being accepted.
    Ebudae


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