I’m not angry. I’m not confused. I expected to eventually get penalized by the Google AdSense team for something. After all, Google had been paying me for more than seven years until this morning. I just didn’t expect it to happen before Thanksgiving Day and the Christmas shopping season.
Shoot First and don’t Ask Questions
I’m sure you’ve heard that other phrase, “shoot first and ask questions later”. Well, with the Google AdSense team, questions aren’t even on the agenda. Here’s the policy violation I was supposed to have committed:
AdSense publishers may not display Google ads on webpages with content protected by copyright law unless they have the necessary legal rights to display that content. This includes sites that display copyrighted material, sites hosting copyrighted files, or sites that provide links driving traffic to sites that contain copyrighted material.
Now, they were referring to a single guest article which had a bunch of dead links to the now-defunct Megaupload service. Here’s the thing: Sure the links pointed to files that were copyrighted, but I think the AdSense team has a few screws loose. Everything on the net is copyrighted by someone. I think they meant files that infringed on copyrights (which none of those links pointed to), but I’m not a mind reader and I really don’t know what they meant.
In what world do you have to appeal a decision to stop making money for a big corporation? Google’s world. Okay, so I did the appeal thing (and removed that article completely) and they still won’t guarantee that ad serving will be re-enabled. They were quick to disable and are really slow in their appeals process.
This is crazy. I think I’m done with Google AdSense even if they turn the ad serving back on. As I told my wife, I only need to make about USD $150 per month to cover hosting fees and my Internet connection at home. I make $50 per month with Infolinks and I did make more than $100 with AdSense. In fact, I made more than $1000 per month with AdSense before all the Google animal attacks started occurring, which decimated my website traffic for most of this year. But I’m not angry.
Revenue from other than Google AdSense
I’m not dumb. Don’t confuse laziness with stupidity. I’m lazy and that’s the reason I stuck with Google AdSense for so long. Google has one of the most restrictive batches of policies out there when it comes to ad serving. Sure, AdSense usually pays better than all of the other alternatives, but I’m not so sure I can’t do better with other services these days — my click-through rate is at an all-time low anyway.
I have accounts with a lot of advertising services (Chitika, Clicksor, Bidvertiser, etc.) and some of the hurdles I had to endure a few years ago no longer exist (I can draw cash from my PayPal account, for example). As long as they can pay to either my bank account or PayPal, I’m good to go.
It’s time for a Sabbatical anyway
I haven’t really relaxed since I retired more than six years ago. I think this is the perfect time to do so. If I can’t make diddly during the heaviest shopping season of the year, then I really don’t need to work through it. Perhaps I’ll just stop until the new year. I guess it all depends on how bored I get while on vacation in the US this year (which is where I am and will remain until the end of January).
Update November 21 (The Next Day)
Well, I guess miracles never cease to happen. I received a message that my appeal was approved and that I should see ads being served within 48 hours. It’s a good thing, too, because the Chitika ads just weren’t cutting it.
Altogether, it looks like I lost AdSense revenue for about two and a half days so far and it will probably add up to three days once ad serving is turned back on.