Did you get the infamous AdSense banned letter from Google yet?
If you did, you’re probably trying to figure out what you did wrong.
I find most site owners were innocently caught up in Google’s dominating
AdSense net. And unfortunately, once you’re banned, there’s
no turning back.
I wrote an 8,000+ word diatribe on how to rid ourselves off
My post revealed everything from the real reason
Google hates us (and they do) to how to fight back to
even solutions to replace the pennies Google pays us
with their AdSense program.
I was asked instead to give you the CliffsNotes version,
so here we go:
Google does “know” evil
Everyone is starting to figure out that Google has
quickly turned its back against both website owners and
This all started in 2006 with their AdWords’ “slap”…
penalizing advertisers for having a low “Quality Score.”
Google has grown more and more inconsistent ever since.
Instead of an innovative Silicon Valley startup that
provided us with an endless parade of cool,
free tools and sources… Google has now matured
into a monopolistic tyrant.
In fact, it’s almost as if Google flat out hates us –
with all of their well-known “slaps” and out-of-nowhere bans.
Most frustrating is Google’s no-comment policy.
It’s bad enough getting banned. But watching a partnership
evaporate is even worse when we’re left in the dark
(and without explanation).
Time to jump ship?
While I haven’t been banned by Google (yet), I pay
very close attention to the Big G’s moves… because
most of my clients (bloggers and small business site owners)
used to rely heavily on Google for traffic and cash.
I say “used to” because I’ve warned them about things to come.
And it ain’t pretty.
As a result, I’ve suggested to remove all AdSense ads
from our blogs and webpages.
To some, that might sound drastic or like I’m overreacting.
But the reality is things are only going to get worse.
I know this because Google’s intentions are in plain site
(if you know where to look).
Loose lips sink ships
Google isn’t always mum about bad news.
Some Google employees let the cat out of the bag.
And over the last 7 years, I’ve been quietly collecting these
under-the-radar hints Google puts out.
Believe it or not, there are at least 19 reasons to get your
AdSense account banned. That’s no typo – 19.
Here are the ways to get your AdSense account banned
without really even trying:
This goes without saying… click on your own ads and you run a
high risk of getting banned.
And you should get severely punished, because you’re stealing
money from advertisers. And that’s wrong. We all know this.
Some people think it’s clever to form a “group” for the
sole purpose of ripping off Google…
… Take a look at this:
Obviously, this type of behavior warrants an AdSense ban.
The advertiser gains absolutely no value in exchange for its money.
And I’m all in when it comes to punish scammers like this…
… But the other reasons for getting your AdSense account
banned range from the silly to major head scratchers like these:
Your visitor’s computer monitor acts much like one reads
… Any item displayed upon visiting is considered
above the fold.
But the moment your visitor begins to scroll, the rest of your
content is now considered below the fold.
Savvy AdSense partners know displaying content
below the fold (and AdSense ads above the fold)
significantly boosts click-thru rates.
Unfortunately, Google doesn’t endorse this scheme and
bans your AdSense account as a result.
We all know the future of advertising is in mobile devices.
Google knows this, too.
And back in November of 2009, Google acquired the
mobile-ad platform company AdMob.
It was a great exit plan for AdMob’s creator Omar Hamoui –
he sold his company for a cool $750 million.
Part of the deal was for Hamoui to stay on with Google.
But that lasted just five short months.
Hamoui left Google. And Google subsequently shut down
half of AdMob on September 30th of 2011 (without any
notice to publishers and advertisers)…
… So if your mobile app was monetized by AdMob,
your clicks are now worth zero.
Now here’s the ridiculous part… Google claims you can
replace Google AdMob with its Google AdSense program…
… But it’s against Google’s Terms of Service to display
AdSense ads within a mobile app – it can only be
displayed on a mobile site!
So if you’re a mobile-app developer and you’re looking to
make AdSense money by giving away your software,
you’re plain out of luck.
Displaying too many ads
Showing more than 3 content units plus 3 link units plus
2 search forms is a bannable offense.
Google loves to remind us about publishing “quality content.”
But the reality is displaying great content is a surefire way
to lower your bank account balance.
Because when your visitor engages your content,
they’re not going to get distracted by AdSense ads and flee.
Instead, they tend to go ad blind and stay on your site.
Plus, Google’s desire for us to raise the free bar assumes all
websites should be informational. But many sites sell stuff, and
it would be odd to publish a 1,500-word description next to a
shopping cart for a pair of sneakers.
If you incentivize your visitors to click on AdSense ads,
you’re going to get banned by Google.
Even hinting about your visitors clicking on your ads is a
surefire way to get your account banned.
It’s interesting that we marketers give away bonuses to
nudge prospects into buying our stuff. Yet when it comes to
advertising, strangely this is a big no no.
There are two VERY responsive areas of empty space on
almost any website – your thank you page (after buying stuff or
subscribing to an optin) and a popup window.
These areas typically generate double, triple and even
higher response compared to any of the ad blind areas
on a typical web page.
But don’t even think about placing ads in these
highly-coveted spots on your site as doing so is a
surefire way to get your AdSense account banned.
Just a few short years ago, AdSense paid us handsomely.
Sometimes I got paid over $10.00 a click. It was so awesome
that I often wanted to share my excitement with other bloggers…
… But I couldn’t, because it’s strictly against Google’s Terms of Service.
This rule was modified in Google’s T.O.S. way back in 2003.
Google obviously knew what was to come… to be embarrassed
by the now pennies-on-the-dollar-for-clicks payouts we’re
I’m not sure why Google flat out lies to us about this…
… They claim it’s okay to show both AdSense and
alternatives at the very same time (on the very same webpage).
But the reality is Google bans us if these alternative ads have a
similar looking format, layout or color scheme.
Imagine your visitor’s computer monitor as an electronic newspaper…
… Everything visible on the screen is considered above the fold.
And as soon as your visitors scrolls down the page, the content is
considered below the fold.
Smart AdSense partners know placing content below the fold
(and AdSense ads above the fold) was a surefire way to
generate a higher clickthru rate… but Google forbids the
use of this strategy and bans your AdSense account.
Registering more than one account
Most website owners I know have more than one site.
And it’s in their best interest to create corporations to
protect their assets.
In order to keep their accountant happy, they often create
separate AdSense accounts for each corporate entity.
But this goes against Google’s Terms of Service.
And creating multiple AdSense accounts is a bannable offense.
Across-the-board tests show that placing a visual graphic
next to a text link attracts eyeballs… and as a result more
our of website visitors click on these ads.
The bad news is Google prohibits us from using this
For reasons that completely escape me, Google considers
traffic from their AdWords’ pay per click service off limits to
In simple speak, paying for traffic and “arbitraging” it with
AdSense is a fast way to get your account banned.
Tampering with code
Some website owners find it’s a lot easier to edit the
AdSense HTML coding rather than to use the AdSense
online wizard to create their ad block.
Google doesn’t like this. In fact, it’s a bannable offense.
Google has an approved primary-language list.
And if you’re not on it (even if you’re once approved),
your AdSense account is immediately banned.
Google continues to proclaim itself as the world’s
largest online cop.
And if your content is deemed too “colorful”, there’s a
high risk of getting your AdSense account banned.
Publishing disputed content
Most website owners innocently publish copyrighted material.
Of course these disputes should be settled by its
rightful owner and webmaster.
But Google feels the need to get involved… and if your
site publishes legally disputed material, your AdSense account
could get banned.
I’m not exactly sure why having the same content
show up on multiple sites is so wrong.
After all, the media distributes their content to hundreds…
even thousands of websites.
This is known as syndication. Readers of the
Philadelphia Inquirer see the exact same article
as the readers of the San Jose Mercury News.
There’s nothing nefarious about this.
Yet Google considers duplicate content a bannable offense.
Why does Google hate us so much?
As you can clearly see here, Google makes it
all but impossible these days to monetize the
empty spaces on our blogs and webpages.
Relying on AdSense is dangerous
As we see, Google’s various reasons for banning our
AdSense partnership is no way to run a real online business.
Having more than 19 different ways to end our cash flow is a
surefire way to get stressed out.
Most frustrating is Google’s no-comment policy. It’s bad enough
getting banned for no good reason, but it’s even worse
when you’re left in the dark.
The ultimate AdSense alternative
Believe it or not, Google’s shenanigans is actually a
big blessing in disguise.
Because it forced me to look for an AdSense alternative
back in the Summer of 2010.
The most profitable websites I know usually have
one thing in common – they offer up private advertising to
monetize their empty spaces.
Take a look at John Chow – he serves up private advertising
on his site and he reportedly banks over $40,000 a month as a result:
There’s no reason to get pennies on the dollar with
Google any more…
… If you’re looking for a solid AdSense alternative that
pays well (and is significantly less stressful), you might be
interested in private advertising.
My extensive tutorial reveals an explanation on
how to do it all yourself (and cut out Google as the middleman).