Originally Published 2007-05-04 16:08:11
As I surf the blogosphere reading about other's attempts to "make money online" and the like, I can't help but notice "too bad google banned my adsense account" listed at least once in pretty much every set of comments that requires more than a single tap of my "Page Down" key.
I was banned from adsense myself about a year ago. I admit it, I was clicking my own ads. I was honestly trying to learn about how the program worked, especially the payout ratio (is it really >80%?) and the strength of the contextual engine. I can say this with a degree of assuredness because my total adsense earnings after two months of experimentation was something like $32. Nonetheless, Google caught wind of what I was doing (I made no efforts to hide my always-the-same IP address, clear cookies, etc.), revoked my account, and yanked back my 32 bucks. A pity, because I think a solid $10 of it was real. ;-)
At any rate, this forced me to investigate other monetization options, so maybe it was a good thing, but ultimately getting kicked out of adsense is a pretty lame state of affairs, because google is, well, google. So here's a rough outline of how to get one's account reinstated.
"Reinstated" is a loose term, because really what I'm talking about is getting a new, fresh AdSense account. If your account has been revoked through no fault of your own, then email google with your web server logs (or other supporting evidence) and make your case. I know of a couple of blogger friends who have successfully done this. But I digress.
First of all, it's important to think about the application and the information you provide. What are the unique data points?
- Your name
- Your email address
- Your address
- Your phone number
- Your Social Security Number
Any one identical item except for your name will probably be flagged. Think about this from the point of view of the smart guys at google who designed the system. They don't want fraudulent publishers on the network, right, so what are the simplest methods of avoiding duplicate accounts?
Here's what I did:
- Cleaned up my act. $22 in fraudulent clicks is still $22. Educational purposes or not, Google was standing on the moral high ground here, and it is important that one join them on that moral high ground before going further. If you're smart enough to write a bot to defraud a click-through network, you're probably smart enough to actually build a real business out of AdSense. Get to work and stop being a lazy script monkey.
- Created a new email account. I wanted everything to be separate, so I didn't just create a new handle on one of my domains, I went out to hotmail and generated a new one there. Had I to do it over, I probably would've used a new gmail account, because then at least I could forward the mail for free, but it's not really a huge hassle either way.
- Created a blogger account with the email address from step #2 and wrote a single semi-thoughtful post. I chose to rant about dating, so the words flowed out of me with ease, and I had over a half dozen solid paragraphs of unique content.
- Applied for an adsense account through the blogger interface. Google happens to own blogger/blogspot, and they're keen on new bloggers putting AdSense on their blogs, so (it appears) there are no traffic or age (of the blog) requirements.
- During the application process, I transposed two letters in my last name. I happen to know that my bank will cash checks with a misspelling in my last name just fine (I can't tell you how many tenants can't seem to remember how to spell my name! :-)), so I wasn't worried about this. This is probably unnecessary, but this worked on my second try (the first time I just tried all the same info), so I can't tell you for sure.
- I used my office phone number instead of my mobile phone number.
- I used my actual home address instead of my Post Office Box, which I use for all of my snail-mail business needs.
The next day, voila! I had a brand new, virgin AdSense account. I have been very careful to not repeat past mistakes, and google seems to like me just fine after more than six months of usage. I waited about 60 days to fill out the online tax form containing my SSN, and all has been well.
If you use these steps to reinstate your own account after playing a little too black-hat with the AdSense system, I urge you to be an upstanding citizen. Don't ruin it for us genuinely reformed folks!
On 2007-05-06 19:01:33 Matt Ellsworth said:
On 2007-05-10 03:18:26 Greenleaf said:
Nice infomation. ;-)