As you might recall, I wrote about when I was banned from AdSense nearly 8 months ago. It’s been my most popular blog post in terms of comments (200+), and ranks #2 in Google for the commonly searched phrase “Adsense account disabled“, right below Google’s own page regarding the issue.
It was a hot topic then, for me and many others. It ended the monetization of my niche sites, and combined with Panda/Penguin algorithm updates, basically set me back to ground zero.
The title of this blog post gives you a pretty good idea of what I’m going to discuss here today, but keep reading anyway.
Crawling Back to Google
After losing my AdSense account earlier this year, I knew it would only be a matter of time before I’d be back up and running. After all, even if you’re banned as an individual, Google allows businesses to apply for their own accounts. This is perfectly legitimate and allowed by Google, and many people successfully own a business AdSense account in addition to their own personal one.
A Fresh Start With a New Site & Business
I knew I wouldn’t be able to put AdSense back on an existing site where I once had my own AdSense code, so I was perfectly willing and ready to put it on a new site.
To go the extra mile, I didn’t want to apply for AdSense with some crappy, underdeveloped site. So, I waited until my authority site was created and well-developed. Several months went by, the site was looking good, and I was receiving traffic and positive feedback.
While the site was growing, I got to work on creating an LLC and started a real business entity. After all, this was my ticket back to Google AdSense. In addition to the new legal entity, I applied for and received an EIN (employer ID number) – this is what helps distinguish a business from an individual in eyes of Google, the IRS, and many other organizations.
Slowly and steadily, I was crawling my way back to Google AdSense.
(Side note: This isn’t the only reason I created an LLC – I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time, so that I could make my online business “official.”)
Application, Acceptance, and Extra Care
Once everything was ready to go (at the end of September), I applied for Google AdSense under my businesses’ name. I used a new Google account and a different computer/IP address to apply. Success! I was accepted.
I knew I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize my AdSense account this time around. I was going to take things slow.
Not only did I only install the AdSense code onto my authority site, but I put the first (and only) ad mid-way down the sidebar in a location that is definitely not ideal for clicks. And it’s the only ad block I put up. This was temporary, as I planned to eventually put ads in better (but not super-aggressive) locations.
Days went by, and I didn’t receive any clicks. This was expected, as my traffic was low and the ad placement was poor. Having an AdSense account wasn’t about making money right now. It was about having it as a monetization option for when this authority site (or perhaps a future one) started receiving significant traffic. I was okay with not having any clicks.
Getting the Axe, Again
While I was out of the country in October (I spent a little over a week in the Philippines with my girlfriend – awesome vacation), I didn’t have much access to Wi-Fi. Throughout the 8 day trip, outside of airports, I was maybe able to check my e-mail twice.
Well, on October 20th, as my dozens of unread e-mails were pouring in during a brief Wi-Fi connection, I saw this little nugget of good news:
REALLY, Google?! My one little ad block, on a high quality, spamless website, poses SIGNIFICANT RISK to your AdWords advertisers?
In this situation, Google is either very stupid, or they’re lying to me about the reason I was banned. My hunch is that they found out it was connected to me (because I later logged in from my usual computer), but banning for this reason is still ridiculous for a couple reasons:
1) The account belongs to my business, not me. My business is a separate legal entity. Google allows this, so I don’t believe this is the reason.
2) Although I logged into my account from the computer used by my personal account, this should absolutely not be grounds for banning. Does that mean, if you came over to my house and decided to check your account from my computer, you would automatically be banned? I think not.
Or what if we’re two roommates (unrelated) living in the same apartment? We’re on the same IP address, and potentially using the same computer at times. Are we not both allowed to have our own AdSense accounts? Of course we are.
So, I can’t pinpoint the reason why I was banned, but I know for sure that’s it’s not because I posed “significant risk” to advertisers. I never received any clicks, my ad was not in an aggressive location, and it was only on one site.
It’s Time to Move On
I’m done playing games with Google AdSense. Yes, it’s a great way to monetize your site, but there are many other, better ways. Losing AdSense “for good” will force me to focus on creating a real business.
I think advertising plays a role in almost any site’s revenue, so I’ll still want to keep in mind some of the good AdSense alternatives out there. One that I’m even more excited about now is Media.net. I’ve used them ever since my first AdSense account was disabled, and they’ve recently made some pretty significant changes.
The biggest change for Media.net is that it is now officially partnered with Yahoo! ads, which should help some people become more comfortable with using Media.net (and not worry about whether they will pay out).
More importantly, this partnership should allow publishers like you and me to have a higher quantity of more relevant ads to display, which hopefully lead to higher click-through rates and earnings-per-click (i.e. more money for us).
What do you think? If you’ve been banned, how have you moved on from AdSense?