Google AdSense Fails Me AGAIN – It’s Time to Move On

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?

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54 Responses to “Google AdSense Fails Me AGAIN – It’s Time to Move On”

  1. Damn man, that’s a blow and a low one, for sure.

    The good news is the alternative which should provide you with the right advertisements especially if Yahoo can filter them.

    Likewise, you could take this as a moment to assess the income model for your site and begin looking at a bigger picture where as you could focus more heavily on affiliate marketing and product development; Amazon and other physical marketplaces offer good programs which you could find ways to integrate. Just take a look at what ads are on the competitors sites, create something similar on your own, but have it affiliated or linked to a physical product, ya know? Why settle for a $0.10 click if someone is going to buy a product they’re shown if you could get a $10 commission, ya know?

    Anyway, hope the best for ya man, I feel your frustration.
    Murray Lunn recently posted… Blog Takeover: Managing a Client’s Blog – The Right Way

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the support, Murray. I definitely agree this is an opportunity to put my focus on much higher value efforts, like building a new product.

    That’s obviously going to take more time and effort, but I think it’ll be worthwhile in the end.

    [Reply]

  2. Mate, sorry to hear about that. I really like Media.net, and enjoy their customer service. Tying up with Yahoo/Bing is huge!

    Adsense money isn’t that big anyway in the scheme of things if you want to build sizeble online income imo.
    Financial Samurai recently posted… Investing In Peer-To-Peer Lending With Prosper.com

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I agree – although AdSense is nice when a site is starting out and has few other options for monetization, it hopefully isn’t too significant in the long run.

    [Reply]

  3. You can not open 2 AdSense A/c’s from 1 Computer. It shows user is running multiple AdSense A/c’s in different names which is strictly against Google ToS. However you can open 2 AdSense A/c’s from different computers using same/shared IP Address. Now, if you want to use your old computer for new AdSense account, you must change its Lan Card / Mother Board.

    This time its purely your own fault. Bad Luck Buddy!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Sonia, I appreciate the comment, but if you read my post, you would have seen that I specifically pointed out that the account was opened from a new/different computer.

    [Reply]

    Sonia Reply:

    I pointed to

    “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.”

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    My argument still stands – I created the account on a different computer, and at a different time, logged into the account from my personal computer.

    Once again, does that mean if a friend or family member of mine is over at my home visiting and decides to check his/her account on my computer, they’ll be banned too?

    Sonia Reply:

    Yes, your friend can not check his AdSense A/c from your computer; if you have AdSense a/c opened from same PC.
    Sonia recently posted… Shimla Hotels

    [Reply]

    Mayank Reply:

    I don’t think this is the reason why they banned his adsense account.There must be some other reason.They also don’t approve my website and give different silly reason every time I try to resubmit my application.

  4. That is crazy! their(google) lack of transparency makes it so difficult to understand exactly what it is they are looking for that even when you think you are doing everything right (like you were) you can get hit.

    Best of luck with your new ad network.

    It would be interesting to see a comparison between the 2 networks if you have that data.

    Thanks for sharing
    Jon @ Authority Website Income recently posted… How To Systematize a Successful Guest Posting Campaign

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    From what I’ve heard, this seems to happen to most people whose accounts are disabled. Granted, some people actually are doing things wrong, but Google is also very quick to drop the axe, for unknown reasons.

    I won’t be able to compare Media.net data to AdSense unfortunately, because you lose access to all of your AdSense data once you’re banned. I’ll definitely be reporting my results with Media.net, however.

    [Reply]

  5. That sucks – I really wonder how Google chooses who they are banning or not. I think Media.net is a good alternative for the time being and they’ll probably only get better after partnering with Yahoo.

    Thomas
    Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon recently posted… Case Study – Providing App Development Solutions to Small Businesses: Part 1

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Yeah, it’s unfortunate that they are not at all transparent in this area. I’m ready to forget about it though and move onto better things.

    [Reply]

  6. I hear ya mate. Had my adsense account disabled also. My partner then opened an account 2 months later and got the same email as you above.

    As for customer service. All I can say is…lol. What’s that?

    I’ve been reading up on Media.net, it sure looks like the choice to take when they’re finished fine tuning. I applied, but alas. I just ain’t big enough for them…. yet :)

    Cheers for your post and good luck.

    DirtyDazz

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Sorry to hear you didn’t have any luck with Media.net…I’d try again later, or try applying with a different site. Sometimes they vary on how they approve websites…I think it may depend on who is looking at it, since it’s a subjective decision.

    [Reply]

  7. Sorry to hear your adsense account go banned, AGAIN.. No fun!

    Since starting my online business endevours, I have not even entertained the idea of registering for a adsense account for the first time, simply due to all the content I read about folks like yourself getting banned for no apparent reason.

    In my online business, I do not want to fall victim to 100% or even 80% relying on Google Adsense as the source of my business income, because as we all know, it can go away at the receipt of one e-mail from Google.

    I’m so happy for you that you’ve found another avenue that you’re going to explore (Media.net), and I certainly look forward to your future posts about how this is working out for you! I will certainly give them a look over myself!

    Thanks again for sharing your journey with us, and while I’m very sorry this has happened again, I’m trusting that something good will come out of this.

    Keep up the great work!

    All the best,
    -Alex

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the support, Alex, and it’s good to see that you’re realizing early on that it’s not good to rely on Google. You’ll be a lot better off that way. Best of luck with your online business endeavors as well.

    [Reply]

  8. Well…I’m kinda expecting that to happen to me soon. It hasn’t happened yet but I expect it might for me since I am a mobile app developer. So I am trying to go ahead and get other ad networks out there before I run into problems.

    But I can relate to the agony that you would have through the loss. Adsense/Admob could be big revenue earners….but there have been too many bans I think for silly little reasons.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Hopefully it doesn’t happen to you Mike, but it couldn’t hurt to explore some other ad networks just in case.

    [Reply]

    Mike Reply:

    Alternatives are always nice just in case. Let meknow how it’s going with alternatives!

    [Reply]

  9. Sorry Eric I really feel your pain. I really don’t understand why Google does this and doesn’t give an explaination for the reasoning behind kicking you off adsense.

    Wish it was a bit more clear on their reasoning.

    Hopefully this doesn’t discourage you and you keep working hard online to reach your goal.
    James recently posted… Conversion Optimization – Part II

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I know, it sucks, but I’ll move past it. Plenty of other ways to make money.

    [Reply]

  10. It’s actually a very strange situation – because Adsense not often banns for nothing, the only guess I have – they didn’t like the type of traffic that was coming to the site, or that the people that clicked ads behaved suspiciously – that is the same. Don’t think they found out about the old account

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I wish I could say this was the case, but the new ads never received any clicks, so it couldn’t have had anything to do with bad traffic/bad clicks.

    [Reply]

  11. So, you’re not taking into consideration Bidvertiser or Adbrite? I didn’t know Media.net “made a pact” with Yahoo, I guess it’s more reliable, right?
    Cristian Stan recently posted… Gas Powered Generator Reviews 2012-2013

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I haven’t looked into Bidvertiser or Adbrite yet, but thanks for the suggestion – I will check those out.

    [Reply]

    Cristian Stan Reply:

    Do let us know if you tried them and if you had success with any of the 2!
    Cristian Stan recently posted… Best Leaf Shredder/Mulcher Reviews 2012

    [Reply]

  12. sorry to hear Eric

    perplexing indeed. wished we had more clarity on details but such is this space we are in.

    i have been toying with some alternatives including media.net on a couple websites with decent traffic. results are very disappointing so far, but i think it is because the subject matter the sites are focused on. will continue to monitor and write about it if i feel it adds value to the community.

    on the brighter note, it compels you to focus on building a true business less reliant on ads.

    i was at a Brian Clark speaking event recently and a member of the audience asked “what do you recommend for someone with a business based on ad revenue” – to which Brian replied “then change your business model”.

    there was a 4 second pause, but the laughter afterwards was the loudest.

    i know you’ll recover well, and i am looking forward to it
    Sunil l Expediting Wealth Creation recently posted… Multiple Uses of Email Autoresponders Like Aweber. Niche Site, Blog, Ecommerce, Brick & Mortar

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Sunil, I appreciate it. It’s true – a business based on ad revenue is a bit risky, but then again, isn’t that Google’s primary business model? I suppose that’s a pretty extreme example…

    At the end of the day, if you’re only earning money from ads, you’re essentially only earning money because you’re helping OTHER businesses (driving traffic to their products). It’s time to help your own business for once (I’m saying this to me, and anyone else in my shoes). There’s a lot of ways to do it, but of course, they’re all more difficult than simply throwing up a quick ad block. :)

    [Reply]

    Rasputin Reply:

    Maybe the answer should have been “Change your business model to exclude AddSense”
    Just a thought

    [Reply]

  13. Sucks that it happened, but not the worst thing in the world.

    You have to realize that earning money through ads is the lowest possible way to get income.

    Your authority sites looks really good. Just keep putting out great content and find product that those people would be interested in.

    (Those toe-shoe-thingies are really popular with Paleo crowd)

    Build the list, create relationships, recommend awesome stuff and earn from your list.

    Booom!
    Kris @ Detailed Success recently posted… Updates and Future Plans (Intro to List Building)

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Sounds like a good plan, Kris. You’re right – even though ads are the EASIEST way to earn money, they probably do have the lowest income potential given the other options out there. I’ll just have to work a bit harder at it…

    [Reply]

  14. Hey Eric. I have no doubt this will end up being a massive positive for you. Like some of the other comments have stated, the real money in online business is found well beyond Adsense revenue and sometimes we need something to give us a little reminder of where we are headed and what’s important.

    I look forward to seeing you make the most of the opportunity to extend yourself!
    Greg @ The Home Business Hub recently posted… Case Study: The impact of making page 1 of Google on web traffic

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Greg, I agree. We’ll see what happens. :)

    [Reply]

  15. “Or what if we’re two roommates (unrelated) living in the same apartment? ”

    Then they just ban both the accounts, at least they did that to me and my roomate

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Really? That sucks… Well there you go, perhaps you can’t have two unrelated people on the same internet connection using AdSense. It just doesn’t make sense, ESPECIALLY if there is no suspicious activity.

    [Reply]

    Hadel Reply:

    They don’t care, they are thieves

    the other networks are kind of joke, like media.net will you will be luck to make 1/4 of what you were making with adsense.

    Adsense is so easy, and it allows you build sites about whatever you like instead of shit like “buy colon cleanse” or whatever.

    People talk like you can just switch over and make as much doing something else but that has not been the case for me. Maybe you will have better luck.

    [Reply]

  16. I’ve found http://www.AdStract.com to be very useful for monetizing my website.

    AdStract.com is different to AdSense in that they are primarily a video advertiser, so its all about video views – CPV – With this network.

    They work extremely well if you’ve already got video content on your website. All you need is the smart tag (300+250) and/or the video overlay tag.

    AdStract pay anything from $0.4 to $0.9 cents per individual video view so if you’ve got a decent traffic your potentially looking a multiple video views day after day after day if they have a campaign in your location.

    I’ve found its much more likely that people will play a video ad than click on a banner.

    The great thing is that they will take on small publishers as well. Generally video ad networks (like Brightroll and Adconian) only work with large websites, so AdStract is unique in this regard.

    Now, the downside is that video ads aren’t displayed to every user every time they hit in your site. Sometimes other kinds of ads are displayed (ads for software downloads for instance) and the CPC for these ads is very poor. But again, what you lose in CPC you gain in CPV when video ads are displayed.

    CPV is better in many ways than CPC. You can’t fake or manufacture a video view, unlike a click, which means your not in constant worry that someone may come along and accuse you of faking your traffic and taking your earnings off you.

    In my videos I can ask my audience to watch the video ad overlaying my own video – I couldn’t do that with banners/clicks and as far as AdSense goes, I would be banned if I asked people to click their ads.

    They pay minimum $100 and are net 40 days. They pay on time (I’ve received two checks so far with another one due next month)

    They are certainly an alternative to AdSense, especially if you have a video niche on your website and going forward video advertising will become ever more popular as people increasingly move away from traditional banner and displays ads. They are young, unique ad company with great future potential.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Cool, thanks a lot for the tip, Gavin. I’ll definitely check out AdStract soon.

    [Reply]

  17. This website also seems to be a pretty good AdSense alternative; http://www.madasmedia.com

    They mainly Google Doubleclick ads. Its not quite as good as AdSense, but as an alternative they seem very fair.

    [Reply]

  18. Hey Eric,
    I had been also banned from adsense two times. One was last year and another one was a couple of months. I moved on from adsense and now I’m also using media.net. The good thing about media.net that I have seen is that you can also earn from your impressions. I haven’t received any clicks but I’m still earning from the impressions.
    Lahaul Seth recently posted… SEO Title Optimization in Blogger

    [Reply]

  19. Hey. I just passed by your site. I also got my ad sense account banned a while back. I opened up an LLC and I am in the process of getting a new ad sense for it. First step approval done and now I just need to create and add the ad’s to the site for the 2nd approval step. When I made the account it was not from my home computer. Are you pretty positive if I log into my new ad sense account from my home computer again that I will get banned? Also, can I use a different computer running on the same WiFi?? I did get myself a second computer but im not sure if the IP Adress will be different to Google since its running on the same WiFi. Im not sure about this and was hoping to get some more information on it. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Pat, I’m not positive that you would get banned in this situation, as my experience is limited (I know I was banned a 2nd time but don’t know 100% why). My advice is to keep your 2nd account as separate as possible. If you can use a different computer on a different IP address, that would be ideal. If not, it may still work, but there is a risk involved.

    [Reply]

    AmCy Reply:

    > If you can use a different computer on
    > different IP address, that would be ideal…

    Google bans based on domain as well.
    AmCy recently posted… First FOMC Meeting of 2013 Adjourned: U.S. Prime Rate Continues At 3.25%

    [Reply]

  20. Ok, so between the time that I left my last comment, till now, my new account is banned! This is very VERY frustrating. I have spent $1,500 on a site with SEO Im not even sure if the the ads where put on the site yet and they email me for invalid clicks. That is total BS since I dont even think the ads where live at the time I got the email. This just proves that Google doesn’t really look into anything and just sends out generic emails to people. I went to Atlantic City for V-Day and waited till I got there to log into my ad sense. This is 3 hours away from where I live. If I recall correctly, I did not log in from my home computer at all. This new account was made with an LLC and different phone number. Only thing the same was my address and the name of the person behind the company. I dont know, I give up with Google. Im trying to be as white hat as possible and they ban me.

    [Reply]

    mike Reply:

    Hi, my adsense account was “disble”/”banned” this morning but I feel a lot better after first reading your post AdSense Account Disabled: What the Hell?! and this follow up post – Google AdSense Fails Me AGAIN – It’s Time to Move On. I was trying to find out how to “salvage” my adsense account but now I can see it’s better to move on and just say good-by to adsense. I heard about many adsense horror stories but nothing can compare to the experience when it actually happen to myself.

    Thanks for the tow great posts and best regards.

    [Reply]

  21. Yes it really hurts knowing adsense getting banned! But mean while media.net emerges which soundz good :) ERPm varies mostly up n down:c k nice pst between bro
    Gau recently posted… Karbonn releases A12 at low pricing

    [Reply]

  22. Try something different. Google adsense is too much trouble.

    [Reply]

  23. Stay away from Google Adsense! They are High Risk Investing (Thousands websites have been the victim), because you never know when your blog get banned!
    Rudy P recently posted… Does Flu Shot Work?

    [Reply]

  24. My account was banned for reasons that make 0 sense to me. They say that my site is duplicated into to many domains and subdomains, well duh, it’s a localized classifieds system. Anyways, I’m currently about to release my own banner system based on the way adsense works.

    [Reply]

  25. I’m thinking it’s time to move on for me.
    After being with adsense for a while (15 months), referral traffic from the Social outlet is regular and is beginning to get “bored” of the adsense adds, I think anyway.
    Organic traffic works well with adsense, it’s just I think I need something a little more spicy to interest visitors. Something which they don’t see on every website they visit. I’m currently looking into a few alternatives, and will let you know how I progress, Kasim A.

    [Reply]

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