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srlinuxx
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 3:11 am    Post subject: Google AdSense -- Its it Legit or is it a Scam Reply with quote

Does anyone know anyone that makes any kinda real money off google ads? Do they work for that purpose, really?
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Last edited by srlinuxx on Tue Aug 30, 2005 2:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bob P
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 3:16 am    Post subject: Google AdSense -- Its it Legit or is it a S.C.A.M.? Reply with quote

I'm just wondering if anyone's had any experience with Google AdSense -- I'd specifically like to know if its legit or if its just a scam.

I have been running Google AdSense on The Jackass! Project's website at http://jackass.homelinux.org for a few months now. After running Google AdSense for the period of May, 2005 to August, 2005, my account finally generated enough ad revenue to be elegible for a payout. This can take an awful long time, as ad revenue typically amounts to fractions of a penny per click.

So I was monitoring my account, and I saw that my account had just reached $100.00 in earnings -- the mimumum amount that you have to accumulate before Google will cut you a check. Interestingly, within a day of my account receiving a $100.00 balance and becoming elegible for payout, I received this e-mail from Google:

Quote:

It has come to our attention that invalid clicks have been generated on
the Google ads on your site(s). We have therefore disabled your Google
AdSense account. Please understand that this step was taken in an
effort to protect the interest of the AdWords advertisers.

A publisher's site may not have invalid clicks on any ad(s), including
but not limited to clicks generated by a publisher on his own web
pages, clicks generated through the use of robots, automated clicking
tools, or any other deceptive software.

Practices such as these are in violation of the Google AdSense Terms
and Conditions and program polices, which can be viewed at:

https://www.google.com/adsense/localized-terms?hl=en_US
https://www.google.com/adsense/policies?hl=en_US

Publishers disabled for invalid click activity are not allowed further
participation in AdSense and do not receive any further payment. The
earnings on your account will be properly returned to the affected
advertisers.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team


This e-mail makes the allegation that allegation that some form of "invalid" activity has taken place on my account, and makes it seem as if I am responsible for it. (I am not.) Interestingly, if you read the content of the Google AdSense policies, your account can be inactivated if one of your users performs multiple clicks on your site, as a user might make if they were trying to support your site.

Most interestingly, Google's approach has been to de-activate my account because they claim that they have found a single instance of "invalid" activity. In response, they choose to confiscate ALL of the money that had been legitimately earned on the account, as if it were all some form of ill-gotten gain. Not surprisingly, they've deleted all of my account records so that I cannot even challenge them about their policies.

So I'm wondering -- has anybody paticipating in AdSense actually received a check from Google, or is it their Standard Operating Procedure to declare the account invalid when its time for them to pay what they owe the account owner?

Interestingly, I've Googled for the term "Google AdSense Sucks", and it appears that I'm not the only person who's been cheated in this way.

EDIT: Merged thread. --pjp
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Bob P
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think its just a scam. the web is full of "Google AdSense Sucks" pages where people describe being ripped off by Google. typically what happens is that the website generates ad revenue for quite a long time and racks up a balance, but Google finds some reason not to honor its payment responsibilities. in turn, they invalidate the account and keep all of the money. the website owner never gets a penny.

it happened to the Jackass! Project this weekend:

https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-375114.html
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel for ya, Bob P. I really do. That quite frankly, sucks a**.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Any method that artificially generates clicks or impressions is strictly prohibited. These prohibited methods include but are not limited to: repeated manual clicks or impressions, incentives to click or to generate impressions, using robots, automated click- and impression- generating clicking tools, or other deceptive software. Please note that clicking on your own ads for any reason is prohibited, to avoid potential inflation of advertiser costs.


"Other deceptive software" is pretty general (Windows anyone?) but being as it says "includes but is not limited to", they can deem that absolutely anything is prohibited and claim it "artifically generates clicks or impressions".

Your suggestion that this is SOP doesn't seem so far-fetched to me - I'm sure I read someone else complaining about it fairly recently.
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Bob P
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"repeated manual clicks"

this means that ONE user can go to ANY Ads by Google affiliated site, and perform repeated manual clicks, thereby rendering the entire site inelegible to receive ANY payments from Google.

IMO its no coincidence that Google decided to inactivate my account the day after I became elegible to receive a $100 check. I wouldn't be surprised if they screw EVERYONE this way.
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tumbak
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My friend got screwed in the exact same manner, when his account reached $170 or something.
IIRC he didn't get paid even after sending them several emails and complaints and he eventually removed the AdSense code and closed the account.
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brenden
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

google sucks

pure evil
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HydroSan
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just so you know, they did this to me and a site I used to work for.

The deal was, our site had some "adult" content. This isn't pornography or anything like that, but there was obviously some adult humour on the site. The site was also a BBS, so we couldn't moderate everything down to the minute.

So it went like this:
<Us> Hey, we have a BBS and [insert above details], is it alright?
<Google> Yes, just be sure to delete questionable material punctually.
<Us> What is deemed "questionable"?
<Google> Pictures which depict sexual intercourse.
<Us> Don't worry, we don't have anything like that.

A month later, we rake up $540 in USD. It was a damn godsend that would cover our server costs for three full months and then some. Then we get a nasty letter from Google telling us that Questionable Content actually includes everything from swear words to photoshop images of George W. Bush. The $540 was taken from us and we never saw a dime of it.

PayPal did the same exact thing to us. We ask them the same exact questions for donations, and they say the same exact thing. Two months later after raking up another $550 USD, they lock the account, for the same reasons. Oh, and they didn't return the money back to the donating people.

Our site got screwed for about $1100, give or take a bit. Eventually we packed it in and shut it down.

So it doesn't suprise me people get screwed like this. Our competitors site went through the same torture as we did during that time, so it's not like it's some massive conspiracy - it's Strictly Business.
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ChristyMcJesus
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HydroSan - did you work for one of the *chans?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fraud by Google?

http://jackass.homelinux.org/google.html
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh that's just plain wrong... it's so wrong it's not even right..

someone needs to bring this to the attention of something like /.
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Ma3oxuct
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am wondering if Google's practices can be used in a court case against them?

On second thought, Google's pockets are so deep that a law suit is surely not worth it :roll:
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you think they are deliberatly screwing people OR just don't care if they make mistakes as long as they over cover their ass?

Its hard to see why google or paypal NEED to do this... surely they generate enough money but perhaps its easier than argue?

In these cases trying maximum exposure to this is perhaps the only answer unless you have enough to take em to court ...
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ma3oxuct wrote:
I am wondering if Google's practices can be used in a court case against them?

On second thought, Google's pockets are so deep that a law suit is surely not worth it :roll:


The fact that they have a lot of money doesn't make this anymore right or wrong - action should still be taken
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gowator wrote:
Do you think they are deliberatly screwing people OR just don't care if they make mistakes as long as they over cover their ass?

Its hard to see why google or paypal NEED to do this... surely they generate enough money but perhaps its easier than argue?

In these cases trying maximum exposure to this is perhaps the only answer unless you have enough to take em to court ...

well, i for one don't have billions of dollars in my pocket to enable me to go up against Google in court. so standing upon the soapbox is my only option.

surely Google doesn't NEED to do this. but the first rule in business is to maximize your revenues and to minimize your expenses. if this method of minimizing expenses turns out to be standard operating procedure at Google, it would be a very effective method of slashing their expenses, wouldn't it? after all, there's no more effective way of slashing your expenses than to unilaterally declare your Accounts Payable to be invalid.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What does S.C.A.M. stand for?

I don't think it stands for anything, just wondering what the periods are for...
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The internet is a rough place for business and i can understand google having quite hard policies. Just one thing really bugs me about it: If there was some abuse going on, it surely didn't happen somewhere between 99 and 100$ but before. If they had shut you down at 30$, fine. As it seems they decided to wait until payment was due, which means they got to serve their ads for free as they already knew they wouldn't pay you. That makes them no better than the people they are trying to protect themselves from.
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Bob P
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

amne wrote:
The internet is a rough place for business and i can understand google having quite hard policies. Just one thing really bugs me about it: If there was some abuse going on, it surely didn't happen somewhere between 99 and 100$ but before. If they had shut you down at 30$, fine. As it seems they decided to wait until payment was due, which means they got to serve their ads for free as they already knew they wouldn't pay you. That makes them no better than the people they are trying to protect themselves from.


thank you for seeing through the BS and understanding with clarity what actually transpired. if i were cheating them, they surely had plenty of time to figure it out. the problem is that there was never any question about the integrity of my site as it continually accrued less than a dollar per day in ad revenue over the course of several months. the only time that "inappropriate clicks" became an issue was when it was time for them to pay the bill.

if Google had identified a legitimate problem at $30, and had decided to shut me down then, i would not be complaining. but the timing on this really stinks, and there is no legitimate complaint for them to offer that would invalidate the services that i have provided for them over the past 4 months. when asking other AdSense participants about this, the consensus of other people who have spoken out about their AdSense experiences seems to be the same -- Google appears to be cheating them -- Google AdSense clients seem to only become disqualified when it comes time for Google to pay them. that's just wrong.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChristyMcJesus wrote:
HydroSan - did you work for one of the *chans?


I'm Lain from iichan.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HydroSan wrote:
ChristyMcJesus wrote:
HydroSan - did you work for one of the *chans?


I'm Lain from iichan.


I thought the story - and the $540 - sounded familiar.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must be the only person not to have gotten scammed lol.

I used to have google ads on my old website about 12 months ago. I did disobey some of the google rules (I labelled the ads as being from google and apparently I encouraged people to click on them) but they just sent me an email asking me to stop, and so I modified the site and apologised. I managed to raise about $130 from adverts and I did get the cheque.

HOWEVER, I did later remove the ads after making only about $5 in several months when my site had about 25k hits in that time, when I checked into it I could see that I was getting $0.00 on days where there had been many clicks... bastards.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob P wrote:
gowator wrote:
Do you think they are deliberatly screwing people OR just don't care if they make mistakes as long as they over cover their ass?

Its hard to see why google or paypal NEED to do this... surely they generate enough money but perhaps its easier than argue?

In these cases trying maximum exposure to this is perhaps the only answer unless you have enough to take em to court ...

well, i for one don't have billions of dollars in my pocket to enable me to go up against Google in court. so standing upon the soapbox is my only option.

surely Google doesn't NEED to do this. but the first rule in business is to maximize your revenues and to minimize your expenses. if this method of minimizing expenses turns out to be standard operating procedure at Google, it would be a very effective method of slashing their expenses, wouldn't it? after all, there's no more effective way of slashing your expenses than to unilaterally declare your Accounts Payable to be invalid.


I agree, I am just curious if they do this by design or by 'well its cheaper than paying' ...
Lots of companies do similar things and it really sucks...

For example imagine you check in bagage for an international flight (which makes it under the Warsaw convention) then the carrier is limited to a miniscule payment if they 'loose' your bag...
In one case I figure Alitalia (see www.alitaliasucks.com) actually did this deliberatly to save on transporting it... they even charged me excess and refused to pay this back then they didn't deliver my bags (and this was just between Rome and Paris) I lost $1000's in baggage and they want a list of everything in the bag which I presume they use to screw you if yoiu make a mistake... I never got back my bag and they saved on flying an excess baggage item and delivering it...

The first thing they do is send you a release note you have to sign to say that yuou lost your bags (as opposed to they lost them) before they will even procede looking for your bag...

So this is one way....

another way is Alitalia employees actually STEAL baggage and use the x-ray equipment to locate items to steal... (proven in court)

One is like by accident its easier to fsck you over (I think that is what happened to me since I had expensive clothes but nothing x-ray-able) but the other way is by design...Im not sure which is worse...

Sop do google conveniently collect the clicks and then look for an excuse or do they set out to do this?
I dunno...seems about the same

(p.s. Yes I borrowed this to knock Alitalia which I take every opportunity in life to do... ) but it is a similar type thing.. its just easier to fsck the client.. than do their job!
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The basic idea here is that Google AdSense can really be screwed by anyone visiting a site - for example, all I have to do is visit a Google AdSense using site, click on the same link 3 or 4 times, and then move on.

I guess if we get enough people doing that, or using bots to click them, then enough ppl will get angry and a class action suit can be filed.

Definitely quasi legal, but it would prove a point- their restrictions are entirely too narrow, and their appropriation of the monies earned *legitimately* are borderline, if not totally, criminal in nature.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

in reality, if Google identifies a series of illegimate clicks in a website's statistics, their duty is to pay for the legitimate clicks and not pay for the illegimate ones.

instead of paying money that they legitimately owe for real services that were actually rendered on their behalf (the legitimate click-throughs), Google has taken the stance that any instance of "illegitimate" clicks nullifies their duty to pay for any and all clicks that have ever been generated.

there is nothing honest about what they are doing.
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