AdSense can be a wonderful thing to a blogger or website owner. It can also be a cause for a lot of heartache. As was the case for me this week. I got banned from AdSense. Well, one of my sites (my best performing site) did. Luckily my account as a whole remained active.
Note: if you got your whole account banned for invalid clicks, your chances of getting your account back are slim to none. That is the honest truth.
Also note: this is why I am a huge fan of diversification when it comes to income. If you put all of your eggs in one basket, when that basket falls over, all of your eggs break. Try to spread your income out as much as possible. Amazon, AdSense, affiliates, direct advertising, sponsors, ebooks, product reviews, other AdSense-type (CPC) advertising and the list goes on. Don’t settle for just one or two sources of income.
Yet another note: I have blocked the URL of the site in question out of sheer paranoia that Google would see it and ban me again.
So my story goes a little like this: I have a coupon and deal site that I was looking to take in a different direction. Someone had created 2 plugins that would pull coupons and Amazon deals from RSS feeds and automatically post them with my affiliate links on my blog. This sounded like a great idea since coupons and Amazon deals were 30-40% of what we posted anyway. A month or so went by and everything was smooth sailing. Then, I noticed some chatter in a Facebook group I was in about people who were running those plugins getting their sites disabled. I checked and mine was fine. Whew.
The next day I woke up to pitiful earnings and a new message in my account. Crap.
This couldn’t be good. So what exactly did the email say?
Well, there was good news. My account as a whole was still active. However, something happened after 3 years where Google felt that my site did not provide anything of value. They offered no other explanation other than linking to the Amazon category of my site. Luckily for me, I had a good idea as to what caused this problem. The link to the Amazon category solidified my beliefs. It was the plugin. I know the site provides valuable content. We post recipes, deals, money saving tips and more, what’s NOT of value?!
So I prepared my appeal and cleaned out my site. I deleted every single post (deleting is not recommended and can be harmful for SEO, so I recommend getting a consultation from a pro before doing that) that the plugins created and de-activated and deleted the plugins themselves. After doing that, I filed the appeal and gave this explanation:
First off, thank you for giving me a chance to explain my side. I had been pulling content from RSS feeds for Amazon deal posts recently. I have removed all posts that were created out using feeds only. I will obviously not be doing that again. I feel my site does provide value, as people go there looking to save money on various things.
I have included 4 links to recent posts that do not contain affiliate links, only quality content.
Thank you for reconsidering and please let me know if you need any more information from me.
So I sent that in and waited.
Then 2 days later I saw that I had a new message in my AdSense account titled “Regarding your Google Adsense Policy Violation Appeal”!
Woot! This was it, I was back in! Then I opened the message…
Disaster once again.
I knew at this point, my chances of ever running AdSense on the site again were very slim. But once again, in this message was an option to appeal. So I prepared another message. The only problem was that I had done everything I thought I had to do for the last appeal. You see the emails, with Google, you don’t get much explanation. So I filed another appeal and said something to the effect of this:
Hi, thank you for allowing me to appeal once more. I thought I knew what was causing the issue and I took care of it. I am now at a loss as to what to do. I am certain that my site does indeed provide value. This is my livelihood. Can you please expand on the violations that you see so I can promptly fix them?
So I sent that in and waited. One day passed. Nothing. Another day. Nothing. The 3rd morning. Nothing. Then I see a message! And it had the exact same title as the last one. Crap.
“Regarding your Google AdSense Policy Violation Appeal”
The 2nd appeal was successful. The frustrating part here is that I never got any further explanation. I didn’t change one thing about the site between the 1st and 2nd appeals. Nevertheless, I am one happy camper to have my #1 AdSense earning site back up and serving AdSense ads.
The best advice I can offer is my own experience and the following tips:
• Completely read the email from Adsense and really try to figure out what triggered the ban.
• Make whatever changes you feel should be made to your site before filing the appeal.
• Draft a well-written appeal and thank them for giving you the opportunity to appeal.
• Cross as many fingers and toes as you have.
• Some people have had luck talking to a Google representative at an “Adsense in Your City” event, so look out for those if you’re desperate.
If you got banned from AdSense, hopefully this helps (or at least gives you a glimmer of hope) in some way. Good luck in your appeals and may the force be with you.