Sunday, 10 December 2006

Terminating AdSense Accounts: Whys and Wherefores

Yesterday I found myself thinking about Google's AdSense account termination process in the light of a few other things I have read about or experienced.

First, partially in response to a previous post of mine, I read a comment on John Chow's blog, in which he stated, "once you start producing results, even Google will bend over backwards for you." I found myself thinking about AdSense account closures in light of his statement.

Second, the official AdSense Help Forum is constantly full of posts from people whose AdSense accounts have been closed, without warning and with the user having no idea why.

Third, and finally, the fact that I was once sent a warning letter from AdSense regarding my web site,, which informed me that I needed to remove AdSense ads from my site for reasons of trademark policy violations. Why did I get a warning? Why do others get warnings but some don't? That got me thinking about John Chow's statement again - why does Google "bend over backwards" for some, warn others, and not even bother to warn the rest?

This lead to a completely untested hypothesis on my part. If Google will bend over backwards for highly successful publishers, perhaps they treat policy violations on the basis of their perceived value of the publisher, or the publisher's web site, in terms of potential future earnings. In other words, does Google just ban those sites whose future prospects it deems poor and is more lenient with those it thinks have earning potential? Except for cases of clear, extreme policy violations, I wouldn't be surprised if there's some truth in that. Why else would Google treat even regular AdSense publishers (i.e., not "Premium Publishers") differently from each other?

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