Every heard of click bombing? It happens when a competitor, spammer, or all-around jerk decides to click the AdSense ads on a website multiple times to trigger “invalid click activity” and cause Google to ban or temporarily disable a publisher’s AdSense account.
Sounds unfair, but click bombing has been running rampant – unchallenged – for years now. Google has given the cold shoulder to publishers by way of canned email messages and a total lack of support for banned accounts. This was even the case for webmasters who had been running AdSense without a single issue for years.
Webmasters and SEO professionals alike have pleaded with Google to change this “no second chances” approach to AdSense bans, and for far too long, the cries fell upon deaf ears. Recently however, Google had a massive change of heart.
The Official Announcement
Google announced that it’s officially softening its stance on AdSense publishers with invalid activity found in their accounts. The announcement came by way of a recent post on Google’s Inside AdSense Blog. In it, Jonathan Bellack, Product Management Director for the AdSense program, reassured publishers that Google wants to do a better job of helping to sort out unfair account bans:
While the vast majority of publishers who sign up for AdSense do so in good faith, unfortunately there are some bad actors out there. As you can imagine, we can’t reveal all the tools we use to keep bad sites and bad traffic out of our network. But sometimes these tools result in good publishers who become a source of invalid activity having their accounts disabled without much recourse. We’re making some changes we think will help fix this.
More Tools for Publishers
Bellack continued the post by outlining new tools and standards that Google’s implementing, effective immediately. First, he announced that Google’s now considering tenure much more heavily when deciding how to proceed with a banned account. Translation: if you’ve been a long-time AdSense publisher without any problems, you’ll now have a much greater chance of having your issues resolved without much trouble.
In addition, Bellack noted that Google may begin temporarily disabling accounts for long-time AdSense publishers instead of immediately banning them. This means the disruption will be minimal. Bellack even suggested that in some cases, accounts may not be disabled at all while Google sorts out an invalid activity issue for a veteran.
Bellack also announced the addition of a nifty new form that publishers can use to submit more thorough appeal requests. This tool may help Google resolve issues more expediently as well. Plus, Google’s now planning to provide publishers more details about the causes of invalid activity. Publishers will receive an email with details about the issue and instructions on how to proceed.
If you’re an AdSense publisher, you’re encouraged to visit the Ad Traffic Quality Resource Center, which Google has now made available in most of the languages that AdSense supports. You can also swing by the newly-expanded AdSense Academy resource page for tips and hints that you can use to protect your account right now.
This is fantastic news. These newly updated protections for AdSense publishers, when coupled with Google’s recent addition of the “disavow links” tool, are indicative of a new era for the search giant – one in which Google’s finally willing to work more closely with webmasters to better protect their websites (and in some cases, livelihoods) from online attacks.