Friday 4 May 2012

My brief encounter with Adsense

Friday 4 May 2012 22:08

This week concluded my very short lesson in Google Adsense. I signed up to the program on April 13th and my application got approved on the 17th. I then sent a quick email to my friends and relatives all over the world, saying something like:

Hey, I just started my company web site and put some Google ads on it. Google pays me a few cents every time someone clicks on the ad and view the web site being advertised. Please check them out and help me earn some extra cash. :-)

What I should have told them was: only click on the ads if you’re interested in them; don’t click wildly just on any ads or you’ll get me in trouble.

Sure enough, in one week, I saw the estimated earnings jumped from $2-3/day to over $60/day on May 2. Out of a total of 501 page views, I received 451 ad clicks. Admittedly, a few of those clicks were my own, as I found some of the ads to be interesting.

Needless to say, I was not surprised when I received this email this morning:

After reviewing our records, we've determined that your AdSense account
poses a risk of generating invalid activity. Because we have a
responsibility to protect our AdWords advertisers from inflated costs due
to invalid activity, we've found it necessary to disable your AdSense
account. Your outstanding balance and Google's share of the revenue will
both be fully refunded back to the affected advertisers.

The Catholic part of me can’t help but say: Mea culpa!  Thanks, Google, for keeping me honest. However, I feel bad for the poor souls whose accounts were falsely disabled, as evident from the long trail of comments following Matt Cutts’ plus. But, as Professor Randy Pausch famously said once: “The walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.” This is definitely one distraction I don’t want.

One last comment on Adsense’s Wrong Click Detection algorithm: Clicking on the ads on my own site is prohibited. Improvement to the algorithm is needed so that this shouldn’t have to be one of the rules. I may be genuinely interested in the ad precisely because it relates so well to the topic which my site/blog content is discussing.

So that’s the end of that. Let’s move on.


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