Many YouTubers use the popular AdSense service to earn ad-click revenue on their channel. But if they or their viewers flood the ad with clicks in a short period of time, they can be banned—and it’s difficult, often impossible, to get it back.
Google takes AdSense seriously, and when it comes to clicking on an ad too much—otherwise known as “invalid click activity”—it will investigate the suspicious activity.
“If we determine that an AdSense account might pose a risk to our AdWords advertisers, we may disable that account to protect our advertisers’ interests,” Google policy states.
Nick Reineke, who runs a channel on indie games, was banned from AdSense for invalid activity after a fan clicked on his ads too many times, Kotaku reported.
The fan, who was just trying to get Reineke a little extra money, apologized for his actions. Reineke attempted to contact Google multiple times in order to appeal the ban, and even after explaining the situation, Google denied his request and referred him to the AdSense guidelines.
Instead of answering his questions, Reineke felt helpless and wondered what would stop someone from purposely spamming an ad just to get banned from AdSense.
“It is not possible to contact Google,” Reineke told Kotaku. “No one will speak with you, and there are no other avenues unless you are friends with someone who works there. Once your appeal is rejected, they will not reply to your emails or speak with you further on the issue (they actually tell you that in the rejection letter). It is essentially a LIFETIME ban for your account.”
Reineke told his story to Kotaku, and just a few minutes after the story was published, he regained access to AdSense without any explanation from Google.
Inspired by Reineke, more YouTubers came out of the woodwork to share their stories. They had similar stories of bans and frustration dealing with Google, but unlike Reineke’s outcome, none of them have gotten AdSense back on their channel.
And these creators cannot make another YouTube account without making a false identity.
YouTuber Jademalo, who runs a Minecraft server, believes he got banned after his brother clicked on the ads, although he said it could have been someone using the server.
“I’ve been banned for over two years, and I appeal every 6 months or so. This is blocking my ability to monetize my YouTube videos, and considering I’ve got a decent amount of views on a few of them, It’s a huge kick in the teeth,” Jademalo wrote.
Others, such as MrTheVestman, had a similar story, but after multiple failed attempts to get AdSense restored, he gave up trying.
And even in TWILdotTV’s case, knowing someone who worked at Google didn’t even help.
“Another person I know who works at Google in the New York office actually went to the AdSense desk there, and they pointed him to the FAQ page for disabled accounts, so I finally gave up the fight,” TWILdotTV wrote.
Google stated on their AdSense policy page that once you appeal to get AdSense back is denied, that’s the end of the road and they won’t answer any further inquiries.
“Our actions are the result of careful investigation by our team of dedicated specialists, taking into account the interests of our advertisers, publishers, and users,” Google stated. “Though you might be disappointed with our decision, we are unable to reinstate your account.”
Photo via Robert Scoble/Flickr