Why Google Adsense Is A Bad Primary Source Of Revenue

I just recently had my Google Adsense account disabled after having it been active for over eight long years.

The reason?

Google sent me one of those canned auto emails below:



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.

Please understand that we need to take such steps to maintain the effectiveness of Google’s advertising system, particularly the advertiser-publisher relationship. We understand the inconvenience that this may cause you, and we thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

If you have any questions or concerns about the actions we’ve taken, how you can appeal this decision, or invalid activity in general, you can find more information by visiting


The Google AdSense Team


What do they mean by my account “poses” a risk of invalid activity?  I think basically it means that I have not violated anything, but my account poses some sort of risk of generating bogus clicks.  The email doesn’t even tell me which of the dozens of sites I have running Adsense ads is causing the risk.  But Google is known for not telling much of anything when they ban advertisers and publishers.

At first when I saw this email, I was a bit annoyed.  But after a few minutes I just chuckled because I couldn’t believe how badly Google treats their advertisers, publishers and customers.  It could be very easy for one of my competitors to come to one of my web sites and generate bogus clicks on the Adsense ads.  Would that be my fault?

Since my Google Adsense commissions generated about 0.000001% of my yearly revenues, it really doesn’t mean anything to my overall online business.

Now, if you are using Google Adsense as your primary source of online revenue, then you better think twice about switching over to a better revenue model.

With a business model revolving around Google Adsense, you have absolutely no control.  They can literally shut you down overnight whether you are making $1 or $100,000 a year in Adsense commissions.

I have heard horror stories of people having their Adsense account shut down and losing tens of thousands of dollars in commissions (Google doesn’t bother sending you any past commissions).

Over my long Internet marketing career, I learned that the best way to build a successful online business is around a model that gives you a lot of control.

I love paid traffic because it is controllable and predictable.

I create my and sell my own products because I control the front-end and the entire back-end.

I have built dozens of email lists in various markets because I want to have control over my prospects and my customers.

You can’t have any of that if your business model revolves around another company or individual that can close you down.

My advice:

1. Buy targeted traffic

2. Build an email list (if anyone tells you that email is dead, get off their list!)

3. Sell your own products (that add value) to your email list.

Build a business around this business model and I guarantee you will be successful.

Does it require a lot of work?

Yes!  There are no push button solutions to building a long sustainable business.  Just dedication, persistence, motivation and good old fashion hard work.

I think having my Adsense account may be a blessing.  It will allow me to work on other parts of my business that are more rewarding and profitable.

If you are currently making money with Google Adsense, you should continue to work on it – but only as a supplimental source of revenue (i.e. filling in excess ad inventory).

You never know when you might get the same email.

Feel free to share your own Adsense story.


Gauher Chaudhry


  1. Tom

    I feel you and I envy you because you are independent. I am a SEO guy and every single website I built from 2011-04 got hit just after starting to make money. They were quality websites and I put my every brain cell into them. It was becoming harder and harder to start another projected and be motivated…and determined after getting slapped and now my confidence is completely ruined and I am so lost.

  2. Hi Tom, I love free traffic, but once again you are at the mercy of the search engines. Once they change a rule, all your sites lose their ranking and back to square one.

  3. That’s horrible!… and yet too funny. A client of mine got (word for word) the exact same email when he tried to apply google ads to his Coupon site.

  4. Ed

    You can get banned from sites that sell traffic as well (also Google) – what sources of paid traffic do feel are best???

  5. Bill

    What is your take on paid traffic via google adwords?

    I love paid traffic and adwords used to be my favourite source of paid traffic until I got banned by google 3 times in a row.

    I am now doing SEO and faced the same issues as Tom.

  6. I totally agree with you Gauher.

    In fact, I’d even take it a step further and say that even if you are using paid traffic, you need to build that email list. Otherwise you’re equally at the mercy of getting shut down by your traffic source, even if you’re paying them!

    Anyone doing any sort of affiliate/online marketing without building an email list is on a long endless goose chase, constantly hunting down campaigns and starting from scratch.

    Yes, you don’t have a J-O-B, and yes there is amazing potential, but you’re still slaving away endlessly. That’s “quick hit cash”, not a sustainable business.

    Before I start on any campaign now, I always ask myself “what can I do to make sure this income comes in as long as possible?” and “if I’m at google’s mercy (for example), what can I do to minimize the impact if they give me the boot”. If I don’t like my answers/solutions, I either work on them, or find a new campaign/market.

  7. Hell Yeah!…

    “2. Build an email list (if anyone tells you that email is dead, get off their list!)” That’s what I’m talkin about. Google throws it’s weight around like it owns the Internet, killing off the same businesses that made it what it is in the first place.

    I don’t rely on anything from them at all…Anything Google sends me in the way of traffic is What I consider extra…

    Thanks Gauher

  8. Bill: Do what I do. Get remote servers all over the USA with different IP address and open up new adwords accounts with a new identity (relative?) and new credit card. It has been working like a charm for me for years now.

  9. Hi

    Got this link in my email as a subscriber. Anyways, yeah it’s always BAD when we depend on adsense solely as our means of monetizing our websites. I’ve started 2 blogs in the past month, but I only have adsense currently as a monetization method. Earned a few bucks here n there, but it’s only temporarily while i get my blogs more establised.

    You’re quite lucky to even have had an adsense account for 8 years! Damn …..lol. My blog is based on blackberry cellphone repairs and other cellphone news. If I have my adsense as long as you it’d be great 🙂

    Peace and I’m out!

  10. Guess what I got this email from adwords 2 years ago and I had just made $1100 in 1 day then the next day adwords set me a similar email. To hell with them just move on they will crash some day.

  11. Kip

    That is too funny. I just got the same email from G today. I had about the same reaction. Oh well now I won’t see that 100 dollar check each month.

    With the way that g treats ther customers on the Adsense side and on the Adwords side I don’t see how they stay in business but I don’t really care either.

  12. DJ

    I too got the same email from Google Adsense over a year ago. I was crushed. I had about $6,000 in my account that Google STOLE from me. However, to my surprise they did pay for the prior month which I thought they would keep.

    I think what happened is that I was paying for traffic to some of my sites with Adsense ads on it. The traffic was from Yahoo Content which I believe was sending a lot of garbage traffic. Never ever buy traffic from Yahoo Content, its complete garbage.

    Anyway, it really hurt having my Adsense account disabled, however, I did find a way around it and got another account. But its always in the back of my mind that Google can disable that account at any time for no reason. I’ve had my Adwords account disabled for about 1 week because Google claimed someone hacked into my Adwords account of which I found no evidence of. I’ve had campaigns running for month on Adwords (making me money), then all of a sudden you get a B*TCH SLAP and your campaign is dead.

    I even had 1 of my websites which was making about $1,000 per month from Adsense at the time removed from Google Search Results. I was so pissed! I have no clue as to the reason. But after requesting a re-inclusion the site re-appeared after about 3 weeks but traffic was way down. It took months to somewhat come back.

    You can never rely on Google. They are unpredictable and don’t care about the small guy. They are constantly changing “stuff” which irritates me. Forget getting someone on the phone or by email to help you! Google and even Facebook are moving towards working with only the BIG bands in my opinion.

  13. The Dreaded Google Nazis ! and Facebook isn’t much better. The way I see it you either pay someone to constantly do your SEO or just pay for advertising. Take your pick.

  14. Gauher, read my latest post here: http://www.affhelper.com/googles-hypocrisy-exposed/

    I try to play by the rules as much as possible, but sometimes you need to market you content aggressively, especially in today’s economy. I post nothing but quality content, but I still managed to get a penalty.

    After I got their little message I came to conclusion that getting your competition penalized is easier than I thought.

    I hope I can resolve this issue with them, but I wasn’t going to sit quiet and not say anything, so here is my Round 1 with Google lol

  15. Google!!!! The day will come (as in all business industries) when they will be begging those of us who have websites to park their advertising on because one day, they will meet their match and their search engine monopoly will have been outdone. Just like retail owners are tripping over everyone backwards now with customer service. Google will be outdone by the same technology they use themselves eventually – not soon enough though.

    Your 3 step method is really as complicated as it can get. Build the email funnel, send the traffic and market your own proven product. No one can back a product better than the developer.

    Sounds all good to me.

    Take care Gauher

  16. Hi Pawel, GREAT POST. Somebody had sent me an email a few minutes after I started directing peopel to this post about your blog post. I have retweeted your blog post to make peopel aware about Google’s shenanigans. It is a no-win situation with those guys whther you are an advertiser or a publisher.

  17. Build your lists guys because the traffic you have today can be lost tomorrow. Same for google accounts.

    If you want free traffic different then SEO, then I suggest you traffic from the social sites. It has lower conversions usually, but not always.
    Even if you manage to get free traffic from no matter what source (organic, social, backlinks from other sites…), send it to your squeeze pages and that should save you lot’s of nerves and make your business more stable and long term.

    There is one thing that you must have on mind. Never relay on only one traffic source and only one source of income and you are pretty much safe 🙂

  18. Kurt

    Haven’t been hammered by Adsense yet, but I did get the Adwords boot. And just FYI, simply inactivating or “deleting” a campaign that they have issue with will get you banned after a period of time. The URLS and keywords in campaigns stay in your account even if you delete them.
    I discussed the situation with a google rep to no avail, even though I inactivated after the first notice and deleted the campaign after that, they could care less.

    With that said, like Tom, I’ve spent countless hours doing the SEO and linkbuilding thing, only to see my traffic and profits disappear overnight.

    I have tried MSN, Facebook, and some other second and third tier PPC but none of them converted for me.

    It truly is disheartening to have everything you work so hard and so long for be worthless overnight.

    I have gotten to the point more than once that I shut off multiple hosting accounts and responder services, lists and all, because I was so frustrated. It feels really good to occasionally unsubscribe from the “Gurus” lists, (Except for Gauher) and delete all the emails in my inbox just to start over.

    Thanks man for being real….

  19. True, I am really interested in the outcome of their anti-trust case. Google tries to enter every profitable market and they are doing a lot of damage in the process. Thanks for retweeting by the way.

  20. Rohan

    The same thing happened to me a few weeks ago Gauher, I think I sent you an email expressing my strong dislike towards google.
    The good news is that we are now forced to become BETTER at marketing online.

  21. Bwahahahaha!

    Well have you done anything “else” recently where you mentioned a google product? They took my adsense account back…in 2008 I think. You might think it was the arbitrage-nope. At the time I was using the beautiful and wonderful, and now quite dead, GoClick for some nice penny traffic. They sent me an email saying THAT was ok. But the DID close me down a few months later, 24 hours after I wrote a long detailed proof (with screenshots) that showed how bad their content matching was….well that was it. Account closed.

    They took my adwords account in the big sweep of 2009, so I bought your ppv course. But I was already doing pretty well with this thing called “mobile” so decided to stay on that path instead. But I was still pretty mad so I wrote a pretty confrontational piece about the adwords banning-and my site went from PR3 to PR2 within the week. hahahhahahaha

    Bottom line; Shoemoney is correct on this point, “don’t make google look stupid.” I would add that, that can manifest in many ways; writing bad things about them (with valid points and proofs) like I ddi, or doing LAZY and/or careless arbitrage, sloppy and/or MFA sites full of poor content or PLR, running adwords campaigns for “questionable” products or on sites that don’t look real businesses.

    But all’s well that ends well; like you, it was a blessing in disguise-I found my true calling elsewhere. I’m now about…1000 days in a row profitable in mobile (that’s 3 yrs right?) AND I make money with multiple adsense and adwords accounts since I cracked that puzzle about a year ago.

    If you get a chance, do a search for the Microsoft guy who just posted his “why I quit working for google” article this week.

  22. Hey Gauher:

    I truly believe in Karma … what goes around, comes around.

    One of these days, all of the games that G, (and I don`t mean God, although they act like they are), is playing with their paying clients will come back and bite them in the a**.


  23. This is one big reason I hesitate to even get started with Adsense sites. I wish there was a good alternative to Adsense that wasn’t so down on the small guy trying to make it. I don’t want to do a bunch of Adsense sites then get banned like you and countless others have. I don’t have a backup plan either. I am a newbie so not up there enough to know how to create my own product. Guess I better leave Adsense alone and learn something more reliable, lol.

  24. art

    Hi Gauther:
    Your strategy sounds great. How do you implement it? Do you use your name and personally create your products or do you have others create your products and use a pen name? Are you creating ebooks and video courses? Using optin pages with a special report or sales letter? Art

  25. Hey Big G!
    Sorry about your ban bro.
    But thanks for sharing.

    When I was banned, I thought my LIFE was over. What gave me hope was when you said in your webinar that even Google account for less than 10% of your whole traffic.

    That was when I knew that there is LIGHT indeed at the end of the tunnel .

    Once again, sorry about the ban.

  26. Hi Gauher,

    What goes around comes around. The day, when
    will be here soon when the forces in the market place
    will take care of Google. It is already happening.

    I have always wondered, what the two founders that
    started Google as a small business, would have
    done, and thought, if some company had shut them down,
    without any warning or notice, when they were starting out,
    and then not paying them for the service provided.

    I I could meet these guys, this will be my first question
    to them.

  27. Julie

    Not surprised, seems they can shut down any google account
    for any reason.

    I had my google adwords account shut down for something to do
    with my affilaite links. The crazy part is the few campagnes I
    had were disabled for about a year. NO ADS SHOWING ANYWHERE

    AND… They took almost 200.00 that I had in my account. I questioned
    them about it a few times and ofcourse they did not give any response
    about why the funds were missing from my account.

    Sorry this happened to you Gauher, at least your still in
    good spirits after loosing your Adsense account.
    Glad it didn’t hurt you much.

    BTW..Thanks for the great post.

  28. Sorry to hear about what happened to your account Gauher. You are right. I’m using Adsense as well but it’s not my primary source of income. Like you said, it’s just too flaky. They can take away your account at any time for the slightest issue. Never depended on Adsense for primary income and never will.

    Good advice.

  29. Aghper Jan

    Hi Gauher,

    you mentioned “3. Sell your own products (that add value) to your email list.”
    can you elaborate a bit on this point?

    thank you

  30. If you don’t have money for PPC, learn SEO. It’s another of those activities that keeps on giving.

    Ideally have multiple streams of traffic. That way, if one dries up, the others keep giving.

  31. i am thinking will it be same as publishing kindle, as there is nothing i can control, i have no right, i can be shut down any times

  32. Anders

    Yes, we know it. G-Sucks!

    I am using gmail and also starting to regret that after the new “improved privacy”

    Many of my google searches have changed modified to my previous searches.

    Not good.

    I want a neutral search- hot dang it:-)

    Wasted 6 weeks on my life on SEO. I can´t believe some people still do regular seo.

    Mobile seo maybe, but it will soon be saturated cos it pretty easy-right now.

    But you can still be deindexed anytime

    Paid traffic rules, when you know what you are doing. PPV, PPC, Banner Advertising, Retargeting.

    And no: Email ain´t dead. Just treat your list with respect and don´t spam people.

    Peace & happy thoughts 😉

  33. Danny Barsa

    Paid traffic to an adsense website is a nono, as per their terms and conditions (they consider it arbitrage, and it is forbidden). I suppose Gauher’s account was in his name, and some human reviewer probably connected him being a paid traffic guy with his adsense account. That would be their “perceived risk” towards Gauher. That is enough for them. It reminds me of some similar horror stories regarding paypal accounts and their deffinition of “too much risk”.

  34. Just had the same thing happen to me two days ago. I could not believe it! Oh well, there are so many other ways to make money online. I hope Google go broke I really do. It’ll teach them a lesson not to treat their customers with disrespect.

  35. Thanks for the important and timely information about Adsense. I received quite a few warnings from Google in regards to violation of terms and conditions. I guess it is better to be safe than sorry, find alternative contextual ads, there are plenty of them out there.

  36. Sam

    When flood erodes Oak/Mahogany trees other little trees should take caution.
    Let Google continue to ban and PANDA around, there is temptation for them to bite the hands that are feeding them.
    When a tree grows in the forest and suppress or dominate other trees from growing around it when it is going to fall there won’t be any other trees around to support its fall, then it will fall and chatter into pieces.

  37. Hi Gauher,
    Thanks for the advice, I was about to build my own port-folio of adsense sites after spending a few quid ($) on around seven adsense courses ranging from $7 WSO’s to full blown $497 so far!
    I take your advice seriously and that’s why I’ve been on your list all these years.

  38. Well I got the same emails as pawal. I also got some that said simply “death Rte webmaster this site contravene our terms.”

    NO saying try to resubmit it or anything.

    So I have now had over 50 sites details indexed and another 10 had a penalty. The most aannoying thing is that some had been ranking no 1 for years and have been replaced by blatent affiliate sites with worse content. My content was prifessionally written in some cases by doctors.

    So i am now $5k down per month by a company that makes 2.7 billion in advertising. And have just reolaced one affiliate site for a worse one.

    So my family are going a little hubgry until i built that income bacj up.

    So whats the best list building course?

    Sorry about the typos this box is not mobile friendly

  39. Bernie

    It’s sad, but it does not surprise me. Google has two sets of rules. One for large branded advertisers, and another for affiliates. As stated in the blog, the only way to beat Google is to develop your own products. Yes, SEO is slow and hard to implement without knowing what keywords convert for your product. I would start a small PPC campaign on MSN/Yahoo to test what keywords convert. Then I would go the SEO route via article marketing. Slow but steady.

  40. Hi Gauher

    welcome in the club 😉

    I had my adsense account terminated

    They didn t bother to tell me why.
    ( But I knew it anyway .. 😉 )

    I used to have 500 Euro per month in adsense.
    So no big deal.

    My strategy on that was simply to accept it.
    I never complaint or reacted to that.

    After a while ( may be 2 years ) I applied for an adsense account.
    Using my real data.

    Bingo – I got a new account.

    Now I have about 5 Euro a month.
    Who cares?

    I guess they lost 2000 $ in revenue / month
    but they can afford it obviously.

    Don t be evil
    but don t be like google either.



  41. Jan

    Hi Gauher

    I think there may have been an adsense slap. I got the dreaded email too. 2 days ago, and I’ve read about several others, all around the same time…

    Not good…but IM is always changing. PAid traffic coming closer and closer 🙂

  42. Hey Gauher,

    its indeed sorry that your adsense account was banned.. but screw Google… i decided i want nothing to do with google anymore when my adwords account was banned 2 years ago..

    and indeed.. my business thrive and got better and stable without google adwords..

    thanks for sharing your story…

  43. Hi Gauher,

    Sorry for the ban. Nothing new with Google though. This has happened in the past and will continue to happen in future. I hear, at present, Bing is emerging out to be a good traffic source and have recently come across quite a few posts, which suggest that how Bing is technically better poised than Google to dethrone the latter.

    I really have no clue about the truths but people do seem to be concerned about Google’s attitude towards their associates, at the moment .

  44. So that’s it.Google sent the same message to me 3 years ago.I really think Google is becoming a devil to us marketers.They want us out and goes very far including lying to get what they want.

    You know : Money is power and we are only ants in their eyes

  45. I received a similar email few months ago. In my opinion I didn’t do anything wrong, so I called them in Ireland to ask what did I do wrong. I found out that I got banned because one of my sites was hacked, and at the same time I was sending traffic to few other sites that were hosted on the same server. So the reason why my account got frozen was the low quality website. I actually got my account back by cleaning the server ASAP. I was really surprised to get my account back 🙂

    Anyhow, I totally agree not to rely on AdWords. I rather build email lists just like you mentioned.

  46. About Adsense,

    I am doing business on the internet since 1998, and am doing adsense since the day it openend, and you know what? Today my adsense income is 10 times lower than 10 years ago, and the sites I created then didn’t change much. Google changed, and is focusing on getting there own properties to rank high ( Google maps, Google news, Google profiles, etc..) a,d eve, if your sites has good content they try to get it lower in the serps. Even today I see another trend, they try to puch everyone into the Google + asking ME in my adsense panel to add Google + codes into my sites. But why would I bother when I read that people ony go there for three minutes when they login. It just means nobody cares about it, everyone goes today to Facebook and twitter and Pinterest. Just like Microsoft lost the game by thinking the Internet was only a temporary trend, Google lost the game by thinking nobody would go social, and I think it is to late for them to reverse the trend, even if today everyone still use there search engine, but in my eyes if eg. Facebook creates a performing search engine, and I am sure they are working on it, it can best be that in a few years Google goes same direction as Altavista, AOL or Yahoo. For me at the moment (and this can change fast) my main source of traffic and income is Youtube (also owned by Google), I just post nice interviews and below the product link going to the clickbank or shareasale product. IF it is a product with a good conversion it works, but I agree that I should better send them to a squeeze page OR and this is the future ( and what I will implement at this moment) to a Facebook app that also collects the emails in the database.

  47. *Definitely* don’t put all of your eggs in *any* of the Google baskets. Any revenue generated by any of Google’s products should be supplemental to your primary bread and butter income source(s).

    Even though it is nowhere near as big as Adsense (at least not yet), give media.net a try instead of (or in addition to) it. Good luck, fellow IMers. Be persistent and don’t give up!

  48. Wilkie

    I think Gauher is right. If google wants to bring out a law and then punish you for it later, its their call and not yours so get over it.

  49. Aghper: Point three means to create a product targeted towards your list (i.e. Forex trading if you have a Forex list) and sell it to them. Make sure it is of high quality and you will have a steady stream of repeat customers for future products.

    Rick E: You should continue to build yoru portfolio of sites, but have your primary source of revenue unrelated to Adsense. Maybe a Clickbank ebook or CPA offer.

    Art: Have your product outsourced (i.e. Elanec) and then use a pen name for that niche.

    All dynasties come to an end. Google’s dominence will eventually dwindle down.

  50. sam

    Bill: Do what I do. Get remote servers all over the USA with different IP address and open up new adwords accounts with a new identity (relative?) and new credit card. It has been working like a charm for me for years now.

    Which VCC do you use? is it reloadable?

  51. Sam: I use VISA gift cards.


  52. Hey man I always love reading your posts cuz they tell it like it is. You’ve always talked alot about paid traffic cause you’re in control all the time and you can track everything. Lke you, my adsense account has also taken a dive in terms of commissions. I haven’t been banned, but see a decrease in revenue for sure.

    So your advice is right on in terms of having a biz only around adsense…too risky.


  53. Carole

    Totally agree. Since getting banned by Adwords, which was one of my primary sources of income at the time, I’ve not bothered at all with Adsense. “Own” your own internet real estate and work on that.

  54. Well Gauher I was one of those fools that had Adsense as a primary source. Over the last 4 months I had boosted my Adsense revenue form about $400/month to over $8500 per day.

    Well I am sure that I set off alarms at Google like crazy. Some little Google geek probably looked at my account to figure out how I was scamming Google.

    Having had my adwords account banned several years ago I had made sure that I adhered to every single part of their Terms of Service.

    One month went by and they paid me about $18,000 from a total of $41,000 in revenue. So far so good. Silly me scaled up my campaigns and got up to $125,000 for the first 22 days of February.

    The ax fell on February 23rd and Google sent me exactly the same canned letter they sent you. To make it legit the all seeing Google said not only were they not going to pay me the $125,000 but they were going to return all the money to the advertisers including theirs.

    I was out not only $125 K but about $7K in advertising costs.

    My theory is that the little Google geek could not figure out what I was doing that was against Google’s rules (I was not doing anything) so rather than let me make money and have to explain to someone they could not solve the mystery, they closed me down. A valuable but expensive lesson learned again.

    Don’t do business with the big G.

    I wish that Adsense was only .0001% of my income but it wasn’t. Now I am struggling to try to find something with which I can replace my income.


  55. JJ

    I completely agree with you however, there is a pinch point you failed to mention. PayPal is known to be just as ruthless and unsympathetic as Google. How does one maintain control when it comes time to collect your money?

  56. Hi – thank you for this post.

    This type of conduct by Google is very disappointing because I certainly did not do what they mention in the letter and nor did my contributors (they say they did not and I believe them). It is very high handed and I hope in the future unsustainable – ie they need to move to better conduct.

    It means that as a source of income – it can only be the icing on the cake.

    I wonder are there any other programmes like google adsense we could join – is Google adsense the only type of advertising programme we can get involved with – if there are others grateful if you could let us know. Thanks.

    The website is http://www.abetoday.com: http://www.abetoday.com is a wholesome website with unique features such as blessings. Two ambassadors of peace are involved in this website – Mike Ghouse and Susan McKenzie. The panel of contributors are from various walks of life and the website is regularly updated. http://abetoday.com/contributors/

    In addition, http://www.abetoday.com is listed on Google Maps.

  57. A few years ago, I had build my AdSense across several sites and was generating about $100 a month. Small beans by the standards of some of your other posters, but significant for me.

    For no stated reason, my account was cancelled – same canned letter.

    A few years later, I incorporated, and set up an account in the corporate name. No letter this time, but all of my AdSense started showing PSAs.

    Anyone who makes AdSense a primary income stream climbs our on a limb and hands a stranger a chainsaw!

  58. Bob

    After 43 years in business, I know that what goes around comes around. Google doesn’t.

  59. JJ

    @Dick…Sorry to hear that my friend. Quite a hit, indeed.

    With that kind of money involved, I’m pretty sure I would
    1) demand evidence of my wrong doing.
    2) demand my money.
    3) demand proof they actually paid back the advertisers.
    4) have my lawyers sue G, and each of the advertisers to recover losses.

    Yeah, it won’t be cheap and it may be tough to win, but how long will those advertisers stay with Google if everybody did the same?

  60. Sam

    Dear Gauher,

    Google is doing this to lots of publishers. I think they are creating lots of publishers who are unhappy with them. I do not know what this will do to their business in the long run.

    In general, I do not think it is a good idea to be an adsense publisher if you are buying traffic, because what you pay for getting the traffic may be far more than your adsense revenue on a particular site.

  61. I know we are talking about Adsense, howver I have had 2 out of my 3 adwords accounts canned for alleged violations even though I was spending about £12000 a month advertising on Adwords. I know Google have their rules but i would have preferred a detailed explanation of what I was doing wring, not an immediate ban. 312K might not be big cash to them, but all these people in my position could add up ! The bad taste this leaves means that I now no longer use Adwords and have developed other sources of traffic.

  62. As a student of yours (PPCF), as well as having interviewed you once, you always teach the best when it comes to paid traffic.

    You are right, if you only rely on one source of income (like AdSense), then you could EASILY and QUICKLY loose you business.

    You definitely need to diversify your income streams. And, if you primary business is revenue from PPC, then you can not just rely on AdWords.


  63. Jack

    Gauher, it is absolutely shocking of not only google’s banning you, but you chuckling and not caring about it.

    I know the back dealings quite well, and where this is a will, there is a way to make things right.

    Maybe there is something you’re not telling us?

  64. Mark

    I find it appalling that Google doesn’t even pay out the money rightfully earned. I wonder if this is part of their business model; don’t pay people and pocket the earnings! One of these days they will get sued by the wrong person.

  65. Hey Gauher!

    Long time no chat. Anyway, I just wanted to compliment you on another fine post, and one which illustrates the fallacy of relying on anybody else for your cash flow. I totally agree with you that if you’re going to use Adsense at all, use it as a secondary or even tertiary revenue stream. It makes no sense to do otherwise.

    Google, Facebook, Twitter and many of the other “giants” are as inscrutable as they are unfathomable. They are often unfair, arbitrary and completely antithetical to their own stated missions. Remember Google’s “Don’t be evil”? They’ve wisely moved away from that slogan, since it would elicit sniggers, scoffing and outright outrage these days.

    These behemoths are all about profits – theirs, not yours. They don’t care about you in the least. Well, unless you’re a million-dollar advertister. In that case, they *might* deign to assign a real, living, breathing, talking human being to your issue and hear you out. Otherwise, forget about it.

    If you want to control your own fate online, you simply must have your own site(s), your own product(s) and your own list(s). You simply must do what it takes to get there. Anything else, even if it makes you money, is fool’s gold. Period. End of story.

  66. Great open post Gauher,
    Google mercilessly manipulate the internet especially the ones that are within their domain.. Be it Organic traffic, Adsense, Adword whatsoever, relying on any of these their services does not just worth it all.

    Because its like sitting on a keg of gunpowder that is certain to explode at anytime. G like tossing its program users (especially for IM) to and fro!

    I need to accumulate some money more, I may never build my business round them again

  67. i hear you get banned from jchow .. wish u all the best… i learn a lot from this thing

  68. This sounds very scary – I completely use Google Adsense.

    What are the alternatives to Adsense for Publishers?

  69. Good for you!

    One insignificant issue less to worry about. I had my Adsense Account suspended in 2008 and reinstated month later after having time-wasting correspondence with the team. I did not turn back using AdSense actively but wanted to be found “not guilty.” As I said, just a waste of time.

    Google cares about Google. I care about myself and my clients.
    Working out good for me.

  70. Julian

    Am sorry to hear about your banned account. However I don’t think it happens just out of the blue without doing anything. I know a ton of people doing very well with AdSense and treating it as a real business which means they play by the book.

    Gauher, you should really investigate this a little further if you think it was just a few asses clicking on your ads. I personally don’t buy this theory because if it were the case, there wouldn’t be any AdSense business anymore. While you might have been a victim of such thing, Google has the mean to differ a few asses clicking on your ads from a real scam.

    Also, I would be very curious to know more about Marketmaster made 125K in Feb and how he spent 7K buying traffic. I have a little idea about how you do that and if its what I think it is, there is nothing to blame Google about. Sorry.

  71. bob orow

    Gauher I am 65yrs old and a victim of a similiar investing scam like Bernard Madoff.
    I was scammed out of 2.5 million dollars—my whole retirement gone.
    I want to learn IM but from what I’m learning is that if you could build your own products that is where the money is. I’m too new and inexperiance for that yet. I’m used to making 30,000 + per month before. Can affiliate marketing be that lucrative? I don’t have the time to get back my lost money in what I do which is selling windows-doors and siding.
    So I want to build multiple solid income streams from the internet. WHAT IS BEST ROAD TO START? I wish there was a way to sell windows and siding over the internet by doing my presentation on line and if people like me they would invite me to their homes for the pricing and sign up
    Thank You

  72. Gauher, its so sad reading this after you’ve maintained your account for more than 8 years. It happened to me last February as well, expecting my cheque and the account went off all for same reason!

    @Bob, yup, internet marketing can bring you more money like the $30k plus you were earning that is if you do the right thing and have good money to invest.

    If you have a list of buyers and you create your own product or sell an affiliate product, money will surely come for you and if the list is like 30 different niches, you just expect to make $1k from each niche every month.


  73. I lose my Adsense acc at last month. This is a bad letter from Google, this is similar to your letter. I did not do anything with my site and get ban with 3 year old acc. At least, they need to tell us what the hell of our problem!!!

  74. am not surprised , because that’s the same way they banned one of my pal, with the same message

  75. Suff

    Having a biz around AdSense is too risky? It’s not a biz at all, in my opinion. I even don’t trust relying on organic traffic from Google. Will it be coming tomorrow? No one can tell. The reality is : it’s Google dependency that is bad. Google is dying a slow death. At a speed many don’t notice. Some day we will be searching for ‘why google failed” in the future search engines. That day is slowing coming nearer.

  76. Suff

    Whilst I don’t consider Google to be racist, I have a view that approvals/appeals from certain countries aren’t taken as seriously as from others ~ those countries being where the 6 month rule applies.

  77. 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.

    Am making the assumption that the top 20% of google adsense affiliates makes makes 80% of the revenue share paid out from the google adsense program.

    Everyone seemed to be steamed about Google throwing its weight agaist it own publishers (haven’t we acted out this script before?) however I must argue in their favour and on the grounds of financial benefits to the advertisers.

    Adsense publishing is not about the benefits to be creamed off by publishers, its about the profit made and the return on investment margins for buyers of the service – NOTE WHAT THE LETTER IS ABOUT? Its about advertisers and the value exchange criteria.

    For large, high income earners of the google adsense program, google has its own “algorithm” on what the expected rates of should be in the transfer of benefits to the advertiser.

    As I said earlier on John Chow’s blog about the banning of Zac Johnson from google adsense – it’s about the rate of return being made by advertisers in respect of any one publisher’s account. Its makes bad business sense to have a publisher earning tens of thousands of dollars from google adsense against the fact that the related advertisers from whom this income is generated is making far less. The figures just dont add up and the minute it doesn’t add up hear comes the GOOGLE BEAR .

    So quality prospects being generated from running google adsense is what is important but the discussion here has been skewed in the opposite direction. If advertisers complain to google (and yes they will) that there is no net positive value return on thier advertising spend, what the heck do you expect?

    Advertisers advertise to make money so there’s no way I pay someone to do it for me and the publisher or marketer is making far more income than what is returned to me – no exchange of perceived equal value is taking place here (I have written so many articles on this issue).

    Publishers must drive quality prospects which translates into sales and normal expected returns are to be made on advertising when using advertisng giants such as google adsense.

    It’s not about the publisher, its about the advertiser and in respect of the potential fake click analysis by google adsense, that’s just a possiblity reasoning where google adsense determines that that the nearest possible reason you are earning too much more than the aggregate advertisers whose ads you run from your sites is click fraud.

    No one program, unless of course it your own products, should not generate more than 15% of your revenue stream, that’s foolish and ill advised.

  78. You guys wise up or you will lose big time if you stick with that company. Don’t ever use any of their FREE products. Yes anything free is loaded with ulterior motives. Would you like your kids to get FREE candy from strangers? Probably not, than why do you do the same on the Internet ?

    Have you been hit by Panda update and all your traffic gone? You never knew why it hit you so hard? Because you are using free Google Analytic s. This is like having a Google monkey on your head where ever you go on the Internet. All your content , pages, link building activity, bounce rate and social media becomes the domain of Google. How they take that data and apply is only one way – they penalize you ! You get pushed down the SERPS and stay there.

    So get off that Free loading Trojan horse you have pasted in your header and get Open source PIWIK or Statcounter which does an equally good job but its not owned by a search engine. PIWIK is open source like WordPress and delivers better results!

    Once you get out of that Panda update than you can do something better. Your traffic should NEVER be more than 25 percent from Google search engine. Invest in Social Media and use paid traffic but never depend on this beast again and never ever use their free products again.

  79. I feel that Google is very partial and I have seen them reinstating an account with a word from Matt Cutts… I still remember his status in google plus which reinstated a 8yr old account!! The problem with them is they just ban for no reason… Without giving any respect to old publishers.. Who have not used anything against their TOS… I feel that they just act like dictators trying to show off their power… But the sad fact is people will still go and use adsense and other google services 🙁 I use their search engines and their results are great 🙁

  80. I agree with you, this also is the case with Zac at ZacJohnson.com and I think we should consider other income stream like affiliates is our primary source of revenue.

  81. I know it sucks, but it’s a lot more fun making a living online without AdSense. lol

    By the way, you were featured in Make Money Blogging – Who, How, and How Much http://t.co/iTF0BenM on my blog, Gauher.

  82. Hi Ana,

    Thanks for the feature!


  83. Having one primary source of income is always troublesome, glad you already have it diversified and does not care much about the banned account. Google is always bad on these kind of act and getting some explanation from them is near to impossible..

  84. it’s Google – need I say more?? 🙂

  85. I have a 2 month cellphone related blog….. i do have adsense on it, but its not the only way I have monetized it…. I’ve heard countless stories about the big “G” . I gave them a try nonetheless…..for now. As I said, my blog is only 2 months old so I’m getting my stuff together.

  86. Google is the only source of income I have now since my blog is still growing but I have heard a lot of stories by Google ban and some time I felt as if my account has been ban even before checking it. Diversity is the way to go.

  87. This is really depressing. It has happened to me before and what a nightmare. Your advice about diversifying is wise and people who depends solely on adsense should consider.


  89. Some very good advice there! It’s frightening to think that Google can close any account they wish, without having evidence to back up their action (it’s their system, their rules). It’s sad that some people use Google as a form of primary income and imagine what would happen if they get their accounts closed? Still, I’ve been with Adsense long enough to know if you are earning enough from it you can use alternatives that might earn you even more, and their rules are less strict.

  90. What do AOL, Yahoo, Netscape, etc. all have in common? At one time they all thought that they were invincible and acted like it. If Google continues down the road they’re traveling, they will eventually end up mentioned with these other sites, and will be just another in a long line of misguided, mismanaged web “giants” that have fallen faster than they rose.

  91. john smith

    There are website services that negotiate getting your account opened again for you. I came across one service that claims an 89% success rate.

  92. I am so angry at Google and their adsense program. I signed up, was approved and the first day they had ads for my competitors running on my site. Goodbye Google – you are officially and permanently banned from my site.

  93. I too was banned from Google adsense, with them owing me over $40,000. I’m seriously considering a class action suit against them. If you might be remotely interested in that please contact me at frank@macor.com.


  94. Markus Allen

    It’s obvious that Google wants to keep all of the revenue for themselves.

    You might notice that Google is offering to give local retailers free websites. This is a trick to lure them off of free organic search results and to pay for their Adwords program.

    Google is indeed evil.

    But that’s okay. Instead of getting mad about it, I’m going to get even…

    … Because I’m switching out AdSense and replacing it with private ads.

    Now getting corporate sponsors is selling… and I don’t have time for it (and hate it)…

    … So I invented an Artificial Intelligent robot to do the selling for us.

    I’m crowdsourcing this project to finish the programming.

    If you want to say goodbye to Google AdSense, you might be interested in my solution – click here to read more about it:


  95. chris

    Just my two cents worth; I was making around 200 a month on Youtube and was working to increase it when I received the infamous letter. Google is like something out of the Twilight Zone. I really can’t believe they are refunding advertisers. I think they’re stealing the money. Unfortunately Youtube is owned by Google and they only allow Adsense.

  96. vibol

    if google adsense disable my account we can open it again ? Please help me to answer?

  97. These stories are bad and there are so many of them so everyone cant be lying. ps vibol once you are banned that is it in a nutshell

  98. This is really bad from google…. I think google want to take more money from adsense. But today to many alternative to promote website. So Google must do action to safe their money, Including take money from publisher income.

  99. Agreed! Never put all of your eggs in one basket!
    Specially with Google, they are Getting SOO Big , so they can easily banned our account without any valid reason!

  100. You just spelled out your demise and didn’t even realize it. You mentioned “I love paid traffic”, and
    “buy targeted traffic”. I don’t care what anyone says, paid traffic is traffic that is generated by programs (bots) that scour the internet. Paid traffic, while it does provide a source of traffic, its also artificial traffic, and not done by humans. Google sees paid traffic programs as a serious threat to its advertisers, and they keep a close watch on what entities are involved with this process. They even warn Adsense users in their forums and elsewhere to take extreme caution if you are considering using a paid traffic program, since some of them will click on the links n your web pages and generate invalid clicks. Based on the information you provided, its obvious that your paid traffic caused too many invalid clicks and this is why you were banned. People need to read the rules and follow them! Also, I find it amusing how so many people think that have tons of links to your web pages raises your “page rank”. This is entirely untrue. Infact you could have hundreds of sites pointing to yours, but they if they are all considered “spam” sites by search engines, then those links will hurt your rank instead of helping it. Organic search results, and links from quality content are best! For others reading this post, DON’T use paid traffic! If you are producing quality content on your website, then you don’t need to find traffic, it will find you. The best marketing for your website is the actual content it contains, since search engines match search queries from users with exact and or relative results. If I write a tutorial on web design, and some types “media queries in CSS3 in the search bar, they could very well end up on my website. Google also matches exact phrases much of time as well. Quality Site + Quality Content = Quality revenue and tons of traffic. Anyway, just stay away from paid traffic (fake traffic), link farms, fake Google +1 and face book likes, and other deceptive marketing campaigns. Remember, paid traffic is never real traffic.

  101. stormcrow

    This is what’s to be expected of a company that’s basically grown too big for its boots.

    And don’t we all just love their generic ‘help’?

    Bunch of little Napoleans and Hitlers.

    The bottom line, folks, is that if Google Adsense takes personal umbridge with something you’ve posted on your site, they’ll spit the dummy, exert all their mighty power, and close your account, citing any number of illogical and unverifiable (by you) reasons why.

    They’re developing enough of a bad name at lightening speed, that the future looks grim for them – as it should.

  102. Same thing happened to me recently and I was really annoyed. As far as I could tell the only thing I did wrong was that my traffic increased moderately and I guess Google thought that was unnatural.

    You can either form an LLC in a tax-friendly state or find other sources of income. It’s always good to diversify.

  103. we have lost about 400$ for 2 months. we got same email and we didnt applied again for google adsense….because we don’t want to work for free.

  104. Yep…I re-did my entire site with all new sale items, give-a-ways and plenty of free music, videos and games…My traffic went up and a month later it was closed down by Blooogle. Ha!
    Right, they are getting a bad name…but they don’t care. they are the like Gengis Khan of the internet.
    They spend BILLIONS of dollars buying companies out with money generated by adsense..and unscrupously too.
    SOOOoooo…so ,long Googlites…I’m though with them stealing from me anymore. I NEVER EVER got and answer to anything!
    NY Nicky

  105. OH Almost fergot….Google said if they tell me what went wrong…I could circumvent it…CIRCUMVENT WHAT, Ya &^^&%$#’s

  106. Hello Everybody,

    I think the comments of DJDaniels are not true to the fullest extent. Media buying is a science and it is developing at a phenomenal speed. If media buying and advertising is bad then every print media should stop accepting and publishing ads.

    Not every person can be reached by SEO. It is mathematically impossible.


  107. Having your adsense account disabled for 8 long years is really scary and sad Guaher, well, have you ever asked again or simply switch off and never used them anymore. Will you ever use adsense on your blog again? or are you using them on another of your blogs?

  108. While I agree with the fact that you shouldn’t rely on Adsense as your primary income source and also that a good online business will have more control and less dependency. (Isn’t that what google has?) I don’t like paid traffic. I think organic traffic is the best traffic because more often than not they’re looking for :
    a) answers to their questions.
    b) solution to their problems.
    c) clearing their confusion regarding which product is the best.
    If you have answers to their question, or a product to solve their problems you can get good amount of customers organically. Yes it takes time and a lot of hard work.

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