It’s a fear many Webmasters have — getting pulled from AdSense for fraudulent clicks or other activity deemed “against AdSense TOCs”.
The fear is pretty valid. I’ve heard of people getting pulled from the program for “no apparent reason” (according to them).
Of course there are two sides to every story, but it reinforces that Google’s #1 interest is protecting their advertisers, not you, the publisher.
And rightfully so.
Google watches AdSense accounts like a hawk, especially if you’re a new member.
They track IP addresses and monitor for fraudulent clicks on a regular basis. A friend of mine clicked her own ads and was removed from the program within 2 days of joining.
While I have no fool-proof way to ensure your account won’t get dinged, here are some tips to keep you in good graces with Google.
1. Report Accidental Clicks
If you accidentally click on your own ads (and people have done this), the best thing to do is report it to Google immediately. In fact, Google even advises you to do this.
If you’re honest and upfront about it, Google probably won’t remove you from the program. Your account may get flagged temporarily and/or you may lose some revenue, but it’s better you report it than having them find out about it.
Just make sure this doesn’t become a habit.
2. Stop Telling Your Friends & Family to Click on Your Ads
Some people join Adsense with the intent of getting rich by having their friends and family click on their ads. While you may think this is pretty fool-proof idea, it’s not very smart or ethical.
First of all, advertisers pay for those ads through the AdWords program. So when you tell people to randomly click the ads, you are throwing their hard-earned money down the toilet. In a way, it’s stealing.
Second, what if Google notices the multiple clicks from the same IP address. Yes, maybe it’s not your IP address, but is it really worth the risk? Plus, I would imagine Google would eventually ignore those clicks anyway.
3. When Google Calls…. Answer… And Keep Your Records
Some thieves are not too bright. Once I caught someone who literally ripped off my entire site. Not only did they forget to remove my AdSense code, but they violated the AdSense T&C’s by calling attention to the ads.
Google discovered this site, and because the person was using my AdSense code, they contacted me because they thought it was my site. I explained to them what happened.
After I replied, I didn’t hear back from Google and that made me a little nervous. So I contacted them again and included the previous correspondence.
This time I received an answer and Google told me they added a note to my file that said I was not the owner of the domain that violated the T&C’s. More importantly, I saved this reply for my own records just in case.
4. Obey The Rules
Many Webmasters aren’t taking this too seriously, but if it’s in their T&C’s then why not take 10 minutes to set it up?
A lot of people feel Google owes them something or they are doing Google a big favor by being an AdSense publisher.
I have no way of knowing how AdSense affects Google’s bottom line, but I can tell you this. Thousands of advertisers are paying to advertise with Google through AdWords, and we know that’s where Google is making its money.
AdWords advertisers funnel thousands of dollars into Google everyday and indirectly earning you money from AdSense. Google’s best interest is keeping them happy, not the publishers. Remember, AdSense publishers aren’t paying Google a cent.
So the next time you try to sneak a click or encourage your visitors to click an ad or two, ask yourself if the 12 cents you’ll gain is worth losing your account for good.