What You Post Could Cause Google To Disable Your Account!

How many of you have actually read Google’s TOS? Did you know that they could disable ads on your site if you posted something that was contrary to their policy? Naturally they have the right to do so if you post something that’s against their policy, but it seems that it’s all open to interpretation, Googles interpretation that is.

Some months ago I received an email stating that they were disabling all ads on my Top Sexual Aids blog because;

AdSense publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on pages with adult or mature content. This includes any
content that is sexual in intent or may not be considered family-safe.

OK, I can see how that site would fit in that category so I wasn’t too fussed, I simply emailed them apologizing for my error, and removed all their ads.

Imagine my surprise when I received another of these emails, this time about my Load of Bullshit blog, mainly this post. Here is their email in it’s entirety.

Hello,

While reviewing your account, we noticed that you are currently displaying Google ads in a manner that is not compliant with our policies. For instance, we found violations of AdSense policies on pages such as http://www.loadofbullshit.com/2008/05/20/penile-extensions-now-available-via-the-penis-extender-deluxe/.
Please note that this URL is an example and that the same violations may exist on other pages of your website.

As stated in our program policies, AdSense publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on pages with adult or mature content. This includes any content that is sexual in intent or may not be considered family-safe.

As a result, we have disabled ad serving to the site.

Your AdSense account remains active. However, we strongly suggest that you take the time to review our program policies
(https://www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/answer.py?answer=48182&stc=aspe-2pp-en
) to ensure that all of your remaining pages are in compliance.

Please note that we may disable your account if further violations are found in the future.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team

I was a little surprised as that post was completely tongue in cheek and not of a sexual nature at all. I sure didn’t expect them to stop serving ads to that blog because of it. I removed their ad and then asked them to reconsider because I felt they made it in error. Their reply;

Hello,

Thanks for your email. However, please be aware that because your site was found to be in violation of our program policies, it is no longer eligible for participation in the AdSense program.

Your account remains active, and you are welcome to place Google ads on other sites which comply with AdSense policies.

No problem, after all it’s their product and so they should be able to police it any way they want. Just as a matter of course I decided to Google the term ‘penile extensions’ only to find that there were several sponsored sex sites. So while I’m not able to display adsense on that site Google is quite happy to take money from sites that link to places a lot more sexually explicit that mine will ever be. Somewhat hypocritical wouldn’t you say?

Anyway, the point of this post wasn’t to have a go at Google at all. Rather it was to get you to go through your posts just in case you’ve inadvertently posted something that may cause Google to stop serving ads to your blog.

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Peter Pelliccia

I'm an Aussie blogger who loves to blog and share everything that I've learned on my blogging journey, including blogging tips and ways to blog for money. I am also trying to make my way on YouTube. You can follow my progress by subscribing to My Bonzer Channel.

This Post Has 111 Comments

  1. I don’t have any sites or posts that have Adsense on that might be considered “adult” but this is definitely a good reminder to read TOS for any advertiser you work with. How many people have actually taken the time to read every TOS for an affiliate or advertiser that they work with. It may just be a good idea to go back and look them over now before something happens.

    I have been hearing that Google is starting to crack down more on Adsense accounts as well as Blogger blogs. Just goes to show you shouldn’t fully put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to making money online!

    1. Hi Tiffany. welcome to WassupBlog, and one should never put all you eggs in one basket, it doesn’t matter if it’s online or offline.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.
      Sire recently posted…How I Stopped My Desktop Icons From FlickeringMy Profile

  2. Thanks for the heads up, Sire. I’m not sure I’ve even running any adsense ads on any of my sites right now. (crazy, right?) But I make all sorts of changes and have limited the ad space for the most part.

    One thing I have noticed is a mass move to WP from Blogspot from many blogs I follow. These were sites that wrote a ton of posts with many links (frugal bloggers) and google suspended their sites on Blogger for having so many links. In fact, one site (I think) was taken down and she lost everything with no warning. I guess google wants to limit how much money bloggers are actually making off of them. (not meant as a bad thing, but more as an observation)
    Anne Bender recently posted…Ten Ways of Making Your Favorite Foods HealthierMy Profile

    1. Hey Anne, that’s exactly why I keep telling people to move away from Blogger. You just never know when Google will decide that they don’t like something you’ve written and causing them to suspend your account. I’ve always said it’s best to host your own blog thereby having complete control.
      Sire recently posted…5 Killer Tips for Your Discount Marketing StrategyMy Profile

  3. I have never paid much attention to the Adsence TOS. I also don’t have their ads on any site that might be “adult”.

    Apparently they also have “blacklisted” words in the new Google instant SERP’s. Maybe the G is going to “crack down” on adult sites?

    1. Didn’t know about blacklisted words Sheryl, and you’ve been to my BS site, it’s not exactly what you would call adult, if anything I provide a lot of stuff that could be considered a public service.
      Sire recently posted…Teaching People The Proper Way To CommentMy Profile

  4. At least they contacted you and told you what you were doing against the TOS. In my case they just arrogantly and arbitarily disabled my account and refused to answer my subsequent messages. I presume I may have accidently clicked on one of the ads on my page.

    1. Yeah, reckon I have to be grateful for r graciously notifying me and then for ignoring my request for them to reconsider. It seems that they don’t really care if their moronic robots make a mistake.

  5. Hi Sire
    When I had a website up before my blog; I had Google ads up and was disappointed by some of the ads that were up as they weren’t ones I would have chosen. When I started blogging I made the decision to not have Google ads on my blog and I wll only have up products I would recommend or use myself. Sorry to hear about your experience. A lot of people are turning to others sites for ads now such as Facebook so it will be interesting to see how that pans out.
    Patricia Perth Australia

    1. No major drama Patricia, there are many avenues other than Google for monetizing a blog and I’m trialling one of them on that blog now. I’ll write a post on it when I get some time.

  6. I got a warning email from Google too couple month ago, then I removed the Google AdSense from that site. I don’t know if we can find the Google “blacklisted” words list, so that we can remove the Google AdSense from that specific page not the whole site.
    Peter recently posted…SQL HAVINGMy Profile

    1. A warning would have been nice Peter, they just cut me off. You’re right though, knowing where to find those ‘blacklisted’ words would come in handy.
      Sire recently posted…An Aussie Husband Shows His Wife He CaresMy Profile

  7. Yes these google adsense guys just let their crawlers do a job and if those crawler find inapproriate language then they auto shut-down the ads, it may even be after some manually reviews the site and sees that the site is about this or that and may include adult language, even though its not displaying adult material at all.

    1. While I understand the necessity for using crawlers I still think that their resolution not to reconsider their decision after being notified by a publisher a little inconsiderate.


  8. Twitter:
    I always had a feeling that you’d be hearing from Google about that site Sire, and the hammer finally fell on it. I’m just glad they didn’t take your entire account, although I’m sure you’d have other options immediately. As a matter of fact, you should now probably put in for Yahoo sponsored ads and pop those on that site, then see what happens.

    1. Yeah I got options but I’ll wait till I have some spare time Mitch. I’m still surprised they pulled the pin though because it’s nowhere near what could be considered an adult site.
      Sire recently posted…An Aussie Husband Shows His Wife He CaresMy Profile


      1. Twitter:
        I don’t think they actually ever visit the sites. They just go by algorithms and keywords and the like, because if they visited sites I don’t think they’d shut down and out as many sites as they do.

        1. I would agree with Mitch. With millions (billions) of sites to monitor, I don’t think they’ll ever have time to have a human eye to check on any site. I have seen several sites which have graphics right next to the adsense block, which I believe is a violation.

          Maybe we now have some idea as to what some of those blacklisted words are. Is it possible to go around these by using images in place of the blacklisted words? The down side of course is extra work and loss of on-site seo.

          1. What word do you think they targeted James? Remember they targeted a specific post and not the blog itself. The only words they could possible target was penis, sexual and penile and if that’s the case they would have to ban a hell of a lot of sites including medical ones.


            1. Twitter:
              Sire, I have a very interesting post coming out later that you’ll be semi-interested in, for sure. :blink_tb:

            2. Yep, I’ve already seen it Mitch. Typical Google.

  9. Because you have one “sex site” they obviously started checking all your sites :). And when you look hard enough you can always find (if you want) a word or a phrase that can be considered in violation with their policy.

    You could spend some time checking very good absolutely everything on the site they do not like (the second one, not the sex site). And after that you can write them again. But it is possible that you will never be able to put their ads on the specific site. You can also try using another PPC program in it :).

    Regards.

    1. Nick, I’m pretty sure they’ve never actually seen my site because if they did they would not have banned it. Their loss as much as my own. If anything they have more to lose as they would have made a bigger margin from advertisers than I would.

  10. Until now I had tow Google Adsense accounts band, of course it was from my fault I was using traffic exchange programs. So if you want Google to not ban your account read the TOS.

    1. I used to use traffic exchange programs but a warning from Google showed me the error of my ways.

  11. They have some kind of automated filter that get trigered when certain stop words are detected – sometimes they disable ad serving some other time they ban the whole account. It happened to me in the past to get account banned because of some porn feeds submitted to some RSS aggregators that I owned!

    1. Never linked to porn Jenna and I never will.

  12. Gambling! They hate them more than mature content so if there is single link pointing to such site, it always lead to put ban on adsense account. Such issues usually happen with people having user generated content.

    1. Nope, no link to any gambling sites and their letter is pretty specific about adult content.

  13. I am sorry to hear this Sire because even though we know there are other options, we also know that Google Adsense beats them all. So I see that as a major financial loss.

    This is a timely post for me. I have never read the adsense TOS but now I will spare the time in future to read it.

    If you ask me though, I think Google is not being realistic. The talk of sex is not bad in itself except when abused. And that wasn’t the case for your site.

    Anyway, they are the boss, we’ll simply follow their instructions.

    1. Hey, are the “s-x” and “p–rn” words google stop words? I observed that these two are oft repeated among the comments here. What do you think would the consequence be for this particular post now that commenters have inserted them? :)

      1. James, if that was the case Google would have to ban almost every blog because the majority of them have used sex or have talked of something of a sexual nature.


        1. Twitter:
          Well, you removed Adsense from this blog anyway, didn’t you? I only see the Google Apps ad, which I’m surprised you’d get money from since it’s a free service.

          Meanwhile, I’m trying to figure out how you get that Chitika ad on here, since I can’t find it on the page; you’ll have to let me know.

          1. Nope, I still have Adsense on here Mitch.

            What do you mean about the Chitika ad? Email me.


            1. Twitter:
              You do still have Adsense on here; just found it. And I’ve sent the email.

    2. Don’t feel sorry for me Karo, I’m not stressing over it at all.

      If nothing else it gave me an idea for an important post that others may find useful.

      1. I like that Sire, instead of fussing over issues like this we should always look for the best we can make out of it. At times the best ideas only comes after being pushed to the wall.

  14. Aye Sire.. I’ve got the same notice before as well on some content that I had syndicated once. You just have to be extra careful, and keep in mind that receiving a notice isn’t that horrible. Not acting on the notice is much worse as it can result in permanent penalties.

    1. Hey Aaron, I would have preferred a warning so that I could act on it. As it was they convicted me without a trial and have refused to physically check out the site.

  15. Have to be really careful with Google of course, they are big and can do anything they want. But luckily I don’t have Adsense on my blog.
    Jasmine recently posted…FastDomain ReviewMy Profile

    1. Thanks for your comment Jasmine. I still have adsense, I see no need to remove it as long as they continue to pay their way.

  16. WOW ! This is absolutely not serious and strange.
    Maybe Google also takes into consideration part of words ?
    Do the word “specialist” will be stop-word for G because of cialis inside: specialist ?

    1. Good point Robert, but I doubt they would take it that far.

  17. My previous boss had experienced a more abrupt suspension of adsense account. No warnings whatsoever. And it is not the just one site. His whole account was suspended. Taking with it all the earnings he accumulated. We tried explaining ( through an online form ) but to no avail.

    From then on, I have been very careful with Adsense on my own blogs. Given that they are still a good source of income.

    But I guess this happens to large earners only. As I have yet to reach even the half-way of the pay-out, Google is probably doesn’t mind my sites at all.

    1. I’m sure that size doesn’t matter to Google Roger, if they think that you’ve crossed the line they will act.

      The fact that they won’t listen to reason only goes to show they don’t have a heart.

  18. Definitely very hypocritical of Google. Here’s a legit reason that would excuse Google tho: if the Adsense ad serving system is NOT as reliable as the Adwords ad serving system. So if Google accidentally serves an adult ad in a site for teens for instance, they’d be wary about displaying adult ads in ALL content sites, make sense? But somehow I think that’s not their reason for emailing you.

    1. No, I’m afraid it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me Henway because if Google was worried about that they would accept any adult ads and yet they do. Also, considering that do take on adult ads one would think they need adult sites to place them on.

  19. I’ve decided to remove adsense on my personal blog recently, and it was a hard choice to make. since I don’t really want to give away my traffic for small pennies, and it keeps on showing irrelevant ads to my site, which I found useless at that time. I think they are only best to be placed on informational content sites with no affiliate links included, just my opinion, since it also affects the site’s speed.

    With regards to adsense team, I guess they’re quite good in terms of support, since they responded to you with those in full detail. I’m not really knowledgeable of their TOS, too long to read. but thanks for the heads up there Sire :)

    Regards,
    Jason

    1. No worries Jason.

      In regards to their team I’m pretty sure they never got involved at all and that it was a genetic note that they send to everyone that their crawlers pick on.

  20. Hi Sire,

    This interesting post calls me to ask my questions out loud. The questions I’ve been asking myself are: should I even have Google Adsense on my blog? Does it serve my business? Can one really make decent money from Adsense?

    In my case, I write about traffic generation and SEO and what does Google Adsense do? Show relevant ads to what’s on the post and therefore ads for other SEO companies I, in short – competition.

    Why should I be using my blog to send leads to someone else for cents when what I want is for my readers to contact me if they need web traffic help?

    What’s your opinion on Adsense actually being the trojan horse on your blog?

    Ben Wan
    Ben Wan recently posted…How to Get Highly Targeted Traffic through Social BookmarkingMy Profile

    1. Good questions Ben. If the ads were competing with products or affiliated you were promoting then it’s probably not a great idea to have adsense.

      Personally, as I don’t actively sell products of my own I don’t consider Adsense a Trojan horse.

  21. I don’t think I ever recall even looking at the Google adwords TOS and I am sure most people don’t either. I doubt most people don’t read any TOS for anything.

    1. I’m sure you’re right in saying most people have not read the whole TOS.

    1. No worries Keith, I was hoping the post would be of some use to others.

  22. besides an adult keywords, you need to careful if you have celebrity gossip related sites, especially if you publish a photos, sometimes you might post a topless celebrity photos or vulgar bikini/lingerie it caused google warn you and might could disable your account.

    1. Seems to me that no matter how careful you are Google may still see it the wrong way and take the big brother attitude by suspending your site.

  23. Google’s TOSes for all services tend to be pretty gray-area, but I’ve found that if you stick with quality content and white-hat SEO you’ll be fine.
    Rev recently posted…10 Brilliantly Designed Movie PostersMy Profile

    1. Nope, I think you’re wrong there because I always try to write good content and I was still penalized.

  24. I’ve never had any issues with Google and my websites, but then again, I’ve never really had any content that was sketchy or really fell into the “grey area” of Google’s policies. That’s too bad that just because of one post, you had to give up Google ads on that entire blog. I guess there’s more opportunity out there you can now discover.

    1. Sure is Bryan and once I’ve sourced it out I’ll be sure to write a post on it.

  25. This wouldn’t be the first time someone was able to cry fail at Google. I remember Aaron Wall of SEOBook writing about Google declaring war on spammers and cleaning up their search engine result pages to remove spammy sites only to be allow very spammy (well, scam sites in actual fact) to ride high on the sponsored listings.

    Glad your sharing this info for others that may not be aware of how Google swings it’s hammer.

    Karl

    1. Thanks Karl, I hope it helps a lot of people by making them aware of how Google can react to certain posts.

  26. I could totally see how something that may seem of x-rated material could get someone banned. But if that’s what you’re selling then I’m not really sure. My site hasn’t ever had problems with Google but I’m sure we’ve gotten dinged before.

    1. That post wasn’t actually selling anything Mandy, I was simply having a little fun with it.

  27. I agree with you. Google is a typical hypocrite. There are thousands of websites who put the advertisements on their websites which are linked to sexual content. That’s what the website which hosts your site make you accept while you make the website. But we don’t take a note of it On the other hand when we search for a sexual content on google, we are able to access thousands of websites which are purely sexual and the content is not for regular users too.

    1. Yeah, but unfortunately Google does whatever Google wants and the only ones that have a say are advertiser. We as publishers have absolutely no say and yet without us Google’s earning potential would be next to nothing.

  28. I think hardly any people read the TOS of Google Adsense (or infact any site to be frank) but I think we should once read Google Adsense’s policy if we have not till now. I think google has devised such a policy that one can get into trouble even if he/she gets even just near to breaking the policy rules.

    1. Yep, just like a lot of people don’t read instructions I reckon even more people fail to read the TOS. It’s just the way we are.

  29. Man,
    I suffered an AdSense ban a year back not because of any content problem but some click bombing by nuts. However, sometimes they even ban AdWords accounts. At the moment, my AdWords account has entered ‘under review’ status for reasons that only Google understands. To make things worse, they have a pathetic customer support system as well.
    Ajith Edassery recently posted…Google Support woesMy Profile

    1. Speaking of Adwords, they just sent me a letter offering my a $75 trial offer for it. So in one hand they suspend my site and on the other they want me as an customer. Somehow I don’t think I will take them up on it.

  30. I think they simply don’t care. They have automatic routines that are OK for 90% of their customers and for the remaining 10% it’s cheaper for them to ban those than to argue with them.

    1. Yeah, but that’s no way to treat a potential customer.

  31. Thanks for that post. I truly believe that Google has a right to take an initiative for your account to be banned or penalize. It is also very important to be choosy in posting a blog, linking and site submission. We should always take in our mind linking with any pornographic or X-rated sites would lead to the disability of our site.

    1. Take note Janice I didn’t do any of the things you mentioned in your comment and they still suspended me.

  32. Google seems to pay more attention to the terms instead of how the terms have been used in a site.

    Anyway, you gave a good tip to those who use Google ads

    1. Thanks Julius.

  33. Google is very strict when it comes to AdSense. The members of Google AdSense team are very particular to the use of their service. And it is also our responsibility to abide with their TOS to avoid penalty or disabling our Google AdSense account.

    1. The trouble is that even though you think your doing the right thing Google can disagree and penalize you for it.

  34. Sometimes Google has to err on the side of caution considering all the millions of daily interactions involving people. There are approx. 300 million people in the USA alone, which means 300 million opinions about every subject.

    1. True, but then they use their ‘crawlers’ to minimize the amount of sites to suspend and not every owner will ask for a review, especially the guilty ones. The least they could do is check those who ask for one.

  35. It’s very important to know their policy, and there are some rules…
    It happened to me with 2 sites, one with movies, and another one – because I have posted an ad on a page without any content. Since then I started to pay attention:).

    1. Yep, one finds in this life that there’s a lot of merit in paying attention

  36. Big G keeps changing the rules of the game. As long as Google monopolies the market, they will always hold us by our neck. We need more companies to compete with Google.

    I have my blogger account suspended a couple years ago but they can’t give me an acceptable reason.

    1. You know though Travis, Google needs us too because without publishers Google has nothing to offer advertisers.

    1. I’m not fussed if they do. As bloggers we can’t be intimidated by what may happen, we have to tell it how it is.

      As to how many blogs I have, probably too many. I have them listed on my about page.

  37. Adsense isn’t a huge money maker for me (about $100/month) so losing it wouldn’t be that big a loss, but it is funny how many people are stressing that they might get disabled. Personally I don’t even think about it because I know I am not doing anything wrong. The people who worry are usually the people doing things that they shouldn’t – and are worried the ‘big G’ will realize it.Hope you start ranking well for the keyword!!!!

    1. A hundred bucks a month is a bloody lot for a lot of bloggers Mike. :smile2_ee:

      The problem is I don’t think I was doing anything wrong yet they still disabled that blog.

      Which keyword is that?

  38. Google is genius so everyone must be careful in posting something to their blogs. But I think I will agree to what Luc J said, there are millions of Google Adsense user right now..there’s so much to do and the easiest way to do is to ban the 10% remaining rather than talking to them.haha

    1. Too bad that their inefficient method is taking way the earning potential from bloggers who do not deserve to be banned.

  39. Sometimes the TOS are open to interpretation but at the end of the day Google has the final say.

    1. Yeah, but it would be nice if they took the time to debate an issue.

  40. What surprises me is the number of posters here who admit they have never read Google’s Terms of Service. Most important!

    Adsense provides a very good income for some people so it is worth while only putting it on sites that you know Google will like. They are inclined to be both judge and jury if you fall foul of them so it is simply not worth it.

    1. The problem is Dawn that a lot of the times people believe, as I do, they haven’t done anything that falls foul of the TOS but Google still penalizes them and refuses to discuss the situation.

      Most people believe that a human hasn’t even seen the site in question and that they are penalized simply on what some dumb web crawler perceives to be an issue.
      Sire recently posted…Of Australia Zoo- Steve Irwin &amp A Magical ExperienceMy Profile

  41. When it come to adsense. I always want to play safe. I have seen a few friends in Forum mention their adsense account have been suspended due to the adsense policy. That’s why I’ve remove adsense ads on my personal blog. I only put adsense ads for websites that I believe safe according to their policy

    1. Yep problem is that you can still get penalized even if you believe you haven’t posted anything that is contrary to their policy.

  42. Aaaw! Looks like you and Mitch stepped on Google’s sensitive toes. lol. Like you said, it’s their product and they can do as they want. We all just have to conform or move on to another ad revenue provider though Google seems to be the best of them all ;-).

    1. Ah, but is that true? I mean do people click on an Adsense ad just because it’s Adsense? I don’t believe so. Truth be told Google needs publishers for without us they would have nothing to offer their advertisers.

      1. I don’t think people click on adsense cos it’s google adsense. I think they do that out of their own free will ;-)

  43. I just started showing my first ad on my site, so this took me aback a bit. Seems a little too big-brother to me. :(

    …not that this will keep me from writing and posting what I want. I’m not an extension of Google. It’s a private site. I’ll do what I please.

  44. Thanks for the post… Indeed this post is a great realization not only on me but to everyone who has a business and an account on the net. In my own realizations this post is quite a reminder that each of us must be responsible to our account and to whatever we post. We should consider that it’s not only us who can view our account but almost all of the people world wide. Aside from that if we are really planning to have some business in the net we should do it in a legal and fair way.

  45. Doesn’t hypocrisy like that just torque your cookies?

    I received a similar letter from them stating that I had violated their TOS and they were closing my account. They would not tell me what I am accused of having done.

    I figure that one day, when I’m a world famous blogger with zillions of page views per month, they will come crawling back to me, begging to be allowed to put their ads on my pages once again.

    Yeah right.

    1. They close your whole account and they wouldn’t even tell you why? That’s total BS, at least they gave me a reason even if it was pretty lame.

      Say, you’re from the States and so a lot of your visitors would come from there, you should seriously read my post on Chango, and I’m not just saying that because I’m affiliated with them.
      Sire recently posted…A Blogger’s Christmas Wish- Love And Peace To AllMy Profile

  46. Sire,

    That is a great reminder for every adsense publishers.

    What i wonder is, there are tons of illegal torrent/illegal copyrighted files site distribution which have AdSense advertisments on their sites.

    I guess they are against the TOS, but i wonder how they can still have the account..not fair.
    Kimi recently posted…Increase keyword density- improve your post SEOMy Profile

      1. Sire,

        That’s what i thought, but i happened to report one blog many many times, and the ads still there, now i don’t care anymore LOL.

        Thanks, Happy New Year!

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