It’s always nice to get a gift for your birthday, so Google was nice enough to send me one at 2AM the morning of ZacJohnson.com’s 5 Year Anniversary. Unfortunately it wasn’t a nice gift like the old Google Refrigerator and Certificate they sent me so many years ago… this time it was an unfriendly and automated email saying they will no longer be accepting traffic through my valued web sites and Google Adsense account, which I might add is around 10 years old and has had six figures in earnings over the past decade.
You can read the full email from them below…
This message was sent from a notification-only email address that does not
accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message.
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
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
I was quite surprised when I received the email, not only that they terminated the account, but also that they were nice enough to immediately take all earnings out of the account and give them back to the advertisers and company. Fortunately I haven’t been using Google Adsense as a main source of income, but the thousand dollars in the account still would have been nice to have. I had used Google Adsense a decent amount in the passed, but with it just sitting on various sites and generating revenue for years without a problem then getting terminated, it’s just quite odd.
The next great thing about Google is that they are so personable and love providing you with quality customer support… yea right, trying to contact Google is definitely one of the areas they aren’t too interesting in improving. Instead of providing support, they will send you in an endless loop of forum posts which pretty much end up no where. If you are lucky enough to finally come across their Invalid Activity Appeal form, you can try your luck again, but they basically sent me the same denial email again. But then again, it’s all from “The Google Adsense Team” and just tells you to get lost in the forums again so I expected nothing less.
As mentioned earlier, it’s a good thing I don’t use Google Adsense as a driving source of revenue for any of my sites. Imaging making five figures a month with their network, then all of a sudden they send you an email telling you they are just taking all of your earnings from last and this month?! That could be quite a hit for anyone pushing some heavy volume.
What is sad is that I had my account for roughly 15 years and a lot of great data and stats were in there. I’ve also learned that I’m not the only one on the chopping block from Google lately. I’ve come across other posts and forums from other marketers who have had the same experience with Adsense. This is a good lesson for anyone out there to make sure you don’t have all your eggs in one basket. Just like Amazon wipes out their affiliate program state by state as new laws come into play, Google Adsense can simply give and take away whatever they want without any reason or say.
Life after Google Adsense will be the exact same way it was before my account got terminated… though this is a reminder to also keep screenshots and records of all your affiliate accounts that have lots of old data you might like to have. Fortunately I did save a decent amount from prior years. From an earnings and business model standpoint, the loss of Google Adsense doesn’t change anything.
Speaking of not keeping your eggs in all baskets, if you are currently running Google Adsense and looking for alternatives, there are plenty of them out there! I will be updating my list of Google Adsense alternatives and will post a full mega guide on the blog later in the week. In the meantime, here are some of the top blog posts I’ve written so far about monetization outside of Google Adsense.
My name is Zac Johnson and I have been an online entrepreneur for the past 18 years and blogger since 2007. This is my personal blog and I welcome you to the site. In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that I am benefiting financially or otherwise from everything you click on, read, or look at while on my website.
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