I have received a few emails from readers notifying me today that part of my blog was down. Specifically, my sidebar GoogleAds. First off, thanks to you readers that emailed me for your concern. It shows me that you seem to like the content and care when part of this blog appears to not be working.
So I got in touch with Google and they have (at least for now) disabled my GoogleAds account, ostensibly for what they deem “invalid clicks”. Which brings me to my second point, which is a brief tutorial.
For those of you not savvy on this here Internet thing, when you click on my GoogleAds I get a small amount of money called cost-per-click (CPC). This money of course is not free, it comes to Google from the companies that are being advertised. If you are clicking on ads daily for no reason other than curiousity, Google considers this a violation of my GoogleAds account terms and conditions and disables the account (which is why it looks like a portion of my sidebar is not working…because it isn’t).
For those of you who are savvy and are clicking these ads knowingly in the effort to make me money or again just out of curiousity, thanks and I appreciate the spirit but again Google’s Ad Analytics team consider this evidence of invalid clicks, and they will disable my account, causing me a bit of a headache. It is not like I was getting rich off this blog (as that was never the intent), but it’s pretty likely that the meager amount of revenue I had to date accumulated in this program from all clicks, valid or what Google defines as “invalid” (think in the neighbourhood of $35), will be forfeited back to the advertisers. Do not pass “GO”, do not collect ~$35.00
Confused? Want to click an ad, but now reluctant to?
I’m a bit confused as well and I’m awaiting Google’s response on my appeal to have the account reinstated, but as a proactive measure I’m sending this note out and I’ll be adding basically the same verbiage to a Terms & Conditions section.
Google only deems a click “valid” if it stems from, and I’m quoting now, “genuine user interest“. Yes it is a nebulous term, and you guessed it, there is no recourse if Google still feels the clicks are invalid as, again quoting, “Google will use its sole discretion when determining instances of invalid click activity“.
So, I am not allowed to encourage you to click an ad (which I am not), but I am in no way able to challenge Google’s discretion in determining validity of any earnings I may make. So what to do?
I’m not going to scrap the whole GoogleAds thing, but likewise I really do not have the wherewithal or resources to battle Google either over $35. So I will close with this:
I’ll flip an update or two to those who emailed me when I have some closure on this whole GoogleAds thing…if they just drop off the site completely then it is a safe assumption that my appeal was denied and I’m not participating in the program anymore.
The blogging will go on though and just ignore my left sidebar for now….after all, I hope everyone pops by for the stories, and not for the ads anyhow.