I know I’ve been off this blog for a bit, and for that I apologize. After my epic three part post, I had no time. I’m going to follow that up with something that may just get me in trouble. I don’t really care, though.
GOOGLE ADSENSE IS A SCAM.
That’s right, adsense is a straight up scam. It’s a great way to make money if you’re unscrupulous, but for the rest of us, it’s a great way to clutter up your site without giving any real benefit.
Perhaps you’ve noticed I currently don’t have ads on this blog. I may try to monetize the blog later with another program, but for now, it’s totally ad free, because on December 2, Google cancelled my AdSense account due to “invalid click activity”. I appealed, and I only write this now because I’ve become convinced that no one at Google will listen to my appeal. This won’t hinder my chances of getting my AdSense account back, not that I even know why I was banned. I minded the TOS in all ways possible.
When I got the notification, I was mildly concerned. I was hoping that when/if the blog got popular, I could get a little money from it, but I’d not been paid and had only earned about $16 all time. (I know of others who had the same thing happen to them as happened to me while having $2000 or more in unpaid earnings, so this does have a real possibility to hurt people who need money) The primary concern was the fact that those who paid to advertise on my blog had their money refunded in full. There were over 100 clicks, and all that traffic was 100% free due to a bogus claim of invalid activity. Someone with more traffic than I could give these people much, much more free traffic if they got similarly banned. If the people who clicked the ads on this page actually bought something due to the ad(s) they clicked, that’s even more free profit. And that, I simply can’t abide.
The real point of this is simple: don’t use AdSense. I only had an account because I was a YouTube partner for a brief amount of time before getting banned on that site for more obviously fraudulent reasons (I had 3 videos taken down, one of which was found to not violate TOS and reinstated after an appeal, and one of which had no offensive material at all, which was the “third strike”) so I wasn’t too attached to it. But if you actually want a real money-making website, don't bother with AdSense.
It would have been nice to have that $16, though. I still haven’t seen the new Muppets movie.
UPDATE: A while back, Google offered me $100 US free to advertise on AdWords. I signed up for it, never putting in any other money into the program, and as soon as my free money was gone, my AdWords account was disabled for not having any money left, and the ads I put up vanished. I never even gave them a way to get more money from me. The day after I wrote this, I got an e-mail updating me on how my AdWords ads were doing and telling me how much I was being charged. It was a tiny amount, and it can't possibly come out of anywhere, but still...what the hell is wrong with this system?