Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Busted! Why, Google, why?

Looks like I've managed to tick off Google, which has informed me that it has yanked my AdSense account. Not that it was doing me a lot of good. In three months I hadn't even reached the $100 threshold, when money would have gone into my bank account. Yet earlier this month I received this e-mail:

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.

Apparently, the Web giant, which reported net income of $2.71 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, was concerned that people might have been clicking on my Google AdWords with intentions that were less than sincere.

I confess. I wrote a smart alecky piece in Idaho Falls Magazine suggesting to readers that if they saw an ad on BizMojo Idaho that struck their fancy I wouldn't be opposed to them clicking on it. I hinted that if I made enough money from Google AdSense there might be a party at Carl's Jr. sometime, where we could all enjoy juicy burgers.

I can appeal this, and I might, but I'm more curious than anything. Did someone get carried away? Was I ratted out? Or is Google all-knowing and all-seeing? I have a hard time believing someone as small as myself would show up on their radar screen or cause them any concern at all, but I guess I could be wrong. It wouldn't be the first time.

The ultimate irony, I suppose, would be getting dinged on the Web for something that appeared in old-fashioned print. I believe the truth will emerge in the fullness of time, but it still might be more complicated than anything I can understand.

Next in the Biting-the-Hand-That-Feeds-You-Department: Has Facebook Turned Into a Turkey?