Google AdSense is a top tier platform for making money online via your website or blog. As there is so little competition to Google in the advertising market, getting your AdSense account suspended or disabled can cause a huge change in the overall profit generated by your website or blog. If you’re one of the unlucky ones to find themselves on Google’s naughty list, this article will shed some light on your options going forward.
There are a few ways that you can find yourself on the receiving end of that infamous “account suspended” email from the AdSense team. Failing to abide by the rules is a surefire way of landing yourself on the disabled list. The rules were designed to ensure a fair system for both publishers and advertisers. Keep in mind that (in theory) Google would be more inclined to side with and protect the advertisers, as they are the ones investing money in the AdSense platform. Due to this, publishers should go above and beyond to ensure they conform to the rules set by the Google AdSense team if they wish to avoid losing their account.
Some of the most common reasons AdSense users find themselves losing their account include:
- Click fraud
- Bad traffic
- Monetizing copyright material
It’s also worth noting that your AdSense account is often linked to your YouTube account (same Google account), so if you get one disabled, it will also affect the other.
My AdSense account has been disabled, what do I do now?
Hold on! Before going any further in this article, double check that your account has been disabled, or if it’s currently just suspended. Google will often suspend your account and notify you of the violations on your website before going ahead and disabling your account. If your account is suspended and not disabled, that’s good news. Go ahead and address the issues that AdSense has raised with you and you’ll have a good chance of avoiding your account being disabled. If you have confirmed that your account has been disabled, proceed with this article.
When you sign up for an AdSense account, they specifically say that each person is only allowed one AdSense account. After having your AdSense account disabled, it may be tempting to simply create a new email and sign up for another account. Doing so might allow you to place ads on your website temporarily, but this workaround will not last for very long. It’s strongly advised that you do not create a new AdSense account after being disabled. Breaking more rules is not going to work in your favor when you try to get your original account reinstated.
At the end of the day, you have three options going forward.
- Appeal and hope to get your account reinstated.
- Create a business and sign up for a business AdSense account.
- Stop using AdSense and look for an alternative.
The list above is ordered by preference, so let’s start from the top.
Does AdSense reinstate accounts after they have been disabled?
It’s worth being realistic from the get go. While putting your appeal together, keep in mind that AdSense rarely reinstate accounts once they have been disabled. If you have a legitimate appeal, then it’s worth going down this route. If you knowingly broke the rules, it’s probably not worth the time to go through the appeal process, the chances of having your account reinstated are extremely low.
If you do want to proceed with an appeal, you will need to invest a decent amount of time gathering evidence to support your appeal. You’re the one that has to prove that you didn’t break the rules, Google doesn’t need to do anything on their end. The evidence you need will depend on why your account was disabled in the first place.
Why was my AdSense account disabled?
When preparing your appeal, this is a good question to start with. You should have received an email from AdSense, letting you know why your account was disabled. If you’re in the majority, you will have been disabled for either invalid traffic or for a policy violation. You can read more about the subcategories of these reasons here. I wouldn’t say being disabled for one reason is better than the other, both are equally as difficult to appeal.
Here are a few examples of reasons your account may be disabled that would be worthy of an appeal:
- Someone else was spam clicking the ads on your site.
- Someone else sent a lot of bad traffic to your site.
- Your site contained user generated content that violated Google’s terms.
- Ad placement that violated Google’s terms.
You’ll notice that some of the items above can be done to negatively affect someone else’s websites or blog and are completely out of the owners control. There is nothing stopping one of your competitors from hoping over to your site and spam clicking your ads. For this reason, Google offers the appeal process as a way to keep your account in good standing.
What evidence should I include in my appeal?
If your account was disabled for a policy violation, similar to one of the following categories:
- Copyright infringement.
- Bad ad placement.
- User generated content.
Then you will need to make changes to your site before you submit your appeal. You’re required to remove the content in question and implement measures to prevent it from happening agian (as best as you can). You will need to explain to Google in signifcant detail, why the infringement occured, the steps you have taken to address the issue and the measures you have implemented to prevent it from happening again.
If you submit an appeal for the above with enough conviction, there is a chance that Google will be lenient and reinstate your account. From this point on, you will need to pay extra attention to your website to ensure you don’t find yourself breaking the rules for a second time. Getting reinstated once is rare, submitting a second appeal for the same site is probably a waste of time.
If your account was disabled for invalid traffic.
Collecting evidence for this type of appeal requires a bit more effort. You will need to dive into your analytics data to identify when your site received the invalid traffic. You’ll most likely be looking for a spike in traffic, perhaps from a country that you don’t normally get traffic from. After locating what you believe is the traffic in question, include the dates and as much data as possible (IP addresses would be great) in your appeal.
It might be a bit late, but it would be worthwhile reading up on Google’s recommended methods of identifying invalid traffic and how to handle it.
Where do I submit my appeal?
Here are links directly to the two relevant appeal forms:
Make sure you submit your appeal via the correct form or it will most likely be ignored. For more information about these two types of violations, refer to the following information provided by Google.
I’ve submitted my appeal, what else can I do?
If you have submitted your appeal and haven’t heard back yet, just keep waiting. The AdSense team will take their time when reviewing your appeal and will let you know as soon as a verdict has been reached. Don’t submit additional appeals after a few weeks. Doing so will result in a longer waiting time to hear back at all. I’ve heard of some appeals taking up to six weeks to receive a response from Google. If you hit the eight week mark, you’re probably safe to submit another appeal.
While you wait, it would be worth looking for AdSense alternatives in the event that your appeal is denied. We mentioned at the start of this article that Google are top tier when it comes to advertising. Finding a company that pays the same rate for your traffic/clicks is either unlikely or extremely difficult to get an account for. Consider alternative ways of monetizing your traffic. Banner advertising isn’t the only way to profit from your website traffic. You may find success with sponsored posts, affiliate programs or selling the advertising space on your site directly.
My appeal was denied, can I never use AdSense again?
While it’s unfortunate, this may be the start of something greater for your website! If you’re determined to use the AdSense platform to monetize your website’s traffic, there is still some hope. AdSense does only allow one personal account, once it has been disabled, you’re not allowed to create another one. However, AdSense does allow you to create a business account. This does involve a few extra steps, since you do actually need to establish a legitimate business before you can apply for the AdSense account. You can read more about creating a business AdSense account here.
This article does carry a bit of a depressive tone about it, but there is good reason for that. The reality of AdSense is that they are notoriously difficult to get in touch with. They don’t have an email that you can just reach out to and you won’t have much luck trying to get them on the phone. The forms that they provide are the only way to speak to someone on the other end. If you do get your account reinstated, or do manage to create a business account, read the terms and policies that Google have in place to avoid finding yourself getting another fateful email from the AdSense team.
Remember, AdSense are not the be all and end all of monetizing your website. Look into different avenues, you may be pleasently surprised how much you can make with other methods.