My Interesting Google Experience

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This is the featured advertiser on ShoeMoney. Put your company here!


After doing a lot of log analysis I noticed that one site was sending me a ton of traffic that was converting for ringtones. I then did a site target on that site and was pretty much the exclusive advertiser on that site for about the last 3 months. I have spent about twenty fife thousand dollars this year TOTAL on this site but it has yeilded a nice ROI.

So I really liked what this site was doing with the AdSense program so I emaield google and asked them if I could do the same thing with one of my sites.

To my suprise this was the response I recieved:

From: Jeremy Schoemaker
Date: September 4, 2006 10:56:39 AM CDT
To: my adsense rep adsenserep@google.com>

Repname,

I was check out http://thisonesite.com/

and I am interested in doing a similar setup on mysite.com. Could you tell me whats involved with that?

Jeremy

To my suprised I recieved this back:

From: “myrep”
Date: September 8, 2006 12:14:18 AM CDT
To: “Jeremy Schoemaker”

Hello Jeremy,

The code on http://thatsite.com is actually modified, which is against our program policies. Therefore, we are unable to give you details on its implementation.

I’ve forwarded this site to our team of specialists, who will investigate this issue further.

Sincerely,

My Rep Name
The Google AdSense Team

Wow ok now this is interesting.

I have spent 25k on this site and its against the TOS (as stated by the google rep) I wonder if I can get refunded? (dunno if you dont ask right?).

So I forwarded the email trail from the adsense Rep who stated the site was against the TOS a and this was there response:

From: “AdWords Support”
Date: October 4, 2006 2:40:34 PM CDT
To: “Jeremy Schoemaker”

Hello Jeremy,

Thank you for your response. I’ve reviewed your account and found that you accrued charges for legitimate advertising activity while your campaign was active. The AdSense publisher you discussed with our AdSense team was removed as soon a the policy violation was discovered and your ad is no longer able to show on the site. Therefore, we are unable to offer a refund for these charges.

Per the Google AdWords program Terms and Conditions (https://adwords.google.com/select/tsandcsfinder), you are responsible for paying the charges accrued to your account while your campaign is active.
We apologize for any inconvenience.

If you have additional questions, please visit our Help Center at https://adwords.google.com/support to find answers to many frequently asked questions. Or, try our Learning Center at http://www.google.com/adwords/learningcenter/ for self-paced lessons that cover the scope of AdWords.

We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising available.

Sincerely,

GoogleRep
The Google AdWords Team

Ok but here is the funny part… the site still has the exact same adsense code on it. Same publisher ID and everything. Interesting huh ?

NOTE: site name and peoples names have been removed to protect the embarressed innocent

20 thoughts on “My Interesting Google Experience

  1. jj

    It’s hard to enjoy your post fully without knowing your site URL, what you were advertising, and their site URL. We want to see what this TOS violation looked like.

  2. Michael

    Even if the Adsense account had been blocked as soon as you reported it, why shouldn’t you get a refund? The way someone is generating clicks is either against Adsense TOS or it isn’t. If it is, then the clicks are invalid, right? If they’re invalid, the publisher won’t get paid. Why should you have to pay?

  3. mad4

    So you got this guy banned from Adsense and you lost a good source of customers? Sounds like you need to email the guy and offer him some cash to advertise or he will be coming after you.:-)

  4. my3cents

    Perhaps Google’s size is catching up with them. Possibly a lag from communication to action. Nice try on the refund angle…=)

  5. ShoeMoney

    3 things

    1. There is no possible way google did not know about this site its a sub 1500 alexa and I am only 1 person in a rotation on there… I am guessing they are paying out 250k ++ a month to this place so its not like its a 50$/month scraper site.
    2. The site is still fully functional with the against tos code.
    3. I have contacted the owner of the site to see if he would sell me direct advertising
  6. Renaud

    Doesn’t this prove that Google does NOT refund the advertiser when a publisher is shown to violate the TOS? I think that’s the real story here…

    They say the publisher was “removed.” That leads me to believe they are banned and that they won’t be getting their estimated $250K check this month. So I guess G pockets that money.

    Good news for shareholders!

  7. chris

    I think people are missing the point – He did not really expect to get any money back. The bottom line is the bottom line. Google is not going to screw up a major revenue source. Shoe will probably be avle toget a sweetheart deal with the publisher if he responds to his email.

  8. aeiouy

    Google is the master of having their cake and eating it too. Eventually it will catch up with them as you can’t have a policy where someone is supposedly in violation of their policies as a publisher but that does not warrant a refund on clicks. If they are doing things invalid as a publisher, then every click has to be brought into question as being acquired due to wrongful promotion.

    I know you don’t care that much because the whole thing made you money, but Google thinks they will be able to continue running their business based on the chaos theory, and they are in for a suprise, I suspect.

  9. Che

    I happened to read this off of Google’s AdSense Help Links under “When will I get paid?”… (see bold text)

    “Please note that if a publisher’s account is found to be in violation of our Terms and Conditions or policies, we may at any time withhold payment (beginning from when Google initiates its investigation of potential violations), charge back the publisher’s account, and/or refund advertisers for clicks received on the publisher’s site or AdSense for search results page. In addition, if a publisher is past due on any payment to Google in connection with the Google AdWords program, we reserve the right to withhold payment until all outstanding payments have been made.”

    Dont give up! Get your money!

  10. John_Loch

    Yep. Sounds like G. nothing new there.

    Stiff the publisher, but charge the advertiser. Hide the whole lot behind their TOS and it suddenly becomes acceptable.

    This is basically Google in a nutshell.

    For quite some time now I’ve viewed ANY business model that involves Google as High Risk. That’s just how it is.

  11. Clint Lenard

    It amazes me how much Google itself can get away with. I mean how many times can you screw over your own clients and keep them wanting more? They have what it takes for now. I’m still surprised that they wouldn’t refund some of the money if the Publisher was breaking their TOS.

    How long has it been since they were supposed to have been banned? Usually the Ads will stay for up to 24 hours, in most cases, after the Publisher has been banned.

    $25K though? Damn… you could have bought a half of another H2 for your wife … hey, she bought you one ;)

  12. Art

    What’s interesting is if you wrote this post as “Google refuses advertiser refunds upon AdSense account closure”, you probably would’ve been dugg (and for good cause too!) and would have spread the word about this whole issue. It’ll then become an issue of – is $25k worth all the damage to their image?

    Fair play too, I now wonder if Google does this to all cancelled accounts. I’m leaning towards probably.

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