Saturday, January 22, 2011

How Did Malaysian Pro-Blogger Get Google AdSense Ad Serving Disabled (and Re-enabled) on His Blog?

From: Liewcf.com
Oh My GOD!
Malaysian Pro-blogger, Liew Cheon Fong (a.k.a LiewCF, yours truly) got Google AdSense disabled ad serving on his tech blog. How did he get it re-enabled in 14 hours? Also, the AdSense alternatives he used and the lessons he learned.
Read on for the details.
Last week afternoon (Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 1:35 PM), I suddenly received an email from Google AdSense with subject title “Google AdSense ad serving has been disabled to your site
Hello,
While reviewing your account, we noticed that you are currently displaying Google ads in a manner that is not compliant with our policies. For instance, we found violations of AdSense policies on pages such as http://www.liewcf.com/crack-mac-app-store-6859/. Please note that this URL is an example and that the same violations may exist on other pages of your website.
As stated in our program policies, AdSense publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on sites with content related to hacking or cracking. For example, sites showing ads may not provide instructions or equipment to illegally access or tamper with software, servers, or websites.
As a result, we have disabled ad serving to the site.
Your AdSense account remains active. However, we strongly suggest that you take the time to review our program policies (https://www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/answer.py?answer=48182&stc=aspe-2pp-en) to ensure that all of your remaining pages are in compliance.
Please note that we may disable your account if further violations are found in the future.
Sincerely,
The Google AdSense Team
Issue ID# 0000000
My first reaction was “Another scam email!” but after reading it thoroughly… Hey, it is genuine! Google disabled AdSense ads on my site!
OMG! This is the WORST nightmare for AdSense publishers!

Why Google AdSense disable ads serving on LiewCF.com?

It is caused by my blog post “HOW TO: Crack Mac App Store and Download Free Angry Birds for Mac [ILLEGAL]” (article has been deleted, more details below)
Though I had already put warning messages in title and in the article body… but the blog post ranked No.1 for the search keywords “Mac App Store Crack”, ranked better than the popular Mac blog – 9to5Mac.com.
mac app store crack search result
Image: LiewCF.com ranked No.1 for “mac app store crack”
(Thanks to my SEO optimization and Twitter ReTweets)
My site received many traffic for the keywords but, at the same time, it is a significant target if anyone wants to hunt down websites that spread the Mac App Store crack news.

Getting AdSense re-enable on site

The email was sent from no-reply email account. I must find a way to contact Google AdSense team.
A google search for the email subject “Google AdSense ad serving has been disabled to your site” and leaded me to Google AdSense forum. There are also many other publishers received the same email before but most of them did not have second chance…
Bad news. :(
On Google AdSense Help:
In many cases, our decision is final, and this will be mentioned in your notification email. However, in some cases, if you are able to make appropriate changes to bring your site into compliance, we may re-enable ad serving to your site. Please keep in mind that this is not possible for all cases.
There is a Google AdSense Policy Violation Appeal form where you can request for re-enabled ad serving to your site.
Immediately, I deleted the affected blog post and submit my details using the Policy Violation Appeal form. I wrote:
“I have deleted the affected web page immediately after received your email notification. Thank you.”
After that, all I could do is WAIT and PRAY.

Google AdSense alternatives?

Then, I checked my site and the AdSense ads are still serving normally. So, I thought only the related web page is affected. “Lucky!”
I was wrong!
In the midnight, I noticed ALL the AdSense ads on my site were gone and left only white spaces!
OMG! Google AdSense disabled the ad serving for the whole website, instead of the affected page only!
While I am still waiting reply from Google AdSense team for my appeal, I immediately replaced all Google AdSense ads spaces with other alternative advertising networks, such as Chitika, CPM-based ads, local ads, etc.
The alternative networks revenue would not match the Google AdSense income, but it is better than wasting the ads spaces.

Google AdSense ad serving re-enabled!

Just as soon as I done switching AdSense ads spaces to alternative ads, I received an email from Google AdSense again (Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 3:33 AM).
This time, is a good news.
Hello,
Thank you for making the requested changes to your site in order to comply with our policies. We have now re-enabled ad serving to your site.
Please note that because ad serving to your site was temporarily disabled, there may be a delay of up to 48 hours or more before ads begin appearing on your site again. We appreciate your patience.
Sincerely,
The Google AdSense Team
Phew~ What a relieve! Ad-serving is back to normal after 24 hours.

Lessons learned

I felt like a bungee jump – jump off from a high bridge then bounced and at last landed safely. Certainly, I did not feel good but it was a good experience.
I shall not write anything about cracking and hacking (even with loud and clear warning message). I could not afford to risk my house, car, living. etc for popular but questionable articles.
Glad that Google AdSense team resolved my case in 14 hours. Many publishers complain that Google AdSense ignore them or slow response, which is false in my case.
Also, the incident make me to re-think the dependents on Google AdSense as a blogger. I shall reducing the portion of AdSense revenue in my total income. I said the same at years before and I am still working on it.
While I could survive without Google AdSense, but I never want to do that. Darn! I love AdSense!

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