Saturday, July 16, 2005

Puddles of mud at the end of the Adsense Rainbow

I've recently come across a website faulting Google Adsense for a number of things. On top of what appears to be a litany of complaints are allegations that Google Adsense and Google have arbitrarily witheld payment on a number of accounts, citing disputed invalid click throughs (owners of websites clicking on the google ads on their pages, robots clicking on google ads, etcetera) as the culprit. Read about it at

The articles and series of comments/reactions have come from website owners who had received notification from Google that their Adsense checks were cancelled and that meant losing anywhere from a few hundred dollars to as much as a thousand dollars. Getting hit where it really hurts (our bankbooks and wallets) can really get one steaming mad and this was pretty evident in the webpage.

Perhaps the article would appear more credible and objective if the owner of the site had written with more restraint and refrained from using cuss words against one of the people who had played Devil's Advocate in a posted reaction.

I have a number of other misgivings about the article, mostly stemming from the fact that the friend who had sent me the link which brought me to this particular webpage is the kind of person who invariably finds mud puddles at the end of any rainbow (and would probably find a cigarette butt at the foot of the burning bush or spot a typo in the stone tablets of the ten commandments). (Hi Laurence Dacanay, my golden goat!)

Not that I have any reason to doubt that Google either can or has in fact witheld payment on a number of accounts because of allegedly invalid clicks. It is a safeguard against those who either have tried or are bent on trying to earn money through Google Adsense using fraudulent means.
What I do tend to disbelieve is that Google would do so in order to cheat people out of money that was fairly and legally earned. If that were the case, more and more people would most probably stop subscribing to Adsense -- there are other affiliate programs out there.

Furthermore, any kind of safeguard and any system used to police the users of Google Adsense will have certain weaknesses, flaws, and drawbacks. These things are often a balancing act between keeping Google Adsense users happy and making certain Google doesn't get cheated out of revenue.

And believe it or not, there are people out there (possibly tens of thousands) that are trying to make money by finding ways to exploit certain soft spots in the Google Adsense system. Would it benefit Google Adsense users if Google decides to cancel the Adsense program because it had suffered substantial losses due to fraudulent click throughs? I am betting that a lot more people would lose rather than gain from this development.

I haven't closed my mind to the possibility that there are instances where Google may have been unfair in a bid to protect its interests. I have only read one webpage on it and if you care to point out a number of others which you find, just drop me a link on the comments section of this entry.

At most, after ignoring the very emotional tone of the two dozen or so people who wrote that negative tirade against Google and Google Adsense, this was enough to bring a number of things to my attention: I shouldn't click on my own ads and you shouldn't too.

Out of curiousity, I've clicked on my ads before and I am wondering if it'll have any effect. If my Adsense cash gets witheld, I will probably have a number of good ideas why and I'll happily write it off to experience. So, for the mean time, let's get blogging!

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