Google ads business

19-Year-Old Lost $46,000 In Google Adsense Rules Ban

GOOGLE ADSENSE 1Idris Sami is a 19-year-old French-Moroccan entrepreneur who set up a website that lets people text their friends for free. Don't have a phone, or want to avoid mobile data charges? No problem. MesTextos lets French-speakers text their friendsfrom the website. MesTextos isn't going to threaten WhatsApp anytime soon, but in Europe and the Middle East, where alternative messaging services are more popular, free texting is a nice little niche to occupy.

And until the beginning of this year was doing very well indeed.

Sami was running Google's AdSense advertising system on his site. It allows website publishers to display search ads powered by Google and take a cut of the revenues.

But then he learned that if you're an AdSense partner and you don't run ads on your site exactly the way Google wants, the search giant will punish you.

Banned By Google

Google cancelled Sami's account and returned all the money he had earned to his advertisers.

Idris Sami / BIIdris Sami's Google Adsense revenue account. (Click to enlarge.)All , 000 of it.

GOOGLE ADSENSE 3He is banned from Google's ad programs until further notice.

Sami is furious about the money he earned and then lost. Although this is an extreme example — a huge portion of Google's client base consists of individual publishers making only a few hundred dollars a month — it does typify one of the frustrations Google's clients have dealing with the company.

Google is currently being sued in the U.S. over allegations that it suddenly and without explanation withholds ad money from website publishers once their sites become successful. And the company is the subject of an infamous, and obviously fake, conspiracy theory that publishers who make $5, 000 or more per month are banned from the system right before their checks are paid. (The theory has a giant hole in it — Google collects revenues only when it delivers those ads, so banning successful sites would actually make Google poorer.) This theory has been making the rounds for years.

Emails From Google Praised The Site

Idris Sami / BIGoogle praised Sami's work ... (Click to enlarge.) In an email Google sent to Sami, Google says MesTextos was incentivizing or forcing people to click on ads to use the site, which is against the rules; Sami denies that. He says two different Google sales staff praised his revenue-generating efforts and, in separate emails, offered to help optimize his site to improve its performance. He says he wasn't warned there was something wrong with his site until it was too late.

IDRIS SAMIGoogle declined to comment on Sami specifically, but a spokesperson told Business Insider:

... we always send a note to the publisher explaining which policy was in question and, in many cases, give them a chance to make changes to their pages to keep the account in good standing. Publishers are also given an opportunity to appeal policy decisions.

Google: 'This Is great.'

Idris Sami / BI... and wanted to help him make more money just days before cutting him off.The issue is further complicated because, Sami says, Google's ad rules in French are slightly different from the ones published in English. The ban feels galling to Sami because it came on Jan. 28, just 13 days after he received an email from Google offering to help him boost his revenues. "I later spoke again with the Team and was told everything was good, " Sami tells Business Insider.

idris samiGoogle's sales staff and its AdSense compliance people don't necessarily coordinate, of course.

Sami first received an email from Google's salespeople on Jan. 1, 2013, offering to help him boost his revenue. It came from a staffer at Google in Dublin who praised MesTextos: "I saw that ... recent changes that had a positive impact on the Click-Through Rate and hence improved your AdSense revenue. This is great. Can you share with me by email what changes did you do so that I can build an accurate optimization tips report for you?"

The next email, on Jan. 15, 2014, was in French, and it looked like a form letter generated for clients who achieve certain revenue goals.

'Nous Avons Desactive Votre Compte Google AdSense'

But by then it was too late.

Idris Sami... And then Sami was banned from the system.On Jan 28, Sami received a third email, also in French: "We have deactivated your Google AdSense account ... your account block is final, we have blocked payment on your corresponding balance.")

Sami says he begged and pleaded with Google but that he cannot figure out what Google thinks is wrong with his site. It is notable that Sami's site currently carries a large ad that requires a click before you can use it — the exact thing Google said was wrong with the site in the first place. Sami says that ad, for another of his sites, was placed there by him only after Google cut him off and his ad revenue declined.

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