Google’s Aggravating Ad Policy

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

I mentioned a few weeks ago that Google had stopped serving AdSense ads to this site. The reason apparently was because of some porn-related comment spam to a seven-year-old post. I deleted the spam, and they restored the ads a few weeks later.

Last week, they notified me that they’re again suspending ads. And once again it’s because of comment spam to a post from 2002 that according to my logs, all of three people have looked at in the last year.

I’m now thinking someone who doesn’t like what I cover on this site is combing through old posts to find reasons to complain to Google. My web host, P.J. Doland, has since graciously deleted thousands of spam comments left before this site switched to WordPress and a better comment filter in 2006. But I’d imagine that someone who really wants to could still find something to complain about, and Google may still deny me the very small amount of money I get through the program (about $100/month for most months).

Google is a private company, and they can run their program however they please. But I’m also free to complain about it. So I will.

It seems awfully petty to suspend an account for hard-to-control comment spam on old posts almost no one reads.  The system for protesting a suspension of your account is also very impersonal. You’re sort of at their whim. They don’t even have to tell you why they’re suspending or canceling your account. They also reserve the right not to pay you the entire existing balance of your account if, after the fact, they determine you’re serving ads on pages with objectionable content–even if those particular ads didn’t produce any revenue.

It’s all especially aggravating given how much money Google itself willingly and knowingly makes selling ads on porn searches.

This comparison is also pretty amusing.

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