I'm back in!
I have a new Google Adsense account, and I have been successfully using it for the past couple of months and I've been paid twice! So, I have no reason to believe I will have another “run in” with Google.
I have kept quiet about it on my blog up until this point, because I wanted to ensure that it stayed active. I'm extremely happy with the results, and I want to share exactly what happened.
A few short months ago, I wrote one of the most difficult posts I have ever had to write. The empty feeling that I had when I found out at that time that I had been banned from Google Adsense was almost overwhelming. The news hit me like a dumptruck of bricks, and I know many of you also had the same experience or at least felt the pain I was having as well.
But today is a new day and I now have Google Adsense back on all my old sites and lots of new sites that I have created. I'm extremely happy with the results I have seen so far! Let me give a breakdown of the timeline of events that have taken place, and then I will share exactly how I got a new Adsense account.
In early April, I got the dreaded email from Google Adsense that stated in part this:
After reviewing our records, we've determined that your AdSense account poses a risk of generating invalid activity. Because we have a responsibility to protect our AdWords advertisers from inflated costs due to invalid activity, we've found it necessary to disable your AdSense account. Your outstanding balance and Google's share of the revenue will both be fully refunded back to the affected advertisers.
Ouch. Adsense account closed and all the money I had earned was gone. This was no small amount either because I was not paid for everything I earned in March, and everything I had accumulated from April was also gone – these combined were well over $10,000 (I don't know the exact amount because once you are banned, you can't even log in to your account).
I started testing Adsense alternatives that I discussed here, such as Infolinks, Kontera network, Vibrant Media, and others. Some of these performed better than others, but none were ever very close to the high payouts that I was earning from Adsense. This has all been shared previously on my blog.
However, what has not been shared is that in late April, I decided to form a NEW business entity and apply for Google Adsense with that new LLC. I was approved in under 24 hours. So, this new LLC of mine has had an approved Google Adsense account since late April. I started implementing the Adsense code onto my old sites just a couple of weeks later.
I waited to publicly share this information because I wanted to be sure that I would get paid again. I wanted to see if placing the Adsense code on my old sites (from a previously banned Google Adsense account) would also ban this new Adsense account. This is not the case!
My new business entity has been paid twice now. I received payment from Google at the end of June and I just received another payment a few days ago. So, the new Adsense account is alive, active, and paying me without any issues. This raises the mystery even a little more as to why my original Adsense account was banned. However, I am doing a few things differently now, which I share below.
How I Got a New Adsense Account
I want to clarify how I got approved to a new Adsense account. As I mentioned, the new Adsense account is NOT in my name – its in the name of a new legal business entity. So, absolutely nothing is the same between my old Adsense account and this new account. Everything is different including:
- Account owner (business entity)
- Phone number
- Bank account information
- Tax information
- You get the idea…EVERYTHING is different.
Also, to clarify; I don't believe I am doing anything against Google's Terms of Service. Google clearly states that a business entity is allowed to have its own account – this is what I have done. I am personally (in my own name) never able to have an Adsense account, and I don't.
All the information is different on the business account so that the sites can be judged on their own merits. At this point, Google has approved them, paid me, and I have no reason to believe that my sites and account are not fully in compliance with all of Google's Terms of Service.
In order to apply, I created a brand new site to submit for approval to Adsense. The new site had about 7 to 10 pages of content (all brand new), had a premium theme, and a logo. The account and site were approved in less than 24 hours.
In the Public Eye = More Risk
I debated with several people and myself as to whether I should be sharing publicly that I'm using Google Adsense again. I fully understand that this puts me and my business at risk. I also am well aware that many of you out there probably think this is a REALLY bad move on my part. But in the end, this is my business, and its my decision.
I have always tried to be open with how I do business, so I feel like this is important to share since its such a critical piece to how I operate. So, even if this negatively affects my business, I believe the advice I share here can help many others.
Having a public blog will always put me at more risk, and I accept this. I highly doubt anyone from Google actually reads my lowly little blog here, but there are other risks. (If they do: Hi Google Peeps!) Shady individuals copy my niche sites (I have seen blatant copying), or perhaps this raises my chances of getting clickbombed. I don't know. But I do know that publicly sharing this and other information opens me up to criticism, more scrutiny, and other risky side effects.
But in the end, I know this information is valuable to others, and is exactly would I would want if I was reading someone else's blog.
What I'm Doing Differently
This of course makes me wonder why my account was shut down in the first place. However, I have changed my sites in some instances to make them less aggressive.
I was contacted by a former Google Adsense employee who explained that if your sites are generating an unusually high CTR, this could be reason for getting your account shut down. Perhaps this was the reason for my account closure? I will admit that when I first started building niche sites in 2008 and 2009, I was using the BlueSense theme with a VERY aggressive ad placement.
However, all my sites since that time were using more traditional themes, with very normal ad placements (as suggested by Google). I never changed these early BlueSense theme sites, so perhaps this led to my demise? I really don't know.
So, here is what I have done to ensure that I don't get my account shut down again.
- Went through every single one of my sites and removed any BlueSense or other themes that look unprofessional (i.e. Look like they were made for Adsense). I installed more aesthetically pleasing themes with less agressive ad placements. This has caused a decrease in CTR, but I believe its well worth it.
- Made sure I did not have too many ads above the fold. If all you can see is ads above the fold, this is too many.
Finally, another reason that people have gotten their Adsense accounts shut down is due to click bombing. I am looking into options to help prevent clickbombing on my sites as well. I'll share what I find as I have a chance to fully review different options.
As I've discovered, there is no good replacement for Google Adsense when it comes to small niche sites. Google's advertising network is just so large that others really just cannot compete on the same level.
If your business model is different or if you are targeting specific keywords; then other networks or CPA offers may work better. But for the types of keywords that I like to target, and the types of sites that I like to build – Adsense is the best advertising option.
Overall, I'm excited to be back to using Google Adsense!
I would love to hear your thoughts, comments or questions. Do you think I made the right move applying to Adsense again? Should I have kept this information private? Overall, let me know if you find any of this useful.