I originally wrote this post back in 2013. It’s still very relevant today.

The Problem With Google Adsense

I’ve been getting feedback from people about notices like this that they’re getting from Google in relation to their Adsense accounts:

Google AdSense ad serving has been disabled to your site

Google are never specific in what is actually wrong with a site. They provide vague hints of things webmasters should look at and it’s left to the webmaster to figure out what rule they’ve broken. Google could be very helpful here in telling a webmaster what to do to get a site back in compliance with the Adsense Terms of Service, but they choose not to.

You have to wonder why.

Due process dictates that the burden of proof lies with the accuser. Yet Google (and they’re not alone in this), eschew due process and will happily terminate a site with Adsense (or Adsense accounts themselves in extreme cases). It doesn’t seem like good business sense. Why make life difficult for your affiliates (which is what Adsense publishers are) when providing a bit of information would benefit all concerned?

Google makes billions off of Adsense yet they treat Adsense publishers with contempt.

In past years, I got the odd notice of a perceived policy violation with a couple of my sites. Back then though you could actually communicate with a human, have a dialog, find out what was wrong with your site, fix it and communicate the resolution back to Google.

You can’t do that these days.

Are Google not making enough money to pay support/helpdesk staff? Or are they too cheap to hire such people?

You can dispute an Adsense ad serving termination notice by filling in a form and firing it off to Google. That’s as personal as it gets. There’s no discussion, no feedback from someone on the other end. And if you have any questions, don’t expect them to be answered, because they won’t be.

I recently got one of the above email notices for a blog I’d pretty much forgotten about. It was a dead site – not earning any money from the Adsense ads running on it. So I deleted everything on the site and told Google I’d shut down the site. I expected that to be the end of things.

Lo and behold, a couple of days later, I got an email from Google saying the site was now in compliance with the Adsense TOS.

The only thing that site showed was a 404 page.

The Adsense TOS states that sites must show useful content to visitors in order for Adsense ads to be served to it. A 404 page clearly does not meet that criteria. Yet Google happily re-enabled Adsense for that site.

So my advice if you get an email from Google saying Adsense ads are no longer being served to your site – delete everything on the site and tell Google you’ve done just that. Obviously you should back up the entire site before you delete it. You can then either reinstall the site (after you hear back from Google) or transfer it to a new domain. Since Google run manual checks on sites looking for Adsense TOS compliance, if Adsense is re-enabled for your site, it’s not likely they’ll look at your site again any time soon.

Clickbank Adsense Alternative

In the last 12-18 months, I’ve found Adsense hasn’t performed nearly as well as it used to. Too many non-relevant ads are appearing on my sites. This is probably due in part to the economic downturn, with fewer companies advertising on Adwords and advertising budgets being cut. Google have also been playing around with the look of Adsense ads, adding in Arrow icons and lines under ads which make them stand out more from content (rather than blending in as well as they used to) and I think this has led to a certain amount of ad blindness.

Then there’s the ad blockers that simply filter out stuff like Adsense from your pages. There’s nothing you can do about those as they reside in people’s browsers so they’re far beyond your control.

Clickbank used to have a service called HopAds which created Adsense-style ads for the products in their marketplace. But they killed off the service in July 2012.

However, I’ve become aware of a company that now creates similar Adsense-style ads for Clickbank products. All the standard ad sizes are supported and colors, etc, can be changed to make the ad blocks blend into your posts and pages.

Several additional ad formats are available which include an ad slider, ad carousel, ad scroller, ad slide show, widgets for WordPress sidebars. Some ad types include product images rather than being all text (as Adsense ads are).

They also provide niche Clickbank storefronts that you can send visitors to. And WordPress users can get a couple of plugins that will integrate the Clickbank stores into their blogs.

Adsense will pay a few cents to a couple of dollars per day per site (depending on how much traffic the site gets). A single sale of a Clickbank product will earn from $10 to a couple of hundred dollars (depending on the products you advertise). So promoting Clickbank products can be more lucrative.

Let’s Talk Costs

There are two options:

  • a free account – you don’t get access to the storefronts and your Clickbank ID is embedded in product links only 50% of the time so you will lose out on commissions
  • a Pro Lifetime account – one-off fee of $59.95 (or $37 if you order through any of the links on this page). You get to keep all the profits from anything sold through your sites.

Use coupon CBPROX3WB7900TUZ to save an additional $9, so you only pay $27.95 for a Pro Lifetime account.

I use CBPro Ads on this site as you’ve probably noticed! 🙂


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Filed under: Affiliate Marketing