Google AdSense Account Suspension: Self-Clicking on Ads. As you might have noticed, iMillennial has not been displaying Google AdSense ads for a couple of weeks now – that’s because my account got suspended for a month due to self-clicking on ads violation.
It is nearly a consensus among all publishers – bloggers and YouTube channel owners – that Google AdSense remains on top of all ad networks. In fact, successful publishers have been making thousands of dollars every day with their websites and channels displaying Google AdSense contextual ads.
With Google AdSense program, even small-time bloggers find their publishing of original content more rewarding and profitable. Google AdSense has since been expediting the application process and been introducing innovative ad formats for the publishers to provide greater user experience and allow new revenue opportunities.
Lately, Google AdSense introduced AdSense Native Ads – In-Feed, In-Article, and Matched Content ads. Generally, native ads are advertising units that match the form and function of the webpage or platform where they appear. For example, In-Feed ads can be customized to match the appearance of the feeds in the archives, hence greater chances of getting clicked.
When I first learned about these AdSense native ads, I got so excited and honestly, spent days customizing available units and tweaking my site to make displays as impeccable as possible.
How I Got a (Self-Clicking) Suspension Notice
As far I could still remember, I had most of the webpages reloaded several times, checking whether ads were displayed well. Likewise, adding Matched Content unit brought me into an obsessive-compulsive clicking behavior. After all, it was not yet eligible for ad displays, just links to my own articles. It was the culprit, as I believe, that on the next day I received an email from Google AdSense saying:
We recently detected invalid activity in your AdSense account. As a result, we’ve temporarily suspended your account for 30 days. During this time, no ads will be served on your sites.
Why was my account suspended? We found that you were clicking on your own AdSense ads, which is prohibited by the AdSense Program Policies.
As indicated, I was sanctioned with a 30-day account suspension – no ads shown, payments on hold, and latest revenue deductions. It was depressing, of course. However, I have always prepared myself for this. In fact, I have been into reading Google AdSense Policy and other stories related to banned and suspended accounts. I was at least thankful it was just a suspension.
It’s a Non-appealable Suspension!
This is a one-time, non-appealable suspension. After 30 days, we’ll automatically re-enable ad-serving on your account.
After a few minutes, I found myself composed and searching for possible channels so I could communicate my side to the Google AdSense team. First, I tried the Invalid Activity Appeal, only to receive a response that they could not take any further actions due to one or more reasons (account suspensions are non-appealable, but I still had a try). Then, I sent a short message via Send Feedback feature on my Google AdSense account, but, as expected, there was no response. Sooner, I gave up the idea of pursuing my appeal. Hence, I simply had the Account Suspension Feedback Form accomplished. After all, as I was notified:
If your account has been suspended, please note that there is no appeal form for suspended accounts. Please visit our AdSense suspended account or AdMob suspended account articles for additional information.
Ad Self-Clicking Violation Appeals and Insights
Google AdSense Matched Content ad unit comes in three levels of eligibility – (1) not currently eligible to use Matched Content, (2) eligible to use Matched Content (without ad displays), and (3) eligible to use Matched Content and show ads in between recommendations. Specific policies regarding the use of the last two units have not been emphasized in Google AdSense disclosures; however, as stipulated, the AdSense program policies still apply to pages containing Matched Content units. Hence, self-clicking on content units or links even without displayed ads (second type) is strictly prohibited.
As per my experience, although data on self-clicking of Matched Content unit (second type) may not be reflected on Google AdSense account, still Google AdSense sophisticated technologies detect and consider them as invalid clicks.
Upon issuing a suspension notice, Google AdSense provides publishers with instructions on how to identify potential sources of problems and recommendations on how to solve the issues, however, refuses to disclose data and information about their detections. As stated:
We understand that you may want to know more about the invalid activity we’ve detected. Because this information could be used to circumvent our proprietary detection system, we’re unable to provide our publishers with information about specific account activity, including any web pages or users that may have been involved.
Google AdSense account suspensions usually last for 30 days, enough for publishers to make relevant changes and resolve issues. After all, Google AdSense promises that at the end of the suspension period, ad serving shall be re-enabled. As account suspensions including self-clicking on ads are non-appealable, I don’t have any other choice but to live out the suspension.