AdSense and Free Downloads

Google relies on automation for keeping out spammers and improving the user experience. For the most part it works very well, and Google will leave you alone.

The problem is when the automated process gets it wrong.This happens a lot, to both AdWords and AdSense customers.

Google treats this as collateral damage – it’s better value to ignore customer complaints than have a human look into them. Unless of course there’s some bad publicity to fix, as in this example.

Author and Iraq war veteran Cody Jackson has a website with AdSense ads on it. He decided to link to the various places where his book could be downloaded for free. That’s right, a book he had written, and made available for free.

The AdSense system decided that he was linking to copyrighted material (in other words, pirated). His account was closed, and his two emails to Google were met by automated responses. But publicity of his plight meant his account was restored. This does of course highlight that thousands of other innocent customers miss out for good. At least with AdSense there are other alternatives. Unlike AdWords, which in some countries has 90% market share.

Google employees better watch out – one day an automated process will decide that Google Inc no longer needs humans to work for it.

Ad Planner: Bait and Switch

I almost used Ad Planner. I signed up, because a free ad management service was irresistible. But my current systems were sufficient for my low levels of income, and I didn’t proceed. Millions, however, would now be using and relying onĀ Ad Planner.

Now it will fail to work unless it is only used to run Adsense ads:

Starting September 5th, 2012, the new version of Ad Planner will be dedicated to supporting research on placements on the Google Display Network, which comprises more than 2 million sites from across the web.

What does this change mean for you?

  • You can no longer research domains or ad placements that are not part of the Google Display Network
  • Publisher Center, the feature that allows publishers to claim their own sites, list relevant ad placement availability & pricing, will be deprecated

This is a classic bait and switch, and perhaps borders on illegal, given their monopoly status. Google can no longer be trusted. And this isn’t the first time – last year many sites had to start paying to use Google Maps on their site. What’s next?:

  • Only use Google Search if you are a registered Google user?
  • Google Analytics only available to Adsense publishers?
  • Embedded YouTube videos cost 10 cents each to display?

Imagine if Microsoft told customers that you need to pay $5 to receive future security updates?

Imagine if Toyota stopped making cars and doubled the price of spare parts?