Google AdSense: You have 3 working days to make changes to your site
I received this email from Google yesterday. I was using Google Adsense to partially monetize my classified ads site The Free Ad Forum Classifieds. My new classified ads site had been growing quickly and apparently there were some ads that passed by my scrutiny which were less than family friendly. So what to do? I make some nice income from Adsense and I definitely did not want to have any problems with them. According to the template email I received I had 3 days to rid my site of any content which might be against Adsense TOS. Read what I did after you read the letter.
===========Letter From Google Adsense==============================
This message was sent from a notification-only email address that does not
accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message.
During a recent review of your account we found that you are currently
displaying Google ads in a manner that is not compliant with our program
Please note that this URL is an example and that the same violations may
exist on other pages of this website or other sites in your network.
LINKS TO ADULT CONTENT: As stated in our program policies, AdSense
publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on pages with adult or
mature content. This includes displaying ads on pages that provide links
for or drive traffic to adult or mature sites. More information about this
policy can be found in our help center
REQUESTED ACTION: Please make all necessary changes in the next 72 hours.
If the violations are corrected within the aforementioned time period, ad
serving will not be affected. If changes are not made and/or other policy
violations are encountered during the review process, ad serving will be
disabled to your site.
ACCOUNT STATUS: ACTIVE
Your AdSense account remains active. However, if we continue to find
problems, we may disable your entire account. Therefore, we suggest that
you take the time to review the rest of your network to ensure that all of
your other pages are in compliance with our policies.
Thank you for your cooperation.
The Google AdSense Team
For more information regarding this email, please visit our Help Center:
=================End of Google Adsense Email===================
Here Is What I Did:
1. I immediately removed all Google Adsense ads from this domain. I know that Google said that I just needed to remove the offensive ads but I was not sure where there might be other offensive ads and I wanted to take my time to find them all. I did not want to take any chances that Google would find more bad ads before I did and possibly cancel my account. If I am not running any Adsense ads at all there is not much Google can say and I can take my time and find all the bad ads.
Even if it meant that I would lose some income in the short term I would rather lose some income than deal with the hassle of losing my Google Adsense account. I replaced the ads with some strong affiliate programs and links to some of my own products.
2. I began searching thoroughly all my domains which had Adsense ads not just the domain they targeted. When you have user generated content it is possible that you will attract some offensive content. I took the bad words file from my Vbulletin forum (really bad words that I would not dare mention here) and I started doing Google searches with “bad word + mydomain.” I found some stuff indexed that Google had not found. I had a database of linking partners and there was a sub database which contained comments. Oh boy, there were some really bad comments! I disabled that script immediately which was on most of my domains.
3. I used PHPmadmin to search my databases. This is actually quite efficient. If you use cpanel you should have phpmyadmin installed. You can search your databases and use keywords from your bad words list to find offensive material in your databases. If you do not have a bad words list just look at Google’s TOS and think of words that describe everything that Google forbids (You may find some really good business ideas there too! LOL!)
Use the Like %…% filter to find the keywords in your databases. You can then delete any tables with offensive content.
I thoroughly searched all my content, all my databases, and deleted every little bit of offensive content. I even deleted categories in my classified ads sites which could maybe attract offensive content. Even categories like “men’s health” which of course can be completely benign were deleted. I erred on the side of caution.
For now I am keeping all Adsense ads off the particular site in question. I will see how it goes.
There have been some bonuses from all this activity. First of all I really cleaned up my sites and I realized that this is something that I need to watch on a regular basis. Even it was not for Adsense I really do not want that type of offensive content on my sites.
There was another benefit. I actually started making more money selling one of my own products, specifically my Manual Classified Ad Submission service. I have prominently featured a simple ad for this service where I had an Adsense ad before. If I just make one sale per day I make more than I made with Adsense. I do not think there are any other contextual advertising systems that can beat Adsense but a quality original product where you make all the money can definitely beat Adsense.
Also, it felt good taking those Adsense ads of the site I felt relieved. It was now my site again. I did not have to dread a letter from Google or be at their whim when it came to that particular website. The livelihood of that site was no longer dictated by Google Adsense. Maybe I will think of some more original products to sell and just keep the Adsense ads off. We will see.
If you have received a similar letter from Adsense I would appreciate hearing your comments on this issue. Any other comments and questions are welcome as well.
P.S. Here are some other forum and blog posts on the same subject.
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