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Reports of cancellation of AdSense accounts (productforums.google.com)
242 points by gragas on July 5, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 176 comments

According to their terms, Google can cancel any account at any time without having to offer an explanation. They also have a history of not replying to publisher problems at all. The whole 'Official' Adsense forum is run by volunteers and it's near impossible to speak to a real person.

Even if they are hacked and thousands of accounts are cancelled I don't think Google will respond.

I would so, so love to see a big player start a modern Adsense alternative.

This is all true and everyone has been crying for alternatives for > 10 years but nothing at all has appeared. The rest is just worse as far as I know (I got out of that stuff 5 years ago). Would love to hear there is something else, but uncooperative, trigger happy (fraud; people clicked your ads, account closed, no further communication) Google. For a new company, after some research into alternatives, I would probably still use them... Have to...

The only one who could run an AdSense alternative is Facebook. I'd love to see them going that way but I seriously doubt they'd bother. There's too much friction to support such a platform and with ad blockers gaining traction it might become unsustainable pretty soon.

Facebook is against web outside Facebook.


FB Audience Network is already in Beta for Mobile Web [1], they might investigate to expand this business for Desktop Web too.

[1] https://developers.facebook.com/docs/audience-network/mobile...

They should.

Is that actual mandate from FB leadership? Between the Like buttons that track visit habits (used actively in non-FB marketing since 2014[1]), native FB visits + tracking on that, mobile tracking[2], and volunteered information, Facebook + their share widgets probably has information parity with Google + the Google Analytics aggregate information + Gmail (which has the added "benefit" of only needing one party to profile multiple people - i.e., John uses gmail and CC's 15 non-gmail users about $foo provides Gmail with a certain amount of information). The Forbes article is a really good analysis (albeit from 2014) as to the specifics of their privacy policy (which, as I understand it, doesn't give out PII, but certainly has the potential to craft an 'anonymized' profile on a user). Car insurance companies, mortgage companies, health insurance companies (fans of McDonalds!), etc could do wonders with that data[3] compared to how crude their existing metrics are.

[1] http://adage.com/article/digital/facebook-web-browsing-histo...

[2] http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2014/06/13/facebook-...

[3] Mortgage lending has certain 'fair lending' and anti-discriminatory practices to counteract things like reverse redlining[4] after the whole racial discriminatory scandal thing, but exploiting the law is easier than exploiting the instruction pointer on a Linux 2.2 box haha.

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortgage_discrimination#Revers...

Yep, Facebook do not want you on the internet, they want you on Facebook.

It is atrocious.

It's getting hard to tell the difference between sarcasm and real opinions on here.

Let's not forget folks, a company wanting you to use its platform is "atrocious" now.

A company wanting nearly all internet usage to be through them would be, I think.

It's kind of different than just wanting a product to be used.

The question is whether this is what they want. It seems like something similar may be.

Not strictly true. There are a number of ad network competitors with similar data on users that we've never heard of. Conversant is one of the largest, with sizable inventory on the web and in apps.

It appears that these accounts were closed for inactivity:


Aren't people like Appnexus and Openx alternatives? What am I missing?

Appnexus is a RTB platform and a DSP (and a whole lot of other things they do). OpenX is/was an exchange and is generally the #1 place for buying/selling dodgy af traffic.

Neither does what Adsense does per se. What Adsense does is it reads the content of the page, and loads relevant ads from from its database of ads (things people put in adwords) and from GDN (also things people put in AdWords, and DBM, only they're pictures). The GDN bit has always been a bit icky IMO.

So, no, they aren't alternatives. Chiticka and others WERE alternatives, but there was a quality control issue (also supply side issues, because Google is a HUGE brand) which led to their eventual demise and/or pivots to waaaay dodgier practices like popunders.

Since you seem to know the industry well, what are the top resources (of any kind) to study the current state of online advertising for an advanced audience? Both from the technical side, and from the advertiser's business side. At a level that you would ideally know and learn if you were working as an executive in the industry.

I don't know if these will bring you to the level of an executive in the industry, but they offer good introductions:

- Targeted by Mike Smith https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KVO2CGU/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?...

- Google publishes a lot of material https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/topics/advertising.html

- this is the website of one of the main industrial bodies in advertising http://www.iab.com/insights/?topic=global/

Wrote this quora answer on resources for learning about the adtech landscape: https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-best-resources-to-learn-a...

I actually wrote a 10 page article on this for an internal audience. If people are interested I could clean it up and post it somewhere. Otherwise, the knowledge is scattered over blogs, ad exchanger, etc.

I'm interested. Please let me know if you publish it. Trying to get a better understanding about the industry, but the information is hard to find or scattered all over the Web.

That would be great! I'd be happy with any version, email is in my profile.

I refuse to believe that NO ONE ELSE out there does the "read page in order to target ad" thing.

Because a lot of the value is not just from the page (and note that taking a page plus pictures plus site, NLP on that, etc is not an easy thing to do) but also from your navigation around the internet and previous google searches. Putting that all together is hard and requires approaching Google scale.

Well, the hard part is dealing with fraud, not letting fraud compromise your payouts, and giving value to both the publishers and advertisers in the meantime.

As far as I can tell, all alternatives have either lower revenues or the shittiest ads ever.

Spot on!!!

> all alternatives have either lower revenues or the shittiest ads ever

or both...

Also, there is a smaller alternative called Adcash that won many business awards in Estonia last year.

If you ever think about relying on Google for your business, this linked thread is a good reason not to. You are at the mercy of helpful volunteers while Google is stonewalling anyone from ever reaching them and getting help.

My mom called MS about a problem with Edge on Win 10 and they resolved it over the phone within 5 minutes of her requesting they call her. If google ever did that id be completely shocked. Do they even have a phone number?

I'm a "small but not insignificant" adsense publisher. I have in the past received phone calls from an account manager on the phone. I have the phone number they called from, but if you call them it always goes to voice mail. They can call me but I can't call them.

Account manager John's noticed your spending has gone down by 5% each month for the last quarter, flagging you in their CRM as a member to reach out to 'to help you out, in case you have any questions!' Casinos do the same thing by profiling high-rollers who haven't visited in a while ("well we just happen to have a Gulfstream ready for you, sir, and the Villa suite opened up too!").

Google does have help, but it is difficult to get, and not well publicized. For Adsense products you need to hit specific revenues to "unlock" help levels. For example, I think it is $25 a week in revenue to have email support. Then if you do more than $500 a month you can get chat support. And finally, the holy grail, is doing enough revenue to get your own account manager, but they don't tell you what that number is.

For Google apps, if you have a business account ($5 a month per user no minimum), their phone support is incredibly good. You can call right in, talk right with a support person. I have had to call a few times on migrations for email and some issues with Google docs and the support has been nothing less than impressive.

Even if you get an account manager, you cannot call him/her directly. They'll only call you.

It took me hours to get my Office 365 subscription resolved with Microsoft support. took talking to 3 different people who kept insisting on remotely accessing my PC, which even when they did they still couldn't fix it. Actually one of them told me that my subscription was a "trial version" when it was clearly not. In the end I managed to talk via email to a person who knew what they were talking about it and resolved the issue in a few minutes. I got the worst impression of Microsoft's support as a paying customer.

I've had the same experience, Microsoft's service is really good.

business.google.com is like this too. No possibility to get our locations verified, all the "helpful" links just lead to the black hole of the forum.

And god help you if your location is in a new development that isn't on Google Maps yet. It just jumps to the "closest" address by name. Suddenly "Chamber's Hill" becomes "Chamber Drive", which is 5 miles away in the middle of a residential neighobrhood.

This year we will stop using AdSense altogether. No support at all and the payouts have been declining every year. With the increase of ad blockers, even less encouraging to use ads in general.

Sometimes I wonder, are ads as we know it, dead? Everyone hates it, has real usability impact and security risks.

Didnt get the email though...

Let me provide you with some insight into your bewonderment:

1) I work in the Ad technology industry and i can tell you with confidence that ads are far from dead. The human logic of "We hate it, so it must not be working" is understandable but condradicting the actual data entirely. I look at this data on a daily basis and i can tell you that Ads have increased by a LOT in the last 10 years. They are also working for the Advertiser better now than they did 10 years ago, as we are able to track and measure much better. What people haven't noticed is the fact that they have become more native, less intrusive and more relevant altogether. I am not talking about your flashy ads that you encounter on your various pirating sites and other places that Adsense blocks to begin with.

2) Adblock: Adblock is a big scam. While the average user sees the value (just for them) they do not understand what it is causing and how it is developing. Let me enlighten you: First of all, adblock has destroyed a significant number of small bloggers, content-writers, and other publishers, as especially those were struggling to stay above water. On the other hand, one of the most prevalent Adblockers out there (i wont name) is now ironically making money by selling its Adblock space to certain Advertisers & Networks to show Ads (ha! ha!). This is literally the behavior of modern-day pirates. You have an economy of trade-ships crossing the seas, and then a pirate ship comes along, blocking your passage making you pay taxes/goods in order to carry on. Sound familiar? Yea... everyone loses, except the average internet user who won't care until all their content either a) disappears b) deteriorates in quality or c) becomes a paid service

While I appreciate your viewpoint on adblockers, being in the advertising business yourself, that is not enough of an argument to convince me to disable mine. I find the entire practice of invasive advertising to be a huge disservice to users in general.

There is one type of ad my ad blocker regularly fails to block: original, vetted content put in place by the site owner, that does not come from a third party. "Sponsored" posts on blogs, recommendations in youtube videos, even textual links at the bottom of some blog articles. This content comes from the website, is organic and difficult to detect (because it is not served in some mass campaign) and is usually far more relevant than any rotating ad space I've ever seen.

I think my distaste for internet advertising mostly is a distaste for intrusive things that dance and distract, trying to steal my focus from the content I arrived on the page to consume. But the reason I run an ad blocker is because I do not trust third-party embedded content on my pages, and there have been way to many cases of malware being distributed via the advertising networks for me to ever really trust them again.

The online ad industry is already gearing up to monetize/systemize/data mine "organic" sponsorships. The third part aspect will just be more hidden.

I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing but the ad industry absolutely wants to make ad content relevant but they also want to track it. The tracking part is just easier...

I'm totally OK with that actually. Organic sponsorships have the very important quality of being vetted by the site in question, which greatly lowers the risk of malware being delivered in a way that the site owner can't claim responsibility over. I think tracking of these types of sponsorships would also be fairly trivial (server-side code to report back pageloads or even access to youtube's analytics for sponsored videos) and shouldn't need to involve third-party software running in the user's browser.

It's third-party javascript (and flash) that I mostly object to. If the site owners have to serve the script in question, they can inspect it for shady behavior, and make informed decisions. I believe the practice of tossing a third-party iframe in your template/css and calling it a day is the most dangerous trend on the web right now.

>First of all, adblock has destroyed a significant number of small bloggers, content-writers, and other publishers, as especially those were struggling to stay above water.

People used to do that for free because they cared about the content they were writing, rather than because it was making their daily bread.

I distinctly remember the quality of writing during this time being much higher than it is today.

You pretty much hit the nail on the head.

Written content was either managed by major news outlets or by hobbyists. I can still remember reading many blogs in 2009/2010 by hobbyist who just wanted to spread their experience with the hobby or craft. Most had no advertising. Those that did had the small, occasional unobtrusive banner ad. All of the links to follow were to other blogs by those who proved to the writer that their blogs were topical and without cruft.

Then the paid blogging boom took off. People realized they could churn out crap most of the time with the occasional heavy hitter[0]. Keep readers coming back to a mediocre blog plastered in ads for a minimal amount of effort and get paid.

Note: This isn't a shot at Atwood. I'm agreeing with him.

[0]: https://blog.codinghorror.com/how-to-achieve-ultimate-blog-s...

> I can still remember reading many blogs in 2009/2010 by hobbyist who just wanted to spread their experience with the hobby or craft. Most had no advertising. Those that did had the small, occasional unobtrusive banner ad. All of the links to follow were to other blogs by those who proved to the writer that their blogs were topical and without cruft.

You make it sound like every hobby website wasn't out to make money. What you're describing are the exceptions, not the rule. And they weren't as numerous as your comment indicates. An RC airplane website/forum had ads or deals with companies selling planes, marijuana websites (anyone remember overgrow.com back in 2001?) had deals with seedbanks and marijuana supply companies. Very rare was the hobby website that operated without sponsorship or some form of money generation mechanic. Not to mention, hosting back then was much more expensive. Today it's cheaper than dirt but that wasn't always the case.

I was speaking strictly about blog sites not forums. Frost is the New Black[0] is one such site that's cruft free and about the hobby. Granted, it's now defunct, but it's an example of what I mean. Big Bear Butt[1] is another.

Sites like the one you mention have always existed. I was part of a major video content forum back in the mid 00s, and even we had the flashy ads with a circle of affiliates like Shoosh, Kill Some Time, etc. I'm not so naive to think that the '09 web was a place without obtrusive ads and small, optimized web pages.

[0]: https://frostisthenewblack.wordpress.com/ [1]: https://thebigbearbutt.com/

Yeah, I run three blogs that I started within the last two years and none of them have ads. None of them make money. It costs me $15/mo for hosting and $30/yr for domain name registration for all three combined, so it's not like I'm going bankrupt if I don't make money from my blog. I just like writing, and I get pretty excited when I get 50 views a day on one of them.

Run your adblocker, I don't care. It's not blocking anything on my site. I get "paid" (infrequently) in non-monetary ways, like when I'm given a coupon to a restaurant in exchange for writing an article about them. Your ad blocker won't do a thing to stop that, and on the plus side, that coupon won't infect your PC with malware.

I was toying with the idea of making it required to have some kind of ad-block enabled for people to read my blog.

Just some hand-crafted full page splash with a generic class name that would get caught by the most primitive ad-blockers.

I concur, in my opinion people writing with money in mind usually optimize towards reaching the largest amount of people possible while people who don't focus on the idea itself.

>People used to do that for free because they cared about the content they were writing, rather than because it was making their daily bread.

Those two points are not necessarily connected. People can and do, do a good job at things even if they're just doing it for the money.

>I distinctly remember the quality of writing during this time being much higher than it is today.

What writing are you thinking about? Personally, I can't think of anything that was better.

>People can and do, do a good job at things even if they're just doing it for the money.

In order to make the big dolla dolla on ads, your piece can't be too confronting, it can't be so dense or specific that's it's unapproachable for a general audience and it can't critique the people who supply your ads. It probably needs to use simple enough words and sentences that it translates through google with reasonable accuracy. It must have a sufficiently eyecatching title and meet a minimum of entertainment value for the average netizen.

Most importantly, it must cater to the facebook, twitter and/or reddit communities well enough to trend on at least one, and thus must meet the community standards that prevent those communities or their moderators from quashing it.

In short: content that is effective at generating ad revenue must be shallow, vapid and limited in scope.

These days, my best source of written content on the internet comes either from company blogs and pages, which notably do not survive on ad revenue since they have a real business model paying their hosting bills, or from community/project specific blogs and pages, which are generally donation supported.

>content that is effective at generating ad revenue must be shallow, vapid and limited in scope.

Even if I grant you all the generalizations you made, You will still not make any revenue unless your audience is interested in content that is shallow, vapid and limited in scope.

>You will still not make any revenue unless your audience is interested in content that is shallow, vapid and limited in scope.

That's total garbage. Correct game theory when making monetized content for profit is to have it spread as widely as possible. Whether it's good quality or even factually correct is vastly less important than that it be spread widely, quickly.

The goal is not to get people to read the content, it's to park a piece of advertising in front of their face that they are willing to click on. The job of deciding which advertising they will click on is dealt with by the content network. The authors job is to get eyeballs on a page they can affix ads to. Vapidness is great, because it's cheap and non threatening, and to demonstrate this principal, I present to you buzzfeed, vice and wired:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/ http://www.vice.com/en_se http://www.wired.com/

(I don't even need to take static shots of them, they'll be covered in shallow garbage any time of day or night)

You have a curious way to call my point "garbage" and then proceed to agree with me. You must have parsed it in some odd manner.

I guess I thought you were saying that if an audience wasn't into that sort of thing, the site that originally attracted them wouldn't want to alienate them by dropping the quality pieces. But it doesn't really matter what a sites audience is interested in, if the site is hopping on the ad train they'll want to move to shallow and vapid as rapidly as possible. Certainly that's what happened to wired (and time).

Furthermore, it used to be much more expensive to host content "back in the day", while today you can do it everywhere for almost or actually free.

With revenue being far less required today to keep a blog up than it used to be, denigrating the effects of ad blocking on the "little guy" makes even less sense.

Take away all the flash ads, the ads that start music (!), the ads that start video (!), and I will not block the site. Stop splitting articles in 1000 pages because you need to cram more ads in and I will unblock the site. Stop pushing useless overlays and pop ups into my face and I will turn the adblocker off.

My first visit to a website is always with the adblocker disabled. The second visit depends on what ads I see the first time. Unsurprisingly I turn on the adblocker 95% of the time.

On my phone, I switched from Chrome to Firefox because many websites had ads that used the phone vibrator, others redirected to the play store, etc. It's insane and you can't disable it from Chrome...

What? Android lets websites vibrate your phone and launch the Play store without permission? That's insane. This is one of the reasons I will never have an android phone.

There's an HTML5 API for vibrating devices, including phones; this isn't necessarily an Android-specific problem, and there are legitimate reasons for browser content to use features like vibration. (It isn't implemented in Safari, but it apparently works in other browsers on iDevices.)

The Play store launching without permission I haven't seen, so I can't guess at.

Launching the play store just uses a custom url that is handled by the play store app. See: https://developer.android.com/distribute/tools/promote/linki...

You do realize that happens on iOS devices as well right? Open any iTunes/appstore link and it gets opens in the respective native app

I have an Android phone, and I've never seen anything like this.

Then again, I don't do a lot of web surfing on my phone, and when I do, I use Firefox with uBlock Origin. Smooth sailing here....

Does iPhone even allow you to use a different browser? That's why I would never own an iPhone: you're supposed to pay a ton of money for something you can't replace the battery on or upgrade the storage on, and then you're not even allowed to customize it in any way or use any alternative apps to the Apple ones.

Holy shit, is that actually a thing? Ads that can make your phone vibrate? Does it affect iOS or Android or both?

This. That damn vibrate is so annoying. Especially as someone who wakes up 30 mins before my alarm, and decides to read news on my phone with my wife asleep next to me.

Here, and people say that Apple is holding back 'the open web' by not implementing all these web standards.

Maybe people will start realising why...

It will be like Motorola shipping "the first Android tablet with Flash" then quickly giving up on the idea

But, why not just stop visiting those sites and instead visit sites that run ads in ways you agree with. Kind of like how its better to not willfully infringe on copyright to "stick it" to some random megacorp. Instead just support the people who're doing things you agree with.

I do that too. My following visits are usually due to some random link posted here, reddit, social networks or through friends or colleagues. If I did not do that I would probably have to completely stop commenting on news and opinion pieces... Which could be a gread thing for my evenings (cue "someone is wrong on the internet" XKCD comic), but still. :P

I pay for a couple of online newspapers (one is generic, the other specialized in something I'm interested in) too, because what they write is high quality content in my eyes and worth it.

Well, how many new domains are you visiting each day? There are countless ways of blocking domains in some "one-click" fashion, whenever you visit one that you don't like. So you can still get what you want without using ad-block.

Adverts have already created a persona of obtrusive, irrelevant shit.

It's not the users fault that they don't want their browser playing music or redirecting them or trying to get them to take a survey. (Seriously look at my local newspaper website http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/ - try using that on mobile, you will never want to go on the site again).

If adverts were relevant and unobtrusive I would have no problem using my local news site, but at the moment I avoid it completely or use AdBlock

I regularly read uncrate.com and everything on there is pretty much a paid advert.

Just my 2 pennies.

I understand if you dislike adblockers, but calling them a scam seems misguided. I think most people are well aware that adblockers prevent income for the site owners.

Although the example he gives (AdBlock plus) is definitly a scam, as you can buy your way into it, so your ad will not be held at ransom.

So far, one can still uncheck the "Allow some non-intrusive advertising" box in Filter Preferences.

aside from the fact that less than 2% of users actually do this, it is still quite arbitrary how they determine intrusive and non-intrusive. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt to improve on this. But the amount of trust given to Adblock Plus is ridiculous. They are a money-grubbing extortionist company that is in no way improving the advertising landscape at the moment. They are just taking full advantage of the fact that people hate ads and block them altogether, and unblock them for a big fee

While I see your point on the Acceptable Ads shakedown, the reason I chose Adblock Plus was because of the Flattr Plus integration, which seems like the first attempt to really fix things (ie sites that let you block ads in return for a Flattr micropayment). I avoided using an ad-blocker (and generally viewed people who used them as selfish cheapskates) until ads became a malware vector. ABP with Flattr Plus seemed the best alternative to block ads & protect my computer but still ensure publishers are compensated.

Incidentally, thanks for posting, even though it incurred a karma hit for you - good to hear both sides. HN has too much groupthink sometimes.

Can you give a couple of examples of how you feel it is arbitrary?

And you are not really giving any "benefit of the doubt" by calling them scammers straight out, are ya?

> Can you give a couple of examples of how you feel it is arbitrary?

He can't, because it isn't. Their acceptable ads policy is dead clear, and yes, it takes time to verify new entries and maintain that list, so they charge money to get onto it.

Personally I use uBlock Origin for technical reasons, but I have no problem with AB+'s acceptable ads program.

I'm personally okay with non-annoying ads, and ABP works for me with zero effort from my end. Do you have alternative recommendations that do something similar to ABP?

>aside from the fact that less than 2% of users actually do this


Sorry, but you're not enlightening anyone. Maybe there was no real business model to begin with. What you're essentially saying is that the demands of bloggers to make money are more important than the security, privacy, and experience of web users. I and many, many others don't see it that way.

I installed ad blocking on my phone when half the (high profile) websites I visited just ended in an endless loop of app-store redirects, non-loading full screen images (that blocked interaction anyway) and interactive 'games' that make you sit and wait for however long they felt they could get away with.

If it were only smaller, unobtrusive banners/inline separate ads it'd be tolerable, but it isn't. The ad industry has done this to itself. I'd compare it to the Tea Party rather than piracy.

You talk of native ads, + bloggers being ruined by ad blockers (with all their near zero operating costs?). Isn't native/sponsorship ads practically the perfect fit for blogs? along with being unblockable?

Well there's also the scenario of someone not running an ad-blocker and unsuspectingly getting served ransom ware which results in you know actual pirate like behavior of arrrrsking for bitcoin ransom to decrypt you data.

I urge everyone to turn on ad-blockers and stop this security madness stop. Additionally I urge people to write to their congressman/woman (or whatever means you have) and demand that the add-serving people should be held liable for security issues they cause, hefty fines prefered (similar to the tobacco industry being held liable for cancer they cause)

It's not enough: due to the multiplicative effect (one ad-server can serve billions of ads and affect countless people), and the hefty fines, the ad-servers simply won't have enough funds to pay the fines and will go bankrupt.

So, your proposal would also need the following measures: 1) fines cannot be discharged by bankruptcy, ever, 2) anyone working at the ad-serving company is liable, and 3) if their money runs out before all the fines are paid, they go to Guantanamo and get tortured daily until someone pays all the fines. If the advertisers are OK with these terms, then maybe we can think about stopping the use of ad-blockers.

Having consulted in the adtech space, let me make some counterpoints:

First, ad growth is fueled entirely by mobile at this point; non-mobile ad revenue has flatlined despite continued growth in non-mobile content consumption.

Second, while we can "track and measure [consumers] much better," this is based on a combination of walled-garden ad networks (GOOG and FB, specifically) plus a series of ever-more-intrusive tracking technologies that essentially subvert consumers' own applications, and many of which are susceptible to better endpoint privacy and security technologies and practices. (And there's a non-negligible regulatory and statutory risk to a lot of tracking practices inherent to modern DMPs, too.)

Third, while the loss of revenue for content producers is a critical issue, ad exchanges are themselves responsible as a first-order cause of ad blockers. Publishers' ever-increasing need for demand and the need for AXs to hit fill rate targets means that all sorts of demand-side crap -- not just spam, but phishing and malware vectors -- makes advertising actively dangerous to consumers. (Remember when Forbes forced users to turn off their adblockers, then immediately started serving malware?) Unless AXs figure out how to deal with the quality issue on the demand side, adblockers are a security, not a convenience, issue.

One can be concerned by the potential conflict of interest in adblockers' whitelisting, but at least they generally seem to have fairly objective standards. The fact that those standards are antithetical to current adtech practices is, for them, a feature, not a bug.

More generally, the lack of transparency in terms of what data is collected on consumers, and how it's being collected, will continue to be a concern until meaningful and transparent standards are devised, enforced, and communicated. Until that happens, adtech will continue to be a watchword for anti-consumer, anti-privacy practices.

The problem is typical ads like Google Adwords are dead. Not in terms of usage maybe but it's coming. Social and native advertising is the bigger game now. Facebook and Instagram advertising brings in a better ROI than Google Adwords from every person I've talked to who buys ads.

Everything I read on the internet about advertising it's massively swinging to social. So either my anecdotes suck and I'm reading terrible articles or there is something to it and I believe there is (especially SnapChat is HUGE with it but you have to do content production not just pay for a shitty ad).

As you're in the industry, I'd like to ask two "aggressive" questions in the spirit of genuine curiosity. That is, I am looking to learn a different POV from my own end-user anti-ad POV.

Regarding point 1:

>They are also working for the Advertiser better now than they did 10 years ago, as we are able to track and measure much better. What people haven't noticed is the fact that they have become more native, less intrusive and more relevant altogether. I am not talking about your flashy ads that you encounter on your various pirating sites and other places that Adsense blocks to begin with.

What is the benefit to the end-user though?

I guess I've seen the opposite as an end-user. Non-pirate websites, common blogs, news papers, etc, push through video ads, pop-over ads, and in the mobile space, positioning ads deliberately close to navigation controls on iOS or with the dismissal moving or being difficult to accurately tap even with a precision tool.

While I know there are "good ads", there is also a huge prevalence of bad ads, and the damage of the bad is far more impactful to the end user than the benefit of the good. I can't really comment on ad relevancy since I use ad-blockers on personal content, but similar systems (amazon's recs, youtube's recs) have an abyssmal "hit" rate for me, in that I rarely find the content worth pursuing.

Re point 2, I've felt for some time that other payment venues would need to be pursued by content creators as I've heard frequently from streamers or vBloggers I've followed that the ad payout is very low, even with high subscription numbers. Most decline to get into actual details, but several game streamers on Twitch have commented that a one time donation of a few $$$ overwhelmingly makes up for adblocking on their stream. Realistically, are the payouts from ads enough for "small" operations with low viewership? It just seems like supplementary income at best, rather than something that a newcomer or casual creator can rely on for support. In fact, it's a frequent occurrence for many vLoggers and web comics for when the creators need to decide are they ready to commit to the project as a job or continue it in their spare time, and often it'd dependent on how popular they're getting.

In other words, I don't think that anyone is denying that adblocking small operations lowers the payout, but are there that many operations that bank soley on ad revenue without other sources of income? It just seems like there's a point, once the viewership increases, that suddenly the project lives or dies by the revenue, instead of the project relying on the revenue from the beginning.

Finally, just a general question, why not use more ad-walls if adblockers are a problem?

I know for whatever reason people are against them, but to a degree I appreciate ad walls - the website is actively putting forth what the arrangement is, they're not trying to sneak an ad past me (native advertising, fake download links, etc), and I have to make a decision on how badly I want to read the content. Often I'll unblock briefly to read something from an unfamiliar site, and if I like the quality of the site, it goes on the whitelist. If not, AB goes back on and it's a reminder to me each time that I did not trust the website. Everyone's wishes get respected.

Re point 2:

I get where you're coming from. The fact is, that margins on ads are incredibly small. Additionally, the % of people clicking on an ad is understandably low. Usually you get a CTR of 0.3% to 0.6% which for smaller, unpopular content providers isn't much. However, it is often just about enough to make ends meet. The problem is that low popularity is not enough to make anything additional or to even call it a business. With lower popularity you are indeed better off exploring other options like Patreon or well-targeted sponsorships. However, i was mainly talking about SME - type of content providers. Those with 2 to 5 people actually working as a "business". In the end, everyone notices the repercussions of adblocking, but i meant who is actually affected by it so badly that it puts their existence at risk. The lone streamer or blogger will notice it, but for him/her its so low anyways that it doesnt make that big of a difference anyways. The medium sized teams notice it, and for them it might just cut away their small margins so that they are now in the minus and can no longer sustain an actual business. The large corporations/companies certainly notice it, but they can sustain themselves although they are the ones fighting back the most, since they have the resources.

Which large company (outside the advertising industry, including Google) relies solely on Internet advertising for their income?

i never made the claim that any large company relies solely on internet advertising for their income...?

> The large corporations/companies certainly notice it, but they can sustain themselves although they are the ones fighting back the most, since they have the resources.

I totally agree with you on point 1 as i work primarily with non-intrusive ad formats with content that is as relative as possible to the user. There are definitely many "bad" ads and i hate them myself but there is a mismatch between what we perceive and what the data tells us. And this is often the case in Advertising. Consider this: You see an annoying commercial on TV about Butter over and over again, over the course of a month. These are quite intrusive and you certainly wouldn't want to see it again, if you had the choice. Some months later you find yourself in a supermarket with a huuge fridge with a wall of 50 different brands of butter that you never heard of. Whether you believe it or not, the majority of the people will subconsciously grab the butter from the brand of that annoying TV commercial. Why is that? There are several studies on the subject, but a common belief is that we distrust the unknown. This brand, albeit with intrusive, annoying ads has made its way into your "trusted" brands category in your brain. You wouldn't reach for one of the other 49 unknown brands just because you literally know nothing about them. My point being: These annoying/intrusive ads wouldn't continue running if they didn't work for the Advertiser. They are getting a ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend) that tells them, it worked! This is the sad reality. I am in no way justifying that bad ads should continue to exist, but those are the facts.

I do still believe that we can change the Advertising landscape for the better though. There will always be bad apples who don't care as long as they get their revenue goals, profit margins, etc. It's kind of like the movie industry. There are a crap-ton of bad movies out there. I don't believe there's anything wrong with the movie industry itself. It's the individuals in that industry who create bad quality content. But this doesn't mean that all movies/ads are bad. What it really means is that the focus should be shifted to the good/useful/beneficial ads. In the movie industry this is easy. You got critics, ratings, etc. We do not yet have a system that properly educates, empowers and enables users to determine what is a good ad for them. This is probably due to the fact that everyone keeps saying how much they hate ads in general so creating a system to rate, control and criticize them sounds way too risky.

As for "good" ads, i don't think i need to point out the benefit to the end-user. A simple example is something like "price-alert" ads. You visit skyscanner for example and you search for a flight. You dont book it because its too expensive. A week later you see an ad for the same flight for $100 less. You click the ad, book the flight. This is the type of ads that i love. They bring value to the user and value to the company. Everybody wins. Make ads more relevant. This is the mantra in my business. If someone has been searching for a lot of ways how to train his dog, why wouldn't he want to see ads on "dog-training facilities in your area" or if you're reading an article about Red Hot Chili Peppers biography, why not receive an ad about their upcoming tour passing through your city? I see the value for both sides in all of these

>>You see an annoying commercial on TV about Butter over and over again, over the course of a month. These are quite intrusive and you certainly wouldn't want to see it again, if you had the choice.

The very big difference between the TV ad and the intrusive web ad is: the web ad can run arbitrary (potentially harmful) code on my computer. So whatever you say adblocks are very important from end-user's POV.

I don't want to and won't sacrifice my safety just because some (shitty or non-shitty) publisher may be saved by playing the ads (malware) on my machine. These publishers may go to hell, I don't care.

Only textual or static image type inline (content) ads (also privacy respecting) are okay, at least for me.

edit: a typo

TV ad might not run arbitrary code. But its very annoying as well. Hence lots of pirating.

I'd be curious how many people pirate TV in order to skip the ads vs how many people pirate because they don't have access to the show, don't like the limited time they're able to see the show, or don't want to pay money to subscribe to the network. Seems like ads would be pretty far down the list of reasons to pirate.

I've downloaded shows before. I mostly do it for control. I don't want to have to show up at exactly 9pm to watch something; I want to be able to watch it around 7 the next day, while I'm doing dishes, then continue watching it at my desk while I'm clearing out my email, or while doing something else.

I could get a DVR, but I can't drag a DVR with me around the house as I'm doing chores.

Thank you for the response - I'm not sure why you're getting downvoted, so sorry for that.

The reason I asked on the benefit to the end-user is because a lot of what was listed about how ads have gotten better is very advertiser/content provider focused. Even relevancy seems more like a symptom of success for the advertiser rather than success for the user.

I am going to assume that I am an outlier case for many of your scenarios, as that's not really how I tend to search for things or decide what to purchase. For things like flights, I almost invariably use ITA Matrix to research and then purchase directly from the airlines, as having relied on site deals in the past either did not provide the promised discount amount or left me standing when the flight got oversold. In other instances, the ads led to a lot of contentless websites.

I guess I'm within the section that is very untrusting of advertisements. Past experience prior to my use of an adblocker left a bad taste in my mouth, and when I work on computers without an adblocker, even for ads that I don't find obtrusive past experience has just taught me to be reluctant. An over-active imagination and some knowledge of how computers work has likely left me in a very mistrusting state.

How would you propose, as an advertiser, to alleviate people in that state? This isn't exclusive to paranoid tech people like myself either (I am calling myself that, not putting words in your mouth), as when I did support for some time, my customers would constantly complain about advertisements, and the times that bad-ads got bad enough to actually infect the computer was enough to convince your average college student that an adblocker was essential. And I am not embellishing when I say "essential"; most wanted to know straight up what to use to keep ads gone.

If this is what you're battling, how do you think the industry should respond (or is?) in order to try to restore trust?

We're not actually battling this issue, since technically it "works" for us. However, we do not know how much more uplift we potentially could get if we were to actively try to alleviate the mistrust & distaste for Ads, which i honestly do not know how we could. The only way i see it happening is by everyone in the Advertising industry to take quality seriously and try to make Ads as beneficial to both users and Advertisers alike. Unfortunately there are still plenty of money-farming Agencies out there who don't care because they get sent a large Advertising budget by a big client (ex: Nike or Volkswagen) with arbitrary goals like "bring us X more traffic or bring us X more sales) which isn't necessarily in either one's interest. The Agency just rakes in the money with minimum effort placed in the creation of the Ad (ironically, the image in the Ad is called a "Creative" when often times there is very little creativity used).

As someone who also works in an industry tangentially related:

* Ad impressions have gone up - its getting easier and easier to launch sites so the absolute number of ads on the internet is definitely going up. That doesn't speak to either side of the 'ads are dying' claims.

* CPM rates are more or less going down

* As CPM goes down, publishers are looking to recoup their losses, so they use bigger/more invasive ads, and/more ads more .

* Again, this leads to 'Ads have increased by a LOT in the last 10 years'

* Just because there's a lot of it doesn't necessarily mean it's gotten better.

* Native advertising is good and all, but it's out of reach for _a lot_ of people. There's a huge opportunity here to bring quality native advertising to smaller publishers. Maybe there already is, I don't pay too much attention to that specific space.

* Even still, it's naive to say that display advertising (banners, mrecs etc) is limited to just porn sites.

* Feel free to 'name names' - it's no secret that Adblock Plus has it's Acceptable Ads program https://adblockplus.org/acceptable-ads

* As ads get more invasive and out of control and start to detract from the browsing experience of sites in measurable ways, user's are wanting to take back the control. That's not a scam.

Ad Networks and Publishers (at least the larger ones) have clearly brought this problem on themselves by building great products and websites, and then sticking a really shitty ad network on top of it and suck the performance all out of the site. I've measured this directly by disabling ad code on certain sites and seeing a very significant improvement in performance.

But instead of trying to understand _why_ users are using adblockers, they're instead just sticking their head in the sand and saying that what they're doing now is the only way forward when clearly it's not. As well, I feel while publishers definitely deserve a lot of this criticism, I'm constantly shocked by how little blame Google and other ad networks get.

I get the predicament that smaller publishers are in though. The only way for them monetise their site so it slap Adwords on and call it a day. They see adblockers as a direct assault on them but they can't do anything about it as they have no other way to make money or to improve the quality of the ads. But I think there is a huge opportunity for ad publishers (Google) to accept their responsibility in making the internet better by fixing the reliability and performance of the ads they serve.

"Acceptable Ads program" is a label that covers up the extortion of Advertisers & Networks. Also, if the USER were actually controlling/deciding what is shown and what isn't then i would have 0 problems with it. However, so far their practice of who/what they allow and what not is arbitrary at best. Im not talking about the automatic acceptable ads program. I'm talking about their closed-door deals that have been going on since 2015. Large sums of money crossed over to Eyeo's accounts from the big Google, Amazon, Microsoft, etc. to simply allow all their ads. Eyeo posted that they verify that these "agreements" are kept manually https://adblockplus.org/acceptable-ads-agreements HA HA HA. Any reasonable person who has ever worked with ad networks knows that manually monitoring ads is impossible. When looking at their Team, they certainly don't possess the resources to do this manually. Basically, they accepted cash for ads. Aside from all that, Adblock the plugin logs everything you do. From what websites you browse, to how long you spent on them, all the way to keystrokes. I heard they are even considering building a sort of Ad network since they have data on their users that NOBODY else can offer. I get the whole blind fanboy-trust for things that you find useful, but i look at people not at products. And Eyeo has been fishy from the start. I have no doubt they will do whatever is necessary to increase monetization on their tool. The guys come from the Advertising Industry after all.

I'm not sure what kind of hard stuff you're on, but a claim that AdBlock Plus has a keylogger is a pretty damned bold one, and you're going to need to back that up with some heavy duty proof.

Here's the codebase[1], feel free to point out where in there it is so you can be headline news on HN/Reddit/{Insert News Outlet} tomorrow. Maybe you will be the one to finally kill AdBlock Plus, wouldn't you like that?

1: https://github.com/adblockplus/adblockpluscore and https://github.com/adblockplus/adblockplus

That AdBlock Plus has a key-logger is still possible in the context of certain browsers, which have RPC APIs, flag setting and live updating capabilities.

This would allow this to be done remotely, and without a user being aware as happened, when a very popular browser downloaded a binary blob, which was noticed by Debian maintainers. Read Chromium's privacy policy. There is nothing that would legally preclude them from doing this.

Also, an older supporting example of company greed https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavasoft#Controversies

github does not reveal the part of their code that is hosted on Eyeo's servers. While i certainly can't prove that they do, you also can't use their repo to determine what else they do in the background, leaving it up to "trust" again, as usual. Also, i couldn't care less about some headline. I would like a discussion, not e-pride

It's really, really simple here dude:

Either they're keylogging, which has to be done client side, or they're not. Which is it?

I linked you to the client source code. Tell me where in that source code you see a keylogger, and I will personally guarantee your name will be on the front page of this website tomorrow as uncovering what is almost certainly one of the largest keylogging networks in history.

Your "server side" handwaving is bullshit and constitutes evidence that you know nothing at all about how the technology actually works.

If AdBlock were making connections to some server to send back keylogging info, that would be headline news, but requires evidence to be taken seriously.

Right now, you cannot be taken seriously. You can only be taken as a spewer of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

Some secret code hosted on Eyeo's server cannot magically collect keystrokes made on a user's web browser. There has to be a client side JavaScript code or a plugin on the web browser that collects this data and sends it to the server, and therefore, one would be able to point to the plugin or the piece of code that runs on the web browser that does sends the keystrokes related data back to the server.

At the very least, one would be able to see the data (or suspicious data, if it is obfuscated) being sent from the web browser to the server in the 'Network' tab of the web browser's inspector/developer-tools. Do you see any such suspicious data being sent from the web browser to the server? Can you post a screenshot if you do?

By that reasoning, I shouldn't use the internet because it does not describe a web of trust system that would meet secure-by design properties that you demand (Phil Zimmerman, the creator of PGP describes this in theory though)

More fundamentally, your claim is not falsifiable https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability

i.e. you can't claim something true on the basis of the other person not being able to reasonably have a way of disproving it!

edit: upvoted you because you probably are on smoking something and these people are picking on you for it

The request is for you or t0pz to point to the ABP code that allows for keylogging.

N.B. At the time of this comment, the time-stamp of the above comment is 9hrs ago and the account is 13hrs old.

I was filling your parent argument, but calling ABP a key logger just crossed into delusional territory.

I agree that the user controlling which were "acceptable" is a good idea, but that's basically whitelisting. My first thought was to have a crowd-sourced list of acceptable ads, but that's pretty easily gamed. Then, it becomes a race between the adblock developer and the people trying to disrupt the system and that's a lot of work just to decide what's acceptable.

With a decent ad blocker or two, the experience is user controlled. No adverts. The fact the people will pay money to block bs and spend time and money to achieve this should provide a clue to advertisers. I go out of my way to avoid products that advertise to me. Hopefully no break though, but as a general rule, if I want a product, I'll seek something out.

Are you saying that you avoid companies that use advertisements to promote their products, or products that have advertisements to fund itself?

I'm not sure that ads are the only ones to blame. I think the problem is with the web nature of the... Web. I just looked at a simple Wordpress plugin that implements a Call Now feature for mobile sites (<a href="tel:555555555">Call Now!</a>) and for some reason they include a bunch of scripts from PayPal and what not.

The only solution to this is to have everything on a page come from the same origin.

> have everything on a page come from the same origin

Would that really be so bad?

It's not like you couldn't still hook into an ad network and all that, in fact if I were building something AdSense-like I would love to get API calls from the server instead of worrying about the browser. Things like WordPress could bake that into the server side and nontechnical publishers wouldn't have to even know the difference.

Of course, Google would still "need" to get its Orwellian Cookie somehow, but even that could be trivially done without loading the ads themselves from another origin.

It's a problem of trust. If the impressions come from the publisher's server then the publisher is tempted to inflate that number.

> > have everything on a page come from the same origin

> Would that really be so bad?

Yes definitely. Many sites use CDNs and the likes to serve their static files but even if we exclude those with newer technologies (HTTP2 etc) you've still got the big behemoth sites such as YouTube that simply can't serve everything from the same origin. They've got some smart folks over at Google but I'd imagine even they'd have a bit of trouble trying to make that mess work!

Same origin ads can't be independently verified; the ad purchaser would just have to trust the publisher to give them accurate numbers, and publishers have every incentive to exaggerate or just plain lie about their views.

That's basically the reason ad exchanges were created in the first place.

As 90% of google revenues, they should worry about comments like this. Their arrogance is killing their golden egg.

You (as well as others here) might find a recent thread running over at the WebMasterWorld forums to be interesting:

Why AdSense is Alive and Well https://www.webmasterworld.com/google_adsense/4811179.htm

Hear, hear!

It truly amazes me, though I can confirm witnessing them (old and new users to the internet mostly), that there actual people who click on "One Weird Tip to Lose Ten Pounds"...

But even they eventually learn like the rest of us to be wary of them from what I have learnt.

My conjecture is that ultimately when new internet user growth rate slows enough, ads will no longer be a viable and naturally die out! The alternative, is that nothing changes, and that ads continue to derive value by consusensus of excessively consumerist and stupid people similar to the cult classic film, Idiocracy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiocracy

I don't know, I do see a few relevant ad sometimes these days. I found the shoes I am wearing from an ad, and they are neither good nor bad, but the ad did serve its purpose of notifying me that a product of my liking was available.

Of course, not to say you cannot be a victim of consumerist determinism.

The ads I get are terrible because I do not use social media for the ad networks to build a consumer profile like yours.

I am autistic though so may be immune to ads or maybe the ad networks have given up on me and think I am a morbidly obese man? lol

Seems like one of the auto-cancel scripts (probably one of the ones for fraud purposes) may have gone off the rails over the holiday. AdSense Ops is indeed global but presumably they're asking the PM/Eng team in Mountain View what's going on, since they wouldn't normally have too much visibility into these kinds of scripts except maybe some automated account notes the script leaves.

Because of the holiday I doubt anyone is in MTV to formulate a fix & response fast enough as it would likely involve corp comms, PM, PMM and other teams (besides eng to actually fix the issue). No excuses for it, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't being worked on now as surely someone probably had to come in last night to begin the triage.

(former AdSense PM)

I've had a domain banned on adsense 8 years ago for something a user posted. I still can't speak to a human to help me get it unbanned.

My entire account has been banned for 6+ years for someone else clicking on my ads in a way that they claimed was fraudulent. Appeals and offers to turn over server logs all got rejected.

Isn't it a bit surprising that a company like Google can't give any helpful support for such an issue just because there is a holiday in the US? I mean AddSense has customers all around the globe...

It's not that they can't - it's probably more that they don't want to and think they shouldn't. Show me one Google Service that actually offers decent support (apart form their more recent adventures as Google Fibre ISP).

Easy: All of the Google for Work products, namely Google Maps, Cloud Platform, Search, Android or Chrome.


Yes, they're all paid services and some require you to explicitly purchase support on top, but in exchange, you get access to engineers who can go down to the source code and actually fix issues.

(Disclaimer: I'm one of these engineers.)

Have you ever used the customer support?

Google has excellent support for adsense if you're a large account. At least in my experience at a former employer.

That sounds right. The principal business model for AdSense is that it is cheap and profitable because it is self-serve and automated. That's why there is no in-person support.

I think things changed about five or so years ago when they began offering support for their largest accounts.

Maybe there is a business model in this mess. Set up an ads business that feeds traffic to AdSense, but with a markup. Use that markup to provide actual support. The support would be mostly from internal staff, but the hardest questions would go to Google. And they'd be willing to do this, because of the collective size of the aggregated deal-flow.

Not a service but the Google Play Store is often regarded as providing above par support.

I've had great support from Google with Google Apps issues.

Although just try and use your Google Apps account with:

* Google Fi

* Google Family Library Sharing

* Android Apps Family Sharing

* Google Play Music Family Sharing

* YouTube Red

* Google Spaces

Apps accounts, the only thing that has a decent support option, are purposefully limited in functionality and cannot do a lot of things.

The whole "One account. All of Google." is a lie, and attempting to ask Apps support about it results in a "this product isn't part of Apps and we offer no support", even though one has an Apps account and the issue is with the ability of a paid account.

There's a great thread on this, hundreds of comments, all angry when it started, all still angry, no help from Google or word from anyone at Google, and the only audience affected are paying customers of Google Apps:


This is why i'll never pay for anything Google. I accept no support if I dont pay. I pay for peace of mind. If you dont give support, I do not have peace of mind, so I will not pay.

you realized the reason for these things not supported in Google for Work is due to them being new or not work focused

Google for Work has to be stable over features all the items you have listed are pretty new all the family stuff is extremely new and still isn't complete it started with hack into google Music but we are now finally seeing it move into google main accounts as of today you can see it here


but you still can't add users from here

Google Fi isn't a for business product is more of an experiment on how to build a better MVNO and also to improve Android i expect in a few years they will sunset it

Google spaces is like two months old.

You read the linked discussion in my post and realized that what is now called "Google for Work" had different names and at one point was also called "Google Apps for Family" and a lot of families purchased the service to give their family a custom domain.

It turns out that even before these recent family plans, Google had a used and loved family product.

The paying users for that product, now cannot use any of the family offerings.

And all of this still stems from Google's arguing that a Google account has access to everything Google provides: "One account. All of Google.". It says that now, today... even though it's clear this isn't true.

They certainly have the resources to do it, they simply do not care.

I received an email claiming my AdSense account has been cancelled. I never opened an AdSense account to begin with.

Possibly a variant on the old "You need to update your Wells Fargo (or wherever) account information" scam. They blast it out to a zillion people at random, many of whom don't even have accounts at Wells Fargo. That doesn't matter -- many of them do. And of those who do, some will be naive enough to follow the link and hand over their credentials.

Accounts are actually cancelled so no, that's not it.

It's entirely possible that a scammer would exploit a real large-scale cancellation by sending zillions of fake cancellation messages. In fact, that would make the scam work better. If the intended victim a) has an AdSense account and b) has heard of the (real) cancellations, he's probably going to be much more likely to click on the fake cancellation message.

Good point, nicely thought out.

Probably a lot of people will follow that link. Yikes

Same, I don't recall ever using AdSense.

I have received that email as well. I did have an AdSense account 10 years ago. The email seems legit (came from products-noreply@google.com), the only two links it contains are opening https://support.google.com

If you follow the link now you'll see they pinned a response about 30 minutes ago that links to https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/adsense/hy0cC...

It basically says WAI :S

It's more likely someone rolled out an update with a bug that sent e-mails use the wrong account criteria.

They could have saved a lot of confusion by simply putting those few sentences on the email itself.

But that would require Google to have some ability to empathize with human beings.

Inaccurate headline. Subject line of forum thread is: Just received and Email saying "Your Google AdSense account was recently cancelled"

Have to agree - there is no indication (apart from one person speculating about it) that this had anything to do with hacking Google AdSense.

Hence the question mark

I think it's pretty clear this is not a hack. Please reserve your need to argue about ad block, which is way off topic and irrelevant...

The apathy of you, and most other users is as shocking to me as the the greed that is undermining our privacy. To them, our data which constitutes your identity, is a commodity.

Unless we confront this status-quo that is the greed that would reduce you to a fucking "click impression"s your privacy, dignity and experience will be dominated by a culture of selling to you.

All this to say, @gggtex, that Adsense and its ilk's destruction are far from "irrelevant".

Disclaimer: I block ads, I don't run any ad on any place whatsoever, I think we users must be in control of our data. That said, @ggggtez point is really relevant, this thread is about technical difficulties on adsense (maybe a hack, although I don't think so) so this is not the place to bring our ad political views, let's keep the talk on topic.

I got it as well but I don't have an Adsense account... It went to inbox though and the headers seemed legit.

same here

SEO blogs report massive numbers of AdSense cancellations with no explanation. It hasn't hit the mainstream press yet. It probably will by noon. Some customers report getting a "violation notice" from Google, but then look at their AdSense dashboard and find no violation listed.[1]

[1] https://www.seroundtable.com/google-adsense-cancels-massive-...

I have a site where I earn a few cents per month from AdSense. It was getting close to $100, where it would have been auto-deposited into my bank account. It was basically set and forget, so I hadn't logged in for a while. I got an email that my account had been deactivated for not being an active user, and my "between $50 and $100" was being sent to my state government as an unclaimed fund. So now I have to fill out a stupid state form and spend $12 on a notary to get my between $50 and $100.

Did Google email me that my account was about to become de-activated, and that I could keep it active just by logging in? No.

You might not have to spend that money on a notary after all. My bank offers free notary services for all its account holders, and it seems like most banks offer this service as well. Try contacting your bank and see if you can save the $12.

And nobody of those users was able to follow the support request and provide the headers for the emails. Oh my. That's what you get when you don't provide a support email, just a dumb forum.

I got this email...


I'm getting an error when I try to register my website with adsense, but like others have stated... there is no support contact for people making < $25/week. What are the best alternatives to adsense for a website?

I have escalated this to folks I am friends with at Google. They are looking into it.

Any news?

My account got deleted and i've spent over $7 in the last 2 years and disabled adverts this week and it got deleted. If I can't get my data back then doubt I'll ever use Adwords again...

My Adsense was cancelled today, thought it was odd but I can't really imagine trying to build my life around serving ads again... I think we never even used it so maybe it's related to inactivity?

Same thing happened here. On a google for work account where I never used adsense. After the appeal, I received an email saying that my account wasn't banned for 'invalid activity'...

Seems to me like some smart person/persons would be able to build a cryptocurrency-based competitor to AdSense.

This is off topic, but: do any of the ad networks permit placing the ad script in an iframe, either sandboxed or with a separate origin? The fact that the ad network gets all your secrets and can (itself or via malicious ads) compromise your site or your users' browsing experience (location.href changes, anyone) is pathetic.

Google does not permit placing their ads in an iframe.[1]

[1] https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/3394713?hl=en

Even i got this email.

While waiting for Google to resolve this, I suggest reading Kafka's "The Trial", or the Beckett's "Waiting for Godot".

I don't always comment on HN threads but when I do it is so that I can publicly express my utter delight that somebody might be trying to destroy this horrible company!

Thank you, state actor, anti-sec hackers or basement dweller!

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