Michel Vuijlsteke's weblog

Tales of Drudgery & Boredom.

Nog altijd robots

Ik denk niet dat ik ondertussen al een mens aan de e-mail gehad heb. Mijn recentste poging:

Dear Google AdSense Team,

I appreciate the time you must have spent reviewing and re-reviewing my case. And I do understand that your algorithm is of a proprietary nature.

I have been using AdSense on my website since October 2003, I’ve never had problems or complaints, there haven’t been any abnormal visitor spikes or anomalous clickthrough rates in all that time. The only thing that happened recently is that I changed jobs and am now behind a firewall with a couple of hundred colleagues.

Could this have triggered your algorithm? Is there anything at all I can do to prove I wasn’t responsible for “invalid click activity”? Or do you not actually care who is the perpetrator of said activity?

Does this mean that I can go to any other website with AdSense content, set a bot loose on that site, and you’ll also disable that publisher for illegal activity?

This situation is making me seriously doubt your commitment to some of the tenets of your corporate philosophy—to wit:

Focus on the user and all else will follow.
Well, actually I do feel focused on, but not in a happy sort of way.

Democracy on the web works.
I take it you wouldn’t disagree with a definition of democracy as “a form of government under which the power to alter the laws and structures of government lies, ultimately, with the citizenry. Under such a system, legislative decisions are made by the people themselves or by representatives who act through the consent of the people, as enforced by elections and the rule of law.” The way the AdSense team is going about this smacks more of the opposite of democracy, don’t you think?

You can make money without doing evil.
That depends on the perspective, doesn’t it?

There’s always more information out there.
I live in hope that I’ll get through to a real live person one of these days. I’m not holding out though.

You can be serious without a suit.
And apparently you can do customer service without even having to listen to—let alone answer—the customer.

Best regards,

Michel Vuijlsteke

Gaf nog altijd een form letter als antwoord:

Hello Michel,

Thank you for your response.

Please note that we have certain policies in place that we believe will help ensure the effectiveness of Google ads for our publishers as well as our advertisers. We have thoroughly re-reviewed your account data upon receipt of your response and have reconfirmed that invalid clicks were generated on the ads on your site. According to our policy on this matter, we have disabled your account in order to protect our advertisers.

We appreciate your understanding.


The Google AdSense Team

Ik blijf volhouden: een iets bozere mail gestuurd. Ik heb er niet de minste hoop op dat ik er een echt antwoord op ga krijgen, maar ik val nog eerder dood dan ik het opgeef.


  1. En had je al een website in gedachten om een bot op los te laten ? Of enkele tientallen gelijkgezinden, bijvoorbeeld ?
    Enig idee hoeveel invalid clicks nodig zijn om zo’n account te disablen ?

  2. Het artikel op MacWorld gaat over een adverteerder die Google aanklaagt omdat Google niets tegen de click-fraud doet.
    Zou het disable van Michel’s account hier het gevolg van kunnen zijn ? Dat lijkt me geen slechte taktiek, voor Google, tegen de beschuldiging dat ze niet optreden tegen click-fraude : de accounts van enkele ‘mondige’ publishers disablen, met misschien een klein stormpje tot gevolg. Wat viral advertising op PR-gebied.

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