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Does Google AdSense have any sense?

New start-up, first game out and straight away banned from AdSense without a proper explanation or reason. Account permanently frozen and all the money gone. Does this sound scary? Well.. it should.

Google AdSense is the obvious choice for any new start-up who is new to game industry and free-to-play monetisation models. They have a good set of plugins and SDK´s for almost any developer tool. So its very quick, easy and smooth to set-up for you app.

They also have almost 100% fill rate and for some countries you might even get a decent cpm (cost per mille, how much you get per 1000 times your app shows the add).

But..

Dev blogs are full of complaints how they act like a tyrann and close accounts without any warnings or explanations.

This is what happened with us and we want to share the info with you. If you choose to go with AdMob, please have some back-up plans for monetisation in case you get sacked. We did not have any..

 

Here is what happened:

 

Friday 22nd of August

We released our game, Hamstescape: Triple Jump, for all platforms (iOS, Windows Phone 8 & Android).

Downloads started to pile up. Everything fine with our ad account.

 

Saturday 23rd of August

Out of the blue, we got this from Google Adsense:

Hello,

With our advertising programmes we strive to create an online ecosystem that benefits publishers, advertisers and users. For this reason we sometimes have to take action against accounts that show behaviour towards users or advertisers that may negatively impact how the ecosystem is perceived. In your case, we have detected invalid activity on your AdSense account and as a result it has been disabled.

We are limited in the amount of information we can provide about your specific violation. We understand that you may want more information about your account activity. However, in order to protect our proprietary detection systems, we are unable to provide further details.

In some cases publishers can make significant changes to correct the violation and are willing to comply with the AdSense programme policies. For this reason, we offer an appeal process as an opportunity to work with you to resolve the issue. Please make sure that you provide a complete analysis of your traffic or other reasons that may have generated invalid activity in your appeal. Submit your appeal using this form and we will follow up accordingly. Before submission, please review the list of the top reasons for account closure.

Thank you for your understanding.

Yours sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team

 

we provided them a full explanation of where our games are listed, how we marketed them and underlined the fact that we have never encouraged anyone to click on ads shown in our game. And requested the information about what was the reason behind our suspension.

We really had no idea what was the reason.

 

Auto confirmation that they had received our appeal.. A week? Really?

Hello,

This message confirms that we've received your appeal submission.

We'll get to your appeal as soon as we can, though due to the high volume of emails we receive, it may take us up to a week or more to process it. If you've previously submitted an appeal for this account, you might not receive a response to this or future appeals.

Also, please be aware that appealing the disabling of your AdSense account does not guarantee that it will be reinstated.

If you have any questions or concerns about accounts disabled for invalid activity, please visit https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=57153.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team

 

so at this point there was nothing else to do but wait..

 

25th of August

another generic reply:

Hello,

Thanks for the additional information provided in your appeal, we appreciate your continued interest in the AdSense program. After thoroughly reviewing your account data and taking your feedback into consideration, our specialists have confirmed that we're unable to reinstate your AdSense account.

If you'd like more details on our invalid activity policies or review process, please visit http://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=57153. As a reminder, further participation in the AdSense program by publishers whose accounts have been disabled is not permitted.


Thanks for your understanding,
The Google AdSense Team

 

On the same day I yet again prompted them for specific information about the case:

Hi,

 
Sounds a bit harsh action on your part towards a new game start-up which has not intentionally broke any rules :(
We can accept the decision, but we would like to hear what was the actual cause for disabling our AdSense account?
So we wont make the same mistake in the future with another advertising companies.
 
Best Regards and sorry for any inconvenience,
Sami Koski / Meizi Games
 
So thats where we are.. no more replies from their part and still we dont have any idea what went wrong.
At the time of our suspension we had under 10 Euros on our account, so we are not talking about any significant amounts in this case.
 
 
I am not saying you should avoid using AdSense, but please be very careful how you use their service.
 
 
Keep on rocking and making good games!
 
BR,
Sami Koski / Meizi Games

 

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