Saturday, March 25, 2006

Ad-cent-less - a follow-up to Adsenseless and sensibility

It seems I am not alone. A dear friend who runs a wonderful website and support groups for an orphan disease (very like mine) has now also been defrauded of what should have been earnings on advertising, earnings badly needed to help this retired widower run this site (=> and => It grieves me particularly because I was the one urging him to give this advertising a try to earn the monies needed to run the website which many of us ill with devastating neurological diseases depend on for up-to-date information and support.

Bilked by people who parade themselves around as some sort of champion of the common man. They had done the same to me some months ago, the article is archived here,
, called AdSense and Sensibility. The villain in this case is Google, who owns the AdSense service, which places advertising on your website, collects money from advertisers which is then supposed to pay out to the owners of the various webpages hosting their ads for them. Their revenue depends on webmasters keeping interesting content and attractive design to bring more and more traffic to their ads. Many of us throw much of our energies into running websites as a means of generating income and/or providing a public service. The time and effort we spent on our websites benefited them directly. We could have been doing something else, we have been seriously taken advantage of. Any good and decent person is devastated by being accused of committing a fraudulent act, let alone the rest of it. We are suffering some considerable hurt.

images by aletta mes 2006

Their tactic is to recruit you, collect up revenue from advertisers and then cancel your account and take you earnings themselves. We've been robbed, friends, pure and simple, and I haven't a clue where we can find any justice. So far I haven't one contact with any different experience, so Google is just making one hell of a profit from all this. Meanwhile we support the websites, and blogs which we keep interesting enough to provide their advertisers with foot traffic. It is a crime, and devastating to someone just trying to earn a bit extra and keep websites viable. They take full advantage of people who want badly to be part of the earning public, especially crucial when you live in a society which counts the marginal population as losers, no matter what the circumstances. The reward for these efforts is to be taken advantage of.

The advertisers have sued once successfully (
) to have monies returned to them which were found to have been fraudulently charged by Google, the blame for which they (Google) now gives these small time web site operators. The amounts they bilk from us after accusations (without proof) that we somehow fraudulently inflated clicks on those ads, we have no way of knowing if they have been returned. The amounts are low enough that no advertiser would even know about them. I suspect our earnings are being used by Google in whatever way they like, perhaps to pay the settlement to the larger (casino and porn) advertisers.

It is plain that reading article after article on the web regarding these tactics that the practice is commonplace, most particularly among the people who earn less than one hundred dollars a month. The big earners tend to get paid. Those of course would also be the people who might afford lawyers to bring litigation forward. The people being victimised by this practice are the small earners who work from home, quite often because of disability or homemakers needing the added income. It is not the casinos and porn cites that are being accused of fraud. Google takes advantage of the small website owner because they cannot fight back, and it will satisfy the powers that bee, because on paper it looks like Google is doing something to fix the problem of fraudulent clicks, they are trying to keep future litigation from starting up, and the ones they have lost looking for all the world as though they are "dealing with it".

Would their advertisers like it much if they knew that much needed earnings were being taken from people already being run into the ground by a marginal existence, or the charitable efforts of people like my friend who runs the website in the memory of his late wife who died of PSP? It is devastating to have accusations hurled at you that you've been a fraud and your accounts have been closed and your earnings confiscated without any benefit of recourse. Letters are not answered. I have sent them out routinely over the past couple of months and there have been no replies. I suspect as my other friends near the amount that a cheque should be sent with their earnings they will find themselves also being accused of a crime and monies confiscated by Google, judge, jury and executioner. I feel horrible that I suggested it, I did so in good faith. Faith, as my father often reminded me, belongs in church. He was so right. In future I will not suggest anything for which I have not already been paid (cheque cleared the bank).

To date no successful litigation or even an investigation into these practices has occurred (that I could find, don't hesitate to correct me if you know better). It probably won't. The best we can hope for is that more and more of the "bilked" will come forward and post their stories on the web, and sign the petition on line at:

So, please if this incenses you, read the article, sign the petition, post your story, or least leave your comments here. also think about using other search engines, use
or, consider changing your hosted blog, if you have one to another host such as or, they are every bit as good, if not better. If you want advertising on your website to earn other income, try, or affiliate programs such as (their cheque cleared the bank).


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