Remember my recent post about how a blog commenting marketing strategy is not the smartest thing in the world? It was a bit controversial, to be sure.
But I wanted to bring this back up again in light of an email I received last week - with a warning for bloggers, and the comments you choose to accept on your blog.
Bloggers: Comment Spam is YOUR responsibility! And you might just lose one of your streams of income over it if you're not careful...
Here is the email I received last week from Google Adsense:
Subject: You have 3 working days to make changes to your site
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
EXAMPLE PAGE: (link removed)
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.
As stated in our program policies, AdSense publishers may
not display Google ads on pages with adult or mature content. While we
understand that it may be challenging to monitor user-generated content,
such as comments, on your site, we require publishers to check that the
webpages containing their ad code complies with our program policies. More
information about this policy can be found in our help center
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.
Yes, you read that right.
Comment Spam can get your Google Adsense account disabled.
They may not be the only merchant you work with that takes this same action. In addition to your merchants and/or vendors, certain comment spam will reflect very badly on your professional reputation with your target market as well.
I thought this would be a good opportunity to look at Comment Spam from the other side of the coin. Yes it sucks, and yes we all think it's annoying. But there is nothing we can do to stop it completely - and ultimately, we ARE responsible for what shows up on our sites.
I fixed the offending comment Google referred to, by the way. Sometimes they're sneaky, masked behind non-adult anchor text for example. I can only imagine the undertaking of reviewing my entire network of content, after almost 8 years of blogging. Surely a few others did sneak through over the years. I can only hope they, and other merchants, will give me a 3-day warning again if others are found.
Just a little heads-up. It's something to keep an eye on. Be sure to install good spam-catching plug-ins, outsource your comment moderation, and keep a close eye on the comments that get published on your blog!
UPDATE! I received another email from Google this morning...
We previously notified you about a policy violation on your site, and we asked that you make changes within 3 working days. After reviewing your site, we've found that the previous violation was not corrected, or we’ve found another violation. Therefore, we've disabled ad serving to your site.
Your AdSense account remains active. However, we strongly suggest that you take the time to review our program policies (https://www.google.com/adsense/policies) to ensure that all of your remaining pages are in compliance.
Please note that we reserve the right to disable your account at any time.
The Google AdSense Team
Boo! Fortunately I don't focus much on Google Adsense, and won't feel a sting from losing them in my affiliate network. Interesting to note, they gave me no way to respond or request re-inclusion.
That said, this is obviously a BIG issue and one I need to figure out a way to resolve (without the obvious easy route of disabling comments altogether - lol). Bah.
I hope this proves a helpful lesson for you, especially if you do rely on Google Adsense as a strong stream of revenue on any of your blogs.
Watch those comments carefully!
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