Google AdSense disabling arbitrage publisher accounts as of June 1st

Numerous AdSense publishers have been receiving emails from Google the past couple of days stating that their use of their AdSense account is an unsuitable business model and that accounts would be disabled as of June 1st, giving publishers about two weeks notice to prepare for the loss of the AdSense accounts… and since it seems that arbitrage publishers are the ones receiving this account disabled email, to give those publisher enough time to shut down accounts or use an alternative source for their outgoing traffic.

Right now, I have only heard from those doing either “Made for AdSense” style of sites or those doing arbitrage, and it does include publishers making significant money per month ($10,000 USD and higher). So they are not giving a pass to those who are earning above a certain threshold. And it seems that no one who is outside of the arbitrage/MFA area of AdSense earnings has been affected thus far.

And good news is that Google will be paying out earnings to those publishers, so they do not need to worry that they will lose any income earned thus far.

Now, the emails do seem to be staggered, so if you are running arbitrage through your AdSense account, there is always the possibility that you can stop all your pay per click campaigns and hopefully slide through. Likewise, you can try immediately increasing the quality on your “Made for AdSense” style sites or remove them completely, particularly if you do have sites within your account that are non-arbitrage with quality content. But one can assume that account history will play a big part when it comes to these emails being sent out, and having only a couple of non-arbitrage days might not be enough to avoid the email.

There doesn’t seem to be any appeal process, other than the usual one. And I wouldn’t hold my breath that any of these accounts would be reinstated, unless it is a case of some higher quality non-arbitrage sites using the account as well.

From a business perspective, it does make perfect sense for Google to make this move, since so many Google AdWords advertisers refuse to advertise on the content network because there are so many “Made for AdSense” style sites as well as those doing arbitrage. So in the long run, it could mean more money for publishers if/as advertisers return to the content network.

And if you are not doing MFA or arbitrage? The bad news is that you too will be impacted, although not on an account disabling level. A secondary impact to this is that many of those doing arbitrage with AdWords will likely be pulling their AdWords campaigns unless they can find a suitable alternative to AdSense. This could inadvertantly cause a reduction in AdSense earnings for legitimate publishers as well, at least in the short term. But as I said previously, if the advertisers return to the content network, it would mean more eventual money for publishers, depending on how long it takes for advertisers to start opting back in.

Since Google seems to be targeting the whole area of arbitrage (such as the landing page algo for the AdWords quality score that made it harder for arbitrage advertisers to get cheap clicks through AdWords), I think the way they are handling these instances of disabling publisher accounts is much better than what they could have done. Publishers are getting a couple of weeks notice to ensure they aren’t sending paid traffic to pages that will no longer be allowed to show AdSense, and they have also guaranteed to those publishers that they will still receive earnings earned, even though the accounts will be disabled.

It will be interesting to see what happens as of June first. Will the Yahoo Publisher Network see a sudden influx of aribtrage publishers? Very likely, since the majority of disabled US publishers turn to YPN as a new method of monetizing that traffic.

There has not been any kind of official word from Google on this, as of yet, other than the form letter style communications with the publishers whose accounts are being disabled. But it will definitely be something to watch to see how it does all spin out for both the disabled publishers as well as Google.

Feel free to comment below if you have been affected, or if you think it is a good/bad move that Google made by disabling publishers.

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53 comments to Google AdSense disabling arbitrage publisher accounts as of June 1st