Google bug causes some AdSense payments to be held

Did you not receive your expected AdSense payment at the end of January or beginning of February?  Well, the problem could be a bug that seemed to be  placing AdSense accounts on an invisible hold, and if your account is on hold, payments are not issued.  So as a publisher, your account would look like business as usual, but from an AdSense perspective, payments were not being sent to publishers because of the bug.  AdSense Pro William has quietly posted about it in the AdSense help files.


Off late we have noticed complaints from Publishers about not receiving payments on time in spite of having no visible holds on the account. This was due to a bug which has been fixed and in the mean time we have been removing the holds manually and the publishers would be receiving the payments in the next payment cycle possible. Also, to be noted the holds removed between January 15 and February 15 will be reflected in payments issued at the end of February.

Thanks for your Understanding,

Yes, you read that right, even though it is no fault of the publisher’s, you won’t get your payment until the next payment cycle, which won’t be for several more weeks.  I am not an affected publisher, but if I was a publisher who was expecting that payment, I would be pretty upset and mad at Google.  And for those publishers with all their eggs in one basket,  this could have serious financial repercussions, especially if they are waiting on that AdSense check to pay their mortgage.  And in this financial climate, for Google not to immediately issue payments for those affected publishers it isn’t a good move.

That said, if it was a publisher’s fault, such not updating an address, fogetting to remove a payment hold or not entering their PIN by the payment cycle date, I am the first to say “too bad, so sad”.  But when it is completely Google’s fault that the payments weren’t issued, and zero fault of the publisher,  it doesn’t give publishers the warm and fuzzy feelings about AdSense, and you have to think that at least some of them will be exploring AdSense competitors and ways to supplement AdSense income and making sure all their eggs aren’t in the AdSense basket.

If you are a longtime AdSense publisher and this sounds familiar, it is.  Back in 2005 there was another Google AdSense payment glitch where publishers didn’t receive their checks.  And again, publishers were told that payments wouldn’t be issued until the next payment cycle, even though it was through no fault of their own that they didn’t receive their AdSense payment. 

But in the previous case, Google ended up changing the way it handles this situation and began reissuing payments a couple days after I originally blogged about it, and were sending payments via DHL so publishers would receive them quicker – and they got a lot of praise for dealing with the situation and reissuing the payments immediately instead of making those publishers wait for the following payment cycle.  Let’s hope Google will step up and help those affected publishers by issuing payments immediately rather than making them wait this time around too.

No word on how many publishers were affected, but it was obviously a significant number for the situation to be posted publicly by Google rather than having the support team deal with it on an individual basis.  Nothing has been posted on the AdSense blog yet nor in any forums that I could find.

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4 comments to Google bug causes some AdSense payments to be held

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