Old Adsense account + new Admob account = BANNED

Just a warning for anyone who is considering upgrading to the new Admob, there seems to be a significant risk if you also have an Adsense account.

I never thought it would happen to me because I play by the rules, but today I noticed that I couldn’t access my Admob account anymore (apps.admob.com, interestingly the old Admob account still works), no ads were being served, and in my inbox there was an email that my Adsense account had been disabled.

So, back in the day I had a failed blog (< $200 lifetime Adsense income) that I now no longer update. It still get about 20 visitors a day and a couple of clicks per month. Now, the account ban email I received only references my Adsense account, but since Adsense and Admob are now linked, both accounts are affected.
The only reason for the ban that I can see is that Google doesn’t like “stale” and unoriginal blogs using Adsense. But it’s extremely harsh that this would now also affect my Admob account, with five figure downloads and an average user rating of 4.5? Maybe the Google fraud detection algorithm noticed the revenue on my joint account, but only looked at the Adsense impression and determined the clicks were invalid?

In any case, I advise against upgrading to the new Admob platform, it seems there are still some issues to iron out. At the very least, if you have any weird Adsense stuff going on, get it sorted out before upgrading.

I appealed, but I don’t have much hope. I’ll probably have to move to a different ad platform, though updating all the apps will be a pain. Until today, I held Google and Admob in highest regards. Now I’m just disappointed.

Sorry to hear that and thanks for the note. I’m sure this will be a good tip/warning/heads up for other developers here.

Hope everything gets sorted for you and Admob realizes that it perhaps made a mistake.

Thanks for the information. I will have to remove my old adsense account before moving to new admob then.

The title of this thread is misleading. It should be “stale adsense + new admob account = ban”. If you are sending minimum 200-300 impressions to adsense per day, it shouldn’t be a problem.
If you have stale adsense account then not updating to new admob for now is a not a long term solution as every is bound to be forced to update to new admob

Sorry to hear that @Skurry.

I actually have an Adsense account that I use to monetize my demo videos of my apps. I’m on the new Admob now and the accounts are linked etc, but I haven’t had any problems.

I wouldn’t go putting everyone off the new Admob, as it is actually very beneficial over the old one in my opinion.

Also, and please don’t take this the wrong way, but you don’t even know why you were banned. You’re just making guesses in your post, when you should really have contacted Admob/Adsense first to get the actual reason for the ban, instead of coming here and complaining and putting people off something that will probably benefit them.
I’m sure if you are getting 5 figure downloads then you would have contacted them.

You’re either not stating the reason you were banned, or you haven’t had a reply yet.

I understand it must be frustrating and you are probably feeling angry, but I’m sure if you just get in contact with them you’ll at least be able to see why you were banned, if not resolve the problem.

I’ve heard stories of Admob banning people randomly, but they wouldn’t ban someone over an account upgrade for no reason.

Google is notorious for not telling you the reason for disabling your account.

Because we have a need to protect our proprietary detection system, we’re unable to provide our publishers with any information about their account activity, including any web pages, users, or third-party services that might have been involved.

So I can only speculate about the reason. Of course I appealed, but it can take weeks until I get an answer, and even then it will only be a “yes” or “no” email. What I’m trying to say in my original post is that upgrading your Admob account increases your chance of getting it disabled, because then your Adsense activity comes into play. If you make a mistake in one (even when the “mistake” is just to neglect your blog), you lose both. I think that’s a bit heavy handed.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say Google as a whole, but more their Admob team. Regarding Google Play accounts for instance, many people on this forum have been given exact reasons for disabling or their app(s)/account(s) and in some cases the chance to correct said violation.

Nevertheless, if that’s their actual response then that’s really pathetic. I really think it comes down to who actually personally answers your e-mail etc. I’ve had really gracious support from Google and Admob in the past, and other times really horrific.

What was your blog about?

If you didn’t deserve the ban, then I hope you get a resolution at some point!

Yes, the email basically just said that my account was disabled for “invalid activity”, and that they can’t tell me any specifics, but that I can appeal. I would quote it here, but my language preferences were set to German, so I received the email in German. But it matches what many other people received.

My blog was just user generated “Rage cartoons”, people would make them themselves, email them to me, and I’d post them. I can see that it’s not the best quality content, but at least it’s original and not spam. The Daily Rage

The other possibility is that I was banned for some Admob violations in my apps, but now that the two systems are merged, the email template still only talks about Adsense? I had just sent one of my apps to Amazon, and I know that they mess with the app signature, I wonder if that has anything to do with it?

The funny thing is that I just cashed out my lifetime earnings of $168 with Adsense in July. My “old” Admob account still show $130 balance, I wonder if that will be deposited, given that this account is still accessible. In my disabled account I only had $40, but that was growing by $5-10 per day. So I’m only a small fish, but it’s still annoying.

So now it’s time to look for a new ad network. I was thinking going Amazon first (manual mediation), then MoPub and their mediation second. I’m looking for something reputable and stable.

Now only pray your developer account is not banned because of secret invalid activities which only google knows. Google is notorious for such things and they care about big names (the likes of Angry Birds, Whatsapp etc.)

Let me tell you humbly that stop expecting any manual reply. You will only receive automated reply with that much of earnings.

Skurry, I am in the same situation as you, Google has disabled my ADSENSE account affecting my ADMOB account.

But in my case I never had an adsense account and I’ve never used a banner on websites or blogs, so I don’t know why they disabled “my” adsense account.

In my case, I’ve been using admob for 8 MONTHS without problems…4 days ago I have updated my admob account, and now I am fucked literally. After received the email my ads are not appearing and I can not access to apps.admob.com

I’ve also filled out the appeal form, but…the days are passing, I am losing money, I am very depressed, and I don’t know what to do…

I am also thinking about looking for other platform, but maybe, if I stop using admob, they will be not able to study my case…what are you thinking? are you going to migrate to other platform or wait for google response?

@culebrins, so admob shut ur account right after u upgraded to the new admob?

i am holding off on updating to the new admob, until it is required. unless there is a massive ecpm increase

This is very interesting, that’s why I started this thread, to see if others are affected as well. I had been using Admob for about a year. Since you never used Adsense ads, to me it looks like after the upgrade they’re running their Adsense click fraud detection algorithms on Admob data now, and that seems to give false positives, because metrics for apps are very different than for websites. A sliver of hope that this will get sorted out…

It’s really interesting that there seem to be hundreds of cases like this out there, including this one from 2011, where Google basically confiscated $40,000, and the developer even had their own account manager within Google. All their attempts to contact anyone were futile. Hatchlings Blog, Don’t Be Evil: How Google Screwed a Startup

Don’t be evil. Yeah right.

Don’t like the idea of Adsense integrate into Admob. Both are different products and using different algorithm. I have heard a lot of horrible stories about Adsense since the new Google Search Panda. All individual and big sites hit hard by them including those SEO provider. Good quality blog being banned while low spam sites rewarded. Not sure about how’s the progress now and improvement.

Really companies that build business on Spamming are creating FUD now about admob?


Since you seem to be such an “establishment” player - I wonder if you could “spin” the Hatchlings story in some positive way for Google.


EDIT: Google behavior is just crying out for a class-action lawsuit (perhaps in a European court) - one that does not just compensate but changes the way Google does that business. Anything that winds up requiring less automation will hurt Google (i.e. if they HAVE to comply with some TOS themselves) - and will obviously hurt developers also in the sense that it raises the cost of doing business.

However the ad business is one in which there ARE competitors - and if they can provide some degree of customer service, why cannot Google ? It is obvious this is because of someone in management thinking the concerns of developers are “not important”.

The use of words like “spamming” and FUD etc. are a smokescreen which hides the real issue - a business relationship where one party has the prerogative to terminate the relationship (taking the other parties money in the process).

The Achilles Heel for Google here is that they need to protect their algorithms (since so much is automated - and any understanding of the algorithms by the public RAPIDLY erodes their efficacy - since SEO agents quickly adopt tactics which optimize to those known facts about the Google algorithms/automated-decision-making).

The fact that the Google business model CANNOT tolerate exposure of info that is REQUIRED for the proper assessment of business conflicts (such as between Google and Hatchlings.com) - is a weakness of the Google BUSINESS model.

To expect developers or users of Google to bear the full brunt of the fallout of such a setup is morally incomprehensible.

I suspect the only reason people agree to take this violation of their rights in step is because they REQUIRE google to stay in business - so that the developers can make more money in the future - and Google is the majordomo in town in this area (for now at least). For developers who are already developing for Google, there is a degree of lock-in as well, as their skills are or have become attuned to Google/Android universe - so they are in a bind as well - and the only other game in town is Apple.

The situation is not unlike the guy who kept 4 women holed up in his basement. They were being abused, but the women probably at one time or other DID do business deals with him (for example supposedly he paid them occasionally for sexual contact and the women could then use that money to get something from the house store later). In effect a semblance of a “business relationship” was created by the abuser - and momentarily probably even the 4 women may have had days where they thought they HAD to deal with the guy to get something from the store - as he was the only game in town (or in the house to be specific). However it WAS a relationship based on extortion.

Google is fair for the VAST majority of developers - but they are also keeping a few hostages in the house. Will you excuse their treatment of the few because they do such good for the rest ? The guy holding the women in his basement, also went to Church and was presumably quite “good” as far as the Church could see.

Most notably, Google would NEVER tolerate the treatment they are doling out - to be done to themselves. Which means they OBVIOUSLY know it is bad behavior - yet they continue ? Why ?

EDIT: it seems the democratic way is that no company which is “unsuable” should be considered “clean” in any form - because it is a locomotive without controls and sooner or later it will do something stupid. Just the impression that Google is unsuable creates an environment of coersion - making any business relationship with them akin to doing deals with the Mafia. Yet ALREADY many developers speak in hushed tones of dealing with Google as if is IS the Mafia. I suspect if Google has an Achilles Heel it is exactly the one which they are not paying attention to.

When Google fails to adequately explain itself for bans, they expose themselves to all sorts of bad publicity.

For example, if MY admob account was to suddenly be terminated - and I could not think of any reason for such an imposition, would I be correct to assume that (if I had posted my google account or app name here) that Google has been vindictive because I posted something negative about them in a private capacity (as an individual and not a Google developer) ?

Google will face this perception - as long as they are not clear about reasons for things. It is AMAZING that in the days of scientific inquiry - where EVERYTHING HAS to have a reason, there is a very modern company called Google which EXPECTS (dare I say they have the GALL to expect) there to be NO INQUIRY, no inquisition, no … maybe just CURIOSITY on the part of developers about “what the xxx Google is doing in it’s business practices with us - esp. when it deals with money” ?

I mean we are expected to expect - no to FIND reasons for everything that drives this world - it is called SCIENCE - but we are expected to KEEP QUIET about certain that affect us directly - just because of some fragile Google internal algorithm bullshit ? This is CLEARLY a weakness of Google business model - not a weakness of developers. Yet the BURDEN of that weakness is placed on developers - and Google management have such blinders on that they cannot see what is in front of everyone ?

I have no interest in defending google if they incorrectly banned someone. I suggested methods of bringing more light on incorrect bans on either admob or android developer accounts.
But I do find it odd them spam advertisers are trying to create FUD about admob.

War is never fair. There is a war versus peoples who stealing a money from advertisers (false clicks, false installs etc.) and like in any other war often innocent peoples pay the highest price. I do not justify Google but life is not fair so just accept new reality and find new ways for your business to grow.

I think the way to “break symmetry” in the argument is that:

  1. developer do not have the power to find out why they were banned
  2. Google has the capability of disclosing what the reasons are for ban

Google has the power to reduce fraud, double-clicks - by using creative ways. For example, I like the way their banner ads turn into a smaller-sensitive-area Download button. So only a determined clicker will generate a real click. It is a simple solution to a real problem (often inadvertent - as some have suggested apps used by kids tend to generate more of such random clicks).

So we know what Google can do to reduce issues.

What is a developer to do ?

There is a very clear ASYMMETRY here.

Google behavior fits the “MO” (modus operandi)

The reason why the “FUD” finds credibility with developers is that it fits perfectly with the image developers have already made of Google “responsiveness”.

Even developers who haven’t been banned yet or are operating above board can “feel” what the “FUD” folks say - because they know that the stories have some merit.

There IS NO forum where they can discuss issues with Google.

There IS an admob forum - where some good Google reps appear - but their hands are tied in discussing things beyond the “how to integrate admob” issues. The forum is also HEAVILY moderated - stray off the “integrate admob” mark and your post will not appear in the forum.

Google apologists and “nothing to see here - move on”

What is the logic in not requiring Google to be more responsive to developers ?

I can understand the logic that “changing Google is difficult” - why waste time discussing this, when we can be making money by buying more Google accounts etc.

That is EXACTLY the logic of the spammers. The spammers are NOT expecting anything from Google - they want to run “fly by night” apps - buy more developer accounts. They KNOW they cannot get their money back, since they know they are NOT adhering to the Google TOS, so they just move on and try to exploit Google/advertisers in some other way.

What is the rationale for NOT asking these questions if you are NOT a spammer ?

The ONES asking for explanations are NOT the spammers - but developers seeking regular earnings, nay a living, from developing for android.

The claim that all complaints are “FUD” is a red herring (i.e. ignore the issue and just label as criminal for starters). The spammers will not be wasting their time complaining or writing compelling posts (like this one :-)).

I find the situation Google places some developers in surprisingly similar to Kafka’s The Trial (the Trial talks of an Iron Curtain-like state where the hero is accused of “crimes” but they cannot be told what their crimes are ! Sound familiar ?):

Franz Kafka - The Trial