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Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Google shattered my friend's dream
[ZOMBiE CyGiG] ranted at 5:39 PM --- Post#114535867356159898

Think without the box
Something that hit the news recently was The Wicked, muahaha, created by none other than my good old computing friend Tay Wei Kiat (unigal in SPUG). Life in AJC is boring enough le, but who says all AJCians full time mugger? The Wicked is a nice example of CREATIVITY, use brain de!

Kiat had been earning some money through Google AdSense, using his grey matters. Who says students MUST go through Singapore's "Mug-and Cert" system to be successful in life? This might be his first step to start earning big bucks out of almost no capital cost (the server was sponsored kindly by someone in SPUG).

Sad enough the school did not even bring this up and give him that small bit of praising. Something even scarier is coming on the way...

The Wicked

No Sense?
As said earlier, Kiat uses AdSense to bring in his small fortune, for perhaps his time (which is supposed to be meant for tutorials...ooops) and as an encouragement to start off the journey of Creativity. This morning (18/04/2006), he was strolling with me during PE lessons as he told me that his AdSense account was suspended.

"They say what invalid click lor! Sad lah...its about SGD 500 leh...gone liddat..."

It seemed that Google had some mistakes in their advertising processing, he did not click on his own ads and yet Google accused him of fraud.

There is this ratio of the number of clicks to the number of viewers. As we all know, not everyone click on the ads (in fact i was wondering which idiot would be clickin on ads?), thus a high ratio indicates that there might be a foul play of which the publisher teams with his friends and family just to click on his ads to earn him money. But this his ratio is less than 1%, meaning out of 100 views, not even one person clicked on the ads, which to me seems reasonable enough to say that all the ads were clicked by his visitors. Proof? No proof! The account had been banned! Nothing could be retrived.

Poor Kiat, our computing teacher told me he was ranting the whole morning about his loss. $500 might be like "chey..." to a lot of ppl, but he is only a JC student! He is earning his money to perhaps pay for his gadgets instead of sponging his parents lor. He told me he wanna buy this Sony MD player sold at a cheap price online and was getting excited as the amount he earned from AdSense was enough for his little luxury.

Talk Big
Here is the email Kiat got:

Hello Tay Wei Kiat,
It has come to our attention that invalid clicks have been generated on the Google ads on your site(s). We have therefore disabled your Google AdSense account. Please understand that this step was taken in an effort to protect the interest of the AdWords advertisers.

Publishers disabled for invalid clickactivity are not allowed furtherparticipation in AdSense and do not receive any further payment. The earnings on your account will be properly returned to the affected advertisers

Well, its easy to say he had fraud clicks, but the email did not even mention any single details, like the day, date and time or perhaps the IP address, on which page, which ad...Nothing at all. Imagine one day you recieve a court letter asking you to go to jail, but never tell you why.

It seems like Kiat is not the only one. Read
on how they prompted Google to give them a reply but all they got was machine generated standard emails. Google is such a huge company, no one to answer them? Fine, perhaps they might really be so busy to respond to his email. What about this:
That guy waited for three weeks leh, and even called Google up lor...yet no response. Being such a huge company, i tot it would be no good to ignore their users just liddat. And also:
on a guy not having any returns despite using AdSense for 3 years.

Hypothesis becomes theory
So someone went to do a test on Google AdSense here:

Wah lao, basically what he did was to set up a brand new website and ordered his staff never to click on his own ads. Some sort of controlled experiment sia. And as expected, an email came and informed them about invalid clicks. He pressed Google for answers and what they gave was that they would not reveal any information about their system or the advertising companies.

Furthermore, he said that he knew of cases where the money from fraud clicks was not refunded to the advertising companies.

The point is
The point is not to point finger at Google and say they cheated AdSense users. It might afterall is because of a poorly written tracking system. But Google should at least look into the cases and give a more detailed and convincing answer. Having $500 the previous day and then gone the next day is really very buay song...making him feel so bo bian and depressed.

Now what?
Kiat said he might be closing down The Wicked. Well, but i guess he will choose Yahoo's ad program instead, as closing his sweat and blood down just because of AdSense is really a pity. A few of the players donated or promised to donate money for upgrades (future bandwidth, administrative fee...) or just as a form of support. So guys! Players of The Wicked...come on, you do not need to break your piggy bank. Giving moral support (eg via comments?) is good enough.

And for those of you using AdSense, keep on a lookout for for this problem of being said to have invalid clicks, followed by a forfeit and banned account, when you dun.

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