Sunday, July 22, 2012


July was supposed to be the month of my big payday--I hit the $100 ad revenue threshold last month, and I'd been anxiously awaiting my direct deposit.  But as of this morning, I still hadn't received a penny.  When I checked my email early this afternoon, I'd received an email from Google AdSense, and the contents left me absolutely shocked.

The subject line stated that my AdSense account had been disabled, and the most disturbing line from the message read:
We have detected invalid activity on your site and your account has been disabled. We're limited in the amount of information we can provide about your specific violation. We understand this can be frustrating for you, but we've taken these precautionary measures because intentional violators can use this information to circumvent our detection systems.
I checked the FAQs section, and my worst fears were confirmed: all the ad revenue I had accumulated over the past five months has been forfeited and "returned to the advertisers."  Worse yet, there's no way to reinstate my account.  Not only am I starting over with nothing, but I'm not allowed to post ads on any blog associated with my Google account, which includes Passionately Apathetic.

I still can't figure out what rule I'm accused of violating.  I didn't click on my own ads...except for the few instances when I had a genuine interest in the product, like the sperm shoes:

Google discourages people from making any references to ads or ad revenue in the actual site content, so I guess my downfall must have started with my constant references to earnings and all those charts and graphs I posted on a monthly basis.

Now what?  I'd like to say that I blog for the pure and simple joy of blogging, but the thought of collecting even a paltry income for my writing was an intoxicating prospect--I just can't go back to giving it away for free.  This lifetime ban from AdSense may very well mark the end of Away from the Cubicle.  Maybe the timing is perfect--I was about to take an extended break as I focus on school applications, and the only other incentive I had to forge ahead has disappeared.  When I emerge from the other side of the application process--if I make it out alive--look for yet another new blog under a different account, with the notable absence of any reference to ad revenue.

Like most major undertakings in life, what started out as a fun and promising endeavor ends in bitterness and defeat.  Apparently James isn't the only one who can bring great shame to the family.  Much like he was banned from Facebook for posting inappropriate photos, I'm now a Google AdSense outlaw for mysteriously and poorly defined reasons.

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