I was surprised this week to receive a notification from Google Adsense, claiming my account was in policy violation.
There was no personalised address, just “Hello,” which made me immediately think it was spam.
However, it was sent to an email address I only use for managing Adsense, and the email specifically referenced the URL of one of my websites (which uses a completely different email address).
It turned out the email from Google was genuine, and was warning that one of my older and less used forums was subject to comment spam relating to adult themes, which was a violation of Google Adsense policies.
I’ve now removed Adsense from that site and also cleared up the spam.
I figure I’m not the only webmaster who has mothballed a few websites because of the recession, aiming to return to them after the recession.
This forum was using the Google-owned reCaptcha protection against spam, but apparently reCaptcha was hacked at the start of the year – any vbulletin using this instead of the custom question feature would have been absolutely inundated with spam.
Anyway, if anyone receives anything similar to that below, it may well be worth your attention (though also ntoe the same message will show in your Adsense account message centre):
During a recent review of your account we found that you are currently displaying Google ads in a manner that is not compliant with our program policies (https://www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/answer.py?answer=48182&stc=aspe-1pp-en).
Please note that this URL is an example and that the same violations may exist on other pages of this website or other sites in your network.
COMMENT SPAM: As stated in our program policies, AdSense publishers may not display Google ads on pages with adult or mature content. While we understand that it may be challenging to monitor user-generated content, such as comments, on your site, we require publishers to check that the webpages containing their ad code complies with our program policies. More information about this policy can be found in our help center (https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=116000).
REQUESTED ACTION: Please make all necessary changes in the next 72 hours.
If the violations are corrected within the aforementioned time period, ad serving will not be affected. If changes are not made and/or other policy violations are encountered during the review process, ad serving will be disabled to your site.
ACCOUNT STATUS: ACTIVE
Your AdSense account remains active. However, if we continue to find problems, we may disable your entire account. Therefore, we suggest that you take the time to review the rest of your network to ensure that all of your other pages are in compliance with our policies.
Issue ID# xxxxxxx
Thank you for your cooperation.
The Google AdSense Team
For more information regarding this email, please visit our Help Center:
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