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PreDents.com: Banned from Google!

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by PDizzle, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com
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    Hello, I know it's a crazy time for all of you and the threads are just flying by but this is real important and I need all of you to honestly reply to this thread.

    As you know, I made PreDents.com as a gift for all of you in between the time I got accepted to UCSF and I started school, way back in 2005. I know how addicted predents can be to SDN and wanted to help consolidate the info of the applicants and give you somewhere else to go 50 times/day! You may also know I was against making money with the site. No donations, no ads and no sign-up fees since the website went live, 3 years ago. About a month or so ago, due to financial troubles, I had to either ask for donations or put ads on the site just to keep the site running. I started a thread to get your opinion and see if breaking my long time rule was OK. You guys responded with overwhelming support, and I thank you for that.

    I decided to go with Google Adsense since it was the best CPC system out there and you guys recommended it to me. In that thread I stated not to click on the ads just to save Predents.com. I did this several times but many of you took it upon yourself to "help" me by clicking on the ads without legitimate interest. I know you were only trying to help me and do not blame you in any way.

    Google has since banned me for life due to invalid clicks even though I myself did nothing against their policies. The excessive clicking only lasted a week or so, while the thread was in the top page, then the clicks went down to a normal level which, due to my traffic volume, were legitimate clicks.

    I am trying to appeal the ban on my website and need Google to understand that:
    1) I did not encourage the clicks and
    2) If re-instated, it won't happen again.

    Please be honest and state your opinion on the matter, if you have one, even if you think I did break some policy of Google. I want honesty. Don't worry, PreDents.com will not shut down.

    I will be referencing this thread to Google in my appeal.

    Thanks!

    P.S. Congrats to all who got in!!

    Try to BUMP this often :)
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. TeamGuo

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    wow sorry to hear that man. Hopefully everything works out with predents.

    Thanks again for keeping that site up! Your awesome!
     
  4. MattEvers

    MattEvers I Love Neely
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    I used to do internet marketing for a living and have seen this happen many times. The chances of your appeal working are slim, but I wish you luck. Telling people the ads were up due to financial problems was a mistake since it automatically spawns the "pity" clicks. Google--and more importantly, advertisers--monitor these clicks for time spent on their site, sales, etc. I understand your reasons and wanting to get the input of the users. Damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of thing.

    Click fraud (where users click ads they're not interested in) is very prevalent, so Google spends a lot of money monitoring this stuff. They send advertisers back clicks, advertisers say goodbye. Bad for Google, bad for everyone. I've seen sites making $15 grand a month get shut down. It may make money for Google in the short term to leave them up, but the advertisers will abandon the system in the long term.

    You can appeal and maybe have some luck. The other options would be other networks. Yahoo has an ad network. One of the CPM networks may take you since you have a good bit of traffic. Probably the best and most reliable money would be from private advertisers. Talking with DAT Destroyer, Kaplan, etc. about doing advertisements exclusively through them is an option. It usually yields the best results for both parties. The money is a flat amount so excessive clicking doesn't matter. Good luck.
     
    #3 MattEvers, Dec 2, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  5. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com
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    Yeah, I didn't think that through. Hindsight is always 20/20!:laugh:
     
  6. Doh Boy Fresh

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    hmm, I"m sorry man!! I wish this hadn't happened!! I hope the appeal works, because as pre-dents we REALLY REALLY need your website to get through this tiring process...!!! We can't afford to lose it, and we really need google to help you get back the ads on!! I personally didn't click away - i just visited the website, cuz i tot that was all was needed for you to make money. ugh :(
     
  7. klutzy1987

    klutzy1987 StudyingSucks Letsgo Mets
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    The site is great and if you can demonstrate that it was only the first couple of days and then all the excessive clicking abaited maybe they will reconsider. We really nee pre-dents and it would be a shame to lose it.
     
  8. supraman

    supraman Boston Celtics
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    I am posting to say that I did not click on a single ad, however Google Inc needs to understand that when a site on one day is free of ads and the next contains potential dental information, one may sway into clicking these ads to see helpful the information is. I am in full support of predents and it is extremely resourceful.

    Side note: If anyone should be banned from PreDents, it should be the ones that sign up and leave a blank page, with no information on it at all and link it to there username. BAN I SAY!
     
  9. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com
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    I am going to implement a "flag" system where viewers can flag a predent.com member for removal. For instance, if they put up clearly fake numbers or just don't know how to add data that contributes to the website.

    Thanks for the support!
     
  10. supraman

    supraman Boston Celtics
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    Exactly, it should be required, like when a password is incorrect that before you continue, some numbers should be inputted. Other more personal demographics like school name, sex, whatever, is optional. Full support for you! I am willing to start an e-petition as well.
     
  11. NyCzPeter

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    what?? thats outrageous. I never clicked any of those links. And so what if we did? can they prove beyond a reasonable doubt that we weren't interested in the ads?
     
  12. klpennin

    klpennin 20/22/20
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    I think that when people were informed that there would be adds, and upon seeing the adds, they decided to click on them. I don't see how that is fraud. It was the user's decision to click on them. But many of the users are return users of predents, so after initially clicking on the adds, they may not click on them anymore because they have already been explored.

    Sorry it happened to you! Thanks, and goodluck with the appeal.
     
  13. MattEvers

    MattEvers I Love Neely
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    The proof is in the interest shown once you get to the page. When users are clicking to "help" the owner of the site out, they usually immediately press the "back" button. If this happens repeatedly, it is quite clear to Google something fishy is going on. Also, when one person clicks all the ads and doesn't spend anytime there, it sends up red flags. Remember, the advertiser pays every time someone clicks the ads, not just for them being on the site.
     
  14. Contach

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    Do I think you contravened google's policy... hm...

    I remember that you made mention of the advertisements in your posts on SDN. However, I don't think you told us explicitly to click on the advertisements, but instead it did sound implied that we should... or atleast jokingly. But then my question is... if the site creator knows that false clicks will lead to him being banned from GoogleAds, why would he imply for us to click on the ads?
     
  15. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com
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    I agree that illegal clicks were made, there is no question about that. I'm just say'n I didn't intentionally entice people to click. Like Matt said, by posting a thread on the subject, I created an environment that would increase the likelyhood of invalid clicks. I made a mistake,..not fruad. I told Google I didn't want the money. I just didn't want my account to be banned....for life! :cry:
     
  16. lemoncurry

    lemoncurry tequila mockingbird
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    illegal clicks and the thought police! sounds pretty friggin ridiculous to me (on their part). If you refuse the money or return it or whatever, they really should let you back in. My personal opinion is that with these sorts of things, they may be more likely to show lenience if they know that a real, live person is behind the whole thing who made an honest mistake.
     
  17. Aceofspades

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    Incomplete profiles should be flagged. Pertinent information (like GPA and specific scores on all sections of DAT) are what predents is all about. Not listing your undergrad/sex/marital status doesn't matter but missing numbers gives inaccurate statistics.
     
  18. bjhath

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    You did not, to the best of my knowledge, every encourage clicks.

    And, alas, I must say I am likely guilty of clicking an ad, then backpaging.:( As a user, I had no reference as to the tracking systems that ad agencies have in place. Now I know, don't click and backpage...peruse the site for awhile before returning to the home site.

    I hope it all works out, I love the information that predents provides. Thanks again for all of your hard work!
     
  19. asdfg

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    #18 asdfg, Dec 2, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
  20. MattEvers

    MattEvers I Love Neely
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    Right... I understand where you are coming from. Unfortunately, it is usually cheaper for Google to just ban people than to pay someone else to check the site constantly for fraud. But like I said before, I would really look at contacting individual companies; you could get easy paypal payments and not have to worry about any of this. ;)
     
  21. supraman

    supraman Boston Celtics
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    Stop writing like your using AIM or MSN messenger, "dental student" over here. Thread starter clearly posted the Google policy and never did post to click the ads. Of course you can imply anything you want, but it was never posted.

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showpost.php?p=7241812&postcount=40

    Pdizzle, I would suggest to look into donations. If I am accepted this cycle, I will kindly donate and I am sure many others will that use it. Google is trying too hard to take over the world. If you do continue and reference this thread, I hope they read this:

    HEY GOOGLE YOUR ANDROID/ IS A POS PHONE. IPHONE >ALL GOOGLE PHONES
     
  22. swati10

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    you should be banned from predents for life.....
     
  23. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com
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    I apreciate your honesty.

    I made the thread because for years there were no ads, no sing up costs and no donations. I said there would never be any cuz I hate that crap. But it was either that or shut it down, so I wanted to ask my fanbase if it was OK I broke a long time principle of mine. That's why I made the thread. It was a mistake I made, not fraud.

    I did joke around about people "click'n away", and if for that I violated the TOS, then I am guilty according to Google. But don't say I did it on purpose because you don't know what you are talking about.

    Again, I apreciate your honesty :)
     
  24. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com
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    I agree and my research on getting reinstated backs you up. Adsense isn't worried about small fries like me when they have million dollar campaings going on.

    I will take your advice and just move on. I only have a few years until I'm making 6 figs as a dentist so this is all kinda dumb. I will add donations very soon so my loyal fanbase, whom might have a few extra $'s, can keep the site running until I become a doctor.

    Thanks everyone for supporting Predents.com since day one. It means a lot to me that you use and enjoy my little creation.

    Grats to all who got into D-School!!


    Dizz
     
  25. dentalmagnet

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    I would think that it would take a lot more to get banned from google ads than just a "click away" statement in response to one blog on one website. I think you should be given a warning and they should deduct the profits for that week. I guess google is just way too powerful a company to give people a second chance.
     
  26. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com
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    They are extremely strict and give no reason why they banned you, only a list of possible things. Other companies audit your earnings and dismiss invalid clicks and dismiss clicks made by you but dont ban you for life! Getting reinstated is next to impossible. Google "Adsense account banned". There are petitions against them all over the place that Google "stole" their money.

    Google is so huge they can do whatever they want. Never thought they would turn out to be the internet bully. Oh well, nut'n I can do.

    If you think I'm wrong and you know someone you don't like, "click-bomb" their Google ads for two days, then stop. Google will wait until the end of the month, right before they pay them, then ban them, take all their legitimate click money and never respond back to them again.
     
  27. DiNoZeRo2o9

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    Not only should a flag system be implemented, but you shouldn't be able to see pertinent data like profiles unless you have a log-in account. I apologize if this is already implemented, but yes people taking advantage and not contributing to predents is quite annoying.

    Pdizzle, I will donate money for sure if that is what it takes for Predents to stay up. I'm sure many here will and I'm sure with a donation box on the website others will too. If you get a surplus of money, you can use it as insurance to make sure predents never dies! And if it gets to be that much money, you can upgrade the website or stop taking donations.
     
  28. dentstd

    dentstd Fena Gonzales
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    If appealing Google is next to impossible, then I'd take the money and run. There's no need to refuse the money and lose the appeal. It's now inevitable that you take donations for predents. Something to consider... an option for low cost donations, like donating 50 cents or a buck at a time to predents. Noone really cares about a buck these days. Giving a buck per month is nothing.
     
  29. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com
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    Well, some people dont have profiles cuz they havn't got to that point yet(e.g. sophmores or freshman, etc) so I can't block out the ability to see the data...that's not in the spirit of PreDents.com :love:

    Thank you very much for you support and willingness to donate. You sir, rock!
     
  30. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com
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    Hehe, that $$ is long gone!!! Google puts a stop payment on checks already issued when an account is banned, legitiamte money earned months before the infraction they said took place.

    I agree on the donations. I will set that up here shortly.

    Problem with low cost donations is a huge chunk is taken by paypal or other merchant vendors. Usually they take a set amount( 10-25 cents AND 2-3% from every transaction).

    Dizz
     
  31. asdfg

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    #30 asdfg, Dec 3, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
  32. Albuterol

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    I'd donate $, if it came down to that. Predents.com has been a very valuable site for me.
     
  33. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com
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    Predents.com gets 100k+ pageviews/day, especially in Nov-Feb so I had to switch to a dedicated server and those are expensive. It's not only that, but my family has been going through extreme economic trouble and we have to cut back on many things. Predents.com is a luxury when you compare it to making your car payment or buying food.

    Weren't you the one who was glad all this stuff was happening to me??

    Just check'n :rolleyes:

    Dizz
     
  34. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com
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    Thx Albuterol, the donation should be up fairly soon. I need to work out a way to track what each member gave so I can give credit to the ones who helped keep the site alive.
     
  35. geometric-pain

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    Have you tried contacting crest/oral-b or other dental related companies? They give us money for lunch and learns and we don't have that much traffic, plus they have killer deals for dental students, so it could be a win-win.
     
  36. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com
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    Nice tip. I'm working with someone who knows a lot about internet marketing right now and will pass that along....thx:thumbup:
     

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