Help! I just got a message from Google that says “The number of ads you can show has been limited. For details, go to the Policy center.” What do I do?
It happens. The first time I got this message I really panicked. I also got an email that said;
Ad serving limit placed on your AdSense account
We recently identified invalid traffic concerns in your AdSense account. As a result, we have introduced an ad serving limit on your account. We will automatically review and update this limit as we continue to monitor your traffic.
Why has this happened?
We found potentially invalid traffic being used to generate ad revenue on your account. As a reminder, invalid traffic is strictly prohibited by the AdSense Program policies. Clicks on Google ads must result from genuine user interest. Publishers may not ask others to click their ads. This includes asking users to support your site, offering rewards to users for viewing ads, and promising to raise money for third parties for such behavior. Additionally, clicking your own ads, automated clicking tools or traffic sources, robots, or other deceptive software are also prohibited.
We understand that you may want to know more about the activity we’ve detected. Because this information could be used to circumvent our proprietary detection systems, we’re unable to provide our publishers with information about specific account activity, including users that may have been involved.
Note that if you are found to be in violation of the AdSense Program policies, your account may be subject to further enforcement actions or may be permanently disabled.
What should I do now?
Your account is still fully accessible and you can view details about this account-level issue in the Policy center. While this ad serving limit typically impacts publishers for less than 30 days, it may take longer in some cases. We encourage you to be proactive in making sure your ad traffic complies with the AdSense Program policies. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
The Google AdSense Team
I have never clicked on my ads or asked people to click on ads. I have even asked friends NOT to click on ads.
I searched all of my sites for the word support. I found a very old post that asked people to support a certain business. I removed that, in case bots misunderstood.
I searched all of my sites for the words ads, rewards, view… anything that might possibly be misconstrued. I think I read every word I had ever written over the next week. Some of the blogs were written years and years ago. They have been monetized since April 6, 2016 and there had never been a problem before.
The page that the alert clicks through to says;
Ad serving has been limited
Invalid traffic concerns
The number of ads you can show has been limited
Ad serving on your account is currently being limited due to invalid traffic concerns. We’ll automatically review and update this limit as we continue to monitor your traffic. Learn more about ad serving limits.
What you can do
Make sure you understand your ad traffic and site visitors. Never click on your own ads, and avoid partnering with untrusted or low-quality parties. Learn more about preventing invalid traffic. While this ad serving limit typically impacts publishers for less than 30 days, it may take longer in some cases.
I don’t partner with anybody but myself. Nearly all my traffic comes from Google. Pinterest is second, but I don’t think they are “untrusted or low-quality.”
I googled for other people that had this happen and read all of their ideas. They all seemed unlikely, so I ignored them.
I checked all of the time to see if the alert had gone away yet. The email said typically less than 30 days. Within just a couple of days, a few ads started showing up and I started making a little bit of money. Not much, only about 10% of what it had been. But in only seven days it was back to normal. The alert was gone and the revenue was coming in again. I thought that what I fixed must have been the problem and I breathed a big sigh of relief.
And then exactly a week later I got the message again. And my AdSense earnings went to zero. I googled again for what might be going on. I looked for other options to monetize my sites. I stopped checking my AdSense reports, it was just depressing.
And then I noticed an interesting thing. When the ads weren’t showing, sales from Amazon went up. Possibly enough to make the difference. While I was still tracking this, the ads started showing again. It was about two weeks this time.
Everything has been fine and I just got the alert and email again. I’m disappointed, but I am not going to do anything but check again in a week.
And Amazon sales have gone up again. It’s hard to track a real correlation. Ordered items is the number of items, not the dollar value. Earnings are when it ships, not when it is ordered. The higher dollar items tend to take longer to ship.
I guess the takeaway here is, “Have more than one income stream.”