Google Accused Of Stealing From AdSense Publishers
A rather weighty accusation has reached Google’s doorstep in the last 48 hours concerning the extremely lucrative AdSense program, which accounts for a third of Google’s annual revenue. An online user who claims to have been a former Google employee has lambasted the search engine for what he describes as “stealing from former AdSense publishers”.
The claim has certainly left online readers and other AdSense users intrigued, as it seems to run in conjunction with a comment made on Valleywag:
“I didn’t participate in it as I was just a witness to the uproar. But what people were saying at the time matches what this guy is saying.
It was a forum called WarriorForum, dedicated to Internet Marketing. I was planning on selling apps for them but nothing came out of it but it was around the time the ban fest happened.”
All this talk of “stealing” and “bans” might have you a bit confused, so here’s the crux of what’s been unearthed so far.
It’s believed that Google, according to the former employee, weren’t happy with the amount of money people had managed to accumulate as a result of their work with AdSense. Therefore, they called an emergency meeting with staff members in the AdSense department, providing little information other than that they wanted accounts with huge payouts “banned” as soon as possible.
The former employee goes on to talk about how many of his fellow workers were “not pleased, but they (Google) were successful in scaring the rest into thinking it would be their jobs and their money that would be on the line”.
He then claimed that Google were reaping the benefits of having money coming and very little going out, as advertisers continued to pay for AdSense whilst the publishers’ accounts were closed down one by one.
As you can imagine, Google were reluctant to take the accusation seriously:
“This description of our AdSense policy enforcement process is a complete fiction. The colour-coding and ‘extreme quality control’ programs the author describes don’t exist.”
Matt Cutts also felt he should make his presence known, responding in swift fashion with his own support for Google. He started by criticising the post directly, pointing out “typos” and “wrong terminology” before labelling the entire thing as a “conspiracy-laden fake”.
Despite this, comments similar to the one at the top of this post seem to be mysteriously cropping up here and there, contributing to the idea that there could be something behind the accusation.
So are Google guilty of theft? Despite their instantaneous denial, we’ll be looking out for any responses that seek to support what this self-proclaimed former Google employee has to say.