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Google Agrees To Pay $11 Million To Owners Of Suspended Adsense Accounts

Discussion in 'Main AdSense Discussions' started by Abah Moses, May 22, 2018.

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  1. Abah Moses

    Abah Moses Pro Member Vip Member

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    Google has agreed to create a fund of 11
    million dollars as part of a a class action
    settlement for terminating or disabling a
    publisher's Adsense accounts, but not paying
    out any balances that the publisher had at the
    time.
    The class action complaint filed by a
    California company named Free Range
    Content, Inc. alleged that Google would shut
    down an Adsense account shortly before a
    payment was to be made and then deny the
    publisher the balance owed on the account.
    2. The AdSense program is enormously
    popular. This popularity translates annually to
    billions of dollars payable to AdSense
    publishers – Google’s parlance for website
    operators that host its ads. But as the plaintiff
    and many other publishers have found, Google
    often shuts down AdSense accounts shortly
    before a periodic payment is due and then
    denies the publisher the entirety of the
    expected payment, notwithstanding all the ads
    the publisher already has served to visitors to
    its website during the payment period.
    3. This practice has sparked numerous bitter
    complaints detailed at various places on the
    web. For example, one self-described AdSense
    publisher stated the following: “It’s common
    knowledge among SEOs that AdSense tends to
    be disabled a few days before the supposed
    payout. I haven't lost any big sum – only
    $2000 but I know one person that lost
    $40,000. It was all legitimate traffic coming
    straight from Google themselves, no click
    fraud no bought traffic etc. PS: I was using
    AdSense from 2008 to 2013 – over 5 years so
    it’s not like only new users got banned.”1
    While the Plaintiffs ultimately feel they would
    have won the case, they also acknowledged in
    the settlement agreement that they "recognize
    that Google raised defenses as to both liability
    and damages, which created a material risk
    that Plaintiffs would not have prevailed."
    Google on the other hand has "has at all times
    denied—and continues to deny—any and all
    alleged wrongdoing. Specifically, Google
    denies that its conduct concerning Google
    AdSense violates any law, and it is prepared to
    continue its vigorous defense, including at
    summary judgment and trial. Even so, taking
    into account the uncertainty and risks
    inherent in summary judgment and trial,
    Google has concluded that continuing to
    defend this Action would be burdensome and
    expensive."
    With both the plaintiff and Google recognizing
    that this case could have gone either way,
    they both felt it was in the best interests to
    settle rather than continue what would be an
    expensive case.
    As part of the settlement agreement an 11
    million dollar fund will be created, with no
    more than $5,000 being paid to Class
    Representatives, no more than $2,750,000
    being paid to the class action lawyers, and
    $116,045 reimbursed to the lawyers for costs
    and expenses. The rest of the money will be
    used to pay Settlement Class Members whose
    accounts were terminated or disabled by
    Adsense and were not paid the current
    balance of their accounts.
    Amount of payment is based on various
    criteria
    The amount of money that a claimant will be
    paid depends on the payment group they
    would fall under, which is based on whether a
    notice of dispute was sent in a timely manner,
    when they were terminated, and what Adsense
    agreement their account was bound by. For
    "Payment Group 1", the publisher would
    receive 100% of the balance, "Payment Group
    2" would receive 50%, and "Payment Group 3"
    would receive 30%.
    The minimum amount that can be claimed is
    $3.00 and any remaining distributions will be
    distributed as a “cy pres” award, which is
    proposed to go to Public Justice Foundation
    and Public Counsel.
    For those who have had their Adsense
    accounts terminated or disabled by Google
    and were not paid the balance, you can visit
    the http://
    www.adsensepublishersettlement.com/ site to
    submit a claim.
    Should Google's actions be considered
    criminal?
    Some are also concerned about the heavy
    handed actions of Google and their actions
    having no consequences.
    For example, a user on Hacker News was
    baffled that an action like this would not be
    considered a criminal act. Terminating an
    account for breaking policy is one thing, but
    taking their money is another thing altogether.
    After posting this story, Bad Packets Report
    pointed us towards an old Pastebin post from
    2014, which was supposedly from a Google
    employee that stated that these bans were an
    attempt by Google to increase earnings.
    Whether or not this post is true is not known
    and could be completely fabricated, but it
    does make for an interesting read.
     

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