Every day Lijit talks to hundreds of publishers on the phone about everything it takes to be a publisher in the engaged independent web. A lot of the time we pick up the phone which is something you would expect from a business partner. Other times we send personal emails because at the end of the day if you aren’t successful, we aren’t successful. Publishers work hard to create content that attracts great audiences. All you ask from a monetization partner is to care about that and help you.
In the last few weeks, there has been a deafening roar from publishers who are getting blind form emails from Google shutting them down from AdSense. These emails simply state that their content “poses a risk of generating invalid activity.” For this reason they won’t be paid for content placements Google bought from the publisher months ago. In other words, while we bought that from you in December, we now aren’t going to pay for that. Wow.
This is super unfortunate. Google, under their terms of service, certainly has the right to turn off the AdSense accounts of publishers. In addition, they have the right to withhold that publisher’s revenue from months ago. And, I suppose they can do that without actually calling or personally emailing you. It’s amazing how little they care.
Personally, I have never been in an industry where the 800 lb Gorilla behaves in such a reprehensible way. It certainly feels like Google is “doing some evil.”
Google runs a huge exchange and for many publishers it monetizes well. But frankly, as a business Lijit requires its partners to really be partners. And in turn, we extend that same respect to our publishers. Sometimes we detect fraudulent behavior and we call the publisher, explain the problem, and help rectify it when the publisher doesn’t know. Sometimes we need to remove a publisher from our network. But we will always treat you like a partner.
March 2, 2012