Google has quickly moved to rebut allegations that it banned a large number of web publishers from its AdSense advertising system because they were making too much money.
The allegations against Google, posted on Pastebin, are thought to have been made by a disgruntled former employee of the search engine giant and detail the ways in which Google AdSense employees had been instructed to apply a “quality control” scheme against publishers deemed to be making too much money from the system.
The former employee says this began in 2009 and alleges it might still be going on today. The employee says management was worried Google “hands out too many checks each month to publishers, and that the checks were too large and that needed to end right away”.
They go on to tell how the “AdSense Quality Control Color Codes” policy operated so as to ban certain publishers in order for Google not to have to pay out the earnings made by these publishers using AdSense.
What will the election mean to you?
Sign up to our free newsletter, including this weekend’s coverage of the election.
“After that point there was a running gag amongst fellow co-workers where we would walk by each other and whisper “Don’t be evil, pft!” and roll our eyes.”
However, Google has not only denied the allegations but called the post a “fake”. It quickly released a statement to tech news website The Next Web debunking the AdSense conspiracy espoused by the supposed former employee, saying the policy talked about in the post never even existed.
“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. Our teams and automated systems work around the clock to stop bad actors and protect our publishers, advertisers and users,” Google said in the statement.
“All publishers that sign up for AdSense agree to the Terms and Conditions of the service and a set of policies designed to ensure the quality of the network for users, advertisers and other publishers. When we discover violations of these policies, we take quick action, which in some cases includes disabling the publisher’s account and refunding affected advertisers.”