Last month, I received a notice that my AdSense account has been terminated because of invalid clicks after having the account for nearly 10 years.
The irony to this was that the termination was not a result of having AdSense on any of my self hosted websites but was because I associated my AdSense account with a couple revenue sharing websites such as Squidoo and Hubpages, which by default, encourage their writers to add their AdSense account for a share of the profits.
For those that don't know what revenue sharing is, it basically allows writers to develop content for a third party website such as Hubpages and share any revenue generated from their work. In short, it is a partnership and the benefits for the writer is that they will typically rank quicker for their keywords and thus get more traffic as a result. The sharing is done by producing the publisher's AdSense ID's randomly according to the "cut" in the terms of service. For instance, a 60/40 cut in the writer's favor would mean that their AdSense ads would show up 60% of the time while the publisher's AdSense ads would show up 40%.
The writers love this because they don't necessarily have to manage a website and can focus on writing while the websites that share revenue can generate content easily and quickly scale their business.
All in all, it seems like a win/win situation for both the writer and the website. Writer's get paid by performance and the website generates much needed content.
That said, there is one sticking point that should be addressed and could clearly pose an indirect risk for the writer's AdSense account.
No Access To Ip Logs
When I first got the Google letter, I thought that this certainly had to be a conspiracy. After all, how could my AdSense account be affected while the actual website churned right along as though nothing happened? Shouldn't they pay the costs as well?
A friend of mine who is what would be defined as a premium AdSense publisher explained to me that in all likelihood, the website was able to monitor clicks according to IP addresses via weblogs and as a result, could filter those which could conceivably be considered high risk. And since, as simply a contributor, I didn't have access to those same logs and they didn't protect my account in the same way that they would protect theirs.
Without access to IP logs, there is no way for the writer to protect their AdSense accounts.
Should You Contribute To Revenue Sharing Websites?
Now, it should be noted that I largely didn't use the websites as a primary source of revenue but more as a way that an SEO would use these types of websites; to drive search engines through links for indexing and link juice purposes.
However, if I was a writer who shared revenue with these websites,
I would like to know that this potential risk could effectively put my AdSense account as well as other ad partnerships that participated with the website at risk. And given the policy of many of these advertisement companies, that risk may outweigh the temporary monetary reward.