Reader oyiabrown asks:
Any chance you could expand on what are the grave limitations of AdSense by Google (mentioned above) – to a raw WordPress beginner, when you have a moment?
I’ve been waiting for somebody to ask me about this and now that this reader has, I’m happy to explain how Google AdSense works.
AdSense is a program that places ads on your blog and then gives you money whenever anybody clicks on them. It might work quite well for smaller blogs with very modest readerships. You might get your $30 every 6 months or so and have no major issues.
However, when a blog’s popularity grows and it starts making more money for the blogger, problems begin. AdSense uses every opportunity to shut down your account and keep the money you have accumulated in it. As soon as your AdSense account gets a few hundred dollars in it, be prepared for the AdSense to manufacture some pretext to close the account and keep the money.
What can those pretexts be? Well, anything that can be qualified as “suspicious clicking activity” (this is an official term used by AdSense). If the company decides that a certain reader has clicked too often or too much, this is grounds for termination. If you clicked on an ad on your own blog just once either from curiosity, to see how it works, or simply by mistake, your account will be terminated and you will never be able to start a new one even if you open a completely different blog 3 years later.
Also, if your blog is popular, it might start attracting trolls. A troll can maliciously get your account terminated by clicking on ads many times in rapid succession.
In many cases, accounts get terminated and AdSense keeps all the money in them for no discernible reason whatsoever. I’ve read dozens of complaints about it on the Blogger discussion forum, and the main problem is that there is no appealing such decisions. The account gets closed and there is nothing you can do.
P.S. I don’t use AdSense and the annoying ad that started appearing after the first post on the Home Page is something that I have neither requested nor have any control over. This is something that WordPress is doing to generate revenues for itself. I think it’s fair, albeit annoying to me, because the folks at WordPress provide really fantastic support to their bloggers.