Well, so far, no response from Mike at Google, save what I updated in the previous post. I did just now get an answer to my tech question, in two days – not bad for a company with millions of such questions, I guess. Long and short: It sometimes takes up to 48 hours for Google to index new posts.
In the meantime, readers have pointed me to many sites with non-compliant wording above their AdSense ads, including at least one that has “Paying the Bills” as its header, just as I did. I’m not going to name them, as that might get them busted too. I have also learned, through reputable sources, that Mike from Google is in fact a person, though clearly he’s employing cut and paste email forms.
Which makes me wonder about consistency with a service as vast as AdSense. The site with the same offending title as mine has clearly been around a long time, but I got dinged in the first 24 hours of life. Why? I doubt there’s any clear answer to that, and that, for a company which prides itself on algorithmic distance and evenhandedness, is an inconsistency that should be addressed.
One last note: As predicted by many of my pals, from my reports, it doesn’t seem like my site is ideal for AdSense. The ads don’t change much and focus on the same thing – blogging and ad networks, for the most part. Why don’t more SEM/SEO companies show up, I wonder? The endemic advertisers seem unable to find me. Ah well, we’ll see how it goes….
UPDATE: Was contacted today (Friday the 10th) by a real person at Google, Joel, who was very nice and had this to say:
I can assure you, your case was handled by a human being. In order to
protect our publishers by keeping a high quality of network as well as
protecting our advertisers interests, we take all of our policy violations
seriously. Because we have such a large volume of publishers, it is hard to
negotiate minor infractions and we sometimes give somewhat robotic replies.
We are constantly working on improving how we handle these cases. And yes,
we are also scrutinizing our policies to make sure we are doing what is best
for our advertisers, web publishers and the viewers of these ads.
With regards to labeling ads, we could not have an open ended policy that
only restricts certain language around the ads. Instead, we have come up
with a short list of allowed language. Unfortunately, “Paying the bills” is
not one of them. For your readers that would like to support you, this
brings attention to the fact that if they click on the ads they will help
you pay your bills. This can quite possibly lead to readers clicking just
because they want to make you money, with no interest in what is on the
other side of the link. This is not good for our advertisers or the AdSense
network as a whole.
Nice to get the human touch. Thanks, Google.