Can anyone tell what Google’s problem with me is?


I got this email four days ago, but didn’t see it until today. The headline was, “Google AdSense: Action required to comply with AdSense program policies.”

OK, so I opened it, intending to deal with whatever the problem might be.

Trouble is, based on this, I have no idea what the problem is:


This is a warning message to alert you that there is action required to bring your AdSense account into compliance with our AdSense program policies. We’ve provided additional details below, along with the actions to be taken on your part.

Affected website:

Example page where violation occurred:

Action required: Please make changes immediately to your site to follow AdSense program policies.

Current account status: Active

Violation explanation

As stated in our program policies, sites displaying Google ads should provide substantial and useful information to the user. Users should be able to easily navigate through the site to find what products, goods, or services are promised. Examples of misguided navigation include, but are not limited to:

  • False claims of downloadable or streaming content
  • Linking to content that does not exist
  • Redirecting users to irrelevant and/or misleading webpages
  • Text on a page unrelated to the topic and/or business model of the website.

For more information, please review Google’s Webmaster quality guidelines and the AdSense program policies.

How to resolve:

  • If you received a notification in regard to page content, we request that you immediately remove Google ads from the violating pages. If you are unable to, or unsure of how to remove the ads from these pages, or would like to continue monetizing the page with Google ads, please modify or remove the violating content to meet our AdSense policies.
  • If you received a notification in regards to the way ads are implemented on your site, please make the necessary changes to your implementation.

You do not need to contact us if you make changes. Please be aware that if additional violations are accrued, ad serving may be disabled to the website listed above. You should immediately take time to review your pages with Google ads to ensure that they comply with our policies.

Additionally, please be aware that the URL above is just an example and that the same violations may exist on other pages of this website or other sites that you own. To reduce the likelihood of future warnings from us, we suggest that you review all your sites for compliance. Here are some useful resources you might be interested in.

For more information regarding our policy warning notifications, visit our Help Center.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation.


The Google AdSense Team

Of course, of course, of COURSE it’s from a “noreply” address, so I can’t ask questions.

And of course, when you click on the Help Center link, you get more words, and links to other words, none of which start out, “Our problem with your post is…”

They did allow me to vent a bit. When I clicked the “no” button at the bottom asking whether the article was helpful, I got a box to type in, under the invitation, “How can we improve it?” I wrote:

You can give me someone to talk to. The warning I received was completely unintelligible. I cannot begin to intuit what the problem is. If you have a problem with something on my blog, come out and tell me exactly what the problem is. From what you sent, I don’t have a clue….

But maybe I’m being obtuse. Can y’all see what it is, and tell me how to fix it?

The only thing I see on that post that might conceivably be troubling would be a copyright issue. But I’m pretty sure that my use of the photo from “Breaking Bad” and the Jimmy Carter one from Playboy, I’m in Fair Use territory. And I don’t think that’s what they’re talking about.

So what do you think it is?

7 thoughts on “Can anyone tell what Google’s problem with me is?

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    The only thing I can think of to do is take the post down. And that would be fine with me. But then I reach this part:

    Additionally, please be aware that the URL above is just an example and that the same violations may exist on other pages of this website or other sites that you own. To reduce the likelihood of future warnings from us, we suggest that you review all your sites for compliance….

    So, since I don’t know what I’m doing that they don’t like, I don’t know what to do.

    There’s nothing unusual about this post, except maybe that it mentions sex. Is that it? Do they think I’m trying to lure people into thinking this is a porn site or something?

    I mean, really — I don’t see what I’m doing in that post that I don’t do all the time. And they’ve never complained before.

    I want to comply. Just tell me what to do

  2. Tom Stickler

    Try renaming your /sex/ category — you know, “this was posted in Trivia” e.g. — and see if Google’s algorithm does not trigger. Maybe “Shenanigans”?

    It was probably not the post, just the category.

      1. Doug Ross

        That was going to be my suggestion as well. Perhaps the algorithm thinks you are trying to misdirect people to a page with juicy sexual content but instead it’s full of Trump bashing?

        The alternative would be to post more Christina Hendricks photos on that page. I’m willing to beta test that option for as many hours as it takes.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      OK, wait a sec…

      I removed that category designation from this particular post.

      I did NOT remove the “sex” category from my blog.

      Is that what you think I should do? That seems a bit excessive — I mean, it IS a subject that is sometimes in the news — but then it would be minimally disruptive. Out of the 9,737 posts on this blog over the past 12 years, only seven are in that category…

  3. Jeff Mobley

    I wonder if there’s any chance that some combination of words is somehow triggering a recent enhancement to Google’s AdSense policy and any corresponding programming code designed to implement it.


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