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back to article Did Google order staff to 'steal' web ad cash from publishers? THE TRUTH

Google has denied allegations made by a self-styled “former Google employee” – who claimed he was ordered to take part in “theft of money” from “thousands upon thousands” of publishers using Google AdSense. According to a missive posted anonymously onto Pastebin on Tuesday, the web king told its staff in 2009 that it would begin …

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Nah...

Whatever else I may think about Google, I don't think they're stupid enough to do something like this in such a blatant, heavy-handed way. And if they had, there'd been a lot more noise from ex-employees by now.

Somebody's on an ego trip, methinks.

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Sounds like utter rubbish for two reasons, more ex employees would have spoke up and more publishers would have gone crazy about this online. They work in the media after all, they know how to get attention. This isn't even news as the source is complete non credible and the story doesn't even pass a cursory sensibility test.

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Let me get this straight

Google receives money from advertisers and passes (some of) it to publisher web sites on which the ads run. And the claim is that Google banned publisher web sites so as not to have to pay them, and did not refund advertisers?

That I understand, the payment threshold is $100. Even with "thousands upon thousands of publishers" thus banned, this is surely pocket change for Google…

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Re: Let me get this straight

Well, $100 is the minimum payout requiremnt for the whole month. What if Google ban your account in the last couple of days of a month when the account balance is much higher $xxxx..

That said, I seriously doubt they'll openly ask their employees to do something like this.

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Meh

I don't like Google very much at all, but even I think this story has a certain smell to it.

Unless lots of the people who have had money taken in this way or former/current employees come forward, or some internal documents are leaked, I think we'll find the smell to be reminiscent of the excrement of a male bovine creature.

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Not saying you are wrong there but how would one distinguish it from the usual Google smell?

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Scroogle

M$ Scroogle campaign anyone?

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I don't believe it

Google would have a cleverer more deniable evil scheme that wouldn't at all look evil.

However though I run maybe 15 websites I don't have any 3rd party adverts, so I can't offer any pithy anecdotal evidence.

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Anonymous Coward

The danger with anonymous submissions . . .

As the Pope, I can tell you with certainty that the Vatican is secretly run by a cabal of lizard Illuminati who want to corrupt our precious bodily fluids so that we'll be more delicious when the invasion comes.

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Maybe this is Google's Snowden?

We didn't have "proof" of all the NSA spying and the content "they" found until Snowden started posting his data over time. Snowden strung it out over a very long time as well. Only time will tell if this is a scam, and localized individual action or a Corporate policy finally revealed.

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What a coincidence...

I used to run a network of websites between the end of 2008 to May 2009 using Google Adsense. I had my account banned on 12th of March 2009, right before payment (that would be my record month) Previous payouts where around £4k and £3k.....then boom!...just saying...

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Re: What a coincidence...

Analysis of Google Adsense bans show that roughly one in ten of them happened in the last three days before payout. Coincidence? I think not.

It's almost as suspicious as the way that Google employees take 40% of their so-called sick days on either a Monday or a Friday.

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Re: What a coincidence...

A scammer would most likely try to boost the amount Google owe them in the last few days, in the hope that Google pays out before it notice the scam.

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Anonymous Coward

What a coincidence...

What a coincidence you just joined to give us this unverified anecdote.

Of course, as is usual here for anything even remotely critical of Google, you got up voted at once.

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Paris Hilton

'lay-offs if they failed to "enforce the company's wishes."'

Why not just fire them for not doing their jobs?

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Anonymous Coward

of course this is fake!

Google would never do something petty, or have middle managers with their heads up their arses. That's only for companies that don't exclusively seek out sub-30 year old goatee wearers and ride bicycles with more than one gear.

Nope, stupid decisions, and petty greed, are for those "other" companies. can't possibly happen here....except for those hiring agreements... and generic silicon valley grift.

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Google aren't that stupid

Whatever you might think of Google, they aren't stupid. Having such a blatant programme to screw their publishers would be bound to leak at some time or another, and given that's the source of the vast majority of their revenue would literally destroy the company - for a trivial gain. This is complete BS, and I'm surprised any reputable news outlet would bother repeating it.

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If..

If something like this happened, I suspect it would be aimed to those 'publishers' running link farms with no useful original content ... the type of sites that Google does not want running AdSense.

However I actually also have some issues with something similar ... where a few pounds are mysteriously deducted at the end of the month for 'invalid traffic' ... and Google is unable to offer further details. Makes me wonder, it does ....

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Why?

Why would Google ban the accounts of those bringing them in advertisising revenue?

It would be great for the first period - they could keep the money.

But once they have banned the account - they then recieve none of the revenue from the advertiser, as no-one is seeing the ads on the account any more

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Anonymous Coward

re: If..

>> I suspect it would be aimed to those 'publishers' running link farms with no useful original content ...

Like Business Insider, Forbes, etc., etc.

Of course, Google can do no wrong. The Google said so.

It's amazing how supportive El Reg & its commenters are of certain entities, and dismissive of others. This is especially true about support for those entities when certain pieces of information show up.

Guess my sites will be banned, but it is now the end of the month. How quick does Google react?

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Who Knows

First things first, Google Adsense needs to be fairer to their publishers. I make ok'ish money using them, but once I had a violation against me and my ads were disabled until I fixed it. They never told me what my violation was. I looked over my site for about 5 days and found nothing wrong, but then I realised that if someone had hovered over a certain category a small display part fractionally covered an advert!!!! -- (Crime of the century). I messaged back to ask if that was the problem and if so I had fixed it.

They then sent me a screenshot of the thing slightly covering an ad, and thanking me for fixing the issue. Come on Google, who the hell do you think you are, does your team really like to play little immature mind games such as this! A little message at the start to tell me the problem and it could have been fixed within 10 minutes, and you even had all the information (screenshots) related to it to show me.

So you tell me. If they can be so trivial with how they treat publishers, how people get no explanation for account closures, and how communication with them is practically non-existent, who knows if they can close accounts for no reason, nobody knows nothing about them, even with YouTube the community are screaming at them to make the site how it used to be, they do not listen.

In a few months and if no lawsuit has happened where "this person" can give them the evidence, "this person" claims they will release the full details, if nothing else arises it was just fiction, but all the same it will be interesting to see.

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Anonymous Coward

Yup i'd believe it - they closed my adsense account with no explanation

I had adsense for 12 months on a small comunity car forum and as it was small it took 12 months to build up the 100 minimum payment , just before it was due to be paid they closed my account for "violating their T&C's" and would not disclose any further information as to which i alledgedly breached.

There was no option to fix anything or un suspsend just suck it up and move on.

So Google no doubt charged the advertisers for the clicks/views for 12 months and paid out nothing.. pretty good business model

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