Ben Bjurstrom
Ben Bjurstrom
Personal Website

YouTube Demonetized: Google mistakenly believes AdSense related to other account

TLDR

My WebConcepts YouTube channel with over 100k subscribers was permanently demonetized last week after its AdSense account was closed for allegedly being related to another account.

This is clearly a mistake. I’ve been using this same AdSense account to monetize my Youtube channel for 6 years and haven’t touched another AdSense account during that time.

So far Google hasn’t provided me with any information supporting their allegations. I filed an appeal but it was promptly denied in the middle of the night.

I love YouTube and am really proud of the WebConcepts channel. To have its monetization forever taken arbitrarily and without recourse very disheartening.

Intro

A few months ago my WebConcepts YouTube channel crossed 100k subscribers. Although I don’t upload often I’m really proud of the channel. It keeps my pipe dream of being able to pursue YouTube full time alive.

Lately I’ve been keeping an eye on my inbox eagerly awaiting an email from Google notifying me that my Silver Play Button is ready. Instead on the evening of July 15th I received a much less exciting email.

Your Google AdSense account was recently canceled.

AdSense Canceled: 2021-07-15 9:53 PM PDT

Why on earth would my AdSense be Canceled? There must be some mistake. Then 14 minutes later the answer came.

Violations found:

Account related to a disabled account: Our specialists have found that your account is related to an account that was disabled for violations of AdSense policies. Publishers whose accounts have been disabled are not eligible for further participation in the AdSense program.

Related Account Email: 2021-07-15 9:53 PM PDT

Ok this is definitely a mistake. I’ve been using this AdSense account for 6 years now and haven’t touched another AdSense account during that time. There’s no way my account could be legitimately related to another disabled account.

This most recent email contained a link to appeal the suspension. You can see the generic Google Forms form here where it states:

Due to the volume of appeals we receive, you must leave 90 days between appeals. Any appeals made within 90 days of the resolution of another appeal will not be reviewed.

One Appeal Every 90 Days

Ok that's concerning. This is starting to feel pretty bureaucratic. But since this is such an obvious mistake I figured having someone take another look would lead to a quick resolution. So I crafted the following appeal and sent it off right at 11:00 PM.

Hello, I received notification that this AdSense account has been disabled. The reason given was "Our specialists have found that your account is related to an account that was disabled for violations of AdSense policies."

There must be some mistake. I've never had an account disabled for violations of AdSense policies.

For Tax purposes this AdSense account is tied to my business entity Jelled Media, LLC. My business entity has never owned or operated any other AdSense accounts.

I'm the sole owner/operator of Jelled Media, LLC and no one else is authorized to act on its behalf.

Jelled Media, LLC is the only business entity I own or operate. The only other AdSense account I've ever used is my personal account. Which remains in good standing.

Appeal: 2021-07-15 11:00 PM PDT

As I slept the response to my appeal came in at 4:40 AM PDT.

After taking into consideration the information that you have provided, we have confirmed that we are unable to reinstate your publisher account.

Response to appeal: 2021-07-16 4:40 AM PDT

Denied in less than five hours without any additional explanation.

But they were able to inform me that my account will not receive any further payment. Which is disappointing since I’m already owed $486.58 for the ads they ran on my videos last month.

Adsense Balance

I tweeted at Youtube who directed me to get in touch with the YouTube Creator Support team.

@TeamYouTube: 2021-07-16 8:45 AM PDT

Incredibly I was actually able to chat with somebo[t]y!

Chat Part 1: 2021-07-16 4:26 PM PDT

Who told me I should submit an appeal using the aforementioned form...

Chat Part 2: 2021-07-16 4:43 PM PDT

I asked for a contact in their legal department. At which point they kindly got rid of me by offering to look into the matter further and email me within 24 hours.

As expected a few hours later I received an email letting me know there’s nothing they can do. Almost got my hopes up there for a minute.

Nothing they can do email: 2021-07-16 8:50 PM PDT

So at this point I’m not really sure what to do. I’ve exhausted my single "appeal" for the next 90 days and the only method of recourse offered anywhere else was that appeal.

After reviewing the AdSense terms of service I believe I may have a legitimate cause of action against Google for breach of contract. But I’ll discuss that in a future post. Follow me on twitter @benbjurstrom for updates.

For now I'm hoping I can get the attention of someone at Google by sharing this blog post on social media. If you read this far know that I appreciate you listening to my story. Thank you. Seriously thank you!