Monday, 17 February 2014

Google 'NoSense'

“Ladies and gentlemen, we got him.”

It has been a hugely successful few days for the good folk at Google AdSense. A serious threat to the viability and reputation of its service has been removed. Order has been restored. Wrong Way's 'malicious' manoeuvrings have been uncovered and now terminated.

Google AdSense; more like 'NoSense' or 'NonSence'
Somebody's making money; not Wrong Way though (pic from http://compuscien.blogspot.com).

What? You haven't heard of this blog's 'dodgy dealings', a cunning plan to 'rob' AdSense and its advertisers of millions of euro? Well to be honest, neither did I, until the Google offshoot informed me via e-mail that my account was being disabled due to 'invalid activity'. What exactly that invalid activity was, is anybody's guess. AdSense is certainly being coy about it, apparently due to security issues, so one can only speculate as to what exactly the breach of rules was.

All this coming at a time when Wrong Way was, erm, taking off. Already in the kitty sat, drumroll please, a cool €25 ($34US), and this after only two years of the 'lucrative' advertising being displayed on the blog. At that rate, by 2017 I might have been close to reaching the current payout threshold of €70. Heady times indeed. My round-the-world trip plans were already taking shape on the belief that this big pay day was looming. Now, alas, everything has been thrown into chaos. I fear each knock at the door is the bank manager coming to take what he can from me before I abscond.

Worse still, perhaps Google will send their henchmen to 'sort me out' for having the cheek to take them on (and almost get away with it too, as the above figures illustrate).

That wouldn't be too surprising considering the ruthless streak the company has displayed thus far. Not even a warning was forthcoming to inform me that the blog was 'under suspicion'.

Yes, there is an appeal process which I duly went through only to be promptly told, in another template e-mail (where is the personal touch guys?): “After thoroughly (my emphasis) reviewing your account data and taking your feedback into consideration, our specialists have confirmed that we're unable to reinstate your AdSense account.” And the e-mail closed with the following: “As a reminder, further participation in the AdSense program by publishers whose accounts have been disabled is not permitted.”
Open English and the extremely annoying, 'Clases en vivo 24 horas al día' line.
You'll be, ahem, missed Open English (picture from openenglish.com).

That's where it's at. Very much a feeling of case closed. In a bid to try and deal with a person rather than a generic appeal process and e-mail templates, I did write a message to AdSense on Google Plus to emphasise my bewilderment at the decision. 'Surprisingly', there has been no response.

So punished for an unnamed 'crime', with no real recourse to defend myself. Heck, Google's 'specialists' might shut down the blog next (no such luck you say). Perhaps with this 'broadside' I'm in danger of biting off the hand that (barely) fed me?

For the time being though, for all you loyal Wrong Way followers (don't laugh), look on the bright side: There'll be no more of those annoying Open English ads hogging this screen. That's our silver lining.

Plus, there's always WordPress and El Tiempo. It's not all about the money, right?

Monday, 10 February 2014

The end of 'we' as we know it

It is with great sadness that I must bring to you the end, as you have become accustomed to here at Wrong Way, of 'we'. Yes, the 'we' that so many of you (two on the last count, including me) know, love, and even feel part of, is departing the scene.

The Wrong Way trademark photo.
Me, myself, and I; 'I think we're alone now...'

You'll be glad to know that it has been an amicable separation. It's just it had become more and more difficult to defend the continuance of 'we' when 'I' would have sufficed. The fact that Wrong Way recently opened up a new front where 'I' has led the way, has been a factor in this sudden decamping.*

This is not to say that I haven't valued 'we's' contribution to this blog over the past two years plus, it's just I feel it's time to get back to me. 'We' did serve its purpose, allowing a certain candidness at times that 'I' perhaps wouldn't have been able to express. However, rightly or wrongly – the latter being more appropriate considering who's writing – I'm feeling more brazen these days, so 'we' is taking an indefinite rest.

There are times when 'we' will return, more than likely in an all encompassing sense. So rest assured all you 'we' fans, this is not terminal; it's just the beginning of a new departure here. 'A change being as good as a rest' and all that. Or the beginning of the end?

Whatever the case, for now it's just me (and hopefully you). Heck, I'm feeling a bit exposed. Stick with me here.

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*Outside of the El Tiempo gig, there is also this for GoAbroad.com, where it is all 'me'.