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Some very damaging allegations being made here:

Posted in: General by Richard Hearne on April 30, 2014
Internet Marketing Ireland

Some very damaging allegations being made here:

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ALG Google AdSense Employee Claims AdSense Steals From Publishers
A person has come forward claiming to be a former AdSense Google’r and makes some pretty nutty claims…   Claiming that Google is downright stealing from its publishers…   Grab your popcorn! Begin open letter: I am a former Google employee and I am writing this to leak information to the public of what I […]

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  1. I read the story elsewhere, I think there are provably false claims made in it.

    Comment by Jim Munro — April 30, 2014 @ 7:43 am

  2. I'd imagine there's probably some truth mixed in with some very subjective and biased reporting.

    Comment by Richard Hearne — April 30, 2014 @ 7:48 am

  3. It's supposedly an open letter from a Googler but I think it's all made up.

    For example, this just did not happen in 2009 ("We were told to go and look into the publishers accounts, and if any publisher had accumulated earnings exceeding $5000 and was near a payout or in the process of a payout, we were to ban the account right away and reverse the earnings back.") and the 2012 scenarios look like nonsense too.

    The whole thing looks like it was written during breaks in the cricket on the sub-continent.

    Comment by Jim Munro — April 30, 2014 @ 7:58 am

  4. We'll likely never know Jim. But I'd imagine from some of the names and processes mentioned that other Googlers would know if this is pure fantasy or not. They wont be saying publicly though…

    Comment by Richard Hearne — April 30, 2014 @ 8:05 am

  5. In the other journal they pointed out that the supposed user referred to "adsense division" — a name that is not used internally

    Comment by Jim Munro — April 30, 2014 @ 8:23 am

  6. Where is that Jim?

    Comment by Richard Hearne — April 30, 2014 @ 8:26 am

  7. It was on TechCrunch – I will find a link

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/113104553286769158393/posts/KPZLu1T1sSP  +Richard Hearne 

    Comment by Jim Munro — April 30, 2014 @ 8:27 am

  8. In the shoemoney link it was said here about halfway down the "open letter"

    "Before December 2012:

    In the first quarter of 2009 there was a “sit-down” from the AdSense division higher ups to talk about new emerging issues and the role we (the employees in the AdSense division needed to play. "

    Comment by Jim Munro — April 30, 2014 @ 8:29 am

  9. I did add the link above but adding it again just in case it is not visible.

    Comment by Jim Munro — April 30, 2014 @ 8:37 am

  10. Read that article Jim.  Interesting comment from someone claiming to be a former Lead Product Manager for Adsense:

    "Rahul Bafna · VP Product at Drawbridge
    Former Lead Product Manager for AdSense here (no longer at Google). As the author says, this is mostly false information. The economics don't add up, and don't make such a program worthwhile. Simply permitting click fraud would be much more profitable (in the short term)."

    The interesting bit being "is mostly false information" – the plot could thicken here.

    Comment by Richard Hearne — April 30, 2014 @ 8:39 am

  11. I like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, but there's really nothing there. 

    Comment by John Mueller — April 30, 2014 @ 9:03 am

  12. Agreed, John, you know I love to point out issues where Google could do better but this one looks like it is 100% made up.

    Comment by Jim Munro — April 30, 2014 @ 9:07 am

  13. Even if this is entirely false the sad truth is that Google has some history with things like pharma ads, and for that reason alone I reckon some of this is going to stick. 

    If nothing else perhaps this will force some transparency on Google's Adsense procedures.

    Comment by Richard Hearne — April 30, 2014 @ 9:17 am

  14. I'm all for encouraging more transparency & for improving things that are broken, and I definitely don't want to stop anyone from bringing up issues that need to be resolved.  That said, if there are issues with a product or service, then I don't think making something up is the right way to have them taken seriously.

    Comment by John Mueller — April 30, 2014 @ 9:30 am

  15. I think we all agree that making claims like this up is unacceptable.

    The problem I think Google faces is that they are so secretive about the inner workings that it's very hard for outsiders to distinguish between what's real and what's not John.

    I suspect there'll be more to come on this story before it dies down.

    Comment by Richard Hearne — April 30, 2014 @ 9:33 am

  16. Reading through the thing, it looks, feels, and smells like bullshirt…

    I do, however, agree that this sort of thing is only going to be happening with increasing frequency as time goes on, especially with relation to AdSense/AdWords. I've spent enough time in the AdSense forum to get a good taste of the kind of people who lose their accounts because of shenanigans.

    Comment by Sasch Mayer — April 30, 2014 @ 2:16 pm

  17. Why would he need to hide? Wouldn't the whistleblower act protect him even with an NDA? When you're protected under the whistleblower act, I believe it's 6 months that your name isn't even published.

    This post sounds like one of the poorly written conspiracy claims on the Adsense forum. Plus, he claims that the money from banned accounts go back to Google and that's not true. It goes back to advertisers.

    Definitely BS radar going off here.

    Comment by Jennifer M — April 30, 2014 @ 3:43 pm

  18. At a guess my first thought was that the writer was not a native English
    speaker. My suspicion was that s/he was either Indian or Pakistani.

    I doubt any us laws can be applied to non-us citizens.

    Comment by Richard Hearne — April 30, 2014 @ 4:06 pm

  19. I would think though if he whistleblows on a huge US corporation, he'd have US lawyers who would take his claim. The only people who would have his name is the lawyer and the investigators (for instance the FBI). I know that the whistleblower act protects the whistleblower, but I don't remember for how long. The investigators then go off and investigate without being able to mention the whistleblower's name. Even the company itself isn't notified that an investigation is going on. If this was at all true, he went the wrong route. If it was true, he'd be looking at a nice settlement. ;) He just raged himself into 15 minutes of fame that will die off when he could have cashed in if it was true. :)

    Comment by Jennifer M — April 30, 2014 @ 4:15 pm

  20. We're probably talking about a fictitious claim here, but that aside US law does not apply outside the US.  As someone who has lived in Asia for a while I know that individual rights and protections are sorely lacking.  The powerful have all the rights in most countries out this direction.  So sadly the idea that a whistleblower could expect any sort of protection doesn't hold up to scrutiny Jen.

    It's a very different world out here :)

    Comment by Richard Hearne — May 1, 2014 @ 1:55 am

  21. Agree that the claim is bogus. If I thought it was at all true, I still think he should cash in and wouldn't feel bad at all for the corporation. ;)

    Comment by Jennifer M — May 1, 2014 @ 2:13 am

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