Samuel Tardieu @

Review of the Google AdSense program


I see more and more sites containing ads provided by Google through its AdSense program. Out of curiosity, I went and check their Online Terms and Conditions and was stunned by the requirements set out by Google.

In no event, however, shall Google make payments for any earned balance less than $10.

If Google choses to terminate the program when your balance reaches $9.99, you will not earn anything. Given that Google releases no information on the amount of money generated by each click (this amount depends on the advertiser), you may well gain nothing by displaying ads on your web pages.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, Google shall not be liable for any payment based on […] any amounts which result from invalid queries or invalid clicks on Ads generated by any person, bot, automated program or similar device, as reasonably determined by Google, including without limitation through any clicks or impressions […] solicited by payment of money, false representation or request for end users to click on Ads

It means that people indicating that they have placed AdSense snippets on their pages to earn money may not receive anything as it violates the terms. This is however common practice; for example, Ross Thomas blog may receive no payment because it explains that he expects to be more productive if he earns money through this program. The case of Brian Shoemaker looks even more straightforward as he writes “So support my blog by clicking on the google ads on the right hand side of the page.”

Google may change its pricing and/or payment structure at any time


You agree to indemnify, defend and hold Google, its agents, affiliates, subsidiaries, directors, officers, employees, and applicable third parties (e.g. relevant advertisers, syndication partners, licensors, licensees, consultants and contractors) (collectively “Indemnified Person(s)”) harmless from and against any and all third party claims, liability, loss, and expense (including damage awards, settlement amounts, and reasonable legal fees), brought against any Indemnified Person(s), arising out of, related to or which may arise from Your use of the Program, the Site(s), and/or Your breach of any term of this Agreement.

I wonder how many people are not in breach with any term of this agreement.

Google may retain and use for its own purposes all information You provide, including but not limited to Site demographics and contact and billing information. You agree that Google may transfer and disclose to third parties personally identifiable information about You for the purpose of approving and enabling Your participation in the Program, including to third parties that reside in jurisdictions with less restrictive data laws than Your own

Oooch! This one means that you will probably be spammed to death.

You grant Google the right to access, index and cache the Site(s), or any portion thereof, including by automated means including Web spiders or crawlers.

Even better. It means that even if you use a robots.txt file to exclude portions of your site from being indexed, Google may well do so anyway.

You know what? I am certainly not going to use Google AdSense on my site. Not only you do not receive any guarantee that you will earn anything, but also you totally give up your privacy while at the same time you clobber your site with ads.

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