Google Demonitizes TownPost after 8 Years of Loyal Support
Google has kicked TownPost off the Adsense program after more than 8 years of loyal support without any warning. I have always defended Google as a company citing that they had enabled me to build my small corner of the web with a hyper local classified website serving Alberta, BC, and Saskatchewan. The Google Adsense program made up more than 50% of our monthly revenue to cover the cost of our web admins, web hosting services, and related server costs. This site has strong monthly traffic and according to Adsense reports TownPost has had over 79 million page views and 97 million ad impressions. Since our site is very focused on local traffic I believe we have brought a great deal of value to the Adsense network and the advertisers running these banners.
Competing with Tech Giants is not Permitted
None of that matters today, since this morning I received an automated e-mail notifying me that they will no longer be serving banner ads on the site. After a quick check I confirmed that this included not only our main site but the sub domains as well. Apparently the big US Tech giants do not like small local competition eating the crumbs that fall off the table of Amazon, Google, Kijiji (eBay), or Facebook Marketplace. The last thing these giant monopolies need to deal with is family owned and operated small businesses offering customer service and a phone number where users can call and talk to a real person.
The Reason Google Kicked TownPost off Adsense
The stated reason for the account being disabled was due to a policy violation for serving ads on hunting related posts. As many of you know we have a section for farmers and hunting enthusiasts to lawfully buy and sell their used gear locally. Google in the past has notified us that pages/ads containing this content will be flagged as "restricted ad serving" so those posts were effectively demonetized already. Last year we went one step further and broke the hunting section into a Outdoorsmen Forum and removed all ads from that section of the site. This was completely voluntary on our part since the Google Adsense policy center clearly stated that we did not need to fix our ad serving since this was taken care of automatically by their system.
I'm not going to waste my time appealing the decision from Google Adsense, they could easily just reject it or worse yet allow us back in for a short time and ban us again next month. I also cannot give up, I still believe that Alberta needs it's own locally owned and operated internet startups. Even though Albertans are largely worshiping at the alter of Facebook Marketplace and Kijiji for their online commerce there will come a day when those companies will use their monopoly to extract every dollar they can out of not only the advertisers but also the users of these services. I can imagine a day when Marketplace forces you to pay micro transactions or to buy Libra coin to buy or sell on their platform. No, rather than crawling to Google and begging for another chance I'm going to use this as an opportunity to find other ad networks and sell directly to local businesses like I should have in the first place. Alberta is full of farm communities and hunting friendly residents and businesses that I believe will support a local online service.
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