AdSense Publisher Sues Google – And Wins

“What if everyone whose account was canceled sued Google?”

That’s what a Google litigation paralegal asked the judge in a Palo Alto small claims court judge this week. The judge ruled in favor of an AdSense publisher who brought a suit against Google for canceling his account without giving reason – and not paying up.

It’s a tale that has been repeated on blogs and forums across the internet, and it’s a problem that Google is notorious for being secretive about.

Aaron Greenspan signed up for AdSense in March 2008 in order to make a little money off of his site, Think Computer Corporation. Nine months later, Google canceled his account with no warning, no reason and no payment of the $721 Think Computer’s site had earned.

Greenspan emailed and phoned a slew of people at Google only to learn there was no customer service for AdSense and no one that could give him an answer to why his account was canceled.

Many times, this kind of cancellation results when site owners use AdWords to send traffic to an AdSense-laced page. Greenspan had tried AdWords, but stopped the campaign months before he tried AdSense.

After getting nowhere with Google, Greenspan tried the justice system. Since lawyers aren’t allowed in small claims court, litigation paralegal Stephanie Milani was sent by Google. When asked, she could give no reason why the account was terminated. Milani said that the $721 was refunded to the advertisers and reiterated Google’s policy – that any publisher can be terminated at any time for any reason.

The judge asked if an account could be terminated because of their eye color. He then ruled in favor of Greenspan.

Enter Milani’s question, “What if everyone whose account was canceled sued Google?” That sounds like a question for Google, not a small claims court judge.

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