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I Just received an AdSense policy violation that I'm having trouble wrapping my head around. It is a copyright violation notice for a site that I don't own.

It appears that for some reason this site is using my ad code. The site appears in the list of sites that use my ad code, but I haven't authorized it. Note that the checkbox in the screenshot below is gray, not green.

Because it isn't authorized, my ads shouldn't be showing up anyway, even if they are using my ad code.

The notice suggests that I remove the ad code from this page. Obviously I can't do that since I don't own the site.

Why did Google send this to me when it knows I don't own the site and ads shouldn't show up there anyway? Is there anything I actually need to do about this? Is it possible that this will hurt my AdSense account in some other way?

  • I seem to remember a question along these lines a few weeks back. I have no idea why someone would do this. I do not remember the outcome. It appears to be an open vulnerability to allow AdSense code on sites that are not specifically allowed through the AdSense console. When I started with AdSense, you could just post code anywhere and the domain would show up in the reports. Now, it seems, Google needs to make a change. For now, you are guilty with no option to prove yourself innocent regardless of the obvious. This is a problem. Sorry. – closetnoc Feb 10 '17 at 16:29
  • Are you sure your ads are not being displayed on this site? I rather suspect that Google changed the GUI, but not necessarily how they display ads. You may not have authorized this site, however, I would bet money that the ads are being displayed anyway since this is how AdSense originally worked and may not have been updated to stop displaying the ads without authorization. I stopped displaying ads more than a year ago so I have also stopped paying attention. Cheers!! – closetnoc Feb 10 '17 at 16:55
  • Ads do show up on un-authorized sites, but advertisers don't get charged: support.google.com/adsense/answer/65062?hl=en They put that in place a few years ago. – Stephen Ostermiller Feb 10 '17 at 16:58
  • See? I wasn't lying about not paying attention! Seriously, they should not be showing ads on these sites. These days, with so many problems with GA and spam, this should be a simple fix made immediately. It is also better for the advertisers since they too did not authorize by way of the bidding system to display ads on that site. It seems to me to be about doing business right. Have you tried the Google Forums? G at least trolls these sites for issues. Sometimes they will contact you, sometimes they will simply take action, sometimes they simply ignore it. I suspect this would get attention. – closetnoc Feb 10 '17 at 17:05
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I found the answer to my question by using the AdSense policy violation appeal troubleshooter. It says:

If a site or URL displaying your ad code is not in the Allowed sites list in your account, no further action is needed and this issue won't negatively affect your account in any way.

I'm still not sure why Google would send out a worrying notice at all in this case, but it is good to know that I don't need to do anythng and that it won't hurt my account.

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