Viral news publisher Super Cray — owner of SuperCrayCray.com — has just been identified by MarketingLand as the latest in a raft of companies suing Google’s AdSense for loss of ad revenue.
Google AdSense allows companies to run Google search ads on their websites to earn advertising revenue. But some small business and tech companies say they are losing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue because they have difficulty following the company’s policies.
Business Insider has heard from seven companies that say they have lost advertising income when they were suddenly banned by AdSense. All the companies say they were following Google’s strict rules about how to place ads on their site — some were even encouraged or given approval by Google’s sales staff — only to be told they had been banned from the service, losing out on all the advertising revenue they had accrued.
The latest company identified to be suing Google over its AdSense policies is Super Cray, the publisher of a BuzzFeed-style site that describes itself as “where ridiculous meets entertainment.” According to its suit, filed in Northern California District Court, the company claims it built up $US535,000 in AdSense earnings, which was due to be paid in October last year. But Google allegedly suspended Super Cray’s account because its advertising layout “encouraged accidental clicks.”
The suit shows Google Chat conversations that allegedly took place in September 2014 between the site’s co-founder Dennis Gayev and an AdSense rep, who assures Super Cray the clickthrough rates the site was experiencing in the period were “within the normal range.” The site also received further reassurance from Google in subsequent conversations that the site was not breaking the rules.
Super Cray says because of these assurances, it went on to invest $US300,000 in online advertising and content promotion, mostly through Facebook, to drive clicks to the site, which helped it boost its AdSense earnings even further. But, shortly afterward, it was then told its account had been suspended and all AdSense earnings would be withheld by Google.
The suit states: “Super Cray was damaged by Google’s negligent misrepresentations because it did not receive any of the $US535,000 it had accrued in AdSense earnings.
“Even if Super Cray is somehow not entitled to its $US535,000 in AdSense earnings for any reason, it was still damaged by justifiably relying on Google’s negligent misrepresentation because it incurred over $US300,000 in costs in efforts to increase user traffic to SuperCrayCray.
“Super Cray was also damaged because it lost future profits due to Google’s negligent misrepresentation. Had Super Cray been aware of the nature of Google’s negligent misrepresentations, it would have immediately corrected any problems that existed. Super Cray would have received its earn out, re-invested those earnings into driving even more user traffic to its website and would be earning substantial monthly advertising revenue today from those programs instead of being on the verge of bankruptcy.”
In December, Business Insider revealed one company, Pubshare, has sued Google for nearly $US1 million in lost AdSense ad revenue that Google declined to pass on to the company.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.