SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT NEW ADSENSE ACCOUNT APPLICATION PROCEDURES:
Just released on the Inside Adsense blog is a note about new application procedures. If you were a recently approved publisher who suddenly find their account showing a red notice that the account is under review again, please read this article from Inside Adsense on the new procedures.
One of the things many publishers seem to dread is mail from Adsense. Partly, that's because they're afraid that the mail will be one that disables their Adsense account, and partly because they often can't understand the information contained in the message, and partly because they aren't sure the message is really from Adsense.
While it is important to be careful when responding to emails from anyone, emails from Adsense can usually be handled with relative safety. If you aren't sure the mail is "safe", note any links included in the mail, and check them out separately without giving out personal login details.
Often you can go separately to your account and login and reply from there, without having to reply from your email, and without having to login through an unsecured source. If any email from Adsense asks for your personal login information, or your address or phone number, or verification of any other kind, do not reply to it without first checking things out.
If you have posted a request for help in the Adsense forum and an employee responded that they would contact you by mail, and you are expecting that mail, it is probably safe.
In many cases, messages directly from Adsense can be found in your Adsense account too, under the "Messages" tab. Any messages there that require you to respond are safe to respond to directly from inside your Adsense account.
We seem to get quite a few questions asking "what should I do" when people find these messages in their accounts.
Well, you should do what the message says of course. Following are a few examples of the types of messages you might find, and what to do with them:
Required Action General Payments Issue - Please contact AdSense Support to resolve this hold.
What does it mean? That's something we can't answer. Sometimes it's a random spot-check to reconfirm a mailing address or to update your tax information again, but there are numerous reasons they might want you to contact them directly. We can't say what all those reasons are because...well, we don't know. The reasons may differ from publisher to publisher.
What should you do? This is one of the simplest - what you should do is what it says. Contact Adsense support using the link in the message. Once they've received your contact, they'll contact you with an explanation - that can take a day or two, or even as long as a few weeks.
Your pages are displaying blank ads (or Public Service Advertisements) because you haven't yet verified your PIN and/or phone number. See the Payment History page for more details.
What does it mean? It means you need to verify your PIN/Phone number. Publishers have a set amount of time (4-6 months I think) from the time they cross the verification threshold to verify this information. If you haven't verified your account during that time, your ads will be blank
What should you do? If you have not received your PIN within the specified time, and/or haven't yet verified your phone number, you can post in the Adsense forum for help. Fairly often the PIN time-requirement can be reset, allowing you time to complete these tasks.
Your ads have recently appeared on websites you haven't authorized. To avoid lost revenue, make sure to authorize any sites where you display ads by visiting your account settings.
What does it mean? It means you are using the allowed sites list in your Adsense account and that some non-allowed sites have been displaying your ads. In many cases, these sites will be search engines - the various entities of Google (google.com, google.ca, google.in, google,pk, google.whatever etc.) will all show up separately, so every time someone uses their country's local Google search to find and access your site, you'll see another site show up in the non-allowed list.
Of course, it may not always be search engines that appear under the non-allowed list, but this is one of the most prevalent appearances on this section of your account. Sometimes it will be google translate, or google webcache - this occurs when someone views your pages using the google site translator, or finds a cached view of one of your pages from a search.
What should you do? For the most part, major search engines and mostly all of the google.whatever local search engines can be added to the allowed sites list, as can the translate and webcache pages.
If you aren't certain of the site, don't add it.
These messages display in your account for up to a week after the event, or after you add them to the safe list, so don't be confused when you've added them to your safe list and you still have the message displaying. Eventually (after a week) the message will disappear.
As well, keep in mind that these messages will appear regularly in your account, but most of the time these aren't cause for concern. Simply check the Allowed sites page, check the non-allowed sites that show up and decide whether they are safe to add or not.
I can't really remember when the last time was that I didn't have this message in my account. I do not add every site that displays my pages to the safe list because all of them aren't safe, such as proxy sites. I have a few visitors who view my site using a proxy site - perhaps to hide their IP address, or maybe they just prefer to be anonymous. Because I don't know who that person is, and don't know the proxy site in question, I won't consider that a safe addition to my Allowed sites. I only get a few of these a month, so it's not like I'm missing out on a lot of income. It's always wise to check any site you add to your allowed sites list BEFORE you add it.
Next Time: Messages from Adsense (Part 2)!