Pakistan: Bloggers Dismayed at Google Adsense Ban

A recent ban on Google Adsense accounts has left many Pakistani bloggers dismayed. Scores of genuine publishers have fallen prey to a move aimed as a crackdown on fraudulent websites and blogs.

Call to stop using Google products in protest. Image by Yasir Imran.

Call to stop using Google products in protest. Image by Yasir Imran.

This has resulted in a outburst from bloggers across the country — their anger is also rooted deeply in the fact that the crackdown occurred without prior warning, which is a protocol usually followed by Google.

Some are going as far as protesting against Google and suggesting that it is a result of an earlier comment by the Interior Minister Rehman Malik. Speaking to the media Mr. Malik made a ludicrous remark claiming possible action on ‘Google administration’ if the company refused to comply to requests for data by Federal Investigative Agency (FIA).

Here is a video of the comment made by the Interior Minister.

Blogger Yasir Imran reacts to the video:

The reason behind the blocking of Adsense account is not confirmed yet but after watching this video I think Rehman Malik is the responsible for banning of Adsense.

So is the crackdown on adsense accounts really a result of warnings issued by the Interior Minister?  Saad Hamid, a technology blogging guru in Pakistan, puts an end to these theories:

As I saw others, it was sad to see that most of them were inspired to blog because they had a passion for money and money only and that's where I differentiate myself from all of them. Sadly it's the same school which now opposes me, because all of this time, I have been a supporter of ‘originality’, I have guided and trained people not to copy ideas, not to copy others rather believe in what they can do for themselves. But such people lack originality and sadly they always will.

In the quest to make ‘easy’ money, a considerable number of websites had set up instructions on ways in which Adsense could be exploited, while a significant number of blogs and websites were plagiarizing data to attract traffic.  Here's a video tutorial offering help in opening an Adsense account for Rs. 500; this is but one example of a plethora of online content that triggered the blockade from Google.

Google's country consultant Badar Khushnood has been engaging with angry bloggers via Twitter in an attempt to help bloggers with original content to reclaim their accounts.

@badar76: Back to work; not sure how much I'd be able to help but looking into recent #Pakistan#AdSense issue! #AdSensePK

@badar76#Pakistan#Bloggers – plz continue w/ ur own homework – review compliance to #AdSense T&C, file appeals, etc. #AdSensePK

Meanwhile, bloggers continue to tweet their updates using the hash tag #AdsensePK:

@noumaan_ : banning Pakistani Adsense accounts continues, many new disabled accounts reported last night, so far no appeal is accepted. # adsensepk

@taalz: Google Adsense say “Unacceptable site content” to ? Why? Because we have genuinely self written content? #AdsensePK

@harisn: Okay, so Google Adsense is still disabling accounts. A new victim among friends ->@fariZafar#adsensepk

@atharpk: Series of #Adsensepk Bans Continue. No Warnings no Chances. Google Goes Totally wild against Pakistani Publishers.

While some bloggers have started suggesting an alternative to Google Adsense:

@shafiq: Are you looking for adsense alternatives due to mass blockage of adsense in Pakistan Follow the link

Claims from bloggers suggest that over 90% of blogs and websites were affected by the ban; bloggers hope that Google will soon reevaluate the decision. Saad Hamid leaves us with a thoughtful note:

Honestly! I don't feel bad about it. AdSense was once banned on and that was when I realized that things move on, all you need to do is a have a passion for what you are doing. I can proudly say that my knowledge has made much greater of an impact on lives of people than AdSense has made on me. To sum it up with the least of it, some of my posts are now part of student dissertations from Stanford and MIT, I founded, funded, sponsored PehliMadad – a charity iniative, I curated and sponsored TEDxMargalla – the only TEDx conference to have held in Islamabad so far and the journey goes on…

My two cents: The day you will find your real passion, AdSense won't matter anymore :) Good luck!
- From your average ever-narcissistic internet hero
Here's hoping that the rest of the blogosphere reflects on Saad's words, while Google continues the process of reevaluating and hopefully reinstating the accounts of bloggers who respect originality and are driven by passion.


  • – everyone works for money, so those who blogged for money, well yes had a right to do so, but not all of them blogged for “ads” money, don’t generalize

    – badar khushnood is silent and hiding since the event occurred, acting like he don’t even have access to Google officials

    – saad ? give me a break, I still remember his posts on sizlopedia and on his fb status in which he was crying over his adsense being banned, and kept doing so until he got farooquis adsense code on his site, so yeah, he was crying over money too, he should stfu and remember his time and how he reacted to same issue

    – about YOUR “tech guru” and “original content hero” – he offered many guys (including me) to “rewrite” from a list of blogs he will give on his sizlopedia for pay per post,

    inshort, you need to know bit more before you start writing

    • Nabeel, thank you for your elaborate response to the post. Posts on Global Voices are meant to be a round up of reactions — by citizen journalist and netizens– on various events. If you read the post it touches upon various various aspects of the situation and covers all angles of the story. These aren’t meant to opinion pieces, all comments are in quotes and are meant to deliver the sense ‘this is what the internet is saying’ about the issue.
      Please direct your issues with Saad or Badar to them directly. As far as Saad being titled ‘guru’ is concerned, that is what he is referred to in the blogging world at large and specifically with respect to him being a pioneer in technology blogs from Pakistan.
      I appreciate your criticism and feedback, but perhaps it would help if you re-read the piece or read some of our other coverage on Global Voices.

  • Nabeel,

    I totally understand your tone in which you have been trying to diss me all over the web lately, not just this post. I remember meeting you at Bahria University once and I also know that the actual reason for your anger towards me would be because I deleted and banned you from my Facebook profile way back based on a religious debate where you were trying to teach me my part of Islam in a very rude tone, just like in this post (like you are some Islamic scholar that I should be listening to?)

    Anyways, just to make a few points clear here since I deem it is necessary to do so.

    1. In my five years of being a publisher with AdSense, my account has NEVER been banned even once :) unlike most of the publishers in Pakistan. It was in fact my site that was banned by Google, not my account and I have mentioned about this in my “moving on” post that I wrote on sizlopedia.

    2. The “moving on” post on sizlopedia is something that publishers like you would never be able to understand since you work ‘only’ for money. Life is more than just making money, its about discovering new great things and my contribution to the pehlimadad charity and in sponsoring TEDx speaks for that.

    3. I talked to you about re-writing news posts. News like ‘Apple releases the iPhone’ etc and since we are publishers based out of a third-world country, I believe such posts do not harm the originality of their origin.

    4. My AdSense, which was NEVER banned, still remains pretty much active on all my websites without any sign of violation.

    Its sad to read baseless comments from people like you, people who don’t have much to do anything than post comments and bash others on the web. They have a name for this, ‘trolls’

    Be my guest, explain how you are utilizing the money that you earn from your blog and your freelance work to change the world. I have explained myself enough.

    Lets keep a fair ground, now its your turn?

    • @saad

      1. thanks for clarification that you cried over your website being banned form adsense, not your account being disabled

      2. don’t wanna comment on tedx or charity stuff you’re doing, as i don’t know the details of your effort – but im sure they would be sincere from your side, so i appreciate them

      3. it was an issue of being original or rewriting like almost all blogs are doing, so i was commenting on that

      4. good for you

      5. “people like you” – don’t generalize, you don’t know even 1% about me – and if you do know, then I’m glad to know that I’m important enough to be known! :)

      6. How am I personally helping the community – will prefer not to disclose, don’t do anything for fame or to publish it

      7. how about you being our guest? we’re having bloggers meetup in Islamabad this sunday

      I won’t (and never had) declared myself to be “different” – there are hundreds and thousands of people who are like or even better than me in every aspect of life what they do and what they’ve done.

      Regarding my comments to you about religious issue – NO JOKES ABOUT ISLAM – that was the message that time, and I still stand on that.

      I’ve no “personal” issues against you Saad or anyone else, its just that you’re no one special for me, as you’re not of my niche(i’m a programmer – not a gadget[not technology] rewriter) or almost nothing in my life compares to yours (I’m a doctor – you’re an engineer i suppose, nor sure exactly)

      Anyway, @saad and @sana would like you to be part of the meetup this sunday so that many bloggers who don’t know you yet can know you (and vice versa) and share their ideas, work done, etc

  • @Nabeel: And as far as Badar’s concerned, he is doing his bit to get the situation re-evaluated, as it appears from his twitter feed. Please refrain from defamatory tone

  • @sanasaleem Two thumbs up for writing an excellent post on recent Google Adsense ban.

    We know Badar may be doing his bit to resolve this issue but he should atleast tell publishers about the main reason of ban only for Pakistani accounts. If it’s about adsense policy violation, I can provide many sites which are extremenly violating the adsense quality guidlines and policies. Their accounts are working because they are not Pakistani.

  • The comments side has been turned more into a personal attack and clarification type thing. It is just a stupid kind of thing that bloggers at this level (expert level) are still have personal issues with others. If someone is doing good you have to appreciate him/her.

    BTW, Thanks Sana for quoting my post. And as per my point of view, I still consider it a biased action from Google, because a lot of senior publishers are affected by this action from google.

  • You know.. It’s turning for Indonesian publishers were banned from Google Adsense now. Many old accounts (up to 4-years old) were also affected.

    There are also accounts which never put the Adsense code on the site and then banned with the reason “invalid activity”.

  • dot

    google is trying to banned all asian countries now or already set six month approval policy for the asian countries only . Have you ever heard the news google adsense banned 100’s of account at 1 day belong to usa, uk ? or any europe country . No wonder why they banned us as USA VS Pakistan relationship we can clearly see it now . All they say that they did this because of their advertiser what will they do if in pakistan we make group of clickers only from their search engine to suffer them ? . What i think is that they banned lots of us to recover their Google plus project failure income. Google can easily come up with the modification where google ads wouldn’t appear if there is violation found in the site. As they do things on bots.
    Finally i now after using google adsense since 2003( being publisher since 2003 its not a joke) when it came out feels that google adsense is a biggest failure of google itself as its banned sincere web publishers like me without single warning and all cheat , tricks came from their own home (US) as u see lots of books written by them and worse part is that they have stop working with publishers, you can’t ask them for policy clarification , they will send you the their help forum where you will found top contributors trying to defend google adsense no matter what. if itself gets banned by google adsense , and you tell them why google .com is banned they will say because search engine is using images of others without having permission or website contents without having permission to their original author.

  • i want to ask a simple question from you all ( Nabeel, Sana saleem, Yasir, Saad), that is there is an alternative or competitive of Google Adsense.
    From these, is there is any alternative

    Kindly refer me some google adsense alternatives

  • google hater

    @maria josie
    You have already put the ads of infolinks.Smowtion etc pay few cents.
    Moreover,let it be guys ,this is capital market economy screwing up the life of third world search engine and youtube violates the copyright laws by the rude capitalists

  • […] Pakistan: Bloggers Dismayed at Google Adsense Ban part are going so far as protesting towards Google and suggesting that it’s a results of an earlier remark by the Inside clergyman Rehman Malik. Talking to the media Mr. Malik made a daft comment claiming attainable motion on 'Google … Learn extra on Global Voices Online […]

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