Google Play suspends my apps for using ... AdMob?

WAZUMBi

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
Yep. You read that right.

I just got two emails from Google Play saying apps are violating their ads policy...

This is a notification that your application, Awe Nuts, with package ID awe.nuts, has been removed from the Google Play Store.

REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of the Ad Policy:

  • Interstitial ads may only be displayed inside of the app they came with. A prominent and accessible target must be made available to users in any interstitial ad so they may dismiss the ad without penalty or inadvertent click-through.
Please refer to the ad walls policy help article for more information.

This particular app has been disabled as a policy strike. If your developer account is still in good standing, you may revise and upload a policy compliant version of this application as a new package name.

This notification also serves as notice for remaining, unsuspended violations in your catalog, and you may avoid further app suspensions by immediately unpublishing any apps in violation of (but not limited to) the above policy. Once you have resolved any existing violations, you may republish the app(s) at will. Before publishing applications, please ensure your apps’ compliance with the Developer Distribution Agreement and Content Policy.

All violations are tracked. Serious or repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts. If your account is terminated, payments will cease and Google may recover the proceeds of any past sales and/or the cost of any associated fees (such as chargebacks and transaction fees) from you.

If you feel we have made this determination in error, you can visit this Google Play Help Center article for additional information regarding this removal.

The Google Play Team
The thing is I exclusively use AdMob. The interstitial ads that are being displayed are theirs.
They are saying the ads are not giving the user the option to cancel the ad. This seems to be their problem, not mine.

Uh, WHAT? :confused:
 

hookshy

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
They are being very strinct regarding ads ...if admob was susspending account because you have illegal acctivity or any other reason ..now google susspend accounts each time they think the ads are not respecting their policy .... :(:confused::rolleyes:
 

WAZUMBi

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
Yea. If they were suspecting illegal activity that would be one thing. I even posted about my concerns here about that.

This is just a little curious as they are implying their own ads are violating their own policies and I should be to blame.

Funny :)
 

Filippo

Expert
Licensed User
How are you going to tell google that he is guilty?
 

WAZUMBi

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
There are one of two things going on here:

1- My apps were flagged by a user and the Google autobot went into action. The only problem here is that when you go to flag an app as inappropriate there is no option to do it because of advertising.

2- Coincidentally, at the very exact time I got the emails from Google, I was going through my apps and updating the distribution countries. I was adding Cuba to the apps where it was not already enabled. It seems you can now make your free apps available in Cuba so I figured 'why not?'. Both of these apps were updated. Not sure of the relation here but still interesting...
 

hookshy

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
I did see that admob has option to report an ad ...unfortunately reports on ads will force google to take a closer look at your app ...and strengthen google potential of banning app ... Using ads these days especialy with admob is a pain ... I already got banned on admob ..so I have no problems with them yet :)
 

WAZUMBi

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
How do you directly flag an app for advertising?

A user can only flag an app from their device from what I understand.
On my phone the only options are

Sexual content
Graphic violence
Hateful or abusive content
Harmful to device or data
Improper content rating
Other objection
 

susu

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
How do you directly flag an app for advertising?
You can click on little x of an ad, it will show options to report that ad.

However, I think Google banned your app because you show interstitial ad out side of your app. Of course, I just assume it.
 

Cableguy

Expert
Licensed User
You can click on little x of an ad, it will show options to report that ad.

However, I think Google banned your app because you show interstitial ad out side of your app. Of course, I just assume it.
How can THAT be even possible?
 

susu

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
It's possible. When you show interstitial ad when your app exit, the ad is the last activity to be shown. It's ok before but maybe Google forbit it now.
 

Cableguy

Expert
Licensed User
It's possible. When you show interstitial ad when your app exit, the ad is the last activity to be shown. It's ok before but maybe Google forbit it now.
Then it's a SDK issue, I think... if the activity was closed, the ad should not have been started...
 

MarcTG

Active Member
Licensed User
I am sorry to hear that :-(
I don't think that any user reported you...
A few month ago while publishing a new app, my app got suspended as soon as I submitted it. The email said something about using notifications for advertisement. I was using notifications but not for ads, only to inform users that more content was available (a link to my dev account). I took a screenshot of the notification and attached it to my reply to Google. In less than 24 hour they reinstated my app. I had used that code in the past but never got any app flagged for that reason... I think Google has some new/upgraded way of scanning apps and detecting where ads are shown, the method though is not perfect.

It seems that your problem most probably involves an ad showing outside of your app "Interstitial ads may only be displayed inside of the app they came with." and not " A prominent and accessible target must be made available to users in any interstitial ad so they may dismiss the ad without penalty or inadvertent click-through."
If you had just resubmitted the app for an update, it might have gone through their checks and was flagged by their automated process... If you have not replied to them, make sure you attach a document with your reply... Maybe something showing them where your ads are being displayed. It seems like submitting an attachment with the message always helps.
 

WAZUMBi

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
My Google Play account was terminated last week the day after these two apps.
Just got notification from AdMob that apparently two of my apps are not in compliance.
Of course the reason I got was next to useless and explained nothing.
Not long now. AdMob account will most surely be terminated as well.

I posted about this here a few months ago.
I suspected this would happen.
Admittedly I fell let down and disappointed but...

This is not a life changing event for me.
I will not declare bankruptcy nor will I go homeless.
I will not wallow in self depressive pity imagining "What could have been".
My life goes on an I will continue to fulfill my passion on other app markets and move to an AdMob alternative.

I have repeatedly tried to support Google Play.
I reaffirm that it is indeed their app store and they can do whatever they want with it.
This means they can set whatever rules they want and are free to pick and choose who they want do publish apps.
The same goes for AdMob. This really is not my issue here however...

There is something very wrong going on over there in the Kingdom of Google Land.
A simple search and you find about all the indie (and some larger) developers that have been decimated by the unforgiving and merciless Google autobot. I feel very sad for some of these people.

Google is under investigation for their monopoly and there are some pending antitrust lawsuits.
None of these lawsuits and investigations directly relate to developers though.

I wonder what our angle is here. Most alternative app stores simply post links to the Google Play site. Only a select few app stores out there allow for direct download of your apps. Even then the users device will show a warning about untrusted sources. Most savvy users know how to and have no problem circumventing this. However our target audience is not just the most educated Android customer. We aim to please the common user. Whenever these people see this warning they think something is wrong and move on never to see your app again.

We, as the independent developer, simply have no choice but to include Google Play in our "portfolio" if we want to succeed and be noticed. If we choose not to publish on Google Play or our apps/account gets terminated we are basically screwed.

If your goal is self reliance and to build legitimate app revenue what are you as an independent Android developer to do?
 

HotShoe

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
My choice has been not to include ads of any kind. If I do a free app, it is ad free as well, otherwise I build a paid app. This is the only way I know to avoid the schizophrenia that is Google play. Unfortunately, Android users are a cheap lot that don't like to spend money, so even a .25 app is liable to get low install numbers unless it is really useful. On the other hand, .25 per install is better than being banned from Google Play.

--- Jem
 
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