As the year draws to a close, many companies are balancing the books and clearing out the deadwood from their operations. That includes Amazon, who decided this week to crack down on websites which were abusing its ad network.
Amazon has been selling ad spots on third-party sites since August 2014, and this week they ran an inspection on all the partner sites. Everyone who did not meet Amazon's standards or were found violating the rules are getting emails with the news that they are kicked out of the program.
This story hasn't made its way to the press, yet, but I've so far heard three different reports from sites which were dropped by Amazon.
That includes a friend's site (who I won't name), this blog, and a report I found through Twitter. And I'm sure more reports will be forthcoming.
Yes, I, your beloved blogger, was tapped by this program. Amazon hasn't stated which rule I violated, but if I had to guess I would bet that Amazon is enforcing its rule against having more than three of its ad units on a single page.
Between the sidebar and the advert after the post, I had four Amazon ad units. That's against the rules, but it was also a rule that Amazon never enforced until now.
Or at least that is what I am hoping is the only violation, because if Amazon objects to my content or site design then there's little chance that I will be getting back in to the program.
I am in the process of appealing the ban, and I am hoping I can get it overturned. Amazon is one of the best ad networks, and if I can't get back in then I am wither going to find a new revenue stream or I'll have to shut down the blog (or possibly sell it) and find a day job.
To that end, I am going to end this post with a request for donations (via Paypal). Any help will be deeply appreciated.
P.S. Let this be a lesson to authors, and well, everyone. You should never count too much on a single source of income. You don't know whether it will still be around tomorrow.
image by bennylin0724