New York-based Xomba.com took an 88.06% hit in search visibility according to Search Metrics numbers for the Google Panda update in the UK. With Panda now global, we assume there are similarities to the UK data in other countries.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Xomba is dealing with a whole other crisis. CEO Nick Veneris emailed us to tell us that Google has stopped serving AdSense ads to Xomba pages after a series of unfortunate events and an apparent lack of communication.
“On Monday we received a DMCA complaint from Google Adsense,” he said. “We’ve gotten a small handful of these in the past, and tend to just simply delete the article and ban the author. Google Adsense now has a special form you must fill out stating that you removed the page. No big deal. Except we didn’t get a confirmation from Google Adsense.”
“In their original email they stated that if we don’t get a confirmation we should email them directly,” he continued. “Ok, done. Except, the email bounced back. The DMCA complaint said we had 10 days to do something about it. Today, 2 days later, we find our ads are gone. Not just for our publisher number, but for the whole site and every user.”
Veneris says their AdSense account is still active, but that they’re just not being served any ads.
“Of course we’re in crisis mode now,” he said. “I personally, investigated the DMCA case this morning (remember we already took down the article). I contacted the author who posted it on our site and find out that she is the legitimate author. So the DMCA complaint turns out to be fake and fraudulent…I figure we can take legal action against the website that originally filed the DMCA, but how do we get our ads restored?”
Xomba and Veneris himself posted about the issue on the Google AdSense Forum, but has yet to receive a response from Google. Granted, it was only brought up on the forum today, but the longer it takes, the more money Xomba stands to lose – that on top of the Panda update (though Veneris says the foreign traffic loss of the latest update didn’t affect their revenue that much).
“I also filled out an Adsense appeals form,” he noted. “However, we’re losing money and our users are going crazy.”
Veneris is not the only one to talk about such an ordeal in the forum thread.
Google has been talking about experimenting with more communication with webmasters. A Googler who works in the AdSense department even wrote a guest post for another Panda victim, HubPages, giving tips on how to improve content for AdSense.
Veneris points out a bit of irony in that Google still links to Xomba on its help page for “How do I use AdSense with my CMS?”
This all comes at a time when Xomba has reinvented itself with a new design approach to become less dependent on Google.
Update: Google responded and Xomba is getting its ads back (see comments).