No, no, it was nothing like that. I just applied for Google AdSense a few days before my actual 18th birthday. That, of course, netted me a declined application, because I was obviously still too young to participate in AdSense—but I wasn’t counting on it also killing my ability to reapply later. When I tried again to sign up for AdSense using my main Google Account, after I was old enough, I got nothing but errors.
When I emailed Google AdSense Support about the problem, they said I could just reapply, but would have to use a different email address—meaning a different Google Account—to do so. I eventually did so, after I created an alias or two at Gmail, but I never used the approved account. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to try ads on this site, and I also had a hang-up about the principle of having one service in an account separate from all the others.
I did try to change the login email address associated with my approved AdSense account. The only problem was, my account’s login couldn’t be changed, because it was associated with a Gmail account. I was less than pleased, but figured it was a problem I could solve later.
And so it was: Last week, just in time for February break at college, I discovered that my primary Google Account again had the ability to apply for AdSense. Maybe there’s some kind of expiration on declined applications; I haven’t read enough of Google’s policies to figure that out. (Who has the time, especially as a full-time college student?) So I did it: I reapplied for AdSense on my primary account.
Google’s systems noticed that an active AdSense account already claimed my Payee Name. But instead of telling me I couldn’t complete my application, as I expected, it asked if I wanted to transfer the account. What did I say? Yes!, of course.
I filled out a short form, got a bit of data from my approved AdSense account, agreed to forfeit my $0.00 of unpaid earnings in the old AdSense account,1 submitted, and waited. In less than an hour, I got confirmations addressed to both my old and new email addresses that my account had been transferred. I logged into AdSense using my main Google Account, and it worked.
Technically, what Google did was close my old account and open a new one associated with my primary Gmail address. That’s why unpaid earnings below the payment threshold didn’t transfer. If I had generated ad code using the old account, I would have had to replace it. Not having to deal with that made a simple process even easier.
Thanks, Google. Every so often, you do something that makes me really happy. This was one of those things.
This change affects my website in a small way: I’m testing AdSense ads in the places supported by LightWord, the WordPress theme I use, whose development I have kind of taken over.2 Since enabling the new ads (which only show on single posts) several days ago, I’ve seen exactly zero clicks. It’ll be an interesting experiment to see if that changes.
- Earnings below the payment threshold of US$10 are forfeit in transfers. Not that I ever used my old account, so it couldn’t possibly have any earnings. [↩]
- It’s not like anyone has really seen my changes. I haven’t gotten around to officially forking the code and releasing my own version under a different name. Doing that sounds like a summer project, maybe, depending on how busy I am, as it will involve updating the theme code to meet all of the current Theme Review guidelines. [↩]