Keep Turning Left in danger

Keep Turning Left Dylan Winter

I was going to review a splendid new book today but have changed my plan because something urgent has come up.

The book can wait because yesterday was marked by the disappointing  news that Keep Turning Left filmmaker Dylan Winter has been cut off by Google Adsense. I think immediate action is required.

I don’t know what lies behind Google’s decision, but no ad income for KTL and Dylan’s other online enterprises may well spell the end of the widely enjoyed KTL website, and its entertaining, provoking and often beautiful short movies.

I’m pretty sure Dylan will find a way of continuing with his journey and of filming it, but if his website is no longer an economic proposition, I doubt very much that he’ll be able to devote time to editing and publishing his material. If he’s forced to keep this material to himself, I think the world will be a significantly duller, greyer place.

I know some folks – motorboaters, mainly – take a different view, but I think Dylan is worth our support. He’s informative, entertaining and promotes a positive attitude to slow-speed close inland sailing that’s all too rare.

What can we do? I’d say buying subscriptions will give Dylan a boost. If you enjoy KTL, go to the site and buy a subscription. If you have a friend who would enjoy it, buy them a sub for their birthday or for Christmas. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, get over there and watch the videos that are available for free and consider whether you’d like to stump up the few quid required.

Keep Turning Left

PS – If you visit Dylan’s website, do scroll to the bottom of his homepage to hear an interesting segment from a radio programme featuring interviews with him and Google.

29 thoughts on “Keep Turning Left in danger”

  1. Gavin,

    Why do Motor-boaters have a different view?

    Do you know what the problem is with Google – would a professional in this field help.


  2. Dylan has often been vociferous about the ugliness and noise of many motor boats and jetskis, and strongly critical of their behaviour in creating wakes and a noise nuisance both in anchorages and near sailing craft.

    He has a point and has the videos to prove it, but some of the petrol-heads have reacted angrily.

    I don't entirely know what the problem has been, or what rules Dylan may have broken. A professional might be able to help, if they can interpret the communications Dylan has received and open a dialogue that might resolve the issue.


  3. Gavin,

    If it would help I will ask someone who is fairly experienced in dealing with Google, probably next week when I am in Cornwall for Christmas.

    Best thing is for Dylan to email me direct so that I can talk to him to get the story before I approach the expert, as he is up to his gunports.


  4. Given the numbers I don't see how Google can avoid automating it's account management. I'd suggest creating an open forum, say on Facebook or Yahoo, where people can discuss the issue and perhaps effect changes to Google's algorithm. Thanks to Mr Winter for exposing the issue on Duckworks. I never knew.

  5. The reason his account has been suspended is pretty obvious.

    "I told my subscribers that I got some money if they visited the websites of those advertisers"

    That's against the terms of service. Telling people to click your adverts that they have no intention of going to is stealing money from the advertisers that use Google's adsense program.

    He even admits editing youtube comments to hide the fact that it was happening.

    So cry me a river, the guy tried to scam Google and people that advertise with them and got caught. Next time don't try and game the system and you won't get "fired".

  6. I'm not an avid sailor or boater, I came across his plight via, and followed the duckworks story here.

    The saddest thing here is that you're not going to fight google and win.

  7. Honestly. It is highly immoral to ask your viewers to click through ads with no intention except to gain revenue for the website hosting the ads. That is what he was doing and that is why the "automated" system stopped his payments and the review came up the same. Sorry but he was gaming the system and got caught.

  8. He might take a look at flattr. It's a new payment system emerging from folks with a very distributed way of looking at the world. It's still very small, and it certainly won't replace YouTube revenue right now, but it's still worth looking at. Last I heard they were the only avenue not shut down for supporting wikileaks financially.

  9. In my opinion, Dylan should yank all of his content from YouTube. I am sure another video site would love to have access to his library.

  10. As someone who lives in the middle of France and so am landlocked I do have an interest because my last house was on a slipway and I use Google Adsense.

    I checked the site. Two obvious rules were broken to my mind.

    1 You must not tell your visitors you make money from Adsense.

    2 And this is MUCH MORE Important. He had no Privacy Policy or Terms and Conditions that I could find. It is a requirement of the web that sites have this. Without out those you are asking for trouble. This site has a Privacy Policy which may well cover everything.

    3 Is a little thing I picked up on courses. Major players in Adsense do not have ads on their home pages. So I took mine off as well and Adsense immediately took an interest in my site and have helped me increase my income dramatically.

    We play in their park, they own it, they have the keys and they make the rules. It is sad when something like this happens – but a short read of an introduction to Adsense book would have brought the main factors into obvious view.

  11. This is a common problem affecting a lot of people. I’ve been regularly hearing about this for years now, numerous people come up against it. So the solution needed is that google should set a threshold for number of advert clicks allowed per number of sales per unique IP address and make this explicit from the off and track it and control it. So every site should have a warning message explaining that you’re allowed, for instance, 5 clicks without a purchase and if you haven’t made a purchase via at least one of those clicks then you’ll have to wait another two weeks before looking at any more adverts. So then if they haven’t made a purchase then their next 6th click simply doesn’t activate the advert and they are given a message saying “sorry, number of clicks per number of purchases has been exceeded with no purchase or insufficient purchases, please come back again in two weeks. For more information click on this link.” which takes the user to a full explanation of exactly how many clicks per number of purchases are allowed and that these limits are necessary as this is the only to make the system cost effective for advertisers to pay to have their adverts. The software necessary to count the clicks and track the IP addresses is already part of the system and it wouldn’t require much effort to add the couple of routines necessary to store the info, enable and disable the adverts and deliver the messages. And that’s it, that’s all that’s needed to solve this problem, simples. So, come on google, you’re currently losing tons of business and annoying lots of people with your currently flawed business model so just do it. And, yes, seeing as this idea will save you millions that you’re currently losing I will accept fifty grand and a big thank you for this consultancy idea, thanks, and you can contact me at

  12. The fact of the matter is that by encouraging his readers to click on Adsense ads, he was in violation of ToS. End of discussion.

  13. Seriously he cheated. This is fraud. Heard of 'click fraud'?

    Quote from
    "I told my subscribers that I got some money if they visited the websites of those advertisers – all of whom were interested in selling stuff to sailors."

    Suppose that I am an advertiser, and I pay for my ads, partly, per click. If some website visitors aren't really interested in the ads but click the ads just to support the site owners, then I am wasting my money. Maybe he doesn't care how difficult advertisers earn their income and spend part of their income on advertising. Advertisers buy pay-per-click ads because they want real traffics. Traffics of people who click the ads because they're genuinely interested in the ads, not people who just want to support the site owners.

    "I thought this was not much of a revelation – as any fule kno that is how it works."

    It is a suggestion. He told them he needed money. If he had more money, he said, people would see more videos. Then he told them clicking the ads would give him money. How likely is it that those statements encourage fraudulent clicking? Duh. Use common sense and he would understand that Google isn't a 'fule.' Google protects advertisers' interest against cheaters.

    Well, if you are an advertiser whose ads appear on his website, you would be more upset than he is. You know why? He loses income, hell yeah. But if Google failed to detect the click fraud, the advertiser would lose their money (which is greater because it includes Google's share).

  14. I read this post Duckworth Magazine and wanted to convey some ideas. Given how Mr. Winter wasn't specifically aware of the way PPC ad networks work (mainly Google's restrictions) it's easy to understand his plight, but it's not the end of the world. He has quite a few options to go to.

    1. Create a new Adsense account.

    — There are a number of reasons to do this besides just having one shut down. It has long been speculated that when you add your Adsense code to a new website it devalues the clicks due to the newness of the site. This in turn devalues all clicks across your account, which is why it is suggested that a separate account be used for each main property by IMs.

    2. Find a new Ad network

    — Google isn't the only ad network (the only one with Youtube granted) but that doesn't inherently mean they pay the best. Chitika is another alternative and in my experience they pay just as well if not better in turns of CPM. There are quite a few other ways Mr. Winter can monetize his site if he chooses not to use Google in the future.

    3. Find advertisers directly

    –Mr. Winter can edit in promos into his own videos himself, either with a small image flash at the bottom, or a full featured spot with himself recommending the products/services. Many Youtube marketers do this and it has great results. Adsense can never hope to match the money direct advertising can bring in, and this can also be done for his website as well. Packaging a deal with his site and videos could be quite prosperous for advertisers in his industry and for him as well.

    It seems to me that Mr. Winter has a great deal of exposure and wealth in his community and Google can never strip that of anyone. I'd argue they lost more in this than he did, and if he looks at the alternatives he'll most likely find he can make just as much money or even more now that he has to reevaluate this.

  15. A forum is the thing. I agree.

    There will be no movement by Google without an uproar of large enough proportion to gain notice elsewhere. They just don't see this as a problem.

  16. Just read Dylans explanation for Google, Youtube & Adsense's actions. I would suggest that Dylan takes down all his work currently posted on Youtube and create another stite(s) similar to his sailing one but this time aimed at subject interest fans.

  17. Hi there, I run the website (French #1 website about boatbuilding), and we've been fired from google adsense the same way they did with Dylan last summer..

    When you have been terminated from google's programs, no way they will ever let you get back in. When you're blacklisted in their files, you're trapped, as they are involved in almost every major, your IPs are recorded, tracked, crosschecked… It's an incredible octopus that bans you from a major part of the online community.

    I hope that Dylan will make it and find another way of earning enough..

    Btw best seasons greetings to you all and especially to my old penpal Gavin..


  18. He should remove his vids from youtube and find another place for users to view them. Just post a link to the new site on the "tube". Create a better income stream and remove it from Google.

  19. Did I misread the post? I thought it was clear that he was actively DIScouraging his visitors from clicking on adverts from which they had no intention of purchase. He can't stop them; he can only say don't do it, which he did.

    And about that "rule" that you can't tell your readers you make money from the advertisements. Does anyone in 2011 not understand that's the way it works?

    This is unfair.

  20. He broke the rules, got caught and is now crying about it.. he should of thought about that before he asked readers/viewers to click the ads, which is in violation of adsense publisher terms.

  21. FIRST… File suit against Google for the money that's owed you in your country's small claims or local district court. They're done with you, then be done with them. 'Yada Yada'…be your own attorney. Just a few bucks for filing paperwork. Never do trial by judge, ask for trial by jury of 'your peers'. Your local countrymen will side with you in these tough times. NEXT…get word out to all local newspapers and TV about suing Google…. believe me it will go VIRAL…. THINK… Google isn't going to go through the trouble of hiring an attorney on principle when the cost will be three times what they owe you and a lot of bad press about a 'never do evil' Goliath doing evil to little David. ALL CONTRACTS are interpretable by judge and jury. MOST every contract ever written violates some federal, state, or local laws. FINALLY, video document the whole thing of how you beat Google and post to WEB. Video blog the process for extra income. Use FACEBOOK, that's GOOGLE's new nemesis. And BTW, FB's targeted ads are shockingly effective for their advertisers….'latest data out'.

  22. This is where Google comes in. They want to make money off him. They still keep Ads running in YouTube page. Who is cheating who here. A warning would have been good enough. Google wants money and will try to make money out of you even if you are disabled.

  23. Not getting paid on previous month earnings is the most unfair part of the adsense account termination process. Google knows that clicks from previous months were valid as they have to audit clicks and finalize earnings at the end of each month. There is nothing wrong with those earnings, but they still withhold your payments anyway as a "punishment."

    There should be a class action lawsuit for owing finalized earnings.

  24. Google is super strict with Adsense, also Dylan said

    “I told my subscribers that I got some money if they visited the websites of those advertisers”

    then he is in violation. I'm sure he can try other ad networks though. According to Problogger, Adsense isn't even the best so cheers and good luck to him.

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