Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Warcraft Gold Seller Adverts

As you know I have adverts on this site which are powered by Google Adsense, and over the years I have made quite a bit from them (a 4 figure sum, in actual fact). I also occasionally blog about World of Warcraft, and because Adsense tries to provide contextual advertising, invariably a few sites selling in-game money crop up.
Blizzard Entertainment is very, very clear on this subject: it is forbidden, full stop. Buying gold gives players an unfair advantage on those who cannot, or are reluctant, to pay extra money on top of their monthly subscription, and the methods used by the gold sellers are increasingly exploitive of the game.
At best, they warp the in-game economies by ‘farming’ resources, which puts them further out of reach of players and means many have to resort to buying them at inflated prices at auction. Frequently this farming is done using automated tools, again banned by Blizzard.
At their worst, they use password data gathered from keylogging programs installed on gamers’ computers (through trojan horses and the like) to hijack players’ accounts, upon which all items that the player has on all characters are sold and the money sent to the gold sellers. If the hacked account has withdrawal access to a guild bank, then expect that to be emptied too.
Furthermore many of the people employed to ‘farm’ the money are young people in south-east Asia who are on very low wages and expected to work long hours. There’s also evidence that some of the real-world money raised is used to support gangs and the drugs trade.
This is what you are supporting when you buy gold from these sites. Which is why I don’t want these adverts on my site.
If you see one, click on the ‘Ads by Google’ link above them and then scroll down to ‘Send Google your thoughts on the site or the ads you just saw’. There, you can report a violation of service. Unfortunately I don’t know what aspect of Google’s terms and conditions this comes under as I’m not a lawyer but hopefully this will encourage them to remove some of the adverts.

3 Comments

  1. If memory serves you can ban the advertiser through your adsense account. May be worth looking at the FAQ.

  2. You can ban specific URLs, but:
    1. You’re limited to banning a set number (300, I think)
    2. It’s a constant goose chase to hide new URLs
    It would be nice if Google went after them and just didn’t let them advertise, full stop.

  3. Blizzard does not actually take action against gold buyers. It’s not against the Terms of Use and End User License Agreement. Selling, on the other hand, is.