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AdSense Apply Wrong Exchange Rate to November Earnings

If you’re an AdSense publisher who gets paid in your own local currency it might be worth checking your payment reports today because I’ve heard from two different publishers who are reporting that the exchange rate application is wrong. I just checked mine and it’s out also.

It seems that they’ve converted money the wrong way around for earnings for the month of November.

So instead of converting the earnings from USD to AUD in my case – they’ve taken the USD figure and converted it as though it was an AUD figure being converted into USD. I’m not going to give my exact figures – but here’s someone else’s figures:

Earnings in USD – $103.06
Exchange Rate – 0.867 : 1
Earnings in AUD – $89.40

The problem is that they’ve applied the wrong exchange rate – it should be something close to 1.144 : 1 (that’s last month’s rate) and the earnings should be around $117AUD.

While in the case mentioned above the difference is just a few dollars if you multiply the earnings into higher rates (mine are in the five figures per month range) the difference is significant (I’m thousands out).

I have no doubt that AdSense will fix this mistake – but it has thrown a few publishers into a spin today.

Thanks to Mauricio from Geekzone for the heads up on this one.

Update: if you’ve got the same problem let us know in comments below. You might also want to email AdSense on adsense-support @ google.com.

Update 2: Looks like others have the same problem in the AdSense forums

Update 3: so far I’m just seeing this reported by Australian and New Zealand publishers. Any others have the same issue in a different currency?

Update 4: I’ve had an email from AdSense in the last few minutes to let me know that they are now aware of the problem and are in the process of resolving the issue.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Dave says:

    Luckily enough, here in Québec, the exchange rate was exactly 1USD for 1CAD …. it doesn’t change anything ;)

  2. While I’m sure Google will make it right, I can see why publishers would be upset. Have you heard of anything like this happening before?

  3. Personally I’m surprised that Google could slip up like that, but hey everyone makes mistakes right? I’m amazed how the publishers would pay so close attention to their earnings. I would be happy to get a check from adsense anyways xD

  4. markowe says:

    Funny they didn’t get it another way round and sting themselves!

  5. Neil Duckett says:

    Seems to me like a pretty strange mistake to make. Surely this is an auto9mated calculation so there must have been some manually adjustment made for this to have happened.

  6. Stuart says:

    Yup I’ve got the same situation — seems a pretty odd error to have made — surely this kind of thing is automated.

  7. Gala says:

    Same has happened to me, I’ve emailed them. Obviously they’ve just tweaked their algorithm the wrong way! I’m sure it will be fixed shortly.

  8. Mike Goad says:

    Google labs is trying to do modify things too fast and too often and they’re starting to make more mistakes!

  9. That’s potentially a fairly large stuff up right there..

    Personally the adsense earnings from my blog are pretty low so overall it probably only means a buck or two difference, but as you explained for those earning large amounts via adsense it’s going to be a pretty solid discrepancy..

  10. Brad V. says:

    I still haven’t earned enough for my Adsense check yet. But I imagine the problem will get fixed. I can imagine, however, for large blogs like yours that depend on Adsense earnings as a large part of your income this can be a big inconvenience.

  11. Interesting … and disturbing mistakes. yes, we all make mistakes, but most of us don’t have the huge infrastructure Google has to pay people.

    It is no surprise tthey didn’t make the mistake in the direction that would have been favorable to the publisher … I’m sure they has someone checking _that_ aspect ;-)

    As an American who lives overseas on US dollar income I find myself on the wrong end of a 20% fall of the dollar against the local currency this year alone … yet the majority of my fellow Americans still have the xenophobic belief that the US dollar still rules the world … to the majority the entire concept of foreign exchange is as esoteric as orbital mechanics. Likely some of the “regular help” was away on a holiday and a less experienced person automatically assumed that anything in foreign currency _had_ to have a smaller “number” than anything in US dollars.

    Think how things must look to any Japanese probloggers at 116 or so to the USD … that would result in a darn small check indeed!

  12. I only reached $92 that month. I never though it would be a good thing to make under the minimum payout, looks like I was wrong!

  13. Frank says:

    I get my earnings in Singapore Dollars, and there were no hick-ups in the currency exchange. Maybe only a few accounts were affected by this.

  14. Christopher says:

    No impact on my cheque though. The payment seems correct.

  15. Sonia Simone says:

    Entirely amazing. This is *not* the efficiency one expects from the New Borg, after all.

  16. Leigh says:

    I noticed this also, but just assumed it was a display glitch. In the Payment history summary it says the correct amount. Only when you click through to the details it is out.

  17. Has anyone been affected in the UK. The pound is worth approximately 2 dollars so this would be a 50% cut in income in the UK.

  18. Thanks God,I too didn’t reach the minimum payout in November.

  19. Neerav says:

    Just FYI Darren the stuff up must be across the board if it effected small amounts like US$103.06 as well as huge amounts like yours and medium sized amounts like mine

    I just checked my Google November payout which was in the low $XXXX this month and it was calculated by @ the Exchange Rate 0.867:1 so it’s several $100 less than it should be

  20. Well it is quite strange that even Google makes mistakes. Hope they will correct this and in time too.

  21. So, what was the rootcause of their problem, human error, machine error or both? I suppose they need to explain to the public, and maybe include their permanent countermeasure to avoid re-occurence. Just a thought…

  22. Stuart says:

    Email back from Adsense:
    “We appreciate you bringing this issue to our attention. I’m currently working with the payments team as quickly as I can to investigate your concern and I’ll be sure to send you another email as soon as I have any more information.”

    So I assume it’s going to get sorted out…

  23. analogstuff says:

    I didnt get any problem with adsense check. I live in india and 1USD is approx 39.5 INR. I got the checks properly. One thing i want to mention is that i have not registered for express pay option but still i will get the check in the first week of every month. I think for indian publishers there is no requirement to opt for express pay option.

  24. David says:

    It’s not a display issue. The wrong amount just arrived into my account.
    I guess we’ll all be reimbursed, and at the rate Google goes that shouldn’t take too many months!
    What a pain in the bum!
    This was my first half decent payment but Google is going to keep half.

  25. markowe says:

    What makes you assume that? They send that email back whatever you write to them :)

  26. how to make says:

    yes is a problem also with euro

  27. raj says:

    I’m pretty sure that this happened to me here, too, in Canada, but I actually came out ahead a few dollars. (It’s hard to say for sure, with the Canadian dollar fluctuating close to par with the US $)

  28. raj says:

    Actually, let me revise that comment. I double-checked and it appears that I was paid an equal amount in Cdn$ as my earnings in US$. Now, the Cdn$ has been very close to par with the US$ (i.e., dropped from its highs of earlier in 2007). So I don’t know how they applied the rate.

  29. Mark says:

    I am in New Zealand and have also had the wrong rate applied. This was my first google payment so I was very upset to start with until I searched and found others have had the same thing happen and it has never happened before. Don’t feel so bad now and am sure it will get sorted.

  30. Damien says:

    When you complain, you need to request the difference paid with “good value” This is a financial term with banks etc, basically your asking for the difference to be corrected plus interest for the period it takes to correct the problem. They are actually from what i understand legally expected to do this, or at least in good faith.

    It does not make much difference for me as im only down 4 or 5 k as a result of the mistake, but for the big earners it will no doubt hurt to not have it in their account.

  31. Paul says:

    Ah, thanks for that tip. I wondered why my payment was lower than AU$100; didn’t seem to make sense that it could be less than the monthly minimum in US dollar terms.

  32. Dean Taplin says:

    I live in the UK and my November payment shows the correct exchange rate.

  33. Anthony says:

    AdSense Support sent this email through earlier today.


    It appears that the November payment you recently received was calculated using an inverted exchange rate. We’d like to let you know that you’ll be receiving an additional payment using the correct exchange rate to make up the difference. This payment will be issued to your bank account this week and we expect that you’ll receive it by Monday, January 7, 2008 if not sooner.

  34. Ruchir says:

    lol, that’s funny…. I accept them in USD, so I don’t have any problem, fortunately…

  35. Rachel says:

    does adsense really profitable or just wast of space when you have up tp 300 visits per day

  36. Daryl says:

    Like your site, and all the great tips that are mentioned on it, it has really helped out. Thanks!

  37. Nasheed says:

    well we cant Expect this from Adsense. it is shocking for me.