At Google, our policy teams are constantly looking for ways to improve the experience for everyone in the mobile digital advertising ecosystem - users, advertisers and publishers. Part of this involves listening to our mobile publishers concerns. One such concern that we are addressing in this policy update involves the limitations we’ve previously placed on 300x250 sized ad units.
We recognize the frustration around limitations we’ve placed on this sized unit on mobile webpages, and starting May 2, 2017 we will no longer disallow this ad unit from being placed above the fold on mobile web pages. After careful review, we've determined that when 300x250 ads are implemented above the fold in a user-friendly way, the ads do not annoy, distract, or result in ad performance issues.
With the removal of this restriction, you still must be vigilant to ensure that their mobile site layouts do not cause ads to push the page content below the fold in such a way that may lead to accidental clicks. To ensure a good user experience, we still recommend the site content should be clear and accessible above the fold. See our optimization guide for the mobile Web for tips on where to place your ads.
As well as having a mobile-friendly site, it's important to provide a good user experience for your mobile audience. By focussing on your mobile site's design, content, and ad placements you could help to increase user engagement. In turn, this could lead to an increase in your mobile ad revenue in the long-term. For guidance on ad implementation best practices, please review our help center.
We hope you find this to be a positive update. Keep providing us with feedback!
Posted by John Brown, Head of Publisher Policy Communications
As a publisher, you can drive discussion and increase reader engagement by using user comments. At their best, comments enable your readers to share their perspectives and learn from each others’ experiences. By creating a community of conversation around your articles, your readers become more engaged and find your site more relevant and beneficial.
Alas, not every commenter is well-intentioned or well-informed. Consequently, comment sections can devolve into a place where social norms are tossed aside to further an agenda or to air a grievance. These negative, rude, or abusive comments take away from the article and ultimately harm your brand. Comments that violate Google policies can also cause your site to no longer be eligible to show Google ads.
So, as a publisher, how can you keep comments — or, more generally, user-generated content (UGC) — policy compliant so that your site can continue to monetize with Google??
First, understand that as a publisher, you are responsible for ensuring that all comments on your site or app comply with all of our applicable program policies on all of the pages where Google ad code appears. This includes comments that are added to your pages by users, which can sometimes contain hate speech or explicit text.
Knowing this, please read Strategies for managing user-generated content. Make sure you understand how to mitigate risk before you enable comments or other forms of user-generated content. Managing comments on your site pages is your responsibility, so make sure you know what you’re getting into. For example, you’ll need to ensure you review and moderate comments consistently so as to ensure policy compliance so that Google ads can run.. We published an infographic in 2016 which offers a quick all-in-one glance at policy compliance.
Another option: If you are unable to put into place strong and responsive controls over your comments, we strongly encourage you to make a simple design change: put comments on their own page, and don’t run ads on that page. Otherwise, unreviewed and unmoderated offensive or inappropriate user comments can show right next to your publisher content. This can damage your brand, offend your users, and cause you to violate Google policies.
Here’s one way to separate comments and content: At the end of your content, place a call to action, such as: “User Comments” or “View Comments” which lets users open the comments in a new page. On that new page, make sure not to place any Google ad tags, so that no ads serve next to those comments...
At Google, we believe in fostering an environment where users, advertisers, and publishers can all thrive in a healthy digital advertising ecosystem. By valuing each party equally, we help ensure the sustainability of our industry. We publish Help Center materials, write blog posts, speak at industry events, provide publisher forums and host events at our offices to help our publishers succeed in an ever changing environment.
Posted by: John Brown, Head of Publisher Policy Communications
In today's post, we'll be discussing AdSense account suspensions due to invalid traffic.
We have found that there are two types of publishers who may have invalid traffic issues with their accounts. The first are publishers who may unintentionally send invalid traffic to their accounts, typically by testing on live ads. For those, we hope that increased transparency into our policies and processes can decrease these unintentional violations and help our publishers play by the rules. The second are publishers who intentionally bypass our rules, ending up with a variety of invalid traffic issues in order to artificially inflate their ad revenue. That’s why we work hard to maintain a policy compliant ecosystem for our publishers, advertisers, and users. In short, if you play by the rules, AdSense is here to help you grow your business.
We receive many questions about account suspensions, so let's go through the top questions about this process and what steps you can take to help keep your account in good standing.
What is invalid traffic anyway? Invalid traffic includes any clicks or impressions that may artificially inflate an advertiser's costs or a publisher's earnings. Invalid traffic covers both intentionally fraudulent traffic as well as accidental clicks.
Please note that clicks on Google ads must result from genuine user interest, and any method that artificially generates clicks or impressions is strictly prohibited by our program policies. If we observe high levels of invalid traffic on your account, we may suspend or disable the account to protect our advertisers and users.
Watch our #AskAdSense video for more information on what invalid traffic is and tips to help prevent invalid traffic on your account.
What is an account suspension? If your account was suspended due to invalid traffic, ad serving has been turned off on all of your content for a fixed period (most frequently 30 days). This includes any website, YouTube channel, and/or mobile app. Please know that we will deduct revenue from your account and will credit advertisers with the withheld revenue where appropriate and possible. If there are no further compliance issues with your account, it will be automatically re-enabled after the fixed period.
Please note that your account is still active, and an account suspension is not the same as having your account disabled. If your account was disabled due to invalid traffic, your account is no longer serving ads, and you will be unable to monetize with any Google ad solutions. As with account suspensions, please know that we may deduct revenue from your account and may credit advertisers with the withheld revenue where appropriate and possible.
In addition to monitoring for policy violations, we analyze all clicks and impressions to determine whether they might artificially drive up an advertiser's costs or a publisher's earnings. If we determine that your account has invalid traffic, then we may suspend or disable your account. Please know that we may deduct revenue from your account and may credit advertisers with the withheld revenue where appropriate and possible.
Here are some common reasons for why your account may get suspended:
Clicking ads on your own site and/or YouTube channel: Publishers may not click their own ads or use any means to inflate impressions and/or clicks artificially, including manual methods. Testing your own ads by clicking on them isn't allowed. Additionally, YouTube publishers should skip ads when viewing their own videos to avoid artificially inflating advertiser costs.
For AdSense ad placements on sites, please use the Google Publisher Toolbar if you want to click the ads to check the landing pages or view more details about the ads. The Toolbar will allow you to check the destination of ads on your page without the risk of invalid clicks.
One or more users repeatedly clicking your ads: Don't encourage or ask your friends, family, co-workers, or general users to click on your ads. This includes asking for users to support your site or YouTube channel, offering rewards to users for clicking ads, and promising to raise money for third parties for such behavior.
We also recommend that you check your associated AdSense email for more information regarding your account suspension.
What steps should I take during the suspension period?
Account suspension gives you time to investigate the sources of invalid traffic, identify and block suspicious traffic, and put measures in place to ensure clean traffic. We recommend learning how to segment your traffic to help you best understand, monitor, and evaluate the traffic to your site. This may also help you identify sources of invalid traffic.
Visit our Help Center for more information about suspended accounts due to invalid traffic.
How can I appeal an account suspension?
Account suspensions are currently not appealable. You can use this time to investigate your traffic sources and make adjustments to help prevent invalid traffic in the future. Provided that there are no further compliance issues with your account, it will automatically be reinstated once your suspension period is served.
Please don't fill out the invalid traffic appeal form because that form is reserved for disabled accounts, and you will receive an email that says we can't process this appeal.
Today, we'd like to demystify one of the most common reasons why AdSense applications get disapproved: the site has insufficient content. What exactly do we mean by this, and how can you fix this issue on your site?
If a site is found to have insufficient content, this means that the site may not have enough text, and/or the site was deemed to be "under construction." To be approved for AdSense and show relevant ads on your site, your pages need to have enough text on them for our specialists to review and for our crawler to be able to determine what your pages are about. Sites that contain mostly images, videos or Flash animations may not be approved. Additionally, sites that consist only of a site template and very little content may not be approved.
Why is it important for your site to have plenty of content? The AdSense program policies are designed to foster a healthy ecosystem that helps protect users, advertisers, and publishers. Our policies prohibit Google ads to be placed on any non-content-based page or placed on pages published specifically for the purpose of showing ads. We use factors such as keyword analysis, word frequency, and font size in order to determine what a webpage is about and precisely match Google ads to each page. Therefore, it's important for sites to have lots of high quality and unique content in order to provide meaningful user experiences and allow Google to serve relevant ads to users.
If you're wondering how to make improvements to your site, remember that there are lots of published sites already, so think about what it is that makes your pages unique. You should aim to create original and relevant content that keeps users engaged and encourages them to visit your site again and again.
Check out our help article for more information about insufficient content and other common AdSense application disapproval reasons. If you're still having issues, check out our troubleshooter for disapproved applications. Hopefully after reading this blog post and our other help articles, you can take steps to get your AdSense application approved. If you have questions, join the #AskAdsense conversation Thursdays at 9:30am PT on Twitter to speak with our support team.
Posted by: Danielle Chang, Ad Traffic Quality team
Hello AdSense Publishers, if you are seeing sites on your performance reports or under your sites list that don’t belong to you, this post is for you!
First off, you are not under attack. Although you may feel some alarm seeing another site show up in your account, there's nothing to worry about. The most common scenario is another site has copied your site code and pasted it onto their site, also copying the ad code in the process. Since your publisher id is still in the ad code, the new site will now appear in your account.
To combat this you’ll want to make two quick changes to your account.
In your site list, locate the site you want to verify and click the Down arrow
Next to "Verified site", turn the switch on
2. Once verified, enable site authorization. Site authorization is an optional feature that lets you identify your verified sites as the only sites that are permitted to use your Google ad code.
Click Settings in the sidebar.
In the dropdown, select My sites.
On the "Manage sites" page, click More
Click Site authorization.
Next to "Only authorize my verified sites to use my ad code", turn the switch on
Click Save. Your changes should take effect within 48 hours.
Once your sites are verified and site authorization is turned on, ads will still show on the unverified site(s), and impressions and clicks will be recorded. However, advertisers will not be charged, and you won't receive any earnings for that site. Any policy violations that occur on these sites also won’t count against you.
The URLs will still show up in your list of sites so you are aware of who else is using your ad code. The sites may also still show in your performance report in order to keep a definitive record of activity. If you are seeing the sites in your reports but don’t want to, consider setting your report type to “Verified Sites” to ensure you are only seeing data related to your verified sites. More on managing your sites here.
Post by Brandon Canniff, AdSense Support Specialist
Don’t click your own ads, or ask others to click them. These kinds of clicks won’t count toward revenue and may get you suspended. Even if you’re interested in an ad or looking for its destination URL, clicking on your own ads is prohibited. Instead, use the Google Publisher Toolbar.
2. Think like a user
Make it easy for people to find what they’re looking for. Follow the Webmaster Guidelines to provide content that’s useful, interesting, and adds value. Immerse yourself into the user experience however you can. Try to discover the emotions that guide users’ behaviors and try to uncover their needs.
3. Keep it family-friendly and legal Review our guidelines about prohibited content and be sure you understand them. If you wouldn’t want a child or grandparent to see it, don’t put it on your site. We’ve made a commitment to our users, advertisers and publishers to keep the AdSense network family-safe. A general rule of thumb when it comes to our policies is: if you wouldn’t want to share this content at a family dinner, or view it at your boss’s office, you shouldn’t place AdSense code on it.
4. Maximize content, not ads per page Create new, relevant, interesting content, and update it regularly. Also, be sure to maintain a good balance between ads and editorial content as it’s important to ensure that there’s always more content than ads on a page.
5. Avoid deceptive layoutsKeep ads away from games, slideshows, and other click-heavy content and don’t place them near images. Publishers may not use deceptive implementation methods to obtain clicks. This includes, but is not limited to: placing images next to individual ads, placing ads in a floating box script, formatting ads so that they become indistinguishable from other content on the page, formatting content so that it is difficult to distinguish it from ads and placing misleading labels above Google ad units.
6. Create unique content Your content needs to create added value for your users. Focus on making content great – not duplicating it across pages. Unique and valuable content is what keeps users coming back to publisher sites. Everything you do as a publisher should be user focused, which primarily includes developing great content.
7. Track your traffic Your traffic should be organic. Set up alerts using Google Analytics to quickly identify unusual traffic patterns. Many potential traffic quality problems can be addressed quickly by monitoring your own traffic. Traffic anomalies are often indicators of potential invalid traffic activity.
8. Follow the Code of Implementation GuideAlways follow the Code Implementation Guide and don’t try to modify the AdSense code. If you run into a problem, visit the Troubleshooting page or contact publisher support.
Thanks for taking the time to learn about Google ad network policy, processes, and best practices. Together, we can continue to make the web and advertising experience great.
Posted by: Anastasia Almiasheva from the AdSense team
Have you received an email from firstname.lastname@example.org with a warning that you’ve violated the AdSense policies? These warnings are usually issued in instances of mild violations that we believe can be fixed quickly.
In addition to an email, you’ll receive a notification in your AdSense account under the “Status” tab. Both the email and notification will explain where your violation occurred and how to fix it and by clicking the link provided, you’ll be sent to the page where the violation has occurred. To resolve the issue, you can either fix the content that violates AdSense policies across your site or remove the AdSense code.
Remember, your site must be compliant in order to participate in the AdSense program. When you’ve made all the necessary changes to your site, check “Resolved” on the site level violation notification in the “Status” tab of your AdSense account. You don’t need to notify us when you’ve fixed the violation; however, you do need to resolve it in a timely manner.
There are cases where ads stop appearing on your site altogether. This can happen when a publisher fails to respond to policy violation warnings, receives multiple warnings, or displays egregious violations across their site(s). Violations are categorized as egregious when we believe they can cause significant harm to advertisers, Google, users, or the overall ads ecosystem.
In these cases you’ll receive an email and a notification in your AdSense account under the “Status” tab to notify you of this change. A link will also be included to show you where the violation appears. You can resolve it by either removing the content in question or by removing the AdSense code from the affected page. It’s important to note that a very small percentage of sites have their ads disabled after receiving a policy violation warning.
Once you’ve corrected the violations across your entire site, you can submit an appeal from the “Status” tab in your AdSense account or by using the AdSense policy troubleshooter. Please bear in mind that we can only review appeals from sites that have AdSense code enabled.
Stay tuned for some best practices to help you avoid a policy violation.
Posted by: Anastasia Almiasheva from the AdSense team
Today we’ll highlight some of the top triggers of policy violation warnings to help you avoid common pitfalls. If you haven’t already, download the All-In-One Policy Compliance Guide to help you understand the what's and why's of our policy processes so you can always stay one step ahead.
As a general guideline to building a strong policy compliant foundation, ensure that the pages within your site offer a unique value for users and comply with AdSense policies. Let’s get started.
Because users come to your site for the content, it should then be easy for users of your site to distinguish ads from content at all times. Ads that blend in or that are situated too close to content and navigational icons can cause invalid clicks. AdSense will deduct clicks that are determined to be invalid and, where possible, reimburse advertisers.
Content that’s sexually explicit – or suggestive without being explicit, such as lingerie – isn’t allowed. If you wouldn't show it in polite company, we don’t want AdSense advertisements appearing there.
Webmaster Guidelines require publishers to make sure their content is original, adds value, and is intended primarily for users, not for search engines. Failure to adhere to these adds up to a violation of AdSense policy.
There you have it: eight common triggers for a potential policy violation warning. We recommend that you refer back to this blog post and use Google Search to identify if you have any violations in your content as you review your site and upcoming content.
Coming up next – what to do if you receive a policy violation warning.
Posted by: Anastasia Almiasheva from the AdSense team
Unfortunately, even for AdSense publishers, there’s always the risk of an unauthorized source compromising your secure login credentials. In these instances, you might be locked out of your AdSense account. Here’s what you can do to recover your account and avoid the same issue in the future:
For starters, these triggers can help you identify if your account has been compromised.
You’ve noticed suspicious account activity (for example: there are new users that you haven’t granted access to; the payment details have changed without your permission; your security settings have been updated; and your email notification settings have changed).
You cannot login to your AdSense account.
If you’ve found that your account has been compromised, follow these steps to resolve the issue:
Run a malware scan on your devices
Visit our Login Troubleshooter. If you’re locked out of your account, the troubleshooter will help you recover your Google Account. Once you’ve recovered your Google Account:
We’ve shared that high quality content and consistency are key ingredients to earning and maintaining the trust of online users. What about maintaining the trust of your ad networks so that you can continue to earn revenue? For AdSense, it’s important to protect the interests of everyone in the online ecosystem, including our users, our advertisers, and our publishers. This focus on maintaining a healthy balance is the reason we set strict policies about AdSense for everyone in the ecosystem to follow.
Your feedback helped us realize that some publishers may be confused by some of our policies, which is why we’re launching a series of blog posts, infographics, new notifications, access to customer support, and #AskAdSense office hours to help increase transparency about AdSense policy processes. We hope that these insights can help turn your #PassionIntoProfit and grow your business as you focus on your users and provide unique content.
We have found that there are two types of publishers who receive AdSense policy violations. The first are publishers who unintentionally violate AdSense policies. For those, we hope that increased transparency into our policy processes can decrease these unintentional violations and help our publishers play by the rules. The second are publishers who intentionally bypass our rules, ending up with a variety of violations. That’s why we work hard to maintain a policy compliant ecosystem for our publishers, advertisers, and users. In short, if you play by the rules, AdSense is here to help you grow your business.
Policy compliant sites with unique content attract advertisers who are willing to spend more money and allow users to enjoy friendly web experiences. So without further ado, here’s your All-In-One Policy Compliance Guide. Download it, print it out, and hang it at your desk for reference. In the coming weeks, we’ll dive into policy topics to provide additional context and insights.
Part 1: Top triggers of policy violation warnings
Part 2: Did you receive a policy violation warning?
Part 3: Best practices for keeping your account in good standing
As always, we’re looking forward to hearing your feedback and invite you to join the conversation with us on Twitter and Google+.
Posted by: Anastasia Almiasheva from the AdSense team