Author Archives: John Brown

A guide to common AdSense policy questions

AdSense program policies help ensure we preserve a healthy digital ecosystem for the benefit of all users, advertisers and publishers. Based on feedback from AdSense publishers, we know that there's more we could be doing to make our policies easier to understand. To demystify some common questions, we’re sharing a new infographic with important information on:

  • Google’s digital ecosystem and the role of advertising policies
  • Most frequently faced policy violations 
  • Resolving policy issues and navigating through the AdSense policy center

Check it out below, and don't forget to download or bookmark the infographic with clickable links. 

Google digital advertising ecosystem
Create outstanding content
keep it family safe and legal.jpg
Focus on the user
about the policy center.jpg
policy violations.jpg
AdSense policy resources

Source: Inside AdSense


Upcoming changes to the AdSense mobile experience

The web is mobile.

Nearly 70% of AdSense audiences experience the web on mobile devices. With new mobile web technologies such as responsive mobile sites, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Progressive Web Apps (PWA) the mobile web works better and faster than ever.

We understand that using AdSense on the go is important to you. More than a third of our users access AdSense from mobile devices and this is an area where we continue to invest.

Our vision is an AdSense that does more to keep your account healthy, letting you focus on creating great content, and comes to you when issues or opportunities need your attention.

With this in mind, we have reviewed our mobile strategy. As a result, we will be focusing our investment on the AdSense mobile web interface and sunsetting the current iOS and Android apps. By investing in a common web application that supports all platforms, we will be able to deliver AdSense features optimized for mobile much faster than we can today.

Later this year we will announce improvements to the AdSense mobile web interface. The AdSense Android and iOS apps will be deprecated in the coming months, and will be discontinued and removed from the app stores by the end of 2019.

Like our publishers who have built their businesses around the mobile web, we look forward to leveraging great new web technologies to deliver an even better, more automated, and more useful mobile experience. Stay tuned for further announcements throughout the rest of the year.

Source: Inside AdSense


Policy resources available to you

We want to do everything we can to help our publishers succeed.

Beyond providing the AdSense platform to monetize content, we provide various channels through which we communicate policies, best practices and product changes to our publishers.

What resources are available?

We know that one size doesn't fit all for publishers when it comes to preferred methods of transmitting messages and information.  There are several platforms where we provide policy information to publishers.

First, we have our Policy Help Center. Through the Help Center, publishers can view all AdSense program policies, with detailed information on specific areas such as content policies, ad implementation policies, webmaster guidelines and much more.

Next, we have an AdSense Forum, comprised of experienced expert publishers that are passionate about helping other publishers better understand AdSense policies.  Here, you can review previous threads or post questions and receive feedback from the community.

We also have our AdSense YouTube channel, a platform we are investing in going forward to address questions for those publishers who prefer videos over text. We plan to update this resource frequently throughout the next year.

For big policy changes, check out our Inside AdSense blog, where we generally post updates first. We have Googlers from across AdSense posting best practices as well as practical advice to avoid common pitfalls, increase revenue and remain policy compliant. We’ll also provide updates on industry drivers, which may be useful to publishers. 

And more recently we’ve also tried to amplify our messaging through the AdSense social channels on Facebook & Twitter.  Generally, these posts reiterate an update that we’ve posted on our AdSense blog, with a link to that posting.

Lastly, we often speak at conferences and host publisher events at our offices worldwide. At these events, we discuss our program policies and gather in-person feedback from you. This feedback is valuable and has resulted in modifications to products, policies, and policy enforcement to better serve your needs.

Why is it important for Google to provide all of these resources?

We know that your first priority is creating content and growing your business. We want to do our part to help you succeed, so we’ve provided multiple platforms to help you understand our policies in the way that suits you best. To put it simply: we want to provide the right resource information, at the right time, in as many places as possible to help you understand our policies.

We also want to make sure you have a number of paths to provide feedback. Our publisher events at Google offices are a great opportunity for this. Additionally, my entire role representing Publisher Policy Communications places a face to our policies, and a feedback loop from you, to the policy team.

Communication involves listening

Communication is a two way street. We’ve listened to your feedback, and created several ways, on several platforms for publishers to better understand our policies. We will always try to interact with you in ways that work best for you. When you succeed, we succeed. Please let us know how we can better communicate our policies to you.

Source: Inside AdSense


Policy resources available to you

We want to do everything we can to help our publishers succeed.

Beyond providing the AdSense platform to monetize content, we provide various channels through which we communicate policies, best practices and product changes to our publishers.

What resources are available?

We know that one size doesn't fit all for publishers when it comes to preferred methods of transmitting messages and information.  There are several platforms where we provide policy information to publishers.

First, we have our Policy Help Center. Through the Help Center, publishers can view all AdSense program policies, with detailed information on specific areas such as content policies, ad implementation policies, webmaster guidelines and much more.

Next, we have an AdSense Forum, comprised of experienced expert publishers that are passionate about helping other publishers better understand AdSense policies.  Here, you can review previous threads or post questions and receive feedback from the community.

We also have our AdSense YouTube channel, a platform we are investing in going forward to address questions for those publishers who prefer videos over text. We plan to update this resource frequently throughout the next year.

For big policy changes, check out our Inside AdSense blog, where we generally post updates first. We have Googlers from across AdSense posting best practices as well as practical advice to avoid common pitfalls, increase revenue and remain policy compliant. We’ll also provide updates on industry drivers, which may be useful to publishers. 

And more recently we’ve also tried to amplify our messaging through the AdSense social channels on Facebook & Twitter.  Generally, these posts reiterate an update that we’ve posted on our AdSense blog, with a link to that posting.

Lastly, we often speak at conferences and host publisher events at our offices worldwide. At these events, we discuss our program policies and gather in-person feedback from you. This feedback is valuable and has resulted in modifications to products, policies, and policy enforcement to better serve your needs.

Why is it important for Google to provide all of these resources?

We know that your first priority is creating content and growing your business. We want to do our part to help you succeed, so we’ve provided multiple platforms to help you understand our policies in the way that suits you best. To put it simply: we want to provide the right resource information, at the right time, in as many places as possible to help you understand our policies.

We also want to make sure you have a number of paths to provide feedback. Our publisher events at Google offices are a great opportunity for this. Additionally, my entire role representing Publisher Policy Communications places a face to our policies, and a feedback loop from you, to the policy team.

Communication involves listening

Communication is a two way street. We’ve listened to your feedback, and created several ways, on several platforms for publishers to better understand our policies. We will always try to interact with you in ways that work best for you. When you succeed, we succeed. Please let us know how we can better communicate our policies to you.

Source: Inside AdSense


Best Practices for Policy Compliant Growth

As a publisher, there are many challenges you face. One area of interest for any publisher is how can you grow your user base, while maintaining high quality, policy-compliant content and traffic.

At Google, we strive to create policies that are designed to enable a healthy digital advertising ecosystem. We consider the needs of each party - users, advertisers and publishers, and want all players to thrive.

Just as important as creating policy is the enforcement of policy violations. Enforcement is important for the quality of the network, and designed to be fairly administered.  There are steps you can take to safeguard your growth efforts, while maintaining policy compliance:


Understand our policies, and develop your own policies and procedures

The first step is to read and understand our policies. These policies are posted in our Help Center, with specific FAQs called out for ease of reference. For new publishers, we created a beginner’s guide to highlight some of the most commonly violated policies.


Protect against invalid traffic

We want publishers to be proactive about tackling invalid traffic.

We’ve developed an Ad Traffic Quality Resource site designed to help publishers better educate themselves on what invalid traffic is, the risks that invalid traffic poses to their businesses, how to identify invalid traffic, and how to mitigate this type of traffic. The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) also has a growing library of resources that can provide additional context and best practices on this topic.


Get familiar with your metrics

As part of your daily ritual, you should understand what typical traffic patterns for your website look like. Anomalies, especially on non-business hours’ or holidays, are signs of potential trouble. As part of metrics review, set aside time each month, or where appropriate for your business, to train and review traffic sources and patterns with your team. We provide guidance for linking analytics to AdSense to help facilitate this process.

best-practices-for-policy-complian_1.png

Ask your partners to provide summary reporting

In addition to reviewing your own traffic on a daily basis, it’s important to regularly audit traffic from your partners. When working with partners, be diligent. Ask for traffic sources, and any optimization plans your partners may have, and educate your team to recognize suspicious behavior. 

Investing in good user experiences benefits the entire ecosystem. Work with partners that feel the same way.


Only trust business partners who have earned your trust

Trust, but verify. Only work with partners who adhere to best practices for sourcing traffic and growing their businesses, and require all partners to uphold safe standards when it comes to sourcing traffic and providing great user experiences.  Feel empowered to ask hard questions and demand answers from those you work with, and set up time to review and analyze inventory that you’ve purchased. If you don’t feel like you are getting the responses you need, find other partners that are more responsive.

Understand what’s too good to be true and watch for it. Build bridges with quality inventory sources and partners, and put up barriers between you and those who prove untrustworthy.  Many potential publishers, ad network and programmatic partners can have traffic quality that can vary quite significantly between various providers.


Focus on the User

Lastly, and most importantly, serving your end users needs should be at the heart of what you do, and a top priority.  Your entire business should be focused on your customer - the user.

Websites with great, unique content have lost loyal users due to deceptive navigation, or poor and/or numerous ad placements.  Great content is only part of your job.  Providing a straightforward, safe, easy to navigate, and uncluttered site experience is also important for users to return to your site.   

At conferences and events, I am often asked what is the one piece of advice I can give to help publishers maintain a good relationship with the Google policy team. My response is always “If you truly focus on the user, and do everything you can to help that user in his or her journey on your site, then you will likely have a long and productive relationship with Google.”

We hope these tips have been helpful. As always, please review our Help Center, and keep providing us with feedback.

Source: Inside AdSense


Best Practices for Policy Compliant Growth

As a publisher, there are many challenges you face. One area of interest for any publisher is how can you grow your user base, while maintaining high quality, policy-compliant content and traffic.

At Google, we strive to create policies that are designed to enable a healthy digital advertising ecosystem. We consider the needs of each party - users, advertisers and publishers, and want all players to thrive.

Just as important as creating policy is the enforcement of policy violations. Enforcement is important for the quality of the network, and designed to be fairly administered.  There are steps you can take to safeguard your growth efforts, while maintaining policy compliance:


Understand our policies, and develop your own policies and procedures

The first step is to read and understand our policies. These policies are posted in our Help Center, with specific FAQs called out for ease of reference. For new publishers, we created a beginner’s guide to highlight some of the most commonly violated policies.


Protect against invalid traffic

We want publishers to be proactive about tackling invalid traffic.

We’ve developed an Ad Traffic Quality Resource site designed to help publishers better educate themselves on what invalid traffic is, the risks that invalid traffic poses to their businesses, how to identify invalid traffic, and how to mitigate this type of traffic. The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) also has a growing library of resources that can provide additional context and best practices on this topic.


Get familiar with your metrics

As part of your daily ritual, you should understand what typical traffic patterns for your website look like. Anomalies, especially on non-business hours’ or holidays, are signs of potential trouble. As part of metrics review, set aside time each month, or where appropriate for your business, to train and review traffic sources and patterns with your team. We provide guidance for linking analytics to AdSense to help facilitate this process.

best-practices-for-policy-complian_1.png

Ask your partners to provide summary reporting

In addition to reviewing your own traffic on a daily basis, it’s important to regularly audit traffic from your partners. When working with partners, be diligent. Ask for traffic sources, and any optimization plans your partners may have, and educate your team to recognize suspicious behavior. 

Investing in good user experiences benefits the entire ecosystem. Work with partners that feel the same way.


Only trust business partners who have earned your trust

Trust, but verify. Only work with partners who adhere to best practices for sourcing traffic and growing their businesses, and require all partners to uphold safe standards when it comes to sourcing traffic and providing great user experiences.  Feel empowered to ask hard questions and demand answers from those you work with, and set up time to review and analyze inventory that you’ve purchased. If you don’t feel like you are getting the responses you need, find other partners that are more responsive.

Understand what’s too good to be true and watch for it. Build bridges with quality inventory sources and partners, and put up barriers between you and those who prove untrustworthy.  Many potential publishers, ad network and programmatic partners can have traffic quality that can vary quite significantly between various providers.


Focus on the User

Lastly, and most importantly, serving your end users needs should be at the heart of what you do, and a top priority.  Your entire business should be focused on your customer - the user.

Websites with great, unique content have lost loyal users due to deceptive navigation, or poor and/or numerous ad placements.  Great content is only part of your job.  Providing a straightforward, safe, easy to navigate, and uncluttered site experience is also important for users to return to your site.   

At conferences and events, I am often asked what is the one piece of advice I can give to help publishers maintain a good relationship with the Google policy team. My response is always “If you truly focus on the user, and do everything you can to help that user in his or her journey on your site, then you will likely have a long and productive relationship with Google.”

We hope these tips have been helpful. As always, please review our Help Center, and keep providing us with feedback.

Source: Inside AdSense


Lighthouse Auditing for Publishers

In February, we announced the launch of SEO auditing tools in Lighthouse Chrome Extension, which is now available in Google Chrome Developer tools.

Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages.  Lighthouse is designed to help publishers improve the quality of their web sites, by providing tools and features for their developers to run audits for performance, compatibility, progressive web apps, SEO, and more.

The SEO audit category within Lighthouse was designed to validate and reflect the SEO basics that every site should get right, and provides detailed guidance to fix those issues. Current audits include checks for valid rel=canonical tag, successful HTTP response code, page title and description and more.

How do I use Lighthouse? 

You can run Lighthouse in several ways: 

Using the Lighthouse Chrome Extension:

  1. Install the Lighthouse Chrome Extension
  2. Click on the Lighthouse icon in the extension bar
  3. Select the Options menu, click “SEO” and click OK, then generate report

Lighthouse Auditing for Publishers

Using Chrome Developer tools on Google Chrome:

  1. Open Chrome Developer Tools
  2. Go to Audits
  3. Click Perform and audit
  4. Click the “SEO” checkbox and click Run Audit.
Lighthouse Auditing for Publishers-2

The SEO audits category is not designed to replace any of your current strategies, or tools, nor does it make any SEO guarantees for Google websearch or other search engines.  However, it covers some of the SEO best practices that are relevant for Webmasters and publishers who want to ensure their website is visible in Search. These checks are part of best practices that we provide for our publisher partners.

Source: Inside AdSense