Today I attended a Google+ Hangout run by Google about AdSense policies. There are many people getting banned from AdSense before they even get off the ground. Here’s some notes from the hangout to hopefully help you follow the AdSense policies and keep your account active.
Here are the most common violations:
Adult Content – mostly they mean pornography, but they also included profanity in this section, so be aware.
Copyrighted content – if you are publishing full TV shows, movies, eBooks, etc. you could be banned from AdSense. This also extends to the pages that you are linking to. So be careful as to who you are linking to. This practice is also illegal, so if you’re doing this, AdSense is the least of your worries.
Encouraging clicks – you cannot use words like, “support my site”, “visit our sponsors”, “click our ads to help me” on your site. You also cannot labels mislabel ads such as “recommendations”, “special offers” or “more info”. The only two phrases that they allow are “sponsored links” and “advertisers”.Content mimicking – you cannot format your content to mimic ads. You may not align images with ads, or make your test look exactly like AdSense ad text. So in my opinion, sites with a format like this are potentially violating this:
The Google employee running the hangout said several times that it should be “abundantly clear” as to what is an ad and what is not. I’m not sure the above site design would fall under that description.
Modified ad code – you cannot modify ad code in any way that will artificially generate clicks or harm the advertiser.
One question that they answered which was helpful was this:
Can I modify my AdSense code to prioritize the ad loading order?
The answer was no, absolutely not. They consider that favoritism toward a certain ad and they can’t allow that since their advertisers bid on equal ground.
This was news to me. I don’t do this, but I have seen it discussed a lot of different times like it was a common practice. While people may be doing it, don’t do it. It will get you banned.
So, as expected, this hangout didn’t really provide much more clarification. Hopefully it’s a good refresher for you though. A reminder to check your site for compliance.