Complete Google Adsense Policy Guidelines Not to Get Your Account Blocked

Today, one of my readers, Subramaniyan asked me a question:

Dear Lenin, can we have Amazon ads with Google Adsense on the same page?

I thought, the answer to this should be more elaborate, and hence I started this post to bust all your doubts about Adsense. In this article, we will see what exactly is allowed according to the latest Adsense terms and what is not.

Invalid Impressions

As you well know, invalid clicks and impressions are not at all allowed. But this goes a bit deeper. In order to get traffic, you may get into traffic exchange programs such as Bravenet. Traffic exchange is a black-hat technique to get visitors. Also, it is quite useless (since most visitors are not targeted). Some traffic exchange programs are even automated, which means, when you visit a site, another site is loaded in a pop-up or pop-under. If you participate in any such programs, it will generate an impression (loading of one block of ad is one impression; you get paid for ad impressions) for your Adsense ad and that may be counted as invalid. You are hence running a risk of getting banned.

Due to the same reason, reloading your page again and again can result in a penalization. It is just like clicking your own ads. When you reload your website, it registers ad impressions. And for each impression you are paid a fraction of a dollar ($0.005 or so). However, the terms is relaxed a little in this case. You can reload your pages a fair amount of time, without penalization. Just make sure you don’t do it for making money.

So, don’t reload your pages excessively.

Invalid Clicks

This is also well known. Don’t click on your own ads. Don’t encourage your readers to click on your ads. Don’t email readers requesting to visit and click ads. Don’t give away anything for clicks on ads. And ultimately, don’t even use any secure social networking feature to shout at other users to click on your ads. Google monitors a huge amount of information on the web and can surely spot any such request you make and block your Adsense account. Otherwise, anyone competing with you can easily notify Google of your click solicitations. Also, even if you get some money through such methods, it is not going to last.
Invalid Adsense click solicitation


Don’t engage in any means to get artificial clicks on your ads.

Don’t Email Adsense Ads

I don’t think you can allow Adsense ads within email messages (perhaps a revenue share tweak may be required; I don’t know since I never tried it). So, even if you somehow manage to have Adsense on email, please refrain from it since it is a top-level breach of terms. Only a few top publishers are allowed to use Adsense for email.

Don’t even think about Adsense for email.

Illegal Content

You are not allowed to use Adsense on any page concentrating on:

1. Pornography/sex/adult content
2. Violence/racial intolerance
3. Hacking/cracking related content
4. Regarding programs rewarding clicks/impressions
5. Excessive irrelevant keyword stuffed pages
6. Pages with blackhat SEO techniques (cloaking, doorway pages, text hiding using iframes, etc)
7. Sales or manufacturing of ammunition or weapons
8. Sales of tobacco and related items
9. Prescription drugs
10. Imitation products (gold imitation etc)
11. Sales of term papers, academic essays, etc.
12. Any form of illegal content

Make sure you read the entire list and see if your site concentrates on any. If so, avoid Adsense.

Do Not Sign Up Multiple Accounts

It is entirely against Adsense terms to sign up on multiple accounts. For all your websites, only one Adsense account is enough. You can monitor the performance within your Adsense dashboard for all your sites. Opening multiple accounts for other members of your family may also result in termination.

How Many Ad Units, Link Units, etc., on a Page?

According to the latest Adsense guidelines, here are what you can have on a page:
  • Up to three Adsense ad units on a page
  • Up to two Adsense search boxes
  • Up to three link units
  • Up to three referral units (Now, referral units are retired, so no need for this; also I found some publishers are mistaken on this they think only two referral units can be placed.)
  • Just one Adsense for YouTube video unit

Adsense Below Post Titles?

If you carefully read Adsense blog, you will notice that there was an entry regarding this. You are not expected to add Adsense ads below your post titles. However, this is a lax recommendation only. There are several (even professional) publishers using Adsense below post titles. I will, however, stay away from it.

Adsense With Normal Site Links

Adsense should look always distinct. It should not mislead the reader to think that the Adsense is a normal site link. So, do not format your normal links like Adsense and do not place them together as in the screenshot.
Adsense violation with normal links


Site’s Behavior

Do you have a site with excessive pop-ups, pop-unders, download initiations, etc? Then you may stay away from Adsense.

Adsense should not be placed on pages without a good navigation structure.

Adsense With Other Ad Networks

1. Adsense With Other Contextual Ads (YPN (Yahoo), EPN (eBay Publisher Network), Chitika, Adbrite, Bidvertiser, Kontera, etc)

Now we come to the most confused part. Can we have Adsense with other publishers?

Adsense can be placed with Yahoo Publisher Network, Adbrite, Kontera, Chitika, or any other contextual advertising program as long as Adsense looks distinct. For instance, you can’t place Adsense ads formatted as exactly as Adbrite ads, in a way misleading the viewer.

2. Adsense and Amazon

You can have Adsense with Amazon ads. Amazon Omakase is a product that shows contextual advertising (you can see it on the sidebar of this blog). This advertisement is not in anyway formatted like the Adsense code and also it is not placed nearby Adsense. So, it is all right to have such placement.

3. Adsense With Other Contextual Search

You are not allowed to place Adsense search with other contextual searches within the same page. So, if you have Adsense on a page, you should not place Amazon affiliate search on the same page.

So, the conclusion is you can have Adsense with any other advertisement program as long as Adsense looks distinct. And you should not place other contextual search boxes on the same page with Adsense custom Google search.

Do Not Use Adsense for Alternate Ads

In certain publisher networks, you can enable alternate ads. When the service doesn’t have any ad to display, it will display these alternate ads. Chitika and Adbrite are examples of this. But you should not specify your Adsense code as alternate ads for these programs. Google Adsense should be the primary ad and not to be displayed by other programs when there is no ad to display.

Adsense Code Modification

You are not allowed to make any modification to the Adsense code. It is entirely against terms of service and will get your account blocked.

Some publishers change the HTML comment tags on Adsense code (<!—and -->) to their ASCII equivalent (&lt; and &gt;) get the Adsense work below the post title. There are also other means to make this work. Though these changes do not show any changes within the Adsense code when viewed through the site’s source, they are running a risk.

So, don’t modify your Adsense code at all.

Enabling New Page Loads

You should not load new pages on ad clicks. This can be enabled with a site code tweak. But doing so will result in an account blocking. So, refrain from opening new pages on ad click. Adsense must be loaded in the current page only.

MFA Sites and Adsense

If your site doesn’t have any content, then do not place Adsense within it. Don’t make a site just for Adsense ads. It will promptly get your account blocked. Adsense terms require that you not have the ads as primary content on the page. So, have content on the page and place ads only as addition.

MFA sites (Made-for-Adsense in this context, not Master of Fine Arts) are those which are made just to display Adsense ads. Such sites, if found by Google, will get hit badly.

Adsense on Pop-Ups or Pop-Unders

You are not allowed to display Adsense code in any pop-ups or pop-unders from your site. Since some traffic exchange programs relay on pop-unders, it is highly recommended that you stay away from them or Adsense.

Adsense Ads and Images

Don’t place your Adsense ads near images in a way misleading to the readers. It should not look like you have a description for the image in place.

Adsense image violation


So, don’t place Adsense ads nearby images.

Ad Unit Labels

You should not get clicks on your ad units by specifying them as anything other than Google ads. For instance, you should not title an ad unit “Recommended Links” or “Friends’ Links”. However, you can label them as “Advertisements” or “Sponsored Links”.
Adsense with title violation


Don’t Block Adsense View With Site Layout Tweaks

You should not hide any portion of the Adsense ad unit through any design tweak or problem of the site. You know, you can edit the site design, without changing any portion of the Adsense code, to block ‘Ads by Google’ text at the bottom of the ad unit. But doing so will result in your account being blocked.

So, show the Adsense ad perfectly, and don’t block out any portion of it using any design tweak.

Your Privacy Policy Should Be Updated

The recent Adsense terms require every publisher to post a privacy policy on their blog regarding the collection and usage of individual user data through Adsense code. Adsense collects and uses data from the individual user system using cookies and/or web beacons. If you visit my Usage Policy and Disclaimer, you will see that there is a special clause regarding Adsense privacy policy.

Don’t Disclose Adsense Reporting Data

You are not allowed to disclose any internal Adsense reporting data to anyone outside. This includes CTR, total number of clicks, eCPM, total registered impressions, Adsense channel information, etc. However, you are allowed to disclose the total amount of money you make.

Spotted Any Violation? Report It

If you found any Adsense policy violation, you can report it to Google. Haven’t you noticed the small “Ads by Google” text on every ad unit? If you click this, it opens to a new window. In this window, you have the link titled “Send Google your thoughts on the site or the ads you just saw” Click it and you will be directed a form which you can use to report term violation (Also report a violation? link). Don’t report any site unless you are sure that they don't abide by the terms.

Conclusion

You know now that it is more you can’t do with Adsense than you can. So, read the Adsense terms and conditions and subscribe to the Inside Adsense blog to get the latest about Adsense. If you want to monitor your ads, you should use the Adsense preview tool.

Resources:

Latest Adsense Terms and Conditions
Adsense Usage Policy
Official Google Inside Adsense Blog
Adsense Preview Tool

Copyright © Lenin Nair 2008

8 Opinions:

  1. You're absolutely right about Traffic exchanges and Adsense...that's why for the site I use Traffic Exchanges, I utilize other ad networks. The one that works for me is PepperJam. Thanks for the info.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Lenin,
    Thanks for your immediate response. That's what i was searching.

    ReplyDelete
  3. this post is full of information and answers my all questions

    ReplyDelete
  4. This “heat map” illustrates these ideal placements on a sample page layout. The colors fade from dark orange strongest performance to light yellow weakest performance.
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  5. Thanks, all for the comments and Diggs.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Lenin for very important tips on not having your adsense account blocked. It's very useful to me, new blogger on the block.

    I

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am quite interesting in google adsense topic, I hope you will elaborate more on it in future posts.
    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

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