Google changes their AdSense policies every once in a while. They say that it’s done in an attempt to protect the interests of their advertisers. The last update was on October 20, 2014 but they don’t highlight the changes unless it’s a critical update.
This blog post was first published in August 2012 and around that time I received an email from the AdSense team that ad serving has been disabled to one of my website.
What’s interesting was that it was an obsolete website that I stopped caring about. But the problem was… I haven’t disabled AdSense on that website even though it was not in use.
And the result?
Google AdSense ad serving has been disabled to your site
This email is to alert you that one of your websites is not currently in compliance with our AdSense program policies and as a result, ad serving has been disabled to your website.
Issue ID#: *****
Ad serving has been disabled to: example.com
Example page where violation occurred: http://www.example.com/sample-page/
Action required: Check all other remaining sites in your account for compliance.
Current account status: Active
Luckily, it says “Ad serving has been disabled to: example.com” and not “AdSense account disabled for invalid activity”. And the reason for disabling ad serving to that particular website was “Copyrighted Material”.
No, I was not distributing any copyrighted materials myself but I was linking to a pirated movie hosted by RapidShare.com from two blog posts (dated 2009).
So, it essentially means that AdSense publishers are not only allowed to place ads on websites that are distributing copyrighted materials but also restricted from linking to those web pages.
But it’s funny that Google can index all copyrighted material and make it searchable but publishers are not allowed to link to it.
Google AdSense Terms & Conditions In A Nutshell
- You need to be at least 18 years old and must have a verified Google account.
- You need a valid postal address and must verify your address.
- You shouldn’t disclose Google Confidential Information (e.g. exact click-through rates, cost per click etc.) without their prior consent.
- You shall not encourage any third party to click ads directly or indirectly as it is classified as invalid clicks and click fraud.
- You shall not create a new AdSense account once your account is disabled for whatever reason.
Google AdSense Program Policies In A Nutshell
- You shouldn’t click your own ads or tell others to do so – for whatever reason.
- There is no need to contact the AdSense team for those “accidental clicks” as they understand that accidental clicks may occur from time to time.
- You are not permitted to label the Google AdSense ads with texts other than “Sponsored Links” or “Advertisements”. So, avoid phrases such as “click the ad” “support our sponsors” “recommended links” etc.
- Your web pages should comply with Google AdWords’ landing page quality guidelines.
- Your website’s user-generated content must also comply with AdSense program policies.
- You are not allowed to place Google ads on websites distributing copyrighted materials. It includes sites hosting copyrighted content as well as sites linking to other sites containing copyrighted materials.
- Your pages should contain only family-safe content and you’re not allowed to include or link to – adult content, hacking content, sales of tobacco, drugs, alcohol, weapons etc., casino-related content and anything that is illegal.
- You are also required to adhere to the Google Webmaster Guidelines.
- You shouldn’t place misleading images or headings alongside AdSense ads. The ads should be placed in such a way that it is distinguishable from the actual content.
- You shouldn’t inflate traffic by using any of those auto-surf programs or click-exchange programs.
- You are allowed to share your ad space with other publishers and can even place multiple publishers’ ad code on the same page or site.
- Your AdSense code may not be altered or manipulated in any way for any reason.
- You are not allowed to place Google ads in pop-unders, pop-ups, e-mails or software.
- You are allowed to place AdSense ads along with other ads (by another ad network) but they shouldn’t be using the same layout and colors as Google ads.
- You are not allowed to place ads within iFRAMES.
- You can place up to 3 individual ad units, 3 individual link units, and up to 2 search boxes per page.
- You can place ads above the fold as long as there is enough content above the fold.
- You are not allowed to place a 300×250 ad unit on top of the page when users are accessing your web page from a mobile device (Tip: Use responsive ad units).
If you have any specific question about AdSense’s program policy or terms then search the official Google AdSense Help or post your query on Google AdSense Forum where active forum users and more experienced AdSense publishers are there.
Additional AdSense Resources
- Google AdSense Terms & Conditions
- Google AdSense Program Policies: A Beginner’s Guide
- Google AdSense Program Policies: A Complete Guide
- Google AdSense Policy FAQs
- Top Reasons For AdSense Account Closure
- Google Webmaster & SEO Guidelines: Everything (Almost) You Need To Know
If Google AdSense is your primary source of revenue then you must read their Terms & Conditions and Program Policies — word by word. And it’s equally important to stay up-to-date about its changes as well.
Because if your account is disabled for some reason and you didn’t submit the appeal in a timely manner then it’s going to be difficult to recover the account as Google no longer provide email support to all AdSense publishers.
Regular AdSense publishers will get email support from Google only if they are consistently making $25 per week.
First Published: August 25, 2012; Last Updated: Monday, December 1, 2014