Home Google AdSense Rules: How To Avoid Getting Banned

AdSense Rules: How To Avoid Getting Banned


Think you’re a law-abiding AdSense publisher?  Think again.  Some AdSense rules, such as not clicking your own ads, are obvious and widely known.  But other guidelines are less known.  If you violate any of these terms, you may get banned from AdSense.  Avoid loss of an important source of revenue.  Make sure you aren’t committing any of these not-so-obvious violations of the Google AdSense terms of use.

Not having a privacy policy.

Your website must have a privacy policy before you may display AdSense ads in it.  A privacy policy is a document (or web page) that explains how you collect information about your visitors and what you do with that information.  A link to your privacy policy page should be clearly visible on every page of your site.

When you compose your policy, include details about the AdSense program and other third-party programs you may be running on your site.  You should explain to your visitors that AdSense and other third-party vendors and advertisers use cookies to show them ads based on their visit to your website.  In particular, explain that the DoubleClick cookie used by Google serves ads based on users’ visits to your site and other websites.  Let the user know that they can opt out of the DoubleClick cookie if they want to by going to http://www.google.com/ads/preferences/.

A privacy policy should be clear and easy to understand.  If you are not sure how to write one, refer to one of the many guides online such as http://www.bbb.org/us/article/bbb-small-business-advice-writing-a-privacy-policy-20503.  If you employ an automatic privacy policy generator or template, make sure you modify it as necessary to accurately fit your website.

Disclosing your AdSense data.

Hey, it’s your AdSense account; you can share the data with anyone, right?  No!  Under the Google terms and conditions, you must treat your AdSense data such as clicks, click-through rates, and other statistics as confidential information.  You may not divulge them to anybody without prior written consent from Google.  Some publishers, unaware of this rule, take screenshots of their AdSense accounts to show proof of their earnings to others. If you want to discuss your online income with someone, take care not to reveal actual statistical data from your AdSense account.

Notwistanding this part of your agreement with Google, you may disclose the gross payments you receive from them as a result of your use of the AdSense program. That will allow you to fulfill your tax reporting obligations.

Using AdSense on an unfinished website.

AdSense must be placed only in completed and launched websites; that is, sites that don’t have incomplete pages, blank pages, “under construction” signs, links that don’t work or pages that don’t load.   If this is your first time to use AdSense, you must add enough textual content to your site for the Google team to evaluate; otherwise, your application to join the program might be denied.

If you are still building your website, hold off on the advertising.  A new, unfinished site is unlikely to attract lots of visitors (and hence, clicks) anyway.  Be patient; focus on developing your website to the best of your ability.  In fact, you may want to keep your site ad-free for some time even after its launching.  Some publishers do this to allow their websites to “age” a little, build reputation and draw traffic.

Running similar ad networks on your website.

You may not place AdSense ads on a website or web page that displays other ads that look similar to AdSense ads.  This is necessary so that Google can protect the integrity of the AdSense and AdWords programs, and the interest of their advertisers.  If you want to serve other advertisements, make sure that they look different from Google’s.  Visitors must be able to clearly distinguish the Google ads from the non-Google ones.   If your visitors cannot tell that those ads are being served by different ad networks, you need the remedy the situation.  Google suggests you change color schemes if the ad formats are similar.  If nothing else works, you may need to stop serving the other third-party advertisements and stick with just AdSense.


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