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AdSense policy FAQs

The purpose of AdSense policy is to keep Google's content and search networks safe and clean for our advertisers, users and publishers. We hope that all publishers participating in AdSense have a long and successful partnership with Google. For that to happen, it’s important that you familiarise yourself with the AdSense programme policies. It’s important to make sure that visitors to your pages are not misled and avoid any deceptive implementation that may bring accidental clicks. For more details, please check out our ad implementation policies.

Contents:

Part 1: Site content

All the content on my website is legitimate. Why does Google think that my website contains "adult content"?

AdSense is a family-safe network. Our policy regarding adult or mature content may include any material that is not appropriate for all audiences. While this obviously includes full nudity or sexual activity, it may also include textually explicit sexual content, image or video content containing lewd or provocative poses, strategically covered nudity, see-through or sheer clothing and close-ups of anatomy that would be inappropriate if shown nude. Additionally, topics such as sexual health and sex tips may be held to a higher standard of professionalism than content that isn't bordering on mature. Even if there's no adult content hosted on your page, links to adult pages or displaying adult ads from a third party will also be considered as adult content. When in doubt about whether an image or text might be construed as adult content, our general guideline is this: if you wouldn’t want a child to see the content, or if you would be embarrassed to view the page in front of colleagues, then it’s probably not family-safe and you shouldn’t place AdSense ad code on it.

Would an image of a girl in a bikini be considered adult content?

Images or video content containing lewd or provocative poses, or close-ups of breasts, bottoms or crotches are considered as sexually gratifying content as per our policies. Therefore if the bikini pictures in question are lewd or suggestive in nature then they would be considered adult content.

Would it be a violation if a page simply contained a name and a link of an adult site?

Yes. We don't allow ads to be displayed on pages with links or ads that drive traffic to adult or mature content. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Links to adult sites
  • Displaying adult ads from a third-party network
I was warned due to a user’s adult keyword search but there are no valid search results for such a query. So why did I receive a warning?

If there are no valid search results then you shouldn't be displaying ads on no-content pages as per our policies. When you receive a notification email, our suggestions for you are:

  1. Remove the ads from the example page or remove that page right away.
  2. Set your ads not to be displayed when there’s no search result.
  3. Set adult keywords filters.
Can Google provide us with a list of adult/sensitive keywords?

While we're unable to provide you with a list of adult keywords, we recommend that you try searching for terms such as "keyword filtering" or "content filtering" on Google.co.uk.

Does linking to copyright material also violate copyright policy?

Yes. Publishers should not place ads on content that they do not have permission to monetise or distribute. In addition, pages do not have to host the content themselves, it’s enough to link to sources that clearly infringe our copyrighted material policy.

Will providing software download or serial number be considered as copyright violation?

If the software that you provide is cracked software that isn't authorised by the software owner, that will be considered as copyright material. Providing the serial number without the owner's permission is also another way to crack the software.

Is it OK to put AdSense ad code on a page that contains videos from other video hosting sites?

There are two policies that you need to consider if you wish to do this. Firstly, you need to consider whether you might be breaking copyright by distributing these videos and monetising them. Remember that you can only monetise content that you own or have permission to do so. Secondly, you need to consider the value that you're providing to users. It’s important for a page displaying AdSense ads to offer significant value to the user by providing unique and relevant content, and not to place ads on pages with little to no original content.

If I created my site by using a default template provided by a blog hosting site would this then be considered as a template site?

Simply using a free host template would not be enough alone to be considered a violation. We would look at the quality and uniqueness of the content that you're providing on that template. Your site should offer significant value to the user by providing useful and information-rich content. If you create lots of similar sites with similar or duplicate content, then we will consider them as template sites.

Am I responsible for user-generated content? Are there any tips for monitoring user-generated content?

Yes, publishers are responsible for all the content on which they’ve placed their ad code, regardless of whether they own or have produced the content. If there’s a lot of user-generated content on your page(s), we suggest that you take some measures to avoid displaying ads on the pages with violating content. For example, you can set filters to avoid ads showing on pages with adult content. You can also check your page(s) regularly with Google site search to remove the violating content. For more tips on maintaining user-generated content, please refer to our guide to user-generated content.

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Part 2: Ad implementation

Is it a violation if my ads display above the fold?

Displaying ads above the fold is not a violation as long as there is enough content above the fold for the users to read. We don't allow page layouts that push all content below the fold so that the only visible content is ads. Implementations like this make it hard for users to distinguish between content and Google ads.

When blending ads to look compatible with my site, how do I make sure that the ads don’t mimic the format of the content without having gaudy ads?

When you implement ads, please always think about your users and consider whether if you were a user coming to the page for the first time, would you be able to distinguish the ads from content. You can choose the appropriate ad size, colour and background to match the design of your page, but never try to format the ads in such a way that makes them indistinguishable from the other content on the page where they appear. And please always keep a proper distance between ads and content to avoid accruing accidental clicks.

I sometimes see ads that are fixed on the left or right side while scrolling down. Are they a policy violation?

These ads are referred to as "sticky ads" and they are restricted to approved publishers. We will take action when we come across this kind of implementation if it was not properly approved.

What labels are allowed above ads?

We don't allow publishers to mislead users in any way. The only labels that we allow to be put above ads are "sponsored links" or "advertisements".

Could I put ads under a "download" link or button?

Putting ads around a "download" button may mislead users into thinking that the ads are the download links. So please always keep your ads far away from "download" links and make “download” buttons readily seen.

Is it violating programme policy if I place ads on iframe web pages in my software?

Yes, it does violate our policies. Firstly, you’re not allowed to place ads in a frame within another page. Exceptions to our policies are permitted only with authorisation from Google for the valid use of iframes. Secondly, you’re not allowed to put ads in your software, e.g. if you control both a website with ads and an app that loads that website, we will take action against it.

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Part 3: Mobile related

Which ad code should I put on web apps (app embedding web): AdMob or AdSense?

Please don't use AdSense on apps since it's a clear violation. Also please make sure that you do not violate the following policies when using AdMob. The following policies should be considered for apps that work as browsers, or apps that try to frame external pages: AdMob and AdSense ads can't be shown on the same screen. Publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on pages that frame content from other pages without permission from the owners of those pages. For more details about AdMob policy, refer to the AdMob Help Centre.

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Part 4: Deductions from earnings FAQs

Your earnings may include deductions for various reasons. Google may adjust your earnings if it detects invalid click activity in your account or ad implementations that are not in compliance with AdSense policy. We encourage you to review the policy and traffic quality guidelines to learn more.

Why were my earnings deducted?
Your earnings were deducted either for invalid click activity or for activity that was not in compliance with Google policies. Google periodically reviews publisher accounts for such activity. When we find such activity in your account, we adjust your earnings and reimburse the advertisers who paid for these clicks.
I’d like to appeal the deduction. Can I do so?
Unfortunately you can't appeal the deduction. Please be assured that we have applied due diligence in reviewing the traffic in your account. As mentioned, a deduction is issued only when we find invalid clicks in your account or when we find activity that's not in compliance with Google policy.
I noticed that my finalised earnings are different from my estimated earnings. Why would I receive an additional deduction?
The estimated earnings that you see in your account give you a close estimate of recent account activity as and when traffic is accrued in your account. The finalised earnings, on the other hand, include all revenue that you'll be paid for validated clicks and impressions. On some occasions, Google may notice that activity you've already been paid for is invalid or not in compliance with Google policy. In such cases, Google posts an adjustment to your account in the form of a deduction. Find out more about understanding your AdSense earnings better or the difference between estimated and finalised earnings.
What was the date range for this deduction?
We're unable to provide the date range for which your adjustment was issued. Note that as per our Terms and Conditions, we credit advertisers for invalid traffic accrued 60 days prior to the date of invoice. Once we complete our investigation and begin processing the credits, it may take up to 30 days for the credits to appear in your account.
Can I get more details on the deduction? Which are the channels and domains that resulted in this deduction?
To maintain the integrity of our invalid activity detection system and to prevent users from circumventing the system, we are unable to provide details about what activity we noticed in your account. We suggest you review the AdSense policy FAQs to learn more.
How can I prevent this from happening again?
We encourage publishers to continuously monitor their AdSense accounts for potential signs of invalid click activity. It's important for you to know where your traffic comes from. We understand the need to have ad campaigns to promote your page, but it's equally important to monitor what kind of traffic these promotions generate. To do this successfully we recommend monitoring the traffic driven to your page using a web analytics tool like Google Analytics. You can also try segmenting your traffic into channels and monitoring the traffic from these channels.
What should I do if I suspect invalid activity?
If you notice any suspicious activity in your account, you can notify us using our online form. Please share as detailed information as possible via the form. Note that we'll keep this information in our records, but we may not respond unless we find a significant issue with your account.

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Part 5: Requests for reviews and violation reporting

I removed the violation from the example page that you sent to me in the site-disabling notification email. Why was ad serving still disabled to my site?

It’s likely that while you removed the violation from the example page that we provided, similar violations are still existent throughout your site. Note that the URL we provide in the notification email is just an example and the same violations may exist on other pages of this site. We recommend that you take the time to review the rest of your site to ensure that it’s in compliance with our policies. After you fix all the violations on your site, you can request a review via the Policy centre in your AdSense account or the Help Centre.

My ads are not showing on my page or site. How can I fix the problem?

You can use the Can’t see my ads troubleshooter to help you troubleshoot common issues on your page or site.

How do I contact the AdSense team if I receive a policy notification?

You don't need to contact us if you’ve received a warning. You should take action on the warning ensuring that you remove all the violations throughout your site. If ads have been disabled on your page or site then you can contact us through a review request form. Before you contact us, please fix the problem first. We strongly recommend that you read the related policies in our Help Centre to help you understand the current violation. To request a review, please use the Request a review for a violation troubleshooter, and then go through the steps to find the right review request form.

For more info about requesting a review, refer to our Policy refresher blog post.

My account was disabled and my appeal was denied. Is there any way I can start again?

As you may know, Google takes issues regarding programme policy compliance very seriously. Our programme policies are in place to help ensure a positive experience for our publishers, their page visitors and our advertisers. As such, our decisions are usually final.


If you feel that this decision was made in error, and if you can maintain in good faith that the policy violations accrued were not due to the actions or negligence of you or those for whom you are responsible, you may appeal against the disabling of your account. To do so, please contact us only through our Policy violation appeal – account disabled form.

We will review your request as soon as one of our specialists is available. However, please keep in mind that we reserve the right to disable an account for violations of programme policies, and there is no guarantee that your account will be reinstated.

Please note that you may submit only one appeal for your account. Any additional submissions will not be reviewed.

My page or site was found to be non-compliant to policy but I can see multiple other sites doing the same thing, why aren't they being actioned?

We strive to maintain the quality and reputation of AdSense by holding all of our publishers to our programme policies. We appreciate your help in upholding these standards. If you find any page or site that may contain the policy violations, please report it to us by clicking the "Ads by Google" or "Ad choice" label on the ads. Our specialists will review it and take action accordingly.

My site was hacked and the hackers inserted their own ad code on my website. What should I do?

You can report this behaviour through our Unauthorised ad code has been placed on my site form. We’ll investigate this matter and take the appropriate actions. Please be aware that these ads were placed on your website without our knowledge. If you haven't already done so, then you can remove the ads from your site by deleting the ad code from your website's source. In addition, we suggest that you review your site’s security to ensure that unauthorised individuals aren't able to access your website's source code.

My ad code was put on some spam websites by the others. What should I do?

We strongly recommend that you use the "site authorisation" feature. Site authorisation is an optional feature that allows you to identify only specific sites that are permitted to use your Google ad code. If a site or URL is not in your authorised sites list, then a violation from the site won't negatively affect your account in any way.

Learn how to add a site or URL to the list of sites that can display your ad code.

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Part 6: More resources

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