Custom Search Ads

Custom Search Ads policies

In addition to the Google AdSense program policies, AdSense Custom Search Ads (CSA) has the following supplemental policies that you must agree to in order to participate.

The following policies apply to all Custom Search Ad implementations (desktop, mobile, and mobile app):

  1. Query variable passed to Google must match user’s search intent
    CSA may only be used on search results pages that were returned from clear user search intent coming from one of two sources:
    • A search query entered and submitted directly by a user into a search box without editing, modification or filtering. The search box may not be pre-populated with search terms, and publishers may not create links containing pre-populated search terms.
    • An Alternative Search Query, as defined by and compliant with Google’s Alternative Search Query Policies.
  2. Only one CSA request is allowed per user action
    You may not make more than one request for CSA per user action. A user action can be a click by the user, or a scroll that initiates the asynchronous loading of more search results.
  3. Nature of searchable content
    As described in the AdSense Program policies, copyrighted content or content that violates our site content guidelines should not be the focus of your searchable content.
  4. Code may only be used on search results pages
    AdSense CSA ad units may only be placed on search results pages.
  5. Ads must be clearly identified and distinguishable from search results
  6. No incentivizing searches
    You may not compensate users for viewing ads or performing searches.
  7. AdSense CSA should appear on pages with search results
    AdSense CSA are intended to supplement search results that your site returns and not act as the results themselves.
  8. Partners may not backfill CSA with AdSense for Content (AFC), Google Ad Manager, and/or AdMob ads
    It is not permitted to mix request types within the one placement, such as by backfilling CSA results with other Google advertising, e.g., by using AdSense for Content, Google Ad Manager or AdMob. It is also not permitted to alternate request types for the same placement, such as to use AdSense CSA on some views, and using AdSense for Content, Google Ad Manager or AdMob on other views.
  9. You may not place CSA on a page that also concurrently displays Google Ads text demand through other units.

  10. Number of ads in relation to organic results
    The number of ads should not exceed the number of search results for a user’s search query.

  11. Unless approved by Google in writing, CSA may not be implemented on search results pages where the search results are comprised in substantial part of the following:

    • Videos
    • Images
    • News aggregation
    • People
    • Music
    • Content originating from any Google service other than Google Custom Search Engine (e.g., YouTube API).

Desktop specific policies

  1. Maximum three ad units per page Your search results pages can feature up to three AdSense CSA ad units. You can also include one link unit, and one AdSense for Content or one Ad Exchange unit which must be set to an image, placement targeted ad only.

  2. Number of ads in relation to organic results

    • The number of ads should not exceed the number of search results for a user’s search query.
    • Maximum of five ads (one unit) above or below search results and ads should not take up more than one third of the search result space without scrolling
    • Maximum of eight ads in units to the side of results

Mobile Web and Tablet specific policies

  1. Maximum two ad units per page
    You may not make more than one request for AdSense CSA for Mobile per page on which results will be displayed. Your search results pages can feature up to two AdSense CSA for Mobile ad units. There must be only one ad unit visible on the screen at any time.
  2. You may not have more than three ads within the top ad unit and more than three ads within the bottom ad unit.
  3. You may not have more than one AdSense CSA for Mobile ad unit visible to the user at a time.

Mobile app specific policies

  1. On-frame ads (ads which are fixed on the top or bottom of the application) are not allowed. 
  2. In-frame ads (ads which are placed on the page inside the mobile application)
    You may not have more than three CSA within the top ad unit and more than three ads within the bottom ad unit. You may have up to four CSA in the bottom ad unit if no top ad unit is present on the page.
  3. You may not have more than one AdSense CSA for Mobile Apps ad unit visible to the user at a time.
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