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Policies

AdSense policy change log

Google announces updates to our policies and restrictions for AdSense on this change log. Publishers are required to keep abreast of changes to policies and be in compliance with them at all times.

Updates to the EU user consent policy (July 2024)

From 31 July 2024, Google will expand the scope of the EU user consent policy to apply to users in Switzerland. Customers using Google advertising products will be required to obtain Swiss users’ consent to the use of cookies or other local storage, where legally required; and the collection, sharing and use of personal data for personalisation of ads. This is in addition to existing requirements for European Economic Area (EEA) and UK users.

(Posted April 2024)

Updates to the AdSense for Search policies (March 2024)

On 27 March 2024, Google will make the following updates to the AdSense for Search (AFS) policies:

  1. Clarify that queries may originate from clear user search intent coming from one of three sources:
  2. Make editorial updates for better clarity and readability. These editorial updates do not change the scope of the policies.

We will also introduce new policies for Google’s AdSense for Search product-integrated features to clarify that:

  1. The following type of AFS product-integrated features is currently available: ad intents
  2. Usage of the AFS product-integrated features must comply with the AdSense for Search (AFS) policies.
  3. You may not place AFS product-integrated features on content that does not comply with the Google AdSense Programme policies, including but not limited to the Google Publisher Policies.

(Posted on March 2024)

Updates to the AdSense programme policies (February 2024)

On 9 February 2024, Google will introduce a new Sensitive Events policy into the AdSense programme policies.

A 'Sensitive Event' is an unforeseen event or development that creates significant risk to Google's ability to provide high-quality, relevant information and ground truth, and reduce insensitive or exploitative content in prominent and monetised features. During a Sensitive Event, we may take a variety of actions to address these risks.

(Posted January 2024)

Updating the Video publisher policy to become a Google Publisher Policy (April 2024)

On 1 April 2024 Google will update the Video publisher policy, currently applicable to AdSense and Ad Manager, to apply to all video inventory including AdMob, under the Google Publisher Policies. This expansion of coverage is intended to streamline the policies across Google products, as well as to keep pace with current industry standards (e.g. IAB OpenRTB).

For more details about the reasons behind the new video publisher policies and an outline of the key changes, visit Updates to video publisher policy in 2024.

The updated policies will apply to AdSense, Ad Manager and AdMob video inventory monetised with Google ad code (‘Video inventory’), and are as follows:

Accurately describe inventory

  1. Video inventory must provide declarations with accurate signals (for Ad Manager, see VAST ad tag URL parameters), including:
    • Audibility of ad placement: Audible by default or muted (for Ad Manager, see vpmute parameter).
    • Type of ad placement: Video ads serving into video players with video content must be accurately declared as either 'In-stream' or 'Accompanying Content' placements (for Ad Manager, see plcmt parameter). Video ads serving into non-video player placements do not require declarations, and will be automatically determined by Google based on inventory format as either 'Interstitial' or 'Standalone' placements.
      • In-stream’ means a video or audio ad played within the stream of video or audio content, where the video or audio content is the focus of the user's visit or explicitly requested by the user.

        Example: A video ad that's played before, in the middle of, or after the stream of a user-requested video content.

      • Accompanying content’ means a video ad played within the stream of video content accompanying the main content of the user’s visit, where the video content is neither the focus of the user’s visit nor explicitly requested by the user. Accompanying content placements must load within the body of the page, and muted by default.

        Example: A video ad that's played before, in the middle of, or after the stream of muted video content that takes up a small portion of a primarily editorial page.

      • Interstitial’ means a video ad played without the presence of any other streaming video content in a transition between content, where the video ad is the primary focus of the page and takes up the majority of the viewport.

        Example: A video ad that's independent of any other streaming video content, and that's placed in full view in a natural break or transition between content.

      • Standalone’ means a video ad played without the presence of any other streaming video content, where the video ad is not the focus of the page.

        Example: A video ad that's independent of any other streaming video content, and that's placed in a banner at the right rail of an article page.

Use supported implementations

  1. In-stream or accompanying content placements must use the Google Interactive Media Ads SDK or Google Programmatic Access Library on supported platforms, unless through an official Google beta program.
    • Partners and publishers cannot use Interactive Media Ads products to monetise YouTube content. For YouTube content, partners and publishers must monetise through the YouTube Partner Programme.
  2. Interstitial or Standalone placements must use Google-provided solutions: on web: Google Publisher Tags; in app: the Google Mobile Ads SDK (for Ad Manager; for AdMob).
    • The Google Interactive Media Ads SDK isn't allowed for interstitial or standalone placements, except for placements in games.

Protect advertiser value

  1. Video inventory content or controls (for example, play, pause, mute, skip or dismiss), including ad content or controls where provided, must not be obstructed, hidden or non-functional.
  2. For in-stream placements, audio ads must not be requested or served in muted placements.

Respect the user

  1. Video inventory may autoplay, provided that:
    • Only one video inventory across all placement types may autoplay with sound at any time.
      • Additionally for in-stream or accompanying content placements, only one video player may autoplay in view at any time.
    • The ad must not autoplay until at least 50% of the ad unit is visible.
  2. Video inventory may be sticky, provided that:
    • A dismiss option is presented for the entire duration of the video or ad content. This option must not be hidden, obstructed or non-functional.
    • For in-stream or accompanying content placements, the video player must start in the main content and only transition to a sticky placement as a user scrolls the video player off the page.

Additionally for Ad Manager, the term 'instream' in Help Centre pages and in-product controls refers to both 'in-stream' and 'accompanying content' as defined in the updated policies. Ad Manager video inventory that is 'in-stream' or 'accompanying content' per the updated policies must adhere to the respective requirements in the policies.

The updated policies will take effect on 1 April 2024. Please review the updated policies to determine if it affects your video inventory. If your video inventory was previously disapproved but you believe that they should no longer be disapproved following the update, you may request a review or appeal on or after 1 April 2024.

More information on requesting a review or appeal can be found below:

(Posted November 2023)

Update to Video publisher policy (November 2023)

On 7 November 2023, Google will update the Video publisher policy to allow non-in-stream ads to be placed in sticky implementations (i.e. non-in-stream ads that remain in a fixed location on the screen).

[Posted on October 2023]

Update to Rewarded inventory policy (October 2023)

On 31 October 2023, Google will update the Rewarded inventory policy to become policies for ad units that offer rewards. Under the updated policies, we allow indirect or non-monetary items to be offered as rewards provided that:

  1. The reward is only redeemable and usable for an item or service within the publisher’s platform, website or app;
  2. The reward is non-transferable; and
  3. Rewards that are a discount or voucher for physical items must not exceed 25% of the item’s total value.

Direct monetary items remain disallowed as rewards under any circumstance.

For the purposes of the updated policies:

  • 'Direct monetary items' mean any form of legal tender, or other modes of payment that can be used directly to purchase goods or services in the real world.

    Examples: Cash, cryptocurrency, gift card

  • 'Indirect or non-monetary items' mean anything with monetary value but which is not a direct mode of payment in the real world, or anything that does not have monetary value in the real world.

    Examples: Discounts, loyalty rewards or points, product delivery at no cost, product or service trial at no cost, game character extra life, game character skin

  • 'Non-transferable' means a reward that is only redeemable and usable by the same user who received it, and is not directly convertible into direct monetary items or items that can be transferred to a third party.

    Examples: A discount code, loyalty points or a game item that is only redeemable and usable by a specific user through their logged-in account, and cannot be directly converted into cash or used to purchase any item that can be transferred to another person

In addition to the above, we will also make editorial updates to the policies for better clarity and readability. These editorial updates do not change the scope of the policies.

Please review the updated policies to determine if it affects your ad units that offer rewards. If your ad units that offer rewards were previously disapproved but you believe that they should no longer be disapproved following the update, you may request a review or appeal on or after 31 October 2023.

Learn more about requesting a review or appeal.

(Posted October 2023)

Update to Google’s approach to data transfers (September 2023)

Google is certified under the EU-US Data Privacy Framework ('EU-US DPF') and from 1 September 2023 adopted the EU-US DPF as an alternative transfer solution to transfer EEA personal data to the US

(Posted September 2023)

Update to Google Publisher Restrictions for Shocking content (August 2023)

On 30 August 2023, Google will update Shocking content in the Google Publisher Restrictions to include an exception for gameplay imagery. In the context of gameplay imagery, content is only considered to 'contain gruesome, graphic or disgusting accounts or imagery' or 'depict acts of violence' if it depicts acts of torture, sexual violence, violence against minors, violence against prominent real-name persons or violence against an individual or group on the basis of a characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalisation.

Please review the update to determine if it affects your site or app. If your site or app received restricted ad serving previously due to Shocking content but you believe ad serving should no longer be restricted following the update, you may request a review or appeal of your site or app on or after 30 August 2023.

More information on requesting a review or appeal can be found below:

(Posted July 2023)

Updates to AdSense for Search and Custom Search Ads policies (March 2023)

Google will update the following policies in March 2023 to better clarify: (a) the application of the policies for Google-provided services vs non Google-provided services; and (b) the corrective action(s) on Google-provided services in case of non-compliance with the policies.

  1. AdSense for Search (AFS) policies
  2. Custom Search Ads policies
  3. Google Custom Search Ads Policy: Alternative Search Queries

These updates are part of our ongoing efforts to clarify our policies for readability and transparency. There is no change to the scope of the policies or the way that the policies are enforced. No action is required by publishers as a result of these updates.

(Posted March 2023)

Google Publisher Policies (January 2023)

In January 2023, Google will update the Google Publisher Policies by bringing our existing Malware and Unwanted software policy into the Google Publisher Policies: Requirements and other standards as part of our continued efforts to simplify and streamline our policies.

In recent months, Google has also made the following two updates to the Google Publisher Policies:

(Posted December 2022)

Update to technical requirements for web content viewing frames for apps (May 2022)

In May 2022, the technical requirements for web content viewing frames for apps were updated (AdSense policy, Ad Manager policy). App developers who want to monetise by publishing AdSense and Ad Manager display ads can use any of the existing options or use the new WebView API for Ads option. Learn more in the developer documentation for Android and iOS.

(Posted May 2022)

Update regarding Ukraine (March 2022)

Due to the war in Ukraine, we will pause monetisation of content that exploits, dismisses or condones the war. 

(Posted 23 March 2022)

Update to Russian Federation state-funded media monetisation (February 2022)

In light of the war in Ukraine, we are pausing Google’s monetisation of Russian Federation state-funded media. 

We will continue to actively monitor the situation and make adjustments as necessary.

This is effective immediately. 

(Posted February 2022)

Update to US Office of Foreign Asset Control Sanctions List (February 2022)

The Google Publisher Policies Sanctions compliance list has been updated to reflect the addition of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) in order to comply with the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). This addition is effective immediately. 

The country restriction pages for AdMob, AdSense, and Ad Manager have also been updated to reflect this change. 

(Posted February 2022)

Update to Misrepresentative content policy for Unreliable and harmful claims (October 2021)

In November 2021, the Google Publisher Policy for Misrepresentative content: Unreliable and harmful claims will be updated to include a new policy prohibiting content that promotes claims about climate change that run contrary to authoritative scientific consensus. We will begin enforcing the policy update after 8 November 2021.

(Posted October 2021)

Simplifying and standardising our policies (September 2021)

As part of continuing efforts to simplify and streamline our policies for publishers and in conjunction with our September 2021 changes for behavioural policies, we’re launching a new Publisher Policies Help Centre. This new Help Centre will bring our publishers an easy way to access our policies and to make it easy to understand how they affect you, no matter which products you use.

You'll still be able to view Google Publisher Policies and Google Publisher Restrictions on the AdMob, AdSense and Ad Manager Help Centres. Over time, we'll be migrating and consolidating the Publisher policies and restrictions into the new Publisher Policies Help Centre.

In addition to the policies and restrictions, the Publisher Policies Help Centre includes a glossary defining the most common terms used in policy language and special pages for each policy and restriction with additional explanatory material to help clarify the policy language.

(Posted September 2021)

Update to Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) (October 2021)

In October 2021, the Google Publisher Policy relating to Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) will be updated due to Google implementing the European Commission's updated SCCs.

(Posted September 2021)

Simplifying and standardising our behavioural policies (August 2021)

In September 2021, as part of our continued efforts to simplify and streamline our policies for publishers, the Google Publisher Policies and Publisher Restrictions will be updated to include aligned versions of some of our existing behavioural policies (meaning those policies/restrictions which dictate how ads are implemented). These aligned versions consolidate versions of policies that we have had across AdSense, AdMob and Ad Manager and include: Ads Interfering, Inventory Value and Industry Standards (a collection of existing standards that we require our publishers to comply with).

In September 2019, we launched changes to our content policies across our publisher products that introduced the Google Publisher Policies and the Google Publisher Restrictions. This update is a continuation of that ongoing effort.

As an additional part of this update, we will also launch two new policies: compliance with the Coalition for Better Ads’ Better Ads Standards and a policy for dishonest declarations.

We want to bring our publishers an easy way to access our policies and to make it easy to understand how they affect you, no matter which products you use, which is why we are also launching a revamped version of our policy Help Centre.

Please note that these policies and restrictions will apply in addition to any other policies governing your use of Google publisher products.

(Posted August 2021)

Update to Google Publisher Policies for Animal cruelty (August 2021)

In August 2021, the Google Publisher Policy for Endangered or threatened species will be updated to clarify that we prohibit content that promotes cruelty or gratuitous violence towards animals. This update will consolidate the Endangered or threatened species and the Animal cruelty policy under a new Animal cruelty topic.

(Posted July, 2021)

Update to Misrepresentative content policy (May 2021)

In May 2021, the Google Publisher Policy for Misrepresentative content will be updated to better organise the topics within the policy. Additionally, two policies previously listed under Dangerous or Derogatory Content will be moved to Misrepresentative content. The two policies, which prohibit (1) content promoting harmful health claims, and (2) content that relates to a current, major health crisis and contradicts authoritative scientific consensus, will be moved from the Dangerous or Derogatory content section to the (new) Unreliable claims section of Misrepresentative content.

These changes are being undertaken to improve readability and understanding and do not impact what is currently restricted or prohibited per our policies.

(Posted April 2021)

Update to US Office of Foreign Asset Control Sanctions List (February 2021)

In February 2021, the Understanding AdSense country restrictions page will be updated to reflect the removal of Sudan from the US Office of Foreign Asset Control sanctions list. This update will take effect on 24 February 2021.

Due to this change, Google AdSense will be available for publishers in Sudan. 

(Posted February 2021)

Update to Google Publisher Policy for Sexually explicit content (February 2021)

In February 2021, the Google Publisher Policies will be updated. Content that may be interpreted as promoting a sexual act in exchange for compensation will become its own category named "Compensated sexual acts". Additionally, we will update the examples listed (prostitution, companionship and escort services, intimate massage, cuddling sites) to clearly prohibit promotion of compensated dating or sexual arrangements where one participant is expected to provide money, gifts, financial support, mentorship or other valuable benefits to another participant such as "Sugar" dating.

(Posted December 2020)

Update to Google Publisher Policies (September 2020)

In September 2020, the Google Publisher Policies will be updated to prohibit monetisation of web pages, sites or apps that are not primarily in one of our supported languages, or that do not contain content. From 15 September 2020, we will not allow new sites to be monetised using AdSense, Ad Manager or AdMob in unsupported languages or where they do not contain content.

(Posted August 2020)

Update to Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) (August 2020)

Starting 12 August 2020, Google will rely on the European Commission’s Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) for transfers of online advertising and measurement personal data out of the European Economic Area, the UK or Switzerland. For Processor Services, Google is updating the Google Ads Data Processing Terms to include the SCCs for transfers of personal data to processors established in third countries. For Controller Services, Google is updating the Google Ads Controller-Controller Data Protection Terms to include the SCCs for transfers of personal data to controllers established in third countries. Where there is a relevant transfer of personal data, the SCCs incorporated into Partner’s contract with Google will apply.

(Posted August 2020)

Update to Google Publisher Policies for Misrepresentative content (September 2020)

In September 2020,  the Google Publisher Policies for Misrepresentative content will be updated to prohibit coordinating with other sites or accounts and concealing or misrepresenting your identity or other material details about yourself, where your content relates to politics, social issues or matters of public concern. We will begin enforcing this policy on 1 September 2020 in the United States and on 1 October 2020 in all other countries. 

We take violations of this policy very seriously and consider them egregious. If we find violations of this policy, we will suspend your accounts upon detection and without prior warning.

(Posted July 2020)
 

Update to Dangerous or derogatory content (August 2020)

In August 2020, the Google Publisher Policies for Dangerous or derogatory content will be updated to prohibit content that relates to a current, major health crisis and contradicts authoritative, scientific consensus.

(Posted July 2020)

Update to Google Publisher Policy for Enabling Dishonest Behaviour (August 2020)

In August 2020, the Google Publisher Policies for Enabling Dishonest Behaviour will be updated to clarify restrictions on advertising or monetising content that promotes spyware and surveillance technology. The updated policy will prohibit the promotion or monetisation of content that enables a user, or promotes products and services that enable a user, to track or monitor another person or their activities without their authorisation. This policy will apply globally.

Examples of products and services that will be prohibited (non-exhaustive)

Spyware and technology used for intimate partner surveillance including but not limited to spyware/malware that can be used to monitor texts, phone calls or browsing history; GPS trackers specifically marketed to spy on or track someone without their consent; promotion of surveillance equipment (cameras, audio recorders, dash cams, nanny cams) marketed with the express purpose of spying.

This does not include (a) private investigation services or (b) products or services designed for parents to track or monitor their underage children.

(Posted July 2020)

Update to Google Publisher Policies (August 2020)

In August 2020, the Google Publisher Policies will be updated to standardise the existing policies across our publisher products pertaining to child sexual abuse and exploitation.

In addition, we will also be making some editorial changes to our policy language. All mentions of 'interest-based advertising' will be replaced with 'personalised advertising' and our Privacy related policy for compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act will be updated.

(Posted July 2020)

Update to Google Publisher Policy for Misrepresentative content (March 2020)

In March 2020, the Google Publisher Policy for Misrepresentative content will be updated. The update is to clarify that we do not allow content that makes claims that are demonstrably false and could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process.

Additionally, the update will also make clear that we do not allow content that deceives users through manipulated media related to politics, social issues or matters of public concern.

(Posted February 2020)

Update to Google Publisher Policies (April 2020)

In April 2020, the Google Publisher Policies will be updated to standardise the existing policies across our publisher products pertaining to personally identifiable information, data collection, disclosure and user consent. As part of this, we will update our policy to require more explicit forms of notice before users grant permission to share device location for advertising purposes.

(Posted February 2020)

Update to Google Publisher Restrictions: Online gambling (January 2020)

In January 2020, the Google Publisher Restriction for gambling will be updated to clarify what we consider to be "online gambling".

(Posted December 2019)

Update to ad placement policies: Ads on pages behind a login (November 2019)

In December 2019, the Google AdSense Programme policy for Ads on pages behind a login will be updated to clarify how we handle requests to monetise content that we cannot evaluate.

(Posted November 2019)

Update to Google Publisher Policies: Dangerous or derogatory content (November 2019)

In December 2019, the Google Publisher Policy for Dangerous or derogatory content will be updated.

It will include content made by or in support of transnational drug trafficking organisations.

(Posted November 2019)

Simplifying and standardising our content policies (September 2019)

In September 2019, we’re launching changes to some of our content policies across our publisher products (AdSense, AdMob and Ad Manager).

Please note that, going forward, Google will be announcing updates to our policies and restrictions for AdSense on this change log. Publishers are required to keep abreast of changes to policies and be in compliance with them at all times.

Why we’re making these changes

One of the top requests that we hear from publishers is that they want us to simplify and streamline our policies. We know that many of you use several of our publisher products and we want to bring you a clear and easy way to understand how to interact with our policies and how they affect you, no matter which products you use.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Google Publisher Policies, which outline the types of content that we won’t monetise through any of our publisher products. These include: Illegal Content, Child Sexual Abuse Material & Pedophilia, Sexually Explicit Content, Adult Themes in Family Content, Intellectual Property Abuse, Endangered or Threatened Species, Dangerous or Derogatory Content, Enabling Dishonest Behaviour, Misrepresentative Content, Malicious or Unwanted Software and Mail Order Brides​.
  • Google Publisher Restrictions, which outline the types of content which will receive restricted sources of advertising. These include: Sexual Content, Shocking Content, Explosives, Guns, Gun Parts & Related Products, Other Weapons, Tobacco, Recreational Drugs, Alcohol Sales and Misuse, Online Gambling, Prescription Drugs and Unapproved Pharmaceuticals and Supplements. Google Ads (formerly AdWords) will continue not to serve on any of this restricted content; it will only receive ads from other advertising products or via the use of direct deals between publishers and advertisers.
  • Alignment across our publisher products, bringing simplicity, consistency and ease of understanding, regardless of the product(s) that you choose to use.

What it means for you as an AdSense publisher

Monetising content that falls under the Google Publisher Restrictions will no longer be a policy violation; instead, we'll restrict advertising on that content as appropriate, based on the preferences of each advertising product and/or advertisers’ individual preferences. In some cases, this will mean that no advertising sources are bidding on your inventory and no ads will appear on this restricted content. So while you can choose to monetise content covered by the Google Publisher Restrictions, doing so will mean that you'll likely receive less advertising on this restricted content than you would receive on other, nonrestricted content.

Content that falls under the Google Publisher Policies is not allowed to be monetised and you should not place ads against that content. Attempting to monetise policy-violating content may result in your account(s) being suspended or terminated.

Please note that these policies and restrictions will apply in addition to any other policies governing your use of Google publisher products.

What you need to do

Nothing at this time. The Help Centre and Policy Centre will be updated in September 2019 when this takes effect with the full breakdown of policies and restrictions. At that time, please review the updated policies and restrictions and ensure that your content is in compliance.

(Posted August 2019)

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