AdSense going through major compliancy checking of publisher sites

Plenty of AdSense publishers over the last few months have been getting compliancy warnings for how they are running AdSense on their sites, judging from the number of people contacting me who have been hit with these new warnings.  And now, instead of a written email warning for the problem to be fixed within the next 3 days, as they used to do, now they are stopping ad serving from the entire domain instead, and it can take several weeks for a compliance checker to re-check the site to make sure all the problems are fixed.

What are they looking for?  Things people have been getting warnings for including having adult or other “site may not include” content anywhere on the site, even if the page is not running AdSense (this seems to be the most common reason).  Other issues are placements that could confuse the visitor (such as making navigation or directory listings resemble AdSense ad units) and having anything that pops overtop of ad units, such as expanding navigation or slide-in pop-overs/ups.  A few warnings  have also been to those with arbitrage sites where the visitor doesn’t see anything on the initial page view (ie. what you would see before scrolling down) but AdSense ad units.

It seems to have kicked in over the last few months, and is a definite trend to clean up publisher sites.

I talked about it in length with Shoemoney on last week’s video show, which you can watch here:

Streaming Video by Ustream.TV

We discussed it towards the end of the video show.

We might touch on it again today when we do the show today at 1pm PST / 4pm EST on, so come watch us live.  You do need to register to chat in the online chat component of the show, but we take questions during part of the show, so bring your burning AdSense questions :)

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10 comments to AdSense going through major compliancy checking of publisher sites

  • […] AdSense going through major compliancy checking of publisher sites :: JenSense – whether or not Google is going to finally do something about the splog and AdSense farms out there is debatable especially when it comes their own blogging platform. […]

  • Jon

    Hello Jen, in regards to the “sites may not include” portion of your discussion, does this include any copyright infringement issues? I checked out your post on the 2007 changes to copyright section of TOS and theres some vague language. Does this mean a site featuring google search APIs that provide image and video results cannot run adsense? If so, does this apply to the specific page providing these results or the entire web site?

  • Hi Jen,

    My WP theme demo website ( ) has a sidebar. The sidebar’s 300×250 Adsense Text Unit is blended with the content of the sidebar. Do you think I’m going too far with the blending and risk getting my Adsense account suspended?

    I’d greatly appreciate your advice on this.


  • They have things like Flickr, Yieldmanager etc.

    Microsoft are after patent 361 ( i think that’s the number ) which they could use AGAINST google.

  • I think it’s a good thing that Google is checking all these sites – and so long as you were adhering to the ToS in the first place you should have nothign to worry about. I have heard though, that some small bloggers are having their accounts randomly closed down with no warning at about $80-90 in their accoutn before they reach the $100 threshold. I’m not sure what truth there is in it but I would advise small bloggers to check that their site adheres to all the conditions!

  • If you have ads are above the fold, is that baneable material? But what if the website has unique content?

  • I`ve experienced what you are talking for, jense. My site has a subdomain and that sub-domain was found to be in violation of the policy. However, instead of disabling adsense on that particular subdomain only, adsense banned my whole domain, which, of course, includes my main website. A very sad experience, just because of one small subdomain I lost my entire website.

  • Wow, i was totally unaware of this. It actually happened to me with two of my sites that had link units over blended. There are alot of sites that used the smarticle composer layout that made the ad blocks look just like site navigation links, i suppose those site owners will be getting warned.

    Also i know google warned me once about having ads on the sitemap that contained nothing but links and no content.

  • MItchel

    Ugh, we received these on two sites today. We’ve been a publisher for four years and are big enough to receive the Christmas gift every year. No clue what the violation is, and the follow up they provide is the ever-helpful:

    Unfortunately, I’m unable to provide you with any specific guidance about
    either of your sites. However, I encourage you to review Google’s
    Webmaster Quality Guidelines for further information.

    Who does business this way!?!?! We’d correct the problem in an hour, but we can’t guess what it is and they won’t tell us. Love ya, Goog!

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