Updated AdSense Policies Released- Key Points for Publishers

Apr 30, 2009 | 2,495 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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AdSense recently released its new policies for link sellers and publishers. The new AdSense policies have been completely reorganized to ensure everything is taken into consideration. Google has also requested publishers participating in the AdSense program to check these policies for updates frequently, as they may change them at any time.

Here are some of the important points for publishers as per the new policies:

  • Now, selling links to gambling sites, casinos, prescription drug sites will be considered a violation of the AdSense terms.
  • Contents/ads should be blended enough, so that it's difficult to tell them apart.
  • Every AdSense publisher must now follow the webmasters guidelines, which includes no hidden text links, information-rich sites, and no doorways or cookie cutter affiliate sites.
  • Any traffic changes received from paid search.

These policies have been double checked for additions and removals as well. Here's a brief overview on the changes made in its different sections:

Invalid Clicks & Impressions

It mainly lists different “prohibited methods.” This section has been added before the “Learn more” notation:

Publishers may not click on their own ads or use any means to artificially inflate impressions and/or clicks, including manual methods.

In this section AdSense have added a new section called “Traffic Sources.” Therefore, third party services like paid-to-click, paid-to-surf, autosurf, and click-exchange programs have been removed and included under another heading.

Encouraging Clicks

The following snippet has been added to this section:

This includes, but is not limited to, offering compensation to users for viewing ads or performing searches, promising to raise money for third parties for such behavior, or placing images next to individual ads.

Under this section AdSense have moved the below mentioned points to the later traffic sources section:

  • May not promote sites displaying ads through unsolicited mass emails or unwanted advertisements on third-party websites.
  • May not compensate users for viewing ads or performing searches, or promise compensation to a third party for such behavior.

AdSense have added the following points:

  • Compensate users for viewing ads or performing searches, or promise compensation to a third party for such behavior.
  • Place ads in a floating box script.
  • Format ads so that they become indistinguishable from other content on that page.
  • Format site content so that it is difficult to distinguish it from ads.

The last two points are expected to have major impact on many publishers who have mastered the blended technique, especially wrapping text around the ad units.

Content Guidelines

This section talks about content violations. Publishers displaying ads through AdSense may not include or link to casinos/gambling or prescription drug sites in particular. This step is considered to be Google's way to reduce the number of text links sold, by making it a violation for AdSense publishers.

Copyrighted Material

This section is the same.

Webmaster Guidelines

Earlier this section used to be just a reference to webmasters guidelines but now, it is mostly new. Following are some of the key points included in this section:

  • Do not place excessive, repetitive, or irrelevant keywords in the content or code of webpages.
  • Avoid hidden text or hidden links.
  • Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines, or other “cookie cutter” approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.
  • Do not include deceptive or manipulative content or construction to improve your site’s search engine ranking (e.g., your site’s PageRank).
  • Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.

Traffic Sources

Another new section included in the AdSense policies, although most of its parts have been put together from the previous version.

It now reads like this:

Receive traffic from online advertising unless the site complies with the spirit of Google’s Landing Page Quality Guidelines. For instance, users should be able to easily find what your ad promises.

Ad Behavior

This section is the same.

Ad Placement

This section is also same as the earlier policies, just two key additions such as:

Google ads, search boxes, or search results may not be:

  • Placed on pages whose content or URL could confuse users into thinking it is associated with Google due to the misuse of logos, trademarks, or other brand features.
  • Placed on, within, or alongside other Google products or services in a manner that violates the policies of that product or service.

This is another thing that will affect many publishers that have *any* Google product name or service in their URLs or on their pages.

Site Behavior

This section is the same.

Competitive Ads and Services

Only the wording has been changed but the meaning is still the same.

Google Advertising Cookies

This section is the same.

Product-Specific Policies

Some changes have been made in this subsection. It now reads:

A maximum of two Google AdSense for search boxes may be placed per page. Also, a single link unit or a search box, but no other Google ads, may be placed on pages with AdSense for search results. Queries must originate from users inputting data directly into the search box and cannot be modified. This includes pre-populating the search box with terms or hard-coding direct links to search results pages. AdSense for search code may not be integrated into any software application such as a toolbar.

This point will surely clear any doubts regarding usage of AdSense for Search in any kind of program, such as a toolbar or plugin. Another thing that needs to be noted is the search results page, which can also have an added search box.


There were some more parts removed from the older policy, but they were all related to the now defunct AdSense referrals.

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Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail Updated AdSense Policies Released  Key Points for Publishers
4.thumbnail Updated AdSense Policies Released  Key Points for Publishers