AdSense is without a doubt the go-to ad network of choice for web publishers. It’s ease of use, advertising reach, integration features and earning potential makes it a clear winner across the board. But unfortunately, not everyone can use it.
Getting a site approved for Google AdSense can be tough and often time consuming. Google are notorious for quality control and as a result of that the entry level criteria to even get an account by some is considered excessive. But not impossible.
Today we’re going to run through some considerations with regards to getting a site approved on AdSense. You can apply these to a new build or existing build and they’ll also cover first time applications and pointers for those who have been previously rejected from AdSense.
Site Design & Domain
You might consider this to be a fairly trivial element and that any application should be based on content alone. But first impressions count when it comes to AdSense and they count for a lot.
The approval team have tens of thousands of applications to sift through on a weekly basis, request after request, site after site. You have to imagine it’s all too easy for one of the operatives to hit the decline button if they see you have a poor looking site on some obscure or even freely hosted domain. Don’t give them the opportunity.
You can pick up a domain name for less than £15 right here at HostPresto and there are numerous free and premium themes for the likes of WordPress on the market which don’t cost much more. As I say, first impressions count, make yours a good one.
Your Content (Quality and Quantity)
Google typically check two things with regards to your website content. First and foremost, they look at quantity (before quality). They will not approve your site if it’s considered “thin”. By thin I mean lack of content. You should really be aiming for at least 20+ pages of unique content if you’re to stand any chance of getting approved. You also need to make sure that content is of exceptional quality.
The content should be considered “value add”. Google doesn’t want you simply regurgitating other peoples works to make money. It wants unique content that appeals to its advertisers.
Once you’ve ticked the boxes with regards to your site design and domain name your content will inevitably come under the microscope. Make sure they like what you see.
This goes without saying. If you want to be accepted to AdSense, you have to adhere to their policies. You can see a full list of terms here but outside of that you would do well to avoid the subjects below as regardless to how good your content is or how good your site looks, you simply won’t be accepted.
Content to avoid –
- Adult Materials (Porn etc)
- Hacking Content/Tutorials
- Pirated Content
- Stuff related to Drugs/Paraphernalia
- Basically anything considered illegal.
You will also have to obey a range of rules with regards to traffic, how you generate clicks and how your ads are integrated. But you’ll need to be accepted first before any of those really come into play so for now just make sure that your content is of an overall acceptable nature.
Misc Pages (About, Contact, Privacy)
Again this might sound such a trivial thing but it’s just another piece of a very big pie. You need to tick as many boxes as possible and creating the above pages is a sure fire way to help you do that.
The detectives at Google like to know you are who you say you are and they’ll frequently verify the information you give them with other third party sources. Including your site.
The easiest way to do this is to make sure that your WHOIS information on your domain matches the name and address you’re using to apply and if possible also include this information on your contact page. This makes it easy for the approval team to know it is really you applying.
Traffic Sources / Levels
Traffic volume and traffic quality are two major factors taken into consideration during the application review process.
First of all volume, Google typically doesn’t want accounts being created by publishers with low traffic levels. They realise it’s not worth the time to support such users relatively to the amount they’ll earn via their advertisers on your low traffic site. It just doesn’t make commercial sense so if you have low traffic, even if your site/content is relatively good, you can probably expect to be declined.
Secondly, traffic sources. Google knows what is good traffic and what is bad. If you have a tech blog for example and get 1,000 hits per day from Google consisting of people searching for the latest laptop or TV – this is great traffic for their advertisers to work with. However, if your 1,000 hits per day comes from a redirect or popup from a high traffic “adult” site, this traffic is pretty much worthless as there is no way in a million years any of the people landing on your site will click an ad. They may not even look at your site at all even though the “hit” is still registered. This is what Google wants to avoid and it will use its own search data to determine your traffics worth.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you’ll just come up against a brick wall and whatever you do simply won’t be good enough. Sure over time when you’ve got more content, your traffic levels increase or your traffic sources change you may have more luck – but until that happens, you’re going to need to find an alternative.
In this scenario, I’d whole heartedly recommend Media.net for your ad-serving needs. It is considered the #2 player in the game (behind AdSense) but does have fantastic earning potential and similar integration methods to AdSense. Some would argue some of the formats are even better than AdSense. But they’re much more lenient and due to their lesser market share you’re much more likely to get a site approved. The application process and subsequent wait time is significantly less also.