Ad placement policies

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Avoiding accidental clicks

Encouraging accidental clicks

Publishers are not permitted to encourage users to click on Google ads in any way. This includes implementing the ads in a way that they might be mistaken for other site content, such as a menu, navigation, or download links.

Be careful when placing links, play buttons, download buttons, navigation buttons (e.g., “Previous” or “Next”), game windows, video players, drop-down menus, or applications near ads because they might lead to accidental clicks. Even if the layout unintentionally leads to accidental clicks, publishers may still receive a violation notification.

Examples of unacceptable implementations

Example of site layout that encourages accidental clicks
Example of site layout that encourages accidental clicks

Unnatural attention to ads

Publishers are not permitted to bring unnecessary or unnatural attention to their Google ads. Examples of this include:

  • flashy animations that draw a user’s eyes to the ads
  • arrows or other symbols pointing to the ads

Examples of unacceptable implementations

Example of  unnecessary or unnatural attention to ads

Placing ads under a misleading header

It’s important that visitors to your site are not misled in any way and are able to easily distinguish content from Google Display ads. This policy prohibits placing ads under misleading headings such as “resources” or “helpful links”. Publishers may only label Google ads with either “Advertisements” or “Sponsored Links”.

Examples of unacceptable implementations

Example of placing an ad under a misleading header

Additionally, as shown below, a site’s heading might be interpreted as an inappropriate ad label. Because ads in such a position might be mistaken for links or listings instead of advertisements, such an implementation is considered unacceptable. Monitor your site and its layout carefully to ensure this doesn’t happen.

Publishers are not allowed to use language to lead users to click the ads, such as:

  • “Feel free to click an ad.”
  • “Contribute to the cause by clicking an ad.”
  • “Help keep this site running. Check out AdSense sponsors!”
  • “AdSense need a new server. Support us!”

Aligning images with ads

Publishers may not attempt to associate specific images with the individual ads appearing on their sites. Such an implementation might confuse users who assume that the image is directly related to the advertiser’s offerings and therefore is a violation of AdSense policies.

Examples of unacceptable implementations

Example of aligning images with ads

Site layout that pushes content below the fold

Publishers should avoid site layouts in which the ads push content below the fold. These layouts make it hard for users to distinguish between the content and ads.

Examples of unacceptable implementations

Example site layout that pushes content below the fold

Formatting content to mimic ads

Publishers may not implement Google ads in a manner that disguises the ads in any way. This includes formatting neighboring content to look similar to the ads. If a publisher places ads on non-Google search results pages, there must be a clear distinction between search results and ads. Review AdSense AdSense for search policies for more information.

In the example below, the content is formatted very similarly to the ads and it’s difficult to tell them apart. This implementation is not permitted.

Examples of unacceptable implementations

Example of formatting content to mimic ads

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Offering compensation

Offering compensation or any incentive for clicks on ads is strictly prohibited.

Examples of unacceptable implementations

Example of ad offering compensation

Distance between ads and flash games

When placing Google ads on Flash gaming sites, AdSense strongly recommend a distance of at least 150 pixels between the ads and the the edge of a game. When users are concentrating on a Flash game and clicking frantically, invalid clicks are likely to occur. Since each game and site is unique, some games might require a greater distance based on the type of game and how it is played. For more guidelines, review AdSense for content ads on game play pages.

Ensuring proper ad placement

Valuable inventory

Advertising and other paid promotional material added to your pages should not exceed your content. Furthermore, the content you provide should add value and be the focal point for users visiting your page. For this reason, AdSense may limit or disable ad serving on pages with little to no value and/or excessive advertising until changes are made.

Examples of unacceptable pages include but are not limited to:

  • Mirroring, framing, scraping or rewriting of content from other sources without adding value;
  • Pages with more advertising than publisher-provided content;
  • Automatically generated content without manual review or curation;
  • Hosted ad pages or pages without content;
  • Pages that don’t follow AdSense Webmaster Quality Guidelines.

You can watch this video to better understand AdSense valuable inventory policy.

Auto-refreshing ads

Publishers are not permitted to refresh a page or an element of a page without the user requesting a refresh. This includes placing ads on pages or in placements that auto-redirect or auto-refresh. Additionally, publishers may not display the ads for a preset time (i.e., pre-roll) before users can view content such as videos, games, or downloads.

Ads on thank you, exit, log in, or error pages

Publishers are not permitted to place ads on any non-content based pages like thank you, error, log in, or exit pages. These are pages that visitors see on a site before potentially leaving the domain or after performing a specific action on the site such as a purchase or download.

Ads that are the main focus on these types of pages can confuse a visitor into thinking that the ads are actual content, so do not place ads on such pages.

Examples of unacceptable implementations

Example of ad on error page

Ads on dynamic content

Publishers may not place Google ads on pages where dynamic content (e.g., live chats, instant messaging, auto-refreshing comments, etc.) is the primary focus of the page.

Ads on emails

To ensure the effectiveness of Google ads for both AdSense publishers and advertisers, publishers may not place Google ads inside email messages. In addition, publishers may not place Google ads alongside email messages when they are the primary focus of the page.

Ads in a software application

Publishers are not permitted to distribute Google ads or AdSense for search boxes through software applications including, but not limited to toolbars, browser extensions, and desktop applications.

AdSense code may only be implemented on web-based pages and approved WebView technologies.

Ads in a new window

Publishers are not permitted to open Google ads in a new window or alter the result of clicking on an ad.

For more information, review Opening the ads in a new window. Please note that this policy does not apply for AdSense ads served via dynamic allocation through Google Ad Manager.

Ads in pop-up and pop-under windows

Publishers are not permitted to place Google ads in any window that is not initiated by an intentional user interaction (e.g., click).

Additionally, Google ads may not be placed in any web browser window that lacks navigational controls, including back and forward browse buttons, and an editable URL field.

Ads on a site with pop-ups or pop-unders

Publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on sites which have more than three pop-ups. If pop-ups are displayed on a site, they may not interfere with site navigation, change user preferences, initiate downloads, or distribute viruses.

Publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on sites that contain or trigger pop-unders.

Additionally, sites using AdSense may not be loaded by any software that triggers pop-ups, modifies browser settings, redirects users to unwanted sites, or otherwise interferes with normal site navigation. It is your responsibility to ensure that no ad network or affiliates use such methods to direct traffic to pages that contain your AdSense code.

Ads on content that AdSense cannot evaluate

In order to protect the quality of AdSense ad network, AdSense may disable ad serving on content that cannot be evaluated.

This includes but is not limited to content that blocks Google’s robot.txt file and password-protected content where the publisher has not provided login credentials to Google.

Ads on the same page or site as another publisher

If a site is in compliance with AdSense Program policies and the company or owner of the site has given you permission to display ads on their site, you may place your ad code on the same page as the other publisher’s ad code.

You will, however, need to contact your web hosting company or the owner of the site to obtain permission to display ads on their site. Additionally, you will only be credited for clicks and impressions on the ad units associated with your account.

Keep in mind that every publisher is responsible for the content of a site on which their ad code is placed. If a site is found in violation of AdSense policies, AdSense will notify any publisher(s) whose ad code is on the site.

Ads on a hosted site (e.g., Blogger)

You are welcome to place the AdSense code on any page which complies with AdSense Program policies, including hosted sites. However, note that in order to use AdSense, you might need to have access to your site’s HTML source code.

It is also your responsibility to check with your host and determine if using AdSense is a violation of their terms of service.

Displaying a third party site on your page

When a site displays someone else’s site within a frame or window, this is considered framing content. Placing Google ads on such pages is strictly prohibited.

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