AdSense policy change log

Google announces updates to AdSense 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.

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, AdSense will update the examples listed (prostitution, companionship and escort services, intimate massage, cuddling sites) to clearly prohibit the 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.

Update to Google Publisher Policies (September 2020)

In September 2020, the Google Publisher Policies will be updated to prohibit monetization of web pages, sites or apps that are not primarily in one of AdSense supported languages, or that do not contain content.

From September 15, 2020, AdSense will not allow new sites to be monetized using AdSense, Ad Manager or AdMob in unsupported languages or where they do not contain content.

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

Starting August 12, 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.

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.

AdSense will begin enforcing this policy on September 1, 2020 in the United States and on October 1, 2020 in all other countries. 

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

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.

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

In August 2020, the Google Publisher Policies for Enabling Dishonest Behavior will be updated to clarify restrictions on advertising or monetizing content that promotes spyware and surveillance technology.

The updated policy will prohibit the promotion or monetization 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 authorization. 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 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.

Update to Google Publisher Policies (August 2020)

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

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

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 AdSense 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 AdSense do not allow content that deceives users through manipulated media related to politics, social issues, or matters of public concern.

Update to Google Publisher Policies (April 2020)

In April 2020, the Google Publisher Policies will be updated to standardize the existing policies across AdSense publisher products pertaining to personally identifiable information, data collection, disclosure and user consent.

As part of this, AdSense will update AdSense policy to require more explicit forms of notice before users grant permission to share device location for advertising purposes.

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

In January 2020, the Google Publisher Restriction for gambling will be updated to clarify what AdSense 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 Program policy for Ads on pages behind a login will be updated to clarify how AdSense handle requests to monetize content that AdSense cannot evaluate.

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 organizations.

(Posted November 2019)

Simplifying and standardizing AdSense content policies (September 2019)

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

Please note that going forward, Google will be announcing updates to AdSense 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 AdSense is making these changes

One of the top requests AdSense hear from publishers is that they want us to simplify and streamline AdSense policies.

AdSense know that many of you use several of AdSense publisher products and AdSense want to bring you a clear and easy way to understand how to interact with AdSense 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 AdSense won’t monetize through any of AdSense 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 Behavior, 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 AdSense publisher products, bringing simplicity, consistency, and ease of understanding, regardless of the product(s) you choose to use.

What it means for you as an AdSense publisher

Monetizing content that falls under the Google Publisher Restrictions will no longer be a policy violation; instead, AdSense will 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 monetize content covered by the Google Publisher Restrictions, doing so will mean you will 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 monetized and you should not place ads against that content. Attempting to monetize 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 Center and Policy Center 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.

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