Avoid Google AdSense “Copyrighted Content” Rejections

Avoid Google AdSense “Copyrighted Content” Rejections

One of the most common Google AdSense rejections has to do with its copyright clause. In fact, you may have been turned away from Google’s AdSense program without even realizing you were in violation of their copyright clause. “After all,” you think, “I’m not distributed pirated content! What’s the deal with this rejection?!”

To clear up some confusion about copyright violations with Google AdSense, Google has produced a short minute-and-a-half long video. It’s a fun, animated clip intended to illustrate the three most common reasons for receiving a copyright violation. Take a look at it if you’ve ever had any questions about Google’s reasons for rejecting based on copyright grounds.

According to the video, the three most common reasons for AdSense rejection based on copyright are: distributing copyrighted content, displaying other peoples’ content with frames, and linking to copyright-violating sites. Let’s explore these three in greater detail.

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Distributing copyrighted content

Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way: don’t even think about distributing copyrighted content if you want to run Google AdSense or Ad Exchange on your site. This includes repurposing others’ articles, hosting copyrighted music, or distributing copyrighted ebooks. A good rule of thumb: if you don’t have the legal right to sell something, then you don’t have the legal right to run ads on it or monetize it using Google’s product. Google wants to maintain the value of its ad products, and if they allow people to run ads next to copyrighted content, then they’ll fail at this mission.

If you want to run Google AdSense ads on your site, then you should first remove all copyrighted content from your site.

Framing others’ content

If you put a frame around other people’s content and then tried to put your own Google ads around their content, then you are engaging in an activity that’s aptly called “framing”. While this is certainly less subtle and obvious than explicitly slapping others’ content right on your servers, it’s still not allowed, and Google will notice. If you link to a YouTube video, make sure you are properly embedding it — and that you have a right to embed it on your site at all.

Linking to sites that violate copyright law

Did you know that you can even be turned away from AdSense if you only link to sites that violate copyright? Many don’t. Some sites are obvious about linking to copyrighted content, acting as mini search engines intended to help find copyrighted content. Many other webmasters, however, unintentionally violate this rule. Carefully consider each site that you link to. These outbound links could affect your site’s reputation and stand among ad networks like Google AdSense.

Just double-check all of these points and you’ll successfully avoid this type of rejection. And if you are in violation of these conditions and have been turned away from AdSense, just fix the mistake and reapply. AdSense and Ad Exchange can be lucrative monetization tools; don’t blow it just because you’ve accidentally linked to a copyright-violating piracy site.

Need help with AdSense related issues? Are you having trouble optimizing your ad revenue? Let MonetizeMore help maximize your ad revenue. Sign up for a Premium account at MonetizeMore today!

Kean Graham

CEO and Founder at MonetizeMore

Kean has been a pioneer in the AdTech world since 2010 who believes in the supremacy of direct publisher deals, programmatic advertising, and building ad technology as keys to scaling ad revenue. Here, he provides publisher resources and guides covering areas like website monetization, AdSense optimization, Google Ad Manager, Ad Exchanges, and much more.

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  1. imran

    thanks for nice info. 🙂

  2. Daniel Kpogo

    Thanks a lot for this post or article. It helps but one thing I wanna know is that, Can Adsense demonetize my website for posting download link from another website?
    I’m a music blogger and I sometimes post only download links from another website (I don’t host the music). The link doesn’t open the other sites but rather download the file or mp3 immediately someone clicks on it.
    Please help.

    • MonetizeMore

      Yes, it can; if that link is an ad or looks like an ad. Links that disguise downloads and begin a download without warning are forbidden under Google policies.

      If they are simply download links then in some cases Google will block ads for potential copyright violations. You might need to consider applying for certification as detailed here: https://support.google.com/adspolicy/answer/6018015?hl=en.

    • Suraj

      Thanks for sharing this useful information. It really helped me.

  3. Cesar Jesus Diaz Cisneros

    Gracias por la ayuda

  4. Hank Sean

    you have described it very well dude thanks a lot

  5. Elavenil

    Really useful info! Thanks Kean.

  6. TrillerTunes

    Useful post. Thanks

  7. Hindiflow

    This article will help me a lot in future ..

  8. Anam


    I would like to know if embedding youtube videos in my blogs will also lead to copyright infringement from Adsense point of view.

    • MonetizeMore

      It will, unless you own and can prove you own the copyright to those videos.

  9. Suraj Saini

    Thanks a lot for this information. But sir can you please help me out. I have a site https://strickendots.com/ . I’m writing all the articles on my own and not copying anyone’s content or framing anyone’s content. Still, Google rejected my application for Adsense saying I’m violating the program policies. When I asked about it in the community the said I’m having copyright issues. So what should I do now? Please help me out through this.

    Waiting for your reply.

    • MonetizeMore

      We can’t say for sure, but Adsense only approves a small proportion of sites. Keep working on the site content and maybe you can get approved in the long term. Might need to consider removing the stickies over the navigation bars too.

  10. Kam

    This is really interesting but I still believe I’m in fair use – I’m setting up a football blog and I have to use the images of football players as a featured image. I take them from Google Images and then crop / tidy them up and change the layout. Yes, they are not my photos but how else does everybody else obtain these?

    • MonetizeMore

      You can source images from agencies or from sources that allow you to use images. If the blog is a commercial interest, ie you’re deriving an income from it, then you should get permission for your images.

  11. Waqas Mehmood

    Thanks for the useful information.

  12. Irfan Alam

    Hi all,

    how to check my website either it is eligible or not for Adsense, I have submitted two times but rejected and Google didn’t mention the issue. how do I check what is the issue on my site.

    • MonetizeMore

      All you can do is continue to improve the site and hopefully it will eventually be accepted. Getting Adsense approval can be very tough.


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