Google Content Policy Violations and How Your Website Can Avoid Them

AdSense Policy, News & Updates
April 14, 2023 | by Aleesha Jacob

MonetizeMore is in the business of helping website publishers realize their full ad revenue potential. In line with this, we would like each and every site under our care to be fully Google-compliant. We have worked with many publishers who have encountered issues with getting banned or having their ads disabled by Adsense due to certain content policy violations.

Related Read: Why your Adsense Application wasn’t Approved

So, we figure it’s time to provide a good resource on common violations committed by certain website types. It’s important to know if your website is prone to a particular type of policy breach that can raise a red flag by Google’s standards.

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Google Content Policy Violations and How Your Website Can Avoid Them MonitizeMore

Thin/Low Value Content

Google Content Policy Violations and How Your Website Can Avoid Them MonitizeMore

Google Content Policy Violations and How Your Website Can Avoid Them MonitizeMore

Google Content Policy Violations and How Your Website Can Avoid Them MonitizeMore

Content that enables Dishonest Behavior

Malicious/Unwanted Software

We do not allow content that:

  • contains malicious software or “malware” that may harm or gain unauthorized access to a computer, device, or network.
  • Examples: Computer viruses, ransomware, worms, trojan horses, rootkits, keyloggers, dialers, spyware, rogue security software, and other malicious programs or apps.

Google Content Policy Violations and How Your Website Can Avoid Them MonitizeMore Google Content Policy Violations and How Your Website Can Avoid Them MonitizeMore

Replicated Content

We do not allow Google-served ads on screens:

With embedded or copied content from others without additional commentary, curation, or otherwise adding value to that content.

Examples of unacceptable replicated content include, but are not limited to:

1.) Mirroring, framing, scraping, or rewriting content from other sources without adding value.

2.) Automatically generated content without manual review or curation.

3.) Sites that copy and republish content from other sites without adding any original content or value.

4.) Sites that copy content from other sites, modify it slightly (for example, by substituting synonyms or using automated techniques), and republish it.

5.) Sites dedicated to embedding content such as video, images, or other media from other sites without substantial added value to the user.

News websites and copyright violations

News sites are usually very content-heavy. Because of the amount of text and other media they contain, news sites are prone to having their content scraped, copied, or repurposed by other website owners who can’t (or won’t) produce original content of their own.

Unfortunately for original content creators, Google may not be able to distinguish between the real author-source and the copyright-infringing offender. Even a link back to your site isn’t a guarantee that Google understands who is being credited in the article.

Related Read: Avoid Google Adsense “Copyrighted Content” Rejections

The best solution to counter this is to set up Google Plus Authorship. This initiative by Google will allow their algorithms to discern when an article published online should be credited to your Google plus profile or to someone else. This is also a sort of protection for publishers who repeatedly find their content published multiple times by various other websites.

eCommerce sites and sale of prohibited goods

Google prohibits ad serving on sites that sell or promote prohibited goods such as illegal drugs (in the US) and accessories, alcohol, and tobacco-related products — including cigarettes, cigars, tobacco pipes, and rolling papers. This policy violation also covers linking to external sites that promote or sell these goods.
If you are an e-commerce website owner, you need to sanitize your product list to make sure none of these fall under those mentioned prohibited goods so you’ll remain eligible for Google ad serving.

Classifieds sites and sale of counterfeit goods

Online classifieds are prone to the sale of counterfeit goods since the buyer-seller activity is primarily done by the public. User-generated content usually goes unmonitored due to the sheer volume of content being submitted. In effect, products being sold on classifieds can be anything from the genuine to fake or counterfeit (in addition to illegal or prohibited).

Google says:

Counterfeit goods contain a trademark or logo that is identical to or substantially indistinguishable from the trademark of another. They mimic the brand features of the product in an attempt to pass themselves off as a genuine product of the brand owner.

Entertainment portals and mature content

Celebrity and movie news can be free from mature-type content if the publisher is keen on keeping his website family-safe. Seductive and revealing media (text, images, videos, and ads) are frequent occurrences in entertainment sites. Think of your job and your family as a litmus test, and ask yourself if you’d be comfortable viewing that content around your boss, your children, or your parents.

You’ll usually have a pretty quick appraisal using that line of thinking to determine if your site will be flagged for a mature content violation. If you have mature content on your site (such as sexual health tips related to family planning), the easiest workaround is to keep that specific page out of your Google ad code blocks.

Related Read: Keep it Clean: Avoid Adult Content on Sites with Google Ads

A note on user-generated comments:

Entertainment news sites are highly engaging, and most of these sites allow commenting activity from their readers. Make sure comment moderation is enforced especially on pages where your ad codes appear, because: “Google ads may not be placed on pages containing any form of comment spam (including adult language)”. Read more about this policy here.

Related Read: Preventing Inappropriate User Generated Content

Political blogs and hate speech violations

With Google’s dedication to family-safe internet browsing, hate speech and mature content types are prohibited in AdSense/Ad Exchange programs. Political blogs are not necessarily evil, but there are blog sites (political in nature) with extreme beliefs that lead them to commit hate speech attacking personalities, groups, religion, and institutions. These are not deemed family-friendly by Google.

Tech websites and hacking content violations

There are a lot of helpful tech websites out there offering app tutorials, cheat sheets on tools, etc. These are all fine, as long as you don’t offer cracking codes, keygens, and other types of hacking-related content.

Google says:

Placement of Google ads is not permitted on websites that promote any form of hacking or cracking. Hacking and cracking content is content that provides users with instructions or equipment that tampers with or provides illegal access to software, servers, or websites. Read more about specific examples of hacking content here.

In the end, the main point is to make sure your site offers value to its users. If you create a website for the sole purpose of monetization, while ignoring Google’s terms and conditions for ad serving – you’ll probably end up in the banned account list. As a website publisher, the key is to contribute to improving user experience on the web.

As industry leaders in ad monetization, we know what it takes to stay Google-compliant without hurting your revenues. Are you ready to take your ad revenue to the next level? Sign up for a Starter account at MonetizeMore today!


What is a Google policy violation?

Google policy violations occur when publishers violate Google ad policies and get their ad accounts suspended or ads temporarily removed from their websites.

How do I fix my AdSense violation?

Find out how to fix AdSense policy violations from this Google guide:

How can you violate Google's policies?

There are many ways you can violate Google’s ad policies, such as using copyrighted content, showing Google ads on sites with content selling counterfeit goods, and more. We discuss additional policy violations in the blog post.

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