How to Qualify Bloggers for AdSense
Google’s AdSense program is a great way to earn pocket money from mid-sized websites, but there are plenty of possible pitfalls. In addition to needing the right level of traffic to actually make money, you also need to make sure you meet all the eligibility requirements.
Google has only a few specific, real eligibility requirements for AdSense. I’ll list them here, but I’m more concerned with the “unofficial” eligibility requirements that don’t necessarily prohibit you from the program, but allow you to profit from the program.
1. You must be at least 18 years old
It’s annoying for those precocious 16 year olds who make a hit website and can’t monetize it, I guess? Frankly, if you create a good enough website to be profitable, you can use your parents’ information to sign up for an account until you’re old enough to have your own. For most people reading this, this won’t be a problem, so I won’t write more about it. just getting old!
2. You must own and control your website
Generally speaking, you must at least control the content on your website. If you post content that you do not own, you are violating Google’s Terms of Service and may infringe copyright.
There are some exceptions to this. For example, if you are a site with syndicated rights to republish content from select other sources, you can still monetize that content.
In terms of “controlling” your website, this basically means that you need access to the website’s source code. AdSense can’t work if you can’t add ad code to your website, right? There are some exceptions to this. For example, a site like HubPages allows users who code the site to add their own code and rotate ads on their own and the author’s content. Instead, you can sign up for AdSense for YouTube and monetize your YouTube account without messing with the code because it’s already there.
3. Your website must have unique and interesting content
Both this and the next are locked in a subpage called “Make sure your site pages are AdSense ready”. Basically, this is another rule about how your website needs to have content worth monetizing. If Google finds that your site is just full of thin pages, stolen or scraped content, meaningless content, or content of no value to readers, they may deny your application.
Honestly, this is some pretty generic SEO stuff. As long as you’re writing your own content and it’s targeting what people actually want, you’re probably fine. The threshold is quite low. This is mainly to cut off spam sites, PBNs, content thieves and other such sites.
4. Your website must have clear navigation
Navigation is important to how users understand your site, and Google needs their team to review the site, so if the team can’t navigate, you can’t get approved.
Here’s what Google says your site should have:
- Easy to access menu or navigation bar.
- Correctly arranged menu bar elements.
- Easy-to-read text on the bar.
- Elements, dropdowns and links that work fine.
Of course, Google doesn’t enforce the “standard” web design you see everywhere now. If you really need to, you can use a sidebar, an inverted sidebar, or even a hover footer in the nav, as long as it’s clear and functional. However, users may not like it. Also, keep in mind that this, like most Google policies, applies to both the desktop and mobile versions of the site.
5. No fake traffic
This is a major policy, probably one of the largest AdSense policies out there, but you won’t necessarily be able to test or know for sure until it’s approved by the program. It is more likely that you will be banned from the program in the future than it will result in you being rejected.
As Google puts it:
“Clicks on Google Ads must come from genuine user interest. Any method of artificially generating clicks or impressions on your Google Ads is strictly prohibited. These prohibited methods include, but are not limited to, repeated manual clicks or impressions, automated clicks, and impression generators As well as the use of bots or deceptive software. Please note that clicking on your own ads for any reason is prohibited.”
6. Your content must comply with the Google Content Policy
Google has a lot of restrictions on the type of content that can be on their monetized sites. Your site cannot contain adult content, pornographic content, shocking content, threats, excessive profanity, hacking content, malware, drug content, weapons sales, etc.
There’s a lot more than what I just wrote here, in fact. You can read the entire section on content policies here. For the most part, it’s “anything obscene, illegal, adult, violent, hateful, or damaging” is not allowed. Make sure your site complies with all of their rules before you apply.
7. You cannot distribute copyrighted content
Everything you display on the site, from images to text to video, must be what you are permitted to use or share under copyright law.
For example, your page should contain blog posts you created, images you created yourself, logos you paid to create for you, and other such elements.
Conversely, your page should not include content stolen from another page, images plucked from Google image search with no license to use them, or video someone else made that you present as your own.
In some cases, you can legally use content you didn’t create. For example, embedding a public social media post or YouTube video – so long as you aren’t claiming you created it when you didn’t – is fine. You may also be expected to add surrounding, unique content to add value. Images you didn’t create can be used so long as you have the license to use them, such as from a stock photo site.
Copyright is a huge, tricky body of law, so it’s best to err on the side of caution here.
Unfortunately, Google doesn’t support every language in the AdSense world. They want to make sure the ads they show are readable to the people watching them. Your site can use bilingual content in an unsupported language as long as the majority of the content on your site is in a supported language.
Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Tagalog, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Marathi, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian English, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish (Traditional and Latin American), Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu and Vietnamese.
Note that some of these languages are supported by AdSense for Display, but not supported by the AdSense Dashboard. Additionally, Google may introduce support for other languages at any time.
- Page elements that resemble chat applications, system alerts, or other dialog boxes that the user wants to click.
- When there is no indication that they should be clickable areas of the page.
- Misleading buttons, such as a “next” arrow to the landing page.
- Scripts that manipulate browser history to prevent the use of the “back” button.
- Anything that uses social engineering or phishing to steal information.
- Make the user appear to be clicking to manipulate the element the user clicked.
- Any type of malware present on the website.
Basically, anything that makes a page look like it’s trying to deceive users, steal information, deliver malware, or otherwise commit some kind of fraud is prohibited.
How to Qualify Bloggers for AdSense
Unofficial AdSense Eligibility Requirements
The last few requirements aren’t stated anywhere in the Google docs, but they could be the reason your site was rejected when you applied, or they could be the reason you were accepted but didn’t get anything from the program. It’s a good idea to check these boxes before trying to apply for the best experience.
10. You Should Have Technical Pages
The presence of an About page helps users believe that you are who you claim to be and that there is a degree of legitimacy behind your brand. Likewise, contact pages with information like addresses and phone numbers are more trustworthy than unreachable brands
11. Your website should be at least six months old
This is another “unwritten” policy, it’s not really a policy, but it affects a large number of applicants.
Basically, when AdSense first started, it was easy to apply and get approved. Eventually, Google realized they had a problem with a ton of new, low-quality sites that were draining money, so they started raising the bar. Pretty much every rule above is something they encountered and had to ban.
One way Google has prevented some level of abuse on their site is by restricting who can be approved. Specifically, if a page is younger than six months old – such as if you just created your site last week – you may find it harder to get approval.
This is not applicable all the time. If you’ve owned successful sites in the past, Google may allow a brand new domain. Additionally, this rule may not apply to the United States and other primarily English countries. Why not?
A brand new site likely has very little traffic, which means it’s going to make very little money. Trying to create new sites, monetize them quickly, and dump them when they’re banned won’t get anyone much money to live on in the USA. On the other hand, in a country like Bangladesh or Pakistan, where the cost of living is much lower, this kind of abuse might be much more lucrative. Thus, Google tends to have a waiting period for new sites based in such areas .
12. You need enough traffic
Google doesn’t necessarily reject a site for not having enough traffic, although they might. However, if you don’t have enough traffic, you won’t be able to make enough money to cash out. How much traffic do you need to make reasonable money? That’s its own discussion.
These are the typical eligibility requirements for AdSense success. How do they align with your own experience?