Getting your Adsense account approved

Google Adsense is by far the best advertising network with following benefits compared to its competitors

  1. Simple integration and delivery of Ads on your site.
  2. It has majority of quality advertisers and they are the leaders in the online advertising business.
  3. Ad units undergoes strict quality checks before it reaches the publishers Ad slots. So, it provides assurance that only quality Ads are approved and reaches the target publishers site.
  4. No nagging or intrusive advertising methods used.
  5. Ads are responsive and looks standard. It easily blends with the website design and theme. Offers you with a basic option to customize the Ad unit look & feel.
  6. The ad units are personalized & displayed based on the user's interest & needs, thus improving chance of Ad click through rate.
  7. Publishers will also get paid based on the impression count and user interaction with the Ad unit.
  8. Prompt earning payed through cheques ontime.
  9. Uses Artificial Intelligence to crawl the pages, automatically pick and show contextually relevant ADs.
  10. Provides publishers with advanced options to run custom Ad Channels, experiments and A/B testing to improve earnings.
  11. It has AutoAds feature, that can automatically select the best locations on the website to show Ads. That leads to higher conversion & click through rates of Ad units from the targeted visitors.
  12. Promotes quality and original content.

Due to lot of goodies from Adsense program, resulted in numerous publishers raising Adsense request daily for their websites, Youtube channel, Mobile Ad, probably flooding Google Adsense's review queue. This has in a way favored Adsense team to introduce many strict initial requirements for approval from Google, to restrict / phase out the low quality, non-original content & non-serious applicants.

This resulted in getting Adsense approval a big challenge for new or naive publishers. Through this post, I aim to make it bit easier for you to understand and beat the initial hurdle/test.

Getting started

Google Adsense requires an active Google Account to start with the registration for Adsense program. Fill out all the required personal information, postal address, contact numbers etc., Before continuing with the Adsense application, go through following checklist to validate if you've already got all what it takes to get an approval on first go.

  1. Your website should not be in development mode, as Adsense is for production websites. Adsense team will not approve application for development, QA, or staging sites.
  2. Website design should be complete, with a clean & organized layout.
  3. Site should have a proper navigation system like breadcrumbs, top navigation or sidebar links., to enable users to easily understand and navigate through the site without trouble. This will be reviewed manually by the Adsense support specialists.
  4. There should not be links pointing to error pages i.e., broken links. 
  5. Site should preferably have an about us page and privacy policy, to denote that you've a professional attitude towards the site - Its not just a hobby.
  6. Site should load faster on user browsers. Run your website through Google Pagespeed insights tool to validate & benchmark where your website stand in terms of performance.
  7. Sites that are completely loaded through AJAX will not be approved.
  8. Site that requires an user interaction like mouse click on button, to fetch & load the content will not be approved.
  9. Sites developed in non-supported technologies like flash, Silver light will not be approved, as the bot cannot read through the page content.

  10. Empty website or site with low number of posts or pages will not be approved (Target at-least for 25 long posts before you apply)
  11. Websites with just music files, videos and images without and content will not be approved.
  12. Do not post or publish copyrighted contents like music, videos, software etc., for which you don't have rights.
  13. Content on pirated software copies, keys or hacks will result in rejection.
  14. Non original or copied contents from other sites will not be approved
  15. Sites with the Adult contents will not be approved.
  16. Simple topics on violence, political bashes, hatred etc., will not be approved.
  17. Sites with vague or content of less importance will result in rejection due to low content quality.
  18. Sites in non-supported language will not be approved
  19. Sites with just interactive tools like chat system, video-playback etc., without any static crawl-able content will not clear the process.

  20. Google Adsense doesn't like sites with traffic from certain blocked or low quality sites e.g, click farms 

Basically, Adsense bot tries to crawl through page and understand the subject of the page to display relevant ads. So if your page doesn't really mean anything or not focused at all, then you will probably end up with rejection.

Most of the above restrictions were collected by browsing through the list of discussion on Adsense support forum, while raising Adsense application for this website. 

Once you are through above list of points and feel that your website is still unique with original content. Then continue to fill Adsense review request form by mentioning the Site name and domain name of the website for which you are applying for an Adsense account.

Implementing the Google Ads code for review:

Next, You will be prompted to copy paste Google Ads JavaScript embed code before end of Head tag. Copy paste the code in all the pages in which you want to display Ads. And click on `Done` which will initiate the actual review process.

Why Adsense review takes long time for initial approval & activation ?

  1. Improper implementation of Ad code.
  2. Probably your site has very low visitors, and the pages with the embedded scripts were not loaded on browser at all.
  3. If your website content is very vauge and Bot doesn't get a hold on the content types/ subject. Thus auto-requesting for a complete manual review.

Patience is the key in this phase

Why Insufficient content message ?

In case, you are adding the script to the base website template or structure. Then make sure the Adsense code is not added to

  1. the blank pages like search page, page in-construction message etc.,
  2. error pages like Page Not Found (404), Technical Error(500) pages, etc.,
  3. exit pages like registration thank you page, logout message page etc.,
  4. don't add to private pages without public/anonymous access, which is not accessible to Adsense bot.
  5. Pages with content less than 200 words.,
  6. Pages with just heading and a single statement
  7. At times poor or vague content, will also result in this message.

I had few rejections based on this category since I've lazily pasted the Adsense script on the base template, which carried the Adsense code to pages with fewer content or error status codes.

Why Unable to review your site ?

This usually happens when Adsense contextual bot is unable to crawl your website and categorize the content

  1. Your page is loading very slow, that the bot has marked it as timed out.
  2. Your website was facing some internal error or poor availability with cheap domain hosting service. So it wasn't accessible for the Bot.
  3. You have a CDN enabled, that blocks the Google bot due to multiple concurrent requests that are made for review incorrectly as a possible DDoS attack.
  4. Dynamic IP security IIS extension can block the bot concurrent requests.
  5. Check if Content Security policy (CSP) of your site allows Adsense scripts and origins.
  6. Your CDN's or application's security settings doesn't allow user agents with different string or missing standard Http headers. e.g., Browser Integrity Security module by Cloudflare can block the new Google bots.
  7. Your robots.txt disallows crawling the pages.
  8. Fix all broken links error.

The best way to check if the Google crawler was able to reach you website, is by validating the failed requests in IIS log files. And look for all the requests from Adsense bot that contain 'Mediapartners-Google' in its user-agent string. This can help to figure out what can possibly block the bot.

Even-though, you see Google Adsense bot listed in your IIS Logs with 200 error. Then wait for a weeks before re-applying for Adsense review. Maybe there is a small possibility that it can be bug in Google's crawler code, that should be fixed within a week.

By validating the points mentioned in this post, you can fairly reduce the number of rejections while applying for Adsense.

Note:

When you see an issue related to access i.e., site was down or unavailable with Adsense review request, make sure you try to turn-off few security features and then re-submit the request after a week. So that, you can be sure that the Adsense bot actually re-crawls the entire website and it doesn't use the cached page source or results.