Start Protecting Your Account
The following are the numerous issues you will be dealing with, which will covered throughout this tutorial.
- Invalid clicks and impressions.
- Your AdSense code being used by third parties without your permission, then exploited maliciously. A good example of this is if someone pastes your Google AdSense code into a porn or gambling site.
- Appearance of highly unrelated ads on your website.
- Your AdSense code on content that infringes copyright.
- Having competing third-party ads on your site that are formatted the same as Google AdSense.
- Encouraging clicks on your site.
- Implementing Google AdSense on adult, violent and racially discriminating content.
- Your Google AdSense code on a “hacked” site. This violates Google Webmaster quality guidelines.
- Altering Google AdSense Code.
- Placing Google AdSense in unauthorized places (inside the software, for example).
Tip#1: Enable the “Allowed Sites” feature in your account
Allowed sites makes it possible for Google to track the impressions and clicks from your own websites only, or only those sites to which you have given some authorization. Suppose you have three websites, example1.com, example2.com, and example3.com. These three websites that you own use only one Google AdSense account (your account). Adding these three sites to your “Allowed sites” lets Google AdSense monitor the impressions and clicks to only those sites.
This solves three issues:
2. If someone copies and pastes your Google AdSense code into unauthorized websites and starts click bombing your site, then you would have a serious problem. By having “allowed sites,” click bombing cannot affect your account, even though they originate from other websites. If someone click bombs on your own website, Google AdSense has an algorithm for detecting invalid impressions and clicks; so this won’t be a serious problem.
3. Prevent your AdSense code from being used in external sources, such as software.
So how do you enable the "allowed sites" feature in your AdSense account?
1. Log in to your Google AdSense account.
2. Click AdSense Setup link.
3. Click “Allowed Sites.”
4. Check the box “Only allow certain sites to show ads for my account.”
5. Enter those sites that you entirely own. Enter the root domain (without the www), e.g.
6. Click “Save Changes.”
Tip#2: Dealing with “Unauthorized Sites”
When you enable “Allowed Sites,” some “unauthorized sites” will appear in your account under “Allowed Sites” after weeks to months of implementation. These are the websites that displayed your ads, but are not listed in your allowed sites.
This is when you will need to examine these websites to see whether or not they are of malicious origin. Below are the types of websites that are normal and NOT malicious in origin, so you can simply add them in your allowed sites list:
1. Google local search engine sites (eg. Google.ca, google.cl, google.co.uk, etc). Your ads will appear when viewed in a cached result of the page.
2. Other reputable search engines, e.g. Yandex in Russia.
This list can be very big, and sometimes it would be handy if there was a nearly complete list that you can add under “allowed sites.” At the link you’ll find a list of the domains that it is recommended you add under “allowed sites” in addition to your originally listed websites: http://www.php-developer.org/allowedsites.txt.
Based on experience, it is NOT recommended that you add the following to your allowed sites list:
Low profile search engines. High profile search engines are the ones that achieve status and reputation. Examples are google.com, yahoo.com, bing.com, yandex and baidu. There are lot of search engines on the Internet, and adding all of them to your allowed sites is not a clever thing to do.
Any third-party websites that you do not own and do not have a contract with. An exception are third party websites to which you give consent or are in contract with to publish your ads. A good example is infobarrel.com, where authors are required to use their own Google AdSense code publisher account to earn money by writing on the site.
Other than this, it is not safe to add to your site. If you think that the third-party site is a Google partner site (e.g. from rumors, etc), you need to ask for opinions from the Google AdSense community (http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/AdSense?hl=en), and possibly you can get an official answer from the Google AdSense team.
Any proxy sites. Proxy sites are those sites that are created to protect their users’ privacy. Sometimes this will appear in your account as “unauthorized sites.” It is not safe to add them, because they can be a source of abuse.
Here are some tips to follow when researching a site to be added to your “Allowed sites.”
First, search for the domain in Google as follows:
“Adsense” “unauthorized sites” “example.com”
“Adsense” “Allowed sites” “example.com”
The examples you get from this search can provide results when other AdSense publishers are also experiencing similar issues; it can also tell you how they dealt with it. Mostly you can get results from the official Google AdSense Forums.
If the unauthorized site looks legit but you just cannot get enough information from the web, it’s time to ask the AdSense community (e.g. Google AdSense forums)
Tip #3: Increase your website security
An often ignored important action is increasing website security. If your website is not secured, you can run into all kinds of problems. For example, a hacker can break into your site and alter your Google AdSense code without your knowledge. When Google finds out that your AdSense code has been altered, you will have an account-related issue. Hackers can also break in and plant malware on your site; when that happens, your site is in violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines, which also affects your AdSense Account. Not securing your website also means that any unauthorized person with access to your CMS can add malicious content that violates Google’s AdSense guidelines.
Details on securing your website are beyond the scope of this tutorial, but you can take several steps to get you off to a good start. First, frequently back up all your website files and databases. Second, update your CMS to use the latest version (to remove any vulnerabilities, etc.). And third, hire a web security expert to examine your site’s vulnerabilities and correct those problems.
Tip #4: Know EXACTLY what content you are publishing
Some websites allow users to publish any content they like. If you own a site like this, and use Google AdSense, then most likely you will experience content-related issues in the future. Examples of these content-related issues include users publishing a lot of racial, gambling, hacking-related and pornographic content, etc. See a complete list in the “content guidelines” from Google. Another content-related issue you may have to deal with is content that infringes copyright.
There are four steps that are the best practices to resolve this issue. First, moderate all publishing of content on your site which comes from other users. Know exactly what type of content will be published and make sure it won’t violate the site’s terms of service. Second, moderate all comments on your site. Third, implement strict editorial review of all content to be published. And fourth, review all content that has previously been published and ensure that it is within the guidelines.
Tip #5: Review all competing ads on your site
There might be some advertising service for publishers that is formatted exactly the same as Google AdSense. In this case, make sure to consult the Google AdSense community to see if someone has already tried it out.
It would be smart to limit the ads to something that you really need. Some sites have used Infolinks, Amazon Affiliates and Google AdSense together on one site without any problem.
Tip #6: Remove ads unrelated to your site
Unrelated ads can result in low AdSense income. In some special cases, some unrelated ads might appear frequently on your site. Below are the steps you can resolve this issue:
- In the Firefox browser, right click over the unrelated ads or banners, and then click “Copy Link Location.” Make sure NOT to click the ads! This is against TOS.
- Paste it to notepad or any text editor.
- Extract the domain of the adurl parameter. For example, if the adurl parameter is www.seochat.com, then the domain name would be seochat.com.
- Log in to your Google AdSense account and click AdSense setup to go to the ”Competitive Ad Filter.”
- Under “AdSense for Content filters,” enter the domain name of the unrelated ad.
- Click “Save Changes.”
Lastly, do not forget to read the details of Google AdSense policies, outlined here: https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=48182 and do not ever try altering the Google AdSense code. Just copy and paste what is provided by Google during AdSense setup, and you are done.