For many bloggers, Google Adsense is the number one money maker, mine included. Google Adsense is a brilliant advertising solution, in that it caters adds to your content and can be styled to blend into your website and content. In the early days of Adsense, getting approved was easy. Today though, with the number of websites applying and the high percentage of "shady" sites, Google's approval process is a great deal more stringent. I've personally received numerous emails from people asking me to help determine why their site was rejected. I've compiled that information below. While I certainly can't guarantee you'll be approved, if you follow the tips below, your chances for being approved will be very high.
Comply with the terms of service
Whey you apply for an Adsense account, you'll be asked to read over and agree to comply with the terms of service. Violating the Adsense terms of service is a main reason many sites get rejected. In a nutshell, your blog has to be legit, offer unique and non-copyrighted content, and be generally favorable to the majority of the population. The last one there is a bit tricky, but think of it this way - Is your site something that you would feel comfortable showing out in public to people at say the local mall? If not, it probably won't be approved (i.e. think porn sites).
Many of us, yours truly included, often skip over the "fine print". Don't make that mistake here. Read over and understand the terms in detail. While it's certainly bad to get rejected when you apply, getting cancelled once you're earning $1000 or more a month from Adsense due to a TOS violation is far worse. Can you say Ouch in a big way?
For the sites I get asked to look at, this is the number one reason. Google works hard to brand their advertising network high in the ranks, and they want their network associated with high quality and professional looking sites. Trust me, they do individually look at your site and looks do matter. Here are just a few things to address before you submit your application:
- Run a professional and nice looking theme (not scammy or spammy looking) - I'm partial to Thesis myself, but there are many others.
- Make sure your blog is easy to navigate and user friendly
- Minimize or remove invalid links (no 404s)
- Have a decent amount of high quality and informative articles written and published. There is no magic number here, but I would say at least 10-20.
- Include blog images in your posts that complement the content.
- In sure a good portion of your overall traffic should comes from search engines. As I've mentioned here, most clicks to ads come from search engine visitors. Trust me, Google knows this.
- Maintain a good reputation - meaning your page ranks should be good, not blacklisting and you have links from other high quality sites (preferably running Adsense).
Double check your application before submitting
This one seems obvious right? Well, I've had a few people that didn't do this and put either the wrong information or what I considered unprofessional information. One even had an invalid URL for their website. The extension was wrong which led the Adsense reviewers to the wrong site - a not so good site.
As you navigate through the screens, review the information you've entered 2-3 times and make sure it's accurate. Also be sure that you professionally represent yourself. The basic rule of thumb I use is: treat your blog as a business, because when you earn money it is.
Follow these basic tips and strategies and you should be approved within a week. Once approved, check out my article on how to use and optimize adsense on your blog.
Photo by: EvanHahn