A publisher shared his frustration with AdSense for what he called “policy violation” for “sexual content” because of the photo of a swimsuit mannequin.
The swimsuit was not even a bikini.
It was a one-piece swimwear, the kind that most grandmothers wear for a public beach.
AdSense starts showing bold advertising
To make matters worse, it is that while your page received a Google AdSense warning for a grandmother’s swimsuit, Google started running bold ads on its website that approached sensitive areas of men’s underwear and women’s lingerie.
“So today, which AdSense banner do I see on my website? Something from a lingerie website, with 10 very skimpy lingerie models … zoomed in on b-bs, then zoomed out to zoom in on another.
… Later, I see another advertisement for men’s underwear, showing models with huge bumps to show off their underwear. “
The editor said it was “double standard” for Google to display excessively cheeky ads on its website while flagging an innocent image as “sexual content”.
The publisher pleaded with Google for justice, saying:
“Business is tough enough, Google, I really don’t need you to breathe down my neck every day on content that would be rated G anywhere else.”
AdSense adult content policy
AdSense has published a YouTube overview of its adult content policy, in which they state:
“Our general rule of thumb is that if you don’t want a child to see the content or are embarrassed to see the page at work in front of colleagues, you should not place the ad code on a page.”
It seems reasonable to believe that the image of a mannequin in a one-piece swimsuit from the department store would go through this “general rule”.
The Google video shows an example of the line between acceptable and unacceptable content:
As you can see in the images above, the image of a model in a two-piece bikini is acceptable.
Examples of sexual content include the same types that AdSense was displaying on the publisher’s website:
- contains nudity.
- it is sexually satisfying, sexually suggestive and / or designed to cause sexual arousal.
Examples: close-up of breasts, buttocks or groins, transparent or transparent clothes, blurred sexual parts of the body or censored images of men or women posing and / or undressing in a seductive way ”
John Brown, Head of Publisher Policy Communication at Google replied to the editor.
He first corrected the publisher for claiming a policy violation.
John explained that the publisher was not flagged for a policy violation.
But Google has notified the publisher of a publisher restriction.
John linked to a support page that highlighted the types of content that may fall into a publisher restriction notification are sexual content and shocking content (horrible images).
The publisher did not have a policy violation
An important fact that emerged during this discussion is that the publisher did not violate Google’s policies.
But the publisher was taking advantage of Google’s better approach of notifying publishers of situations that could result in less advertising revenue.
Brown clarified what was going on:
“Rather than a ‘policy violation’, sexual content is a ‘constraint’, which means that advertiser demand is likely to be less for this type of content: in this case, you’ve only received a warning that you’re likely to receive less monetization for that content category, as advertisers have shown less willingness to appear next to that content. “
What this means is that, instead of threatening a publisher with the loss of their AdSense account, what Google is trying to do is communicate that a particular image is creating a situation for the publisher and that a page will attract fewer advertisers.
So, what was happening is that the notification that Google sent to the publisher was misinterpreted by the publisher as a “policy violation” that then bothered the publisher.
This misunderstanding may not be the publisher’s fault, it may be the way Google communicated the restriction.
John then addressed the cheeky advertising that AdSense was displaying, linking to a support page that discusses the various controls that publishers have to block unwanted advertising.
Google Brown added:
“In addition, if an ad is particularly offensive or inappropriate, you can always report it, and a team will review and determine if there are any policy violations for that ad.”
Publisher response to AdSense
Publishers responded by recognizing that the ad restrictions notification approach was preferable to threats of loss of their AdSense account.
Another publisher suggested that Google needs to do better:
“Your opinion on this topic should be that Google needs to do more, don’t tell the publishers that we are not doing enough.”
Brown responded by inviting constructive comments, which is a great approach for Google:
“Okay, tell me what else can we do to help. Constructive ideas and feedback are welcome. “
Additional discussions occurred when publishers received more positive advice from Google and publishers shared their concerns with Google AdSense.
A publisher shared screenshots of spammy ads that they had trouble getting rid of.
Google’s John Brown did an excellent job addressing the concerns of publishers.
This discussion proves that everyone wins when Google and publishers share concerns and constructive criticism.
Google publisher restrictions
How to block ad categories in AdSense
Read the discussion about WebmasterWorld here:
Watch John Brown discuss content policy: