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Inside AdSense
A look inside Google AdSense.

  • Introducing a new user consent policy
    Today we’re launching a new user consent policy. This policy requires publishers with site visitors from the European Union to ask their permission for using their data.

    Why are we doing this?

    European Union data protection authorities requested some changes to current practices for obtaining end user consents. It has always been Google’s policy to comply with privacy laws, so we’ve agreed to make certain changes affecting our own products and partners using Google products.

    What do you need to do?

    If your websites are getting visitors from any of the countries in the European Union, you must comply with the EU user consent policy. We recommend you start working on a policy-compliant user consent mechanism today. There’s guidance from data protection authorities and IABs across Europe on what is required to comply with relevant laws; the IAB's IAB Europe Guidance: Five Practical Steps to help companies comply with the E-Privacy Directive is a good place to start.

    To learn how to implement a user consent mechanism, check out our help center FAQs and visit Cookie Choices, a website dedicated to complying with this new policy.

    Posted by Jason Woloz, Security & Privacy Program Manager, Display and Video Ads


  • Demystifying AdSense policies with John Brown: Understand your traffic (Part 3)
    Editor’s note: John Brown, the Head of Publisher Policy Communications, is sharing insights about understanding your traffic and how you can prevent invalid activity.

    Last week, I explained why we take invalid activity seriously and how AdSense policies protect users, advertisers and publishers. This week, I’d like to give you some tips to help you keep your account in good standing.

    What can you do as a publisher?

    Here are some best practices to prevent invalid activity on your site:

    • Monitor your analytics often to spot traffic anomalies. Setting up Analytics alerts can be very useful. For instance, you can set Analytics alerts to see if an unusual amount of traffic comes from a country you wouldn’t expect for your site.
    • Be very careful when purchasing any traffic, and review the traffic provider checklist to help guide your discussions with any traffic provider you’re considering.
    • Double and triple-check your implementation. Make sure your implementation has no programming errors, conforms to AdSense policies, and interacts properly across different browsers and platforms. Having a well-implemented page can protect against unintended consequences, like accidental clicks. 
    • Don’t click on your own ads. Even if you’re interested in an ad or looking for its destination URL, clicking on your own ads is prohibited. Instead, use the Google Publisher Toolbar.

    You can find more information about ad traffic quality and best practices on our Ad Traffic Quality Resource Center. I hope these resources help clarify why we care about the quality of the ecosystem and what you can do to comply with our traffic policies. Please share your feedback and do let us know if you have additional questions in the comment section below this post.

    Subscribe to AdSense blog posts


    Posted by John Brown
    Head of Publisher Policy Communications


  • Demystifying AdSense policies with John Brown: Understand your traffic (Part 2)
    Editor’s note: John Brown, the Head of Publisher Policy Communications, is sharing insights and answering most common questions about invalid activity.

    In this post, I want to stress why we take invalid clicks so seriously and clarify a few questions related to traffic quality and invalid clicks.

    Let’s take a step back and think about the digital ad ecosystem. The relationships between Google, advertisers, and publishers are built on trust. A strong and healthy digital ecosystem needs:
    • Users who trust the system and have a good experience,
    • Advertisers safely investing in digital ads,
    • Publishers who can sustain their business.
    To protect those relationships, it’s very important to make sure that clicks and impressions are based on genuine user intent. That’s why at Google we have a global team that monitors the traffic across Google's ad network, and prevents advertisers from paying for invalid traffic.

    Now, I'd like to address some of the most common questions and concerns from publishers related to ad traffic quality and invalid clicks.

    • What is Google's obligation to publishers?

    Google manages advertiser relationships so that you don’t have to. Publishers benefit from our vast supply of ads. To provide ads to your sites for the months and years to come, advertisers must trust our network. Our policies are in place to protect these advertiser relationships, which ultimately protects publishers that work with us as well.

    • What happens to earnings held back from publishers due to invalid activity?

    Any revenue found to be from invalid activity is refunded back to the active advertisers, not kept by Google. In 2014, we refunded more than $200,000,000 to advertisers from detected invalid activity. In 2014, we’ve disabled more than 160,000 sites to protect the ecosystem.

    • What can Google do to better communicate policies and enforcement?

    We’ve adopted a policy of silence for the most part in order to protect our signals. We find it important to protect our signals so that bad actors cannot detect how we discover invalid activity. Additionally, we are always striving to increase transparency around our communications without compromising our techniques to protect advertisers and publishers. Stay tuned for new features which will help you have more control over your content and stay compliant with the policies.

    • Will Google modify interactions with the publisher community going forward?

    We realize that we can improve our communications, especially around warnings, suspensions, and account disablement.  My charge is to do this. I have many people working with me on better education, along with improving the language and instructions around warnings or messages received from Google. I believe that publishers understand much better where they stand at all times when our policies are clear and when we communicate them effectively, and enforce consistently.

    I hope you found these insights useful. Check back here next week where we’ll talk about what you can do as a publisher to help us protect the digital ecosystem. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

    Subscribe to AdSense blog posts




    Posted by John Brown
    Head of Publisher Policy Communications




  • Increasing transparency of AdSense payments
    When you check your payments history, you might notice a difference between your estimated AdSense earnings and the final amount paid to you. The difference between these two amounts is mostly caused by invalid activity on your site, such as accidental clicks, which are deducted from finalized earnings.

    We've received feedback from you that you want to know more about the differences between estimated and finalized earnings. Starting with May’s payment history, you’ll be able to see the invalid activity deductions that cause these differences.  For example, if your estimated earnings were $1,100 and your finalized earnings were $1,000, you now have a better view into how your estimated earnings break down into invalid activity and finalized earnings.

    If there is a large difference between your estimated earnings and your finalized earnings, make sure to review these tips. To prevent invalid activity on your site, pay special attention to your site design and traffic acquisition. If you see unusual levels in invalid activity, we encourage you to notify us by using the Invalid Clicks Contact Form.

    We hope this will help you understand the differences between your estimated and finalized earnings and how invalid activity affects your payments. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


    Posted by Justin Chu
    AdSense Product Manager



  • Mobile site or app? Learn how digiSchool made its decision
    When it was created in 2011, French company digiSchool was a pioneer by offering free teaching content for which users would otherwise have had to pay. They were growing rapidly. However, they had to make an important decision to grow even further: mobile site or mobile app?

    After extensive user testing, digiSchool noticed that mobile apps were best for delivering content like quizzes, lessons, and videos, but a mobile site was better for reading the news. “Depending on the device, a user needs very specific interfaces. We had to figure out whether content worked best on a mobile site or an app.”,  Thierry, co-founder of digiSchool, explains.

    They decided to build a mobile site with Responsive Web Design (RWD) to meet their visitors’ needs. This has been key to the success of digiSchool’s mobile site. It has proven to be a scalable, complete solution that doesn't require changes across multiple sites, and has enabled digiSchool’s mobile site to evolve rapidly.

    Discover how digiSchool decided to go mobile and how they became a market leader for digital education in France. To learn how you too can provide a great site experience for all of your users, don’t forget to check out our Multi-Screen Starter Guide.



    Posted by Anne Goldmann
    AdSense Account Manager


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