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Effective Ways to Overcome AdSense Ad Limitations

Effective Ways to Overcome AdSense Ad Limitations

AdSense ad restrictions occur due to abnormal/unusual activities on our website. Empty ads, fewer ads, or no ads at all may appear.

Google protects advertisers from invalid activities, deceptive practices, and traffic quality issues. As AdSense advertisers, we also need to uphold these standards. Even if we don't engage in any suspicious activities, ad restrictions can still occur. Therefore, it's important for us to understand the reasons behind ad restrictions and how to resolve or lift them.

Causes of AdSense ad restrictions

While we may be delighted to see a surge in traffic, increased ad revenue, or high click-through rates, these can pose risks. Incorrect website optimization or unhealthy competition can lead to ad blocking.

AdSense ad restrictions serve as warnings or alerts that need to be monitored and investigated. If they persist and repeat frequently, the likelihood of being banned is high. Ad restrictions can last for several days, weeks, or even months.

When reviewing our monthly Google AdSense earnings report, we often see adjustments or deductions for invalid traffic or clicks, which may fall within the normal/tolerable range. However, if the frequency becomes too frequent and significant, we will receive emails and notifications from Google AdSense explaining the reasons for the ad restrictions, although not in specific detail. Google AdSense will also never provide precise information on the exact cause.

There are three main reasons for advertising restrictions:

1. Traffic:

The most common reason for advertising restrictions is invalid traffic. Good and healthy website traffic consists of visitors who come to see the website's content, read the information, or find answers. Invalid traffic often comes from visitors who may be manipulated to access the website. Such visitors do not add value to the website. Advertisers naturally do not want their ads to appear to people who are not the target audience.

2. Clicks:

Many ads from Google AdSense are paid based on clicks, although some may also be paid for impressions. Click-through rate (CTR) represents the percentage of ads clicked per 1000 impressions. The higher the CTR, the more ads are being clicked.

If the CTR is too high, it will be monitored closely. The average CTR for AdSense ads is around 2%. If the CTR exceeds that, it could be considered either good or bad. A CTR above 5% is already abnormal, and if it exceeds 10%, it will likely raise a red flag, and the account may be subject to scrutiny. It is important to understand why the ads are being clicked too frequently.

3. Content:

When applying for AdSense, your content will be checked and verified by Google. However, being accepted into the program doesn't mean you can insert any content you want. Even unintentionally, having abnormal or illegal content will result in restrictions on AdSense ad display.

How to overcome Adsense ad restrictions

Ad restrictions on Adsense can occur for various reasons that accumulate. Sometimes we see bloggers who clean up their traffic but still face restrictions, as the issue may not be limited to that alone. The steps and methods below attempt to provide an overview, and while not all components necessarily need fixing, it doesn't hurt to check them all.

1. Don't stay idle

After receiving an Adsense ad restriction notification, don't remain idle, unless you're no longer interested in monetizing and displaying ads from Google. Ad restrictions indicate that there's something wrong with our website, and if we remain passive and do nothing, it means the problem won't go away.

Some have had success by staying idle, most likely due to traffic issues. After remaining idle, invalid traffic no longer occurs, and the restrictions are lifted. But what if the problem isn't traffic-related or if the same traffic issue arises again?

Ad restrictions also mean that Google Adsense is punishing, monitoring, or investigating our website, and we should do the same.

2. Turn off ads

Even though we may not know the exact problem, it's best to turn off our ads. Remove, clean, disable, or delete all ad scripts or plugins on our website, and clear the cache to ensure everything is gone.

During the restriction period, invalid traffic and clicks can still occur. If that continues, there's a possibility that our Adsense account or website may get banned from Adsense. Don't worry too much about losing income; fixing the ad restrictions will save more ad revenue in the future.

3. Analyze traffic and visitors

One of the most important steps to overcome ad restrictions is to analyze traffic and visitor sources, where they enter our website from. This is why it's crucial to install tags, analytic scripts, and tracking codes on our website.

There are many tools and analytic scripts we can use, such as KissMetric, Facebook Pixel, Bing, Microsoft Clarity, Histats, but Google Analytics remains the best option. If you don't have an analytics tool yet, it's advisable to install one now, not only for ad restrictions but also for other benefits.

Go to analytics.google.com and select the problematic website (if you have multiple websites under one Google Analytics account).

To view the traffic sources for the website, go to the Acquisition menu >> All Traffic >> Channels. Here's an example:

Analyze traffic and visitors

Organic search

Traffic or visitors who come through a search engine (SERP). This is the normal and safe traffic, visitors who come because they are searching for something on our website. In terms of percentage, organic traffic should be the highest.

Direct

Visitors who enter directly or type our website address in their browser. Direct visitors are also good and safe, usually visitors who are already familiar with our website and want to see old news, new news, new articles, updates, and more.

Social

Visitors and traffic that come from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others. While there's nothing wrong with traffic from social media, if the percentage is high or higher than organic traffic, it may be a reason for ad restrictions.

Traffic from social media can be of low quality because they come to the website due to interest in images, clickbait, provocative titles, and on social media, we can manipulate things like this. Sharing too much or urging people to click on our website link can generate unhealthy visitors and traffic.

And once they enter the website, they may immediately leave or the displayed content and ads may not be relevant. If such traffic is too high, it means advertisers are not getting the right target audience.

Click the link again for the source of that traffic if you want to see a more detailed explanation.

Referrals

Referral traffic is the traffic that comes after clicking a link or backlink. Checking the source of this traffic (referrals) is also important. Traffic from bots, jingling (auto visitors), paid traffic, is usually recorded here. Bot traffic is junk traffic, not human, and advertisers do not benefit from this fake traffic for promotions. Usually, this is the main cause of invalid traffic that leads to ad restrictions.

Click the referrals link to see all the links that bring traffic to our website. Jingling traffic usually comes through xxxxx.blogspot.com or xxxxx.blogspot.co.id, or if there are other strange sites that we have never interacted with, they should be watched out for.

Signs of invalid or unusual traffic entering are sudden jumps in the number of visitors on our website.

4. Improve Traffic Quality

Avoid or minimize sharing your website and distributing links too frequently on social media. Share them as needed and target groups or individuals who are interested in the topic.

Avoid placing links unnaturally on spammy and unclear websites.

Do not pay for or buy traffic, use bots, or engage in similar practices as they will not have a positive impact on your website.

Advertising and promoting your website to attract legitimate traffic is acceptable. Use qualified and competent advertisers.

5. Filter Traffic

Another way to deal with invalid traffic is by filtering or restricting who can access your website. Google AdSense cannot block IP or regions to display its ads, so you need to do it yourself. Even without ad restrictions, it is advisable to know when to filter traffic to maintain a safe and high-quality website.

There are several methods to achieve this, including:

  • Free CDNs like Cloudflare can fend off bots and DDoS attacks.
  • If you have access to your hosting settings or support, you can check visitor logs and block suspicious IPs at the server level (e.g., using .htaccess or Nginx config) or at the website level.
  • Utilize security tools and plugins such as Wordfence, Sucuri, iThemes Security, Defender, and others. Even free versions of these plugins often offer features to handle abnormal traffic.
  • Enhance security by implementing CAPTCHA, Akismet, or similar measures.

6. Avoid Clicking Ads Yourself

Never click on ads on your own website, including urging friends or family members to do so. Google can detect intentional clicks based on IP, click patterns, website behavior, and such actions are considered violations of AdSense policies.

This also includes enticing visitors to click on ads through written content or other methods that encourage ad clicks.

Certain software or plugins provide features like click protection, click limits, or click fraud protection. These tools can help identify unnatural or repetitive clicks and disable ads to prevent excessive clicking. They can also assist in reducing clicks from invalid traffic.

For example, the Advanced Ads plugin can detect click bombs and click fraud, and it can block them based on IP or region.

7. Improve AdSense Ad Placement

When manually placing ads or AdSense, whether intentional or not, it is possible for ads to appear in inappropriate positions. For example, ads that block content, ads that appear in pop-ups, sticky/anchor ads without a close button, transparent ads, moving ads, overlapping ads, and more.

Ads should only be placed in positions where they are clicked by visitors willingly, not by accidental or forced clicks. Misleading ad positions often result in abnormal and excessively high click-through rates (CTR).

For auto-ads in AdSense, there shouldn't be any issues as Google ensures they are placed in safe locations. Use the reporting feature in the AdSense dashboard to monitor ad performance.

To access the Google AdSense dashboard, go to the Reports menu and select Ads Unit. Here, you will find reports for each manually created ads unit in AdSense. Check the click and CTR reports. If the CTR is above 3%, examine where and how this ad unit is placed, and check its position on both PC and mobile devices. It is likely that the high CTR positions are not natural. For more precise results, each position or manually placed ad should have its own ads code/ads unit.

8. Fix or Change Website Templates/Themes

Although rare, certain website templates, WordPress themes, plugins, or conflicts between them can result in strange ad positions. Keep updating your templates, themes, and WordPress plugins. If the issue cannot be resolved, inform the developer, temporarily remove ads from that position, or place them elsewhere.

9. Improve Content

On a website, it is important to create valuable and engaging content to attract visitors. There are various ways to do this, but sometimes creating controversial, illegal, or content that violates Google AdSense's privacy policy can attract more visitors. As website owners or authors, we need to understand the boundaries when it comes to adult content, hoaxes, illegal content, and the like.

Advertisers do not want their ads to appear on content that is deemed inappropriate. This includes plagiarized content, copyright infringement, automated content generation (AGC), and more. If you have such content, it is best to remove it. Detailed explanations and descriptions are not provided by Google regarding which specific content is considered bad.

For example, a gaming website may have organic traffic and good ad positions but receives ad serving limitations from Google several times. This could be due to game copyright issues, inappropriate language, vulgar images, or similar reasons. It is our responsibility to take the initiative to fix or remove content that violates rules or falls into a gray area.

10. Do Not Immediately Reapply Ads

After taking steps to improve your website, it is advisable not to immediately reapply ads. Wait until you receive notification from Google that your account/website under review has passed the verification process or received a notification to return to normal.

Failure to address ad serving limitations can lead to a ban. Your AdSense account and the websites associated with it will be banned, and this ban will remain in effect. You will no longer be able to place ads through that account or on those websites.

Never be tempted by quick and automated methods or shortcuts to generate more money from AdSense ads. It may produce temporary results, but sooner or later, it will be detected.

Monitor the quality of traffic coming to your website to ensure that high-quality traffic is being directed to your site. This will result in more targeted ads and higher earnings.

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