HOW TO WIN GOOGLE’S APPROVAL
Welcome to a guide on Google Adsense approval tricks and tips. The fastest way to get approval is actually very simple, just build a quality website with good contents. But yes, I totally understand. I have gone through the same cycle as a new blog and got rejected several times before getting approved.
This is where you guys need some kind understanding – Many bad people have abused Adsense over the years, and thus, Google now has a very strict approval policy to protect both the advertisers and bloggers. Even so, there are still plenty of shady people today… Exploit a loophole in their approval process? Buy an approved account? My advice is, please don’t.
If you are looking for a long-term relationship with Google, then earn their trust and give them what they want instead. A worthy and useful website. In this guide, I shall share all the stuff that I have done to get approved – Read on!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE APPROVAL REQUIREMENTS
For the lost souls who somehow ended up here without knowing what Adsense is, it is Google’s advertisement network. You can sign up with them, start placing ads on your blog to make some money from it. But Google has been kind of like some kung fu master on their approval requirements – Be like water, become whatever it is poured into.
Yep. The requirements? Have a good website and useful contents. Just exactly what is “good”? We don’t know. All we can do is to guess what Google wants. So here are the requirements that are based on my past experience. I don’t work for Google, don’t burn me. 😆
A QUICK SUMMARY OF THINGS YOU NEED
- Quality contents, plenty of it.
- A trickle of organic traffic.
- No offensive and copyrighted materials.
- Not a spammy website, offering porn, promote violence and that kind of “bad stuff”.
- Sign up at the Adsense website.
- The easiest way to get started is to go under the “auto ads”, and copy the code fragment.
- Paste that code fragment in your own website.
- Wait for the approval. Google seems to have a 2-parts process where a robot will first filter out all the spammy sites, then someone will manually check your blog.
- It will usually take a couple of days to a few weeks for them to get back on the results.
Many technical aspects of your website matter. If you want approval, make sure that your website is working decently well. As this involves some technical stuff, check with your web developer, or search around on Google if you are unsure.
TIP 1) HAVE A GOOD WEBSITE DESIGN THAT IS MOBILE FRIENDLY
Does the design really matter? My guess is yes. I do believe that it is a huge plus to have a good looking website that is also mobile friendly. Remember that the Adsense approval is manual – If your website looks broken, hard to read, and full of potholes, I am sure that will send a really bad signal. Not just for the approval process, but in the long run for your own good.
So make sure that your website looks decently good on the smartphone, tablet, and big screens. You can use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test Tool to check your website for mobile friendliness.
TIP 2) A FAST LOADING WEBSITE
Does the loading speed matter? Again, probably not. Not directly. But think again, it is a manual approval process. If your website is still loading after 30 seconds, that is going to be another bad strike. Plus, people don’t like slow websites. It will never get you a good readership, nor score well on search engines. Ditch your current host if it is slow.
TIP 3) NO DUBIOUS DOMAIN NAMES
This is where you have hopefully chosen a good domain name (website address). Illegal sounding domain names such as “my-porn-site.com” and “watch-me-ass.com” will probably not be approved. As for you guys who are on free blog hosting such as Tumblr, Wix, and Weebly – I am not too sure about the practice. But get yourself a good custom domain name, and you should do just fine.
P.S. Blogger is the only exception where you can apply for Adsense as it is… because it is owned by Google.
TIP 4) HAVE A SLIGHTLY AGED WEBSITE
Again, I am not too sure if the domain age is relevant (time you have held onto the domain). My guess is again, probably not directly. In any case, I have read people with varying answers on the required domain age – It is anything from 3 months, to even a year.
TIP 5) REGISTER WITH GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE
Google may never discover a new website if you just leave it alone. Please register your website in the Google Search Console, so that they know of your website’s existence. Plus, the free search console will warn you if it detects any problems with your website.
TIP 6) USE HTTPS
What is https? Basically, data is transmitted across the Internet unencrypted – anyone can hijack and read it; https is the secure encrypted way to transmit data. What has it got to do with Adsense approval? Because as it seems, using enforcing https on your website seems to help you gain some trust. Get your web developer to help you if you do not know how.
TIP 7) ABOUT OTHER ADVERTISING NETWORKS AND AFFILIATE PROGRAMS
This is not quite a tip, but I have read so many other approval guides claiming that “Google hates other networks”. That is entirely false, and even in their terms and conditions, they did state that other networks are allowed. As long as there is no conflict of interest, and the other ad network does not serve porn, gambling, and illegal stuff.
I personally use Google Adsense with eBay Partnership, and that is entirely fine. Just remember to clearly disclose “my website serves advertisements”, and not ask/cheat the users to click on the ads. If you want to play safe, just turn off the other networks while you apply for Adsense.
Good content, that is all Google has ever mentioned. Just what is good, we don’t know. But here are the things that got mine approved.
TIP 8) CREATE BEEFY UNIQUE CONTENT
By unique, I don’t mean “out of this world”. It simply means not rip off someone else’s article and change a few words like some 10-year-old who tried to copy homework. Do your own research, and write your own stuff.
Beefy, as in a lot of good information. Write plenty of long informative posts, and skip the random cat posts. Google loves informative content and so do people, so give them plenty to chew on.
- Your articles should be at least 1200 words long (longer useful content is better).
- Use plenty of related images and include videos.
- Use point form and table, like this one.
- Link to related other related contents, tools, and resources.
As far as I know, the posts that are more valued are those that answer “how to”, “what is” and “why”. If you need more help with writing, keep this for further reading :
TIP 9) CREATE SOME POSTS
This is yet another of the unsolved mystery – how many posts do you need on your website before you apply for Adsense? Some people say 10, some 20, and a few say 40 posts. By what standards do they judge? Is a 2000 words article equivalent to 4 X 500 words article? I don’t know. But as far as I know, I had about 15 solid 2000 words articles when I got mine approved.
TIP 10) NO COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL
Do not distribute copyrighted material on your website, or worse, pirated software, music and videos. If you use someone else’s image, cite the source. If you copy-and-paste someone’s words, cite the source. Even if you are using free stock photos, don’t claim them to be your works.
TIP 11) NO OFFENSIVE MATERIAL
The common sense kind of thing. No content that incites hate, pornography, nor any inappropriate stuff. In fact, just make sure that it is none of the contents of Google’s prohibited list.
Trust is probably one of the most important deciding factors. After all, there are plenty of applications, and a lot of shady people out there. If you have good content and can prove that you are legit – You get the approval.
TIP 12) EXTEND THE DOMAIN EXPIRY DATE
There are way too many spam sites these days. They register a site for a year, hit it, and then disappear. So make sure that you still have a couple of years worth of domain life in your pocket before you apply for Adsense. Show that you are here to stay, and you are not disappearing overnight.
TIP 13) HAVE SOME DECENT TRAFFIC
While traffic is not a major factor in getting approval, you still need some traffic going to your site. In particular, you need a trickle of organic traffic. For those who are new, organic traffic is simply people visiting your website from online searches.
If you have done your content writing and article promotions right, you should be getting a tad bit of organic traffic 3-6 months from launch. Getting a torrent of organic traffic can be tricky, and that is what we call “Search Engine Optimization”… That is quite an advanced topic, and I shall leave a link to my other free tutorial series here.
TIP 14) CREATE THESE REQUIRED PAGES
These are the pages that are often dismissed by people as “boring” and “useless”. But in fact, these are the pages that are very important to any legit website, not just for the purpose of Adsense approval.
- About Us
Just a page about yourself or your company.
- Contact Us
Ways to contact you, which can be email, phone, and/or fax. I personally don’t like junk mail, so I used a contact form instead.
A pain to write this yourself. Use an online policy generator to help you.
Not quite required, but good to have. Basically, a simple page to “reveal” that you serve ads, affiliate links, and make commissions.
If you want your Adsense account approved, you need to have these pages.
TIP 15) GOOD SOCIAL SIGNALS AND PROFILE
Setup a YouTube account for your website/business, even if you do not want to post any videos. The important point here is, add a summary and link back to your site in the channel description – Then verify the YouTube account with your phone; A verified account adds a lot of credibilities.
Next, create a Google+ account – I believe it will be automatically linked to the YouTube channel and become verified. Share your articles on the Google+ account, and maybe to some groups – generate some free traffic, and social signals.
If you want, create a Facebook fan page, and a dedicated Twitter account as well. It will probably take a little more to maintain, but in the long run, these social pages will add a lot more to your site/blog.
TIP 16) POST A VIDEO WITH YOURSELF IN IT
If you are not camera shy, shoot small tutorial videos, post it on YouTube and embed those videos into your articles. Expensive gear not required, a good decent smartphone will be good enough.
This is probably the best supplement to get approval – Nothing beats having a photo of yourself in the “about” page, and actual videos of yourself. Plus, since you can monetize the videos later, you will get Adsense for YouTube on top of Adsense for your website.
TIP 17) REGISTER WITH GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
This is probably the ultimate trust booster. Go to Google My Business, and register there – Your website, address, and phone number. Note that Google will send a physical postcard with PIN code to your registered address, and you need to enter this PIN code to verify your business.
But once you are verified, Google will recognize your website as a business or brand; Your website will naturally get a free boost.
MY APPLICATION IS STILL REJECTED, WHAT NOW?
I know, it happens and even for me. I was rejected twice too – Once for the lack of content, and another for the lack of organic traffic. But I took the time to improve things, and eventually got the approval. For the record, it was 5 months and 15 solid 2000 words articles to get approval for me.
TIP 18) DO NOT SPAM RE-SUBMIT
Firstly, I understand the frustration, but just don’t spam the “re-submit” button. It does not help. When Google rejects the application, they will usually give a reason why. Take your time to “fix” whatever that is the problem, and retry again.
TIP 19) KEEP IMPROVING
I got my approval in 2016, and I believe the bars are set higher each time more people join the network. Google is not just looking for any Jane, Joe or John blogger these days, they are cherry picking the best. To please them, you only have to improve your website and content. Write better, more informative, and enjoyable articles – It is difficult to get approval, but not impossible to.
CRASH WITH AN ALTERNATIVE
If all else fail, go with the alternatives first. Before Google Adsense, I worked with Infolinks. Don’t expect a lot of money, but they do pay well enough for some pocket money.
Here comes the end of this guide. Getting the thumbs up from Google boss is not easy these days, so you just need to have some patience. Keep on adding more valuable content, improve your blog, and they will eventually approve your application. Good luck!
W.S. Toh is a senior web developer and SEO practitioner with over 10 years of experience in building websites. When he is not secretly being an evil tech ninja, he enjoys doing photography and explore ways to mess around with tech gadgets.