Don’t Be Spammy – How to Use AdSense Responsibly


How many times have you searched for something on Google or Yahoo, came to a site which sounded good on the results page, but then you click through and there are ads everywhere?  I don’t know about you,  but I immediately disregard the site.

A week or so ago, I wrote an article entitled “AdSense Without Subtracting Credibility”  which gave a primer on how Pay Per Click works and how the average Joe is able to earn money by allowing their website to be a part of the Google Display Network.  I mentioned that by being in the network,  credible sites can sometimes run the risk of appearing spammy. This is part two of that article.

Now, I have nothing against you making a few extra dollars on your website. But, if you care about your internet credibility, do so tactfully with a few simple tips:

Decide What’s More Important: Your Credibility or Your Short Term Financial Future.

Some webmasters create sites with minimal content and are covered with ads. These sites are called “Ad Farms” and are against Google’s terms of service.   However,  Google does allows for up to three “ad units”, or sets of ads, on a page. The more ad units, the more possible income.  On the flip side, more than one ad unit on a page tends to make a website appear spammy.

If you’re selling a product or  intending to become a subject matter expert in your industry, be as light as possible with ads.  In the long run, the added product sales and/or increased credibility will be worth far more than a check from Google.  If you just want to make money, go ad crazy..and skip the rest of this article, it’s not for you.

Consider Allowing Only Image Ads.

When beginning the process of joining the AdSense network, a webmaster can opt to display text ads, image ads, or both. Google recommends allowing for both because “it increases the competition for ads to appear on your site, and may help you earn more.”  The fact is, allowing for both text and image ads to appear is more beneficial to Google than the webmaster — it lets them expand their network.  But depending on the site content, text ads can take away from a website’s credibility.  Image ads tend to be more visually appealing, and in the end, may earn more clicks.

Block “Spammy” Ads from Appearing.

Despite some of my criticisms of Google, I must commend them for allowing webmasters to block certain ad categories (which Google terms “sensitive”) from appearing on a website.  These including dating site ads, get rich quick schemes, and more.  Additionally, Google allows you to block ads from specific URLs, such as those from your competitors.  Take advantage of this functionality!

Ultimately, deciding if and how to use AdSense is a personal decision. But let me leave you with a final thought:

Which website would you prefer to visit?  This:

blog with google ads

Or this?

blog without adwords

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