11 Mistakes To Avoid When Applying for Adsense
So you're thinking of applying for a Google Adsense account, because you want to earn money from your writing -- whether it be here on Hubpages, or on your own personal blog or website.
Unfortunately, many people submit applications before their site meets Google's criteria, and earn themselves a rejection letter, instead.
Before you apply, you need to make certain that your site meets all the benchmarks for success. Do you know what they are?
This is a list of the most common reasons you might earn a rejection - I hope you'll find it helpful.
1 - Lack of Content
Google ads are based on keywords found within your text. The more you write, the more keywords there are for Google to use, and the more valuable your site becomes to advertisers.
You need a good supply of text-rich pages on your site before you even think of applying.
I got through with around twenty pages of 500 to 1000 words each, but I think I was lucky. If you want to really be safe, try for thirty or forty pages.
Beware of "blank" pages - pages with less than 300 or so words. You might have a page with a lot of pictures which, at a glance, looks like it has tons of content. Pay attention to the actual word count instead, because that's all the google-bots will be looking at.
Before you feel frustrated at having to wait while you build up content, remember that you're also building up your readership and traffic at this point.
Even if Adsense were to give you an account when you only had a single page, you probably wouldn't have enough page views to earn any money!
2 - Unoriginal Content
This is where a lot of people seem to trip up. Particularly if you're writing about a common topic, you need to put your own interesting or original slant on it.
Although writing an article about "fast weight loss tips" with information you've scraped from other sites and rehashed in your own words might not quite be plagiarism, it adds nothing of value whatsoever.
Do a quick google search for the topic you're writing about, and see how many results come up. If eleventy billion other people have already written about your topic, you're better off writing about something else - unless you really do have a unique perspective to put on it, with information the other sites do not already have.
Original content will attract both the Adsense account, and the viewers.
3 - Plagiarism
Plagiarism - copying work directly from other websites - is a big no-no, as it should be. Nothing will get your adsense application rejected faster than having somebody else's stolen work on your site.
Where it gets tricky is when you actually have permission from the owner of the content to reproduce it - permission means nothing to the google bots, all they see is that you've copied the words from elsewhere.
In these cases, you're much safer just linking to the original site - or having the person write a new, original article for you, if they're willing.
Even if you have written the article, avoid copying it between multiple sites you own, or you'll be suspected of stealing it.
This is also a problem with photographs. Don't just go on Google Images and copy a photograph to illustrate your article - most of those images are copyrighted, and using them without permission will only bring trouble.
Instead, look for images with a Creative Commons license [and be sure you actually read the requirements], or take your own photos.
4 - The Wrong Kinds of Content
So you've got a lot of content now - but is it the right kind of content?
You'll never get an approval if you write about things that violate the Adsense terms of service, so be sure you read them. Adult sites, violent content, and hate speech are obvious violations, as are sites selling alcohol, weapons, drugs, or promoting any kind of illegal activity.
Beware of creating recipe sites and technology blogs, as well. Although these do not violate any rules, Adsense has a surplus of them, and it's difficult to convince them to accept new sites in these categories, unless yours are particularly well-written.
5 - Your Site Is Too New
Don't apply before your site has been up for a few months, at least. In some parts of the world, mostly in Asia, you must wait six months [and have six months worth of content] on your site before your application will even be considered.
For most Western countries, there's no firm limit, but a website that has been up for several months and had content added at a steady rate will look better than one that sprang up overnight.
6 - Poor Quality
The strength of your writing is very important. If you cannot spell, and you use poor grammar, you will be rejected for quality issues.
This is probably due, in part, to the keyword issue mentioned above. The ads are based on keywords, and if you've misspelled the word, it becomes useless. Only those who happen to misspell it in the exact same way will ever find your writing.
Poor spelling will also drive you down in search rankings, and limit the number of views you can achieve.
If you know you have trouble with spelling, or your English is not the best, consider asking someone to proofread for you before you publish.
You want people to read your stuff, so make sure it's readable!
8 - Difficult to Navigate
Make sure your site is easy to navigate.
Links should be clearly marked and easy to find. Don't place links in deceptive places, hoping to trick people into clicking them. Check for broken links every so often, and make sure the sites you've linked for haven't changed since you last looked [for instance, older sites sometimes get taken over by malware and spam].
If you're running your own website, create a sitemap to help both your users and Google find things.
9 - Requires Password
If your site requires a password in order to view content, you won't be approved for Adsense. The Google-bots need to be able to look at your site to make sure it conforms to their policies, and if they can't get past your password wall, they cannot check.
10 - You're [Obviously] Just Doing It For The Money
Everybody wants to make money from their work, and there's nothing wrong with that.
But there are too many blatantly commercial, "made for Adsense" sites out there. Don't be another one.
These are the sites that:
- Are specifically created around Adsense Keywords
- Use content scraped from other parts of the internet, rewritten only slightly, if at all
- Use keywords completely unrelated to the actual site, in order to trick traffic into going there
- Have little useful information, and exist for the sole purpose of gaining luring visitors in to click on ads
Focus on providing information that has real value to your readers. Not only will you have a much better chance of being allowed to use Adsense, you'll be creating something useful and interesting, instead of just making the Internet a spammier place.
11 - Spamming Your Application
If you apply, and get rejected, don't just keep spamming your application, hoping it'll go through eventually.
Take a careful look at your rejection letter, and pay attention to the reason given. Make a serious effort to fix the issues with your site.
If you have questions, you can go to the Google Product Forums and post a question: Is my website ready for adsense? Give a link, and someone will usually be willing to look at it, and tell you about any issues they've spotted.
If you spam your application repeatedly without fixing the issues, Google will get tired of looking at your site, and simply blacklist you. When this happens, your chances of ever getting Adsense with that website or email address pretty much go out the window.
If you've followed all of the points above, congratulations! You have made a strong, valuable website, which should have little problem gaining Adsense approval.
Go ahead and apply, and start collecting your rewards for all the hard work you've put in - you deserve it!