When you talk to bloggers about reasons behind blogging, one of the first things most of them say is “earning money”. And when it comes to earning money from blogging, Google AdSense is king of the advertisement- it pays best rates, it is the biggest, it is the holy grail of all beginners. Unfortunately there is one problem… Google approval system for AdSense.
Why is there approval system for AdSense?
Google’s main income comes from the adverts – every time someone clicks and ad, an advertiser pays Google some money. In return, he expects that the visitor will be genuinely interested in his offer. If user clicked on the advert because he was tricked into it or he was simply bored by the content of site he was on, advertiser cannot convert him to a customer and loses money. This is not what Google wants. Google wants to serve interesting advert which you will click and then you will buy the product from the advertiser, because if you do, advertiser will spend more money on advertising. To serve good, related adverts Google needs a good content on the given page, so it can compute the right category of ads. This is why sites applying for AdSense need to be approved by Google – they need to make sure your website is good enough. The system is a bit flawed though because you just need to be approved once and since then you can use AdSense ads on any site you want but… rules are rules.
What to do to maximize your AdSense approval chances?
From what I know Google made their approval system more strict recently, but don’t worry – they NEED you, so if you stick to few simple rules, you should be fine. I strongly suspect that reviewers are using specialized software to check your page characteristics so keep it in mind when building your web empire.
Yourself – are you 18 years old? Do you have permanent address? Any mistakes here and your application is gonna be rejected immediately.
Your site visuals – it should look as professional as it’s possible. Please keep in mind that reviewers are checking thousands of sites and they probably can make their mind in first seconds on your site. You should use some nice WordPress theme which use readable, good sized fonts and it should be functional (don’t leave default demo content unchanged – the reviewer may get the impression your site is still under construction). Your navigation structure should be clear and all your links should work! This is important because it is explicitly said in the AdSense guidelines – “Websites that are under construction, don’t load, or have non-functioning links, will not be approved”.
Your content – first of all, keep in mind that AdSense is not available for sites about gambling, illegal activities, drugs or adult content – it is instant fail. Please try to have as original content as possible. I understand that it’s not easy to come up with something new, but please do not build your posts by copying and pasting fragments of other people’s articles. Believe me – if you spend as much time on the internet as we do reading all these blog articles, you could easily tell that given content is fake. So can Google reviewers. I cannot tell you how many posts you should have – I think it should be something around 50 at least. People say that you should write long posts like 1000 words minimum – I don’t think so. It is better to write shorter post and make it interesting, than write 1000 words and make people fall asleep. I would try to keep just above 500 words per post, use a lot of nice free images (you can find out how to use Flickr to get them here) and keep articles clean and easy to read. I would also try to interlink them to a degree (try not to over do it – it can be really annoying).
Your traffic – this is a good indicator of what Google thinks about your site. If you are getting around 100 unique visits per day then you should be fine. Please keep in mind that you shouldn’t do any dirty tricks when we talk about getting traffic – there is good chance Google will know (based on site’s statistics – I strongly suspect Google has very detailed stats of each website, much more detailed than what Analytics shows). Stay away from paid traffic. Check out your bounce rate – if it is very high it is not good, meaning people are not finding what they were searching for. Don’t panic if you just started blogging – initially bounce rate is higher and it settles over time.
Social approval – one of the indicators that your content is good is that it is commented. The more comments the better, but again – stay away from fakes. Number of comments grow over time – don’t forget to reply when someone comments your articles. If your commentator left website address, visiting his blog and commenting back is nice thing to do.
Other Ad networks – they are not forbidden explicitly, but I would remove them for time being and re-implement them AFTER you get your AdSense approval.
What to do if your AdSense application was rejected?
If Google rejected you AdSense application there is genuine reason behind it – they should give it to you. Fix whatever was wrong, wait some time, build some more traffic and re-apply again. There is no limit on how many times you can try – just don’t make reviewers angry, remember they have tons of websites to check. Once you get approved, you should remember it is easy to get your account banned so don’t do anything silly.