Comments for Backlinks

Anyone reading my previous posts on search engine optimisation (SEO) and Google PageRank should be under no doubt that getting backlinks is vitally important for increasing your standing in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and PageRank stakes.

I mentioned that the anchor text, the text that your link is actually attached to, should also be closely related to content of your site and that your inbound links should originate from a page of similar content and higher PageRank. That's quite a large wish list, even at Christmas time. Barring making a collection of websites yourself or getting on familiar terms with lots of like-minded webmasters, it isn't going to be easy to achieve these links - or is it?

Leaving comments on websites and blogs is the ideal way of getting those all important inbound links. If you aim for sites of a similar theme and higher PageRank you've got it sorted. I am not advocating spamming - spam is the scourge of webmasters worldwide and you're likely to get spammed a hundred-fold in return. You must always read the article you are responding to, form a quick and reasoned opinion and then write something of relevance. If it is the first time you have commented on a particular site it is worthwhile reading the comment guidelines beforehand.

I have a tried and tested strategy for leaving comments. It works - I have been able to obtain inbound links from PR6, 7 and 8 webpages relatively easily. Most blog comment links are 'no follow' meaning, in theory, that they can't pass PageRank to the destination page. In practice these are still a potential source of traffic and have value for search engines apart from Google. I have thought long and hard about whether to share this strategy with my readers, because some of you might notice that I have tried this on your site! Below I outline the key points of my strategy:
  • Aim for websites that are relevant and have a higher PR than your own.
  • Only choose those that allow comment writers to leave their link (sounds obvious). Quite often the comment field will ask for your name, email address and web address. In the published comment your name usually appears as the anchor text - you may like to leave a different name which is more favourable anchor text (I'd recommend you do, but nothing that sounds too spammy).
  • If the comment guidelines allow it you can append your link after your comment as well.
  • Only aim for websites that display comments on the same webpage (at the same URL) as the article. Do not leave comments on sites that display comments in pop-ups.
  • Check the PR of the actual article you are commenting on. Quite often the homepage of a site will have a high PR, but the page with the article (and comments) will have a lower PR. Don't make the mistake of thinking PR8 site means PR8 articles - it isn't true.
  • Here's an example of what I mean in the above point: An article called 'Comment for Backlinks' appears on the front page of a PR8 blog at the URL When a new article is published the URL of 'Comment for Backlinks' becomes something similar to and it is a PR0 page
  • For the reason above always look through the archive to find an article to comment on. Go well back in time so that the article has been well crawled by the Googlebot, has lots of incoming links itself and has an updated PR.
  • Aim for articles that have relevant keywords in the URL.
  • Avoid trawling for multiple articles on the same website. Ideally you need to use this strategy on several sites at the same time. Keep an eye open for new sites with a similar content to your own.
Remember that if you have a PR0 site it doesn't take too many PR6 or PR7 inbound links to give you a good advantage in the next PageRank update. I hope you can use this strategy to gain some quality inbound links and if you've found it useful please link to us and spread the word!

AdSense Preview Tool

Previewing ads with the AdSense Preview Tool.

There are times when you may wish to prevent certain ads from being displayed on your site - for example, those which are directly in competition with your own product or service, which is one of the curses of contextual advertising! To do this you need to apply a filter to the ad(s) in question. I will explain filters at a later date, but to apply the filter you need to know where the ad points. This isn't always evident by looking at the ad - the actual URL might not be displayed in the text depending on the format. Probably the easiest way to find out where the ad leads is to click it but, if you do this carelessly, you run the risk that Google will think you are making fraudulent clicks. You want to avoid this because they will almost certainly ban your AdSense account - once banned almost impossible to get back into the program.

The Preview Tool is a useful little plug-in for Internet Explorer 6+. It allows a publisher to physically click on their ads without the fear of incurring invalid clicks. The tool only works with Internet Explorer, so if you only use Firefox, Safari or Opera it isn't for you.

Install the Preview Tool by clicking on the following link (check the link properties for your own piece of mind before clicking): Download Preview Tool. Close your internet browser windows before running the registry file. The file will self-install and then you can open up Internet Explorer and use the tool. Use the tool by browsing to your AdSense bearing page, right clicking and selecting 'Google AdSense Preview Tool'. The preview tool will open in a new window, and will display a sample set of ads for that page.

You have three main options with the previewed ads:
  • 'Choose Options' - which allows you to view different ad formats and geographical variations.
  • 'Choose Colors' - which allows you to experiment with the colour palette of the previewed ads.
  • Click on any ad displayed in the preview window to see the destination page. By ticking the check-box next to the previewed ads you can also see the destination URL.
If you wish to uninstall the Preview Tool download and run the following registry file (again, view the link properties for your own piece of mind before clicking): Download Preview Tool Uninstaller.

Welcome to AdSense4Dummies

A tiny piece of housekeeping I have so far neglected - the adsense4dummies small print:

About this Blog:
AdSense4Dummies offers independent and impartial advice on the Google AdSense contextual advertising service. Our coverage is becoming more diverse meaning we also cover topics such as search engine optimisation, marketing and other webmaster-related topics.

Sponsored Entries:
Please note that AdSense4Dummies may occasionally include sponsored entries. I will endeavour to write all sponsored entries in a tone which reflects my true opinion of the subject - advertisers please be aware of this before you submit your proposal. Sponsored entries will always include the words 'advertisement' or 'sponsored post'. I hope that these posts do not detract from your enjoyment of my other posts.

Copyright Notice:
If you find any of the information on this site useful you are free to reproduce and republish it elsewhere on condition that you acknowledge and provide a back link to AdSense4Dummies.

The Quest for the Golden Google PageRank

Google assign PageRank based on the
way different websites link to each other.

Introduction of Google PageRank.
Google PageRank (PR) is a measure of how important a particular web page is compared to other pages online. Web pages are assigned a PageRank score between 0 and 10. A PR0 site is least important and a PR10 site is most important according to Google’s reckoning. Webmasters strive to get as high a PageRank as possible. A high PageRank means higher standing in the search engines, increased traffic, increased product sales and brand awareness and personal satisfaction on the part of the webmaster. There is also a high degree of kudos attached to having a high PageRank site. Google are very secretive about the process of assigning PageRank values. One of the key factors they do reveal is that the link structure to and from your site is crucially important. PageRank is not determined by how much traffic your site actually gets, but rather the potential it has to attract future traffic through links. There are many, many reviews that claim to give you the secret of getting a high PageRank quickly – I am making no such flamboyant claims. What I present in this article is a consolidation of the key points I have found elsewhere.

The PageRank System.
The PageRank system counts a link from one site to another as a vote for that site. The site that has the most inbound links, having given fewest outbound links in return stands highly in this head-to-head system of voting. Another detail that Google reveals is that sites which are them self important (high PageRank) have more weight when voting (linking to) for a site of lesser importance (low PageRank). Google update the PageRank assigned to every website on three or four occasions a year.

The content of the link origin and destination pages is also important. It is advantageous to attract links from web pages with similar content. A link from a PR2 page about holidays to a PR0 page about holidays has more weighting than a link from a PR2 page about pets. The actual anchor text, the text containing the hyperlink, is also very significant. It is desirable to have specific keywords in the anchor text, which relate directly to the content of the destination page.

Content is king. Google indexes pages using an automatic crawler called the Googlebot. Googlebot explores all web pages on a regular basis and can detect which pages are active (eg. regularly updated) and inactive (eg. dormant or rarely updated). Pages which are actively updated are crawled more frequently than those that aren’t. A site updated daily can certainly expect to be Googlebot crawled once a week. You can check this out for yourself – do a Google search on a particular keyword and compare the cached pages of a frequently updated site and a dormant site – you’ll see the active site has been cached, hence crawled by Googlebot, more recently than the inactive site. The fresher your content, the greater its depth, the more likely it is to be thoroughly explored by the crawlers. Original content is better than copied content – avoid cannibalising Wikipedia to bulk up your pages.

Building PageRank – Getting Links.
I’ve already said that the ultimate aim is to have as many inbound links, preferably from relevant high PageRank sites, and as few outbound links as possible. Links to your site can be either reciprocal, where you link back to a site linking to you, or non-reciprocal, where a site links to you but you don’t link back to it. It goes without saying that non-reciprocal links give you an advantage in the head-to-head voting stakes, but these are inherently difficult to obtain. The internal link structure of your site is also a consideration – a good flow of easily navigable pages is preferable to a disorganised mess.

Reciprocal links are worth chasing, but will only be beneficial if you link exchange with a relevant site of equal or higher PageRank. Obtaining reciprocal links is simply done by firing off a polite email to your target link partner. You will have even more influence over your potential link partner if you compliment their site and explain how relevant it is to your own. Better still if you tell them you and have already linked to them - nine times out of ten, if you say you have already linked to someone, they will feel obliged to return the favour and link back to you.

Non-reciprocal links are harder to come by, but a good place to start is the online directories – specialist directories of high PageRank being the most effective option. Aim for those directories that don’t require a reciprocal link. To avoid spammers most directories will require you to register. I recommend starting a new email account specifically for this purpose – the directories will invariably try and spam you themselves! Entering the same data in the registration forms of many directories can be a very tedious process, but persevere and consider the long term benefit instead of the short term inconvenience.

Forums are a brilliant hunting ground for Googlebot because they have a very high turnover of new content. Capitalise on this by joining a few different forums, posting regularly and appending your link in your signature block. Very shortly you’ll have your link on hundreds of different forum pages, multiplied by the number of forums you’re involved with.

Buying links is also another option but I’d personally avoid it and look for organic, content-based links every time.

PageRank Summary.
PageRank is a measure of how important your website is compared to others. A high PageRank leads to increased traffic, increased product sales and brand awareness. As a webmaster you should try and increase your PageRank by:

  • Trying to get non-reciprocal links.
  • Obtaining links from sites with a similar theme.
  • Obtaining links from sites with an equal or higher PageRank.
  • Keeping your site original, fresh and regularly updated.

I hope you’ve found this article useful. With a little extra effort link building now it really is possible to achieve a reasonable PageRank in the future.

AdSense and Adult Content

The controversial subject of AdSense and 'adult content' often rears its ugly head in the AdSense Help Group. It's well known by most AdSense publishers that adult content is forbidden under the terms and conditions. In this post I am specifically referring to pictures that have a sexual connotation - however remote that connotation might actually be.

If I had a dollar for every time someone complained on there that they had been banned for pictures of ladies in swimsuits, I'd be pretty well off by now. Every publisher should be aware of the conflict between what Google classes as adult content and what the normal population would consider to be adult in nature. Google utilise their world famous 'Grandma algorithm' to determining which content is adult in nature. It's similar to the PageRank algorithm, but slightly less well known and more open to dodgy interpretation.

The way it works is as follows: If your Grandma is likely to disagree with your content then that's a good indication Google will too. Google tends to be slightly prudish when it comes to bare flesh of any sort - if you display a picture of an underwear model, even when their modesty is covered, you run the likelihood of Google considering it adult content. If they consider it adult in nature, they might also consider it damaging to their whiter than white (yeah, right) reputation. If this is the case they'll ban the publisher concerned, and that's a road you don't want to go down. As I've mentioned before, once banned it is very difficult to get reinstated.

You might think this is slightly hypocritical - after all, Google will accept all sorts of unscrupulous AdWords advertisers selling knock-off goods, dodgy timeshares and kinky sex aids. You'd be absolutely right - hypocritical is a word that describes Google perfectly in this sense - however, AdSense is their trainset and to play with it and reap the rewards you need to stick to their rules.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is don't put anything remotely risque on your AdSense bearing pages. If you have any doubt you should consult AdSense Support BEFORE placing your content on a page with AdSense.

VoIP by ViaTalk

This is post is sponsored by ViaTalk. To view our policy on sponsored posts please click HERE.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a system that allows the delivery of normal telephone calls over a broadband (or fast dial-up) internet connection. ViaTalk, the sponsors of this post, provide an internet phone service to United States residential and business customers. Customers have 4 broadband phone service packages to choose from, all of which offer value whatever your telephone usage.

The ViaTalk unlimited packages offers unlimited VoIP calls in the US and Canada, call waiting, voicemail, caller ID, caller return and a whole range of other benefits. The residential unlimited package is USD $229 a year. This is great value for anyone making a lot of local and national calls.

The ViaTalk services are also supported by a comprehensive online knowledgebase and 24/7 technical support. If you'd like more information please surf to the ViaTalk website.

AdSense Earnings and Payment

The AdSense payment schedule.

Assuming you have attracted a steady number of legitimate clicks on your ads you have a big milestone to look forward to - your first payment. Before receiving your first payment you will need to verify your account details by entering a PIN. You will automatically be sent your PIN once you have reached your first USD $50 of AdSense earnings. The purpose of this is to confirm your home/business address.

Once your account is verified you will get paid a month in arrears (eg. January's payment comes in late February) after you have accumulated USD $100 in your AdSense account. If you don't reach USD $100 in a month your balance rolls over to the next month.

There are two methods of payment you can choose between:

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT):
Google is able to make electronic funds transfer directly to your chosen bank account. Payment is usually in the local currency so there's no need to worry about the exchange rate or conversion. The process is quick, efficient and there is less chance of your payment going adrift in the mail. Sign up for electronic funds transfer as follows:
  • Sign in to your account at
  • Click My Account.
  • Click the edit link adjacent to the Payment Details header.
  • In the Electronic Funds Transfer section, select the Add a new bank account radio button.
  • Click Continue.
  • Enter the requested bank account information. Your account page will provide details on what information is required. If you are unsure, please contact your bank to obtain this information. Click Save Changes.
  • At this point, AdSense will begin the process of depositing a small test amount into the publisher's bank account. Check your bank statements after 4-10 days to find a deposit from either 'Google' or 'BFS'.
Once you have the test deposit amount:
  • Click the My Account tab.
  • In the Payment Details section, click Verify this account.
  • In the box provided, enter the test deposit amount that you received in your bank account
  • Click Next. Once you have correctly entered your test deposit verification amount, your bank account will be approved and automatically selected as your form of payment
It usually takes one whole payment cycle to set up an electronic funds transfer.

Check (Cheque) Payment:
The default method of payment is by check (cheque). Google makes check payments of USD $100 or more a month in arrears. Checks are dispatched by surface mail and usually take 3 - 6 weeks to arrive. In most cases checks are made out in the local currency. To activate payments by standard delivery check do the following:
  • Sign in to your account at
  • Click My Account.
  • Click the edit link adjacent to the Payment Details header.
  • Select the Cheque Standard Delivery radio button.
  • Click Continue.
  • Select your desired currency from the drop-down list. You may choose to receive payment in United States dollars, or in your local currency if available.
  • Click Save Settings to save your payment type, or click Cancel to exit this screen without saving.

AdSense Optimisation: Creating Channels 2: Custom Channels

Recall that URL channels can be used to compare how your ads perform on different sites. This is essential information for optimising your site - getting the best results possible with your ad formats and positioning. Custom channels go one step further and allow you to see how a particular page, ad unit, search box or referral button is performing. Each custom channel relates to a different ad characteristic. Think carefully about which ad environments or characteristics you want to monitor and choose descriptive names for each channel.

Set up a new custom channel by generating a channel name and then generating the ad code associated with that channel.

Create a new custom channel name as follows:
  • Log into your AdSense account.
  • Click on the AdSense Setup tab.
  • Click on the Channels link.
  • Select either the AdSense for content, AdSense for search or Referrals tab in the panel that appears.
  • Click Custom Channels.
  • In the box that appears type a memorable and descriptive name for that channel (eg 'homepageleaderboardtop' etc).
  • Click Add Channels to add your new channel name to the Active Channels list.
Now you need to generate the ad code associated with that channel:
  • Click on the AdSense Setup tab.
  • Select either the AdSense for content, AdSense for search or Referrals tab in the panel that appears.
  • Select the desired ad format and colour palette then click Continue.
  • Select up to five custom channels (named previously as above) from the Channel list by clicking the add>> link then clicking Continue.
  • Select the ad code and paste it into your webpage.
To move a page to a different channel simply update the code.

AdSense/AdWords Users - Have Your Say

Users of the Google AdSense/AdWords programs please spend a few moments to complete our short poll. The topic is AdSense account suspension.

I shall publish key findings in a few weeks time.

AdSense Optimisation: Creating Channels 1: URL Channels

The AdSense URL channel setup window.

One of the brilliant things about AdSense is that you can paste your HTML and implement ads on any web page you have control over. Google only vet the primary URL you submit with your AdSense application - where you paste your code after that is up to you. A problem arises that if you have several sites, each with several pages and several AdSense elements you can't easily keep track on which ads are performing and which aren't. You will want to focus your attention on under performing AdSense elements, instead of messing about with those that have a good click-through-rate, but how do you know which ads need fine tuning? By the use of channels is the answer. AdSense allows publishers to monitor their ads using two types of channel - 'URL channels' to see how particular sites are performing and 'Custom channels' to see how a particular type of ad is performing.

URL channels can be used to track ad performance across an entire domain or sub domain. Suppose you had a website which incorporated a forum, guestbook and blog and you wanted to know which of these pages got the most clicks - you can easily achieve this by setting up channels for each of these URLs. URL channels can be used to monitor AdSense for content (traditional ad and link units), AdSense for search (Google search boxes) and Referral buttons.

URL channels are easily implemented as follows:
  • Log into your AdSense account.
  • Click on the AdSense Setup tab.
  • Click on the Channels link.
  • Select either the AdSense for content, AdSense for search or Referrals tab in the panel that appears.
  • Click Add new URL channel.
  • Type the web address for the channel in the box that appears (omit the 'www').
  • Click Create new channel.
You are able to create a maximum of 200 different URL and custom channels combined. Display your individual channel reports by logging into your account, clicking the Reports tab and then clicking the Advanced Reports link.

Instant Traffic

One of the basic principles of AdSense and all other contextual advertising services is that the number of clicks, therefore revenue, is proportional to the number of visitors. Generating a steady stream of high quality visitors can be a slow process, requiring painstaking effort at search engine optimisation. Human nature being what it is, some people aren't prepared to wait for the spiders to crawl over their site and attract search engine traffic. They want traffic, hopefully ad-clicking traffic, as quickly and easily as possible. There are two main solutions - either use a traffic exchange program or buy traffic to your site.

A word of caution before you read further: Google do not approve of or encourage the use of traffic exchange programs by AdSense publishers. Other contextual advertisers have their own policies, which I suggest you read before using a traffic exchange. I am not aware of any publisher getting into trouble just for using a traffic exchange.

Traffic exchange programs come in all shapes and sizes, but the general idea is always the same. You register with the program, surf a selection of other member's sites and they surf your site in return. Typically you earn credits every time you visit the site of another member, which entitle you to so many visits in return. Your visits to each other member's site are timed so that you don't just click continuously from site to site without looking at the content. Normally you have to spend 20 - 30 seconds on each site visited.

Traffic exchange programs are a useful way of generating extra traffic for a new site, but they are unsustainable in the long term - there is only so much time you can spend surfing for credits each day. Furthermore, most users of these programs are more concerned about boosting their own credit total than actually reading, or clicking, on the content of your site. These programs should only be used with other search engine optimisation techniques, otherwise if you stop surfing you stop getting traffic - it's as simple as that. There are also some unscrupulous traffic exchange sites in the business. I would avoid TrafficSwarm. These sites hammer their members with spam email, constantly try to get their members to pay for an upgrade and direct their members to sites with spy ware and viruses. Luckily the high quality traffic exchange programs, BlogExplosion and BlogMad spring to mind, tend to outnumber the cowboys. These programs carefully vet each site submitted to their directory, don't spam their members and give a good traffic return.

If you haven't got the time or the inclination to sit for hours surfing traffic exchange sites, you can always cut to the chase and buy some traffic for your site. The going rate for traffic is about 1 US cent per hit, and you are guaranteed to get these hits as long as you keep paying for them. You can do the maths on this: a first-time click on an AdSense ad usually attracts a payment of between USD $0.20 and USD $2.00: a well optimised site has an AdSense click-through-rate (CTR) of about 5%, so you will probably make back your money and get a little bit of profit just by buying traffic. Again places like BlogExplosion and BlogMad offer traffic buying options, or do a Google on 'buy website traffic'.

In conclusion, you can get instant traffic for your website quite easily. If you have a lot of spare time and patience you can surf for credits on a traffic exchange program or, if you want results even quicker, you can buy traffic instantly. These methods should be employed alongside traditional methods of promoting your site, and I personally would only use them for a new site until genuine traffic started to arrive.

Getting Your AdSense Account Reinstated

You've been slowly and steadily attracting new visitors to your site, you've crawled up the search engine rankings and the AdSense clicks have started to appear. Just as you're on a roll, having accumulated only a few dollars short of your first AdSense pay check, you get the dreaded email from Google:

Hello Joe Bloggs,

It has come to our attention that invalid clicks and/or impressions have been generated on the Google ads displayed on your site(s). Therefore, we have disabled your Google AdSense account. Please understand that this was a necessary step in order to protect the
interest of the AdWords advertisers.

A publisher's site may not have invalid clicks or impressions on any ad(s), including but not limited to clicks and/or impressions generated by:

- a publisher on his own webpages
- a publisher encouraging others to click on his ads
- automated clicking programmes or any other deceptive software
- a publisher altering any portion of the ad code or changing the layout, behaviour, targeting or delivery of ads for any reason

These or any other such activities that violate Google AdSense Terms and Conditions and programme polices may have led us to disable your account. The Terms and Conditions and programme polices can be viewed at:

Publishers disabled for invalid click activity are not allowed further participation in AdSense and do not receive any further payment. The earnings on your account will be properly returned to the affected advertisers.

If you feel that this decision was wrong and can maintain in good faith that the invalid activity was not due to your actions or negligence or those of the people that you are responsible for, such as employees and family members, you may appeal against the closing of your account. To do so, please contact us only through this form:

If Google decides to evaluate your appeal, we will do our best to inform you quickly and will proceed with the appropriate action as necessary. If we have reached a decision on your appeal, subsequent or duplicate appeals may not be considered.

Yours sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team

So what do you do next? Google has very good click fraud detection methods and if they say they have detected invalid clicks and/or impressions you can be fairly confident this is accurate. Probably 99% of AdSense publishers who receive this message have been correctly suspended for violating the AdSense terms and conditions, although most won't admit to it. They have either clicked on their own ads, asked someone else to, or had a 'helping hand' from their friends, colleagues or relatives. So what of the other 1%? The 1% of AdSense publishers suspended from the program because of the actions of an unscrupulous business rival, mischievous trouble-maker or genuine error or omission on the part of Google? If you fall in this 1% you face a difficult challenge - you need to convince Google, who get it right 99% of the time, that they've made a mistake this time. This isn't an easy task, but it is possible.

If you find yourself suspended for invalid clicks and/or impressions, and you genuinely believe you've done nothing wrong, here's what you have to do:
  • Complete the appeal form as fully and accurately as possible. It is a web form so once you send it the data is gone. Be sure to keep a copy of what you write.
  • Pay particular attention to the last 2 boxes of the appeal form: "Any relevant information that you believe would explain the invalid click activity we detected" and "Any data in your weblogs or reports that indicate suspicious IP addresses, referrers or requests". You need to think carefully about what you write here. It needs to be well structured and well mannered. These boxes are your opportunity to explain the suspicious activity and offer evidence to prove you weren't responsible. The importance of keeping accurate visitor logs for your sites can not be over-emphasised. You might like to supply visitor log entries, suspicious IP addresses, whois records or ISP records - the more evidence you provide the easier it will be to convince Google of your innocence.
  • Be honest in your appeal. If your six year old nephew went berserk with the mouse on your AdSense ads tell them that. If you were tidying up a web page and you accidentally clicked an ad own up to it.
  • Be polite in your appeal. Hopefully it will be read by a real person, although this is increasingly unlikely with Google. A person is more likely to read and consider a polite appeal form than one which is rude and insulting. Remember that the person considering your appeal form has probably read a hundred offensive forms already that day - you are at an advantage if you buck that trend.
  • Conclude your appeal form by doing a little grovelling. Tell them how much you respect the AdSense program, how you understand they need to protect their advertisers, how you would be happy for any revenue earned by invalid clicks to be refunded to the advertisers concerned and that you are more than happy to assist them in any further investigation.
  • After you've submitted the appeal, just sit and wait a few days for them to consider it. Within a few days you will get an automatic email reply, nearly always as follows:
Hello Joe Bloggs,

Thank you for your appeal.

After receiving your response, we re-reviewed your account data thoroughly. We have reconfirmed that invalid clicks were generated on the ads on your site in violation of our Terms and Conditions and programme policies.

We have implemented these policies to help ensure the effectiveness of Google ads for our publishers as well as our advertisers. According to our policy on this matter, we are unable to reinstate you into the programme.

Please bear in mind that subsequent or duplicate appeals may not be considered and you may not receive any further communication from us. We appreciate your understanding.


The Google AdSense Team
  • Now for the best bit - you need to complete the appeal form all over again! That's why you need to keep a copy of your first appeal. Do not be put off by the "Please bear in mind that subsequent or duplicate appeals may not be considered and you may not receive any further communication from us." Complete the second appeal form exactly as you did the first. Obviously include any new information that might help you prove your innocence. Google will know you have already appealed. They will also see that your second appeal form agrees with the first, that you remain adamant of your innocence and that you are keen to stay involved with AdSense - all of these are points in your favour.
  • Hopefully a few days later your efforts will be rewarded by your account being reinstated, but this is still by no means certain. At least you've tried your best and can start looking for another contextual advertising service.
Remember that prevention is much better than cure. Minimise your chances of being suspended by keeping an eye on your AdSense account and visitor logs - if you notice anything suspicious, or accidentally click your own ad report it to AdSense support immediately. Normally they are quite understanding.

Preserving Your AdSense Account

One of the main complaints I hear is from people who have been suspended from the AdSense program. Most of them proclaim to have stuck rigidly to the AdSense terms and conditions and, this being the case, they are aggrieved that they have lost what may have been a significant stream of income.

Once you have been suspended from the AdSense program it is very difficult, although not quite impossible, to get reinstated. You will lose your account balance and any potential future AdSense earnings. Most people who are suspended have actually violated the terms and conditions in some way, although many pretend they haven't in a vain attempt to get their account back. Ultimately, the terms and conditions are written in such a way that Google can suspend any member from the AdSense program for any reason they see fit.

Instead of facing a protracted uphill struggle trying to get your account reinstated, it's best to reduce the risk of suspension in the first instance by following these key rules:
  • Never click on your own ads. Never ask anyone else to click on your ads. It is best to avoid telling your friends and family about your website, in case they have the urge to 'help you out' by clicking on your ads. Google have very good click fraud detection and will spot unusual patterns of click activity on your site.
  • Never use any method of generating false clicks or impressions of your ads.
  • Do not display more ads than permitted. On a single web page you are allowed up to 3 AdSense for content ads, 2 AdSense for search boxes, 1 AdSense link unit and two referral buttons for each referral product (updated Jan 2007).
  • Do not modify the AdSense HTML code in any way.
  • Do not place your code on a page with similar looking ads. Competing ads are now allowed as long as they aren't confused with AdSense ads (updated Jan 2007).
  • Do not place your AdSense code on a page with banned content. Banned content includes pornography, illicit drugs, excessive profanity, incitement of religious or racial hatred, gambling, sale of alcohol or tobacco and sites containing copyrighted material to name but a few.
  • Do not place your AdSense code in a pop up window or email.
  • Do not offer any written incentive or inducement to click an ad.
  • Do not try and disguise your ads by hiding them in pictures or otherwise obscuring the text.
  • Avoid artificial traffic generation to your AdSense serving pages. I am referring to programs like TrafficSwarm where you view a site in return for someone viewing your site. Although these aren't technically false impressions - the surfer genuinely wants to visit your page in order to earn visits to their own - they are not encouraged.
It is a good idea to keep checking your AdSense account and visitor logs for suspicious activity. If you see anything untoward report it to AdSense support immediately - they like being kept informed and are less likely to accuse you of a policy violation. Likewise, if you accidentally click one of your own ads let AdSense support know - they understand that accidents do happen and wont penalise you for it.

If you are unlucky enough to get suspended there is a slight glimmer of hope, but that's for another day.

Which Ad Colours?

Three methods of optimising your AdSense colour palette - blending, complementing and contrasting. Blending is recommended in most cases.

One of the great things about AdSense is that you can easily customise your ads to suit your site and target audience. An important aspect of this is getting your ads the right colour. Google suggest three different techniques of colouring your ads - complimentary, contrasting and blended to the colour of the background webpage.

These techniques can be used to minimise 'ad blindness', which is the tendency of users to ignore anything separate to the main content of the site. Ideally we want users to see and read the ads and click on those that they find interesting. It is the flow of text is crucial - someone is more likely to click on an ad because of what it says rather than the colour it is.

Many people think that blending is the most effective method. Blending works better than contrasting because the it maintains the flow of text on the webpage. Blending also gives the impression that the ad link in an integral part of the webpage, thus reducing the ad blindness factor. Contrasting colours will undoubtedly make your ads stand out better on the page, but this mean someone is going to make a conscious decision to click an ad because it is a pretty colour!

For best results blend ads to match the background colour of your webpage. In particular:
  • The background colour and border of the ad match the background colour of the webpage.
  • The colour of the ad link matches the other links on the webpage.
  • The colour of the ad title and advertiser URL match the normal text colour on the webpage.

Ad Placement

AdSense heatmap - general web pages
(image from Google AdSense website).

AdSense heatmap - blog web pages
(image from Google AdSense website).

AdSense heatmap - forum web pages
(image from Google AdSense website).

Now you've considered the most effective ad formats to use, you need to think carefully about where to place them on your web pages. Imagine yourself in the place of the reader - how would you read or view each page? Give particular attention to the following points:
  • On pages where there are articles to read, it is a good idea to place ads at the end of the text. If they have found your text interesting they might be tempted to click on a well targeted ad as a follow on.
  • When a user is viewing a web forum topic they usually look at the opening post, to find out the subject, then scroll down to the final post before adding a reply of their own. It makes good sense to place ads at both these extremes.
  • In the case of a blog it is a good idea to place your ads between posts.
  • Place an AdSense link unit next to where your link list is - you might get lucky when someone clicks it by mistake!
  • Place referral buttons in side bars.
Certain regions of the page tend to be more effective than others. Google have produced some useful heat maps for guidance (images shown above). Remember, it's all a question of trial and error and considering how a visitor is going to view your page.

Which Ad Format?

'Ads by Goooogle' come in all shapes and sizes!

One of the main benefits of AdSense is that you have a wide choice of ad formats which you can customise before displaying in your site. You can easily adjust the ad shapes, sizes and colours to suit your target audience and blend into the content of your page.

The ad formats available are shown here:

Picking the correct formats for your site is a matter of trial and error, but there are a few points you like might to consider:
  • Larger ad formats have more ads to click on and generally a higher click through rate (CTR). However, it is more difficult to blend a larger ad into your site content.
  • Visitors read the content of your site from left to right. Ads which span from left to right, like leaderboards and banners, tend to do better than vertical ads, like skyscrapers and rectangles.
  • Consider using a link unit if you are short of space. These units are small, compact and versatile - they are preferable to having a larger ad format that disappears off the edge of a page!
  • Remember, the maximum numbers of each format you are allowed on any single page are:
    • 1 Link unit
    • 3 Ad units
    • 2 Google search bars
    • 1 Referral button for each product
Remember that these are general rules only. Experiment with different ad formats and see which ones fit your site the best.

AdSense for Seach, Adsense for Content and Referrals

Once you are accepted into the AdSense program you can decide whether you want to use AdSense for Search, AdSense for Content, referrals or a combination of all three. So what do these three options entail?

AdSense for Content:
This is the common format you'll have seen many times before - the traditional 'Ads by Goooogle' boxed adverts and links. You choose from a wide range of ad formats, change the colours to meet your requirements and paste an HTML code into your web page. Google crawl your site for key words and match the ads accordingly. Every time a visitor clicks on one of the 'Ads by Goooogle' you receive a small payment, usually in the range USD0.20 to USD2.00.

AdSense for Search:
This option allows you to place a Google search bar on your site. A site visitor can use the search bar to search your site and/or the web depending on how you set it up. If they choose to search the web and click a sponsored link on the search results page you will receive a small payment.

This option allows you to place referral buttons on your site. The buttons advertise things like Mozilla Firefox, Picasa, Google AdSense and Google Toolbox. When someone clicks on a button and installs the program associated with it you receive a small payment.

Getting Started with AdSense

AdSense registration page - click to enlarge.

Google has made it easier than ever to register for AdSense - simply head for the AdSense home page ( and click on the 'Click Here To Apply' button. You'll then be confronted with a registration form to complete (shown above). The AdSense team will then review your site, check it complies with the AdSense terms and conditions before sending you an email accepting/rejecting you. It usually take a couple of days to hear a reply. It is very important you have fully read, understood and intend to abide by the terms and conditions.

Site Optimisation - Spreading the Word

It is no good having a shiny new Ferrari on your driveway if you don't have any gasoline in the tank. Same goes for websites - it is no good having the best Flash animations, brilliant graphics and interesting content if you have no site visitors. You need to spread the word about your site as soon as you can. You will only attract new visitors, generate advert clicks and earn lots of cash if your site is high in the search engine rankings, has many links pointing to it and stays that way.

Optimise your site by:

1. Getting a domain name:
Very important. If you have to change your host server you will still be easy to find on the web.

2. Submitting to search engines:
Submit your new site to the big three search engines - Google, MSN and Yahoo. Your site will be picked up by MSN pretty quickly - certainly within a few days. Google and Yahoo take slightly longer - sometimes a few weeks. There are many free services offering to submit your site to the search engines - I would avoid these because they attract a lot of spam emails.

3. Submitting to specialist directories:
Let others with an interest in your subject area know about your site by posting the web address in the relevant directories. A list of useful directories can be found HERE. Make sure you post details of your new site in the Open Directory Project ( - they will list you on a giant worldwide directory and submit your site to their hundreds of partner search engines.

4. Sharing your web address electronically:
If you are a member of any web forums make sure you append your web address to your signature. This will instantly place your address on every message you have ever posted on that forum. Email your friends and colleagues with your web address. Change your email settings so that your web address appears in your signature on every future email you send.

5. Sharing your web address manually:
If you have a business card or headed note paper make sure your web address is included. If you advertise in a newspaper, telephone or business directory make sure you include your web address.

6. Additionally, if you keep a blog:
Make sure you keep your blog fresh by regularly adding new articles and images. Be sure to ping Weblogs ( every time you update it so that fellow bloggers can see you've added new content. Keep an eye on your site stats by subscribing to the very good free service offered by StatCounter ( Subscribe to Technorati ( - this will enable fellow subscribers to find and search all your blogs quickly and easily. You may also like to start an RSS feed on your blog - sign up at Anyone who subscribes to your RSS feed can easily see when changes are made and will hopefully revisit your site. It is also a good idea to start a BlogRoll ( - this allows you to add links to your site with a single click, and allows other BlogRollers to easily add you to their site.

Remember - it is very important to keep your site fresh and keep spreading the word.

What's the Catch?

There is no catch - just stick to the AdSense terms and conditions. Any infringement of the terms will be discovered by Google and they will almost certainly ban your account. They are not very forgiving with people who break their rules. Google will act swiftly to remove any suspected AdSense cheats, so that advertisers maintain confidence in the programme.

A massive 43% of Google's income comes from advertising - a very significant proportion which, being a business, they would love to increase further. AdSense is a no lose situation for Google - more sites with AdSense means wider audience, more advertisers attracted, an increased awareness of the Google brand, more clicks on adverts and more money for Google and you.

What is AdSense?

AdSense is a contextual advertising service offered by internet giant Google. The AdSense programme started in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength ever since. AdWords is the programme advertisers enrol in to have their adverts displayed on AdSense.

The distinctive 'Ads by Goooogle' can been seen somewhere on just about every website nowadays. The ads provide a very powerful, far reaching, highly effective method of delivery for advertisers participating in the AdWords programme. AdSense allows web publishers to place real time content-targeted adverts on their sites. AdSense delivers targeted ads by scanning a web page for key words before each page load.

The publisher receives payment, and advertiser pays out, every time an advert is clicked by a site visitor. Sometimes a payment is made for every thousand impressions of the advert bearing pages. The advertiser decides a monthly budget and sets a rate for each click or thousand impressions. Only the advertiser and Google know the value of a particular advert, but it is normally in the region of USD 0.20 - USD 2.00, of which Google keeps about 1/3 and the remaining 2/3 is credited to the publisher's account. Some advertisers are prepared to pay much more than that - figures up to $15.00 have been mentioned for very specialised adverts.

Publishers can keep track of their advertising income online. Payment is made by cheque or electronic bank transfer every time a publisher's AdSense account reaches USD100.00. Anyone with a web site, who can comply with Google's strict terms and conditions, can apply to join AdSense. Google monitor all participating website very carefully to guard against 'click fraud'. Anyone who joins the programme should ensure they are fully compliant with the terms and conditions, otherwise they'll face suspension from the programme and loss of any revenue accumulated.