I have a web-social tutorials site, started about six years ago, slowly added more content, grew its traffic. At that time, I had AdSense on it, and though the site was not niche/product focused and did not have high traffic, the income steadily grew in time.
At one point, I was not happy with AdSense and decided to remove it. The site stayed active with no monetization, and no new content for about three years. I had some informative, helpful tutorials there and wanted people to reach them even if I did not make a dime off it.
A few months ago, when I checked the traffic logs, I noticed that even though I had not added a single word for so long, the traffic was not so bad. So, I wanted to add AdSense again, as it would at least pay for its hosting and domain itself.
When I checked my AdSense account, I realized that my site had been marked inactive and it needed a re-evaluation before displaying ads on it again. This, as I learned later, was due to a new rule by Google, that if a site does not display ads for six months, it needs a re-evaluation.
Well, I submitted it for review, and got rejected only in a few hours. I was surprised, as my expectation was quick approval, since I had AdSense on it before. So my research started, as to why it got rejected.
I scanned forums, blogs, any site related to AdSense, went through Google AdSense Help articles, did a few changes on my site and submitted it again the next day.
It got rejected again in a few hours.
It got rejected again in a few hours.
At that point, I lost hope, quit trying for AdSense, at least for that site. That was about two months ago.
Last week, when I checked Google Search Console, I noticed that my site's index was fully updated, so I said why not submit one last time now that the index is fully updated.
I am glad I did, because after about two days, it got approved this time. Apparently, the initial rejections were done via bots and the approval was done manually, since it took long.
I believe I now have a better grasp of how a site should be in order to get approved by Google. Since I spent much time researching how to get approved, I wanted to share my notes and tips with fellow warriors who want to get their sites approved. I hope it will be helpful to some of you.
In my research during this period, what I understood is that if you have an established site with high traffic like thousands+ a day, Google seems to be not so strict about their rules. But if the site is relatively new or gets little traffic, then they make it hard to get in.
What I believe Google seeks in a (new) site is as follows:
CONTENT SHOULD BE
- Specific (to satisfy search/keyword intent)
- Not Published Elsewhere
- Text Majority
- No List of Things
- No Quotes or Excerpts (use image screenshots if needed)
- would enjoy
- can't find elsewhere
- would bookmark
- would share
- would visit again
And here is a list of the edits I did on my site before re-submitting:
- Removed AdSense tag from category pages, menu pages (about, contact, privacy etc.), pagination pages. Basically, from non-content pages.
- Removed over 300 pages with a) little or low quality content, b) no longer relevant content, c) unintentionally misleading content.
- Removed all affiliate links.
- Removed "Please share this post if you liked it..." kind of call to actions and sentences at the end of posts.
- Added 1 new post. The last post was like from three years ago.
- Reviewed backlinks in Google Search Console and submitted a disavow file to get rid of spam backlinks.
- Prepared a .txt sitemap and submitted it to Google Search Console, to speed up indexing after removing so many pages.
Also, make sure to go over Google AdSense Help section, and if you make changes on your site, make sure the index is fully updated before applying.
Good luck on your application, and whatever kind of site you build, please remember to make it a useful/helpful one.