Posted:
Today we’re launching a new user consent policy. This policy requires publishers with site visitors from the European Union to ask their permission for using their data.

Why are we doing this?

European Union data protection authorities requested some changes to current practices for obtaining end user consents. It has always been Google’s policy to comply with privacy laws, so we’ve agreed to make certain changes affecting our own products and partners using Google products.

What do you need to do?

If your websites are getting visitors from any of the countries in the European Union, you must comply with the EU user consent policy. We recommend you start working on a policy-compliant user consent mechanism today.

To learn how to implement a user consent mechanism, check out our help center FAQs and visit Cookie Choices, a website dedicated to complying with this new policy.

Posted by Jason Woloz, Security & Privacy Program Manager, Display and Video Ads

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Editor’s note: John Brown, the Head of Publisher Policy Communications, is sharing insights about understanding your traffic and how you can prevent invalid activity.

Last week, I explained why we take invalid activity seriously and how AdSense policies protect users, advertisers and publishers. This week, I’d like to give you some tips to help you keep your account in good standing.

What can you do as a publisher?

Here are some best practices to prevent invalid activity on your site:

  • Monitor your analytics often to spot traffic anomalies. Setting up Analytics alerts can be very useful. For instance, you can set Analytics alerts to see if an unusual amount of traffic comes from a country you wouldn’t expect for your site.
  • Be very careful when purchasing any traffic, and review the traffic provider checklist to help guide your discussions with any traffic provider you’re considering.
  • Double and triple-check your implementation. Make sure your implementation has no programming errors, conforms to AdSense policies, and interacts properly across different browsers and platforms. Having a well-implemented page can protect against unintended consequences, like accidental clicks. 
  • Don’t click on your own ads. Even if you’re interested in an ad or looking for its destination URL, clicking on your own ads is prohibited. Instead, use the Google Publisher Toolbar.

You can find more information about ad traffic quality and best practices on our Ad Traffic Quality Resource Center. I hope these resources help clarify why we care about the quality of the ecosystem and what you can do to comply with our traffic policies. Please share your feedback and do let us know if you have additional questions in the comment section below this post.

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Posted by John Brown
Head of Publisher Policy Communications

Posted:
Editor’s note: John Brown, the Head of Publisher Policy Communications, is sharing insights and answering most common questions about invalid activity.

In this post, I want to stress why we take invalid clicks so seriously and clarify a few questions related to traffic quality and invalid clicks.

Let’s take a step back and think about the digital ad ecosystem. The relationships between Google, advertisers, and publishers are built on trust. A strong and healthy digital ecosystem needs:
  • Users who trust the system and have a good experience,
  • Advertisers safely investing in digital ads,
  • Publishers who can sustain their business.
To protect those relationships, it’s very important to make sure that clicks and impressions are based on genuine user intent. That’s why at Google we have a global team that monitors the traffic across Google's ad network, and prevents advertisers from paying for invalid traffic.

Now, I'd like to address some of the most common questions and concerns from publishers related to ad traffic quality and invalid clicks.

  • What is Google's obligation to publishers?

Google manages advertiser relationships so that you don’t have to. Publishers benefit from our vast supply of ads. To provide ads to your sites for the months and years to come, advertisers must trust our network. Our policies are in place to protect these advertiser relationships, which ultimately protects publishers that work with us as well.

  • What happens to earnings held back from publishers due to invalid activity?

Any revenue found to be from invalid activity is refunded back to the active advertisers, not kept by Google. In 2014, we refunded more than $200,000,000 to advertisers from detected invalid activity. In 2014, we’ve disabled more than 160,000 sites to protect the ecosystem.

  • What can Google do to better communicate policies and enforcement?

We’ve adopted a policy of silence for the most part in order to protect our signals. We find it important to protect our signals so that bad actors cannot detect how we discover invalid activity. Additionally, we are always striving to increase transparency around our communications without compromising our techniques to protect advertisers and publishers. Stay tuned for new features which will help you have more control over your content and stay compliant with the policies.

  • Will Google modify interactions with the publisher community going forward?

We realize that we can improve our communications, especially around warnings, suspensions, and account disablement.  My charge is to do this. I have many people working with me on better education, along with improving the language and instructions around warnings or messages received from Google. I believe that publishers understand much better where they stand at all times when our policies are clear and when we communicate them effectively, and enforce consistently.

I hope you found these insights useful. Check back here next week where we’ll talk about what you can do as a publisher to help us protect the digital ecosystem. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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Posted by John Brown
Head of Publisher Policy Communications


Posted:
When you check your payments history, you might notice a difference between your estimated AdSense earnings and the final amount paid to you. The difference between these two amounts is mostly caused by invalid activity on your site, such as accidental clicks, which are deducted from finalized earnings.

We've received feedback from you that you want to know more about the differences between estimated and finalized earnings. Starting with May’s payment history, you’ll be able to see the invalid activity deductions that cause these differences.  For example, if your estimated earnings were $1,100 and your finalized earnings were $1,000, you now have a better view into how your estimated earnings break down into invalid activity and finalized earnings.

If there is a large difference between your estimated earnings and your finalized earnings, make sure to review these tips. To prevent invalid activity on your site, pay special attention to your site design and traffic acquisition. If you see unusual levels in invalid activity, we encourage you to notify us by using the Invalid Clicks Contact Form.

We hope this will help you understand the differences between your estimated and finalized earnings and how invalid activity affects your payments. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Posted by Justin Chu
AdSense Product Manager

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When it was created in 2011, French company digiSchool was a pioneer by offering free teaching content for which users would otherwise have had to pay. They were growing rapidly. However, they had to make an important decision to grow even further: mobile site or mobile app?

After extensive user testing, digiSchool noticed that mobile apps were best for delivering content like quizzes, lessons, and videos, but a mobile site was better for reading the news. “Depending on the device, a user needs very specific interfaces. We had to figure out whether content worked best on a mobile site or an app.”,  Thierry, co-founder of digiSchool, explains.

They decided to build a mobile site with Responsive Web Design (RWD) to meet their visitors’ needs. This has been key to the success of digiSchool’s mobile site. It has proven to be a scalable, complete solution that doesn't require changes across multiple sites, and has enabled digiSchool’s mobile site to evolve rapidly.

Discover how digiSchool decided to go mobile and how they became a market leader for digital education in France. To learn how you too can provide a great site experience for all of your users, don’t forget to check out our Multi-Screen Starter Guide.



Posted by Anne Goldmann
AdSense Account Manager

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It’s time to share your feedback! To improve our product and services, we send out a survey to a random group of our publishers every 6 months. The next survey will be sent soon and we’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Your feedback and comments are important to us, and we really do read and consider everything you write. Thanks to previous suggestions, we’ve launched a number of new features to improve our services and help you grow your earnings. These include the redesign of the performance reports with a brand new dashboard, Matched content to help you increase engagement with your site visitors, and welcoming Malay and Hindi languages to the AdSense family.
You may receive a survey by email over the coming weeks. To make sure that you can receive the survey email, please take the following steps as soon as possible:


Whether you’ve completed this survey before or you’re providing feedback for the first time, we’d like to thank you for sharing your valuable thoughts. We’re looking forward to feedback!




Posted by Adriana Satmarean
AdSense Publisher Happiness Team

Posted:
"Mobile to overtake fixed Internet access by 2014"* was a memorable headline a few years ago. We're passing the mobile tipping point and seeing a 70% year over year increase from AdSense impressions on mobile devices. This is just one reason why it’s more important now than ever before for your website to be multi-screen friendly. Here are a few more reasons why you should take an action now.

1. Mobile Google Search algorithm has been changed 

Recently, we announced that Google Search uses a website’s multi-screen friendliness as a ranking signal. This means that websites that are mobile friendly are now easier to find than those that aren’t, for users searching on their mobile devices.  If your website is not mobile friendly, this change will affect its discoverability, which may impact your traffic and AdSense long-term revenue.

2. More publishers are seeing success from going multi-screen

Shifting your website strategy to multi-screen takes time. The good news is that more publishers are starting to see a positive impact including: increased traffic, longer user engagement, and higher AdSense performance. Check out these stories from publishers who have successfully shifted to multi-screen: digiSchool, Famous Birthdays, ThriftyFun.com, and more.

3. More resources are available to ease your policy concerns 

Policy concerns, such as ensuring proper ad placement on a small screen, might be one of the reasons stopping you from going multi-screen, so we’ve created some new resources for you. Check out our Policy FAQs for mobile optimized (multi-screen) websites to help you understand what you should consider when placing ads on your mobile site.

4. Additional resources are available to help you go multi-screen

Do you lack the time or the expertise needed to build your multi-screen friendly website? We’ve identified some vendors** who can help you transition to a multi-screen friendly site easily. You can search these vendors by location, type of website, and services provided.

New vendors added in the past 6 months:
Keep your mobile strategy going with our Multi-Screen Guidelines. This guide will give you everything you need to know about multi-screen strategy from the basics to beyond. If you’re starting out, the Starter Guide will walk you through how to build a multi-screen friendly website. If you’ve already got a multi-screen friendly website, the Implementation Guide can give you more tips around monetization, user experience and SEO.

*Mary Meeker, 2012 KPCB Internet Trends Year-End Update
**Note that recommended vendors are independent companies and not affiliated with Google in any way. Google assumes no liability for any vendor's actions.

Posted by Maiko Fujita - Multi-Screen Strategist
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Posted:
As a business owner, content creator, or webmaster, you can have many questions, e.g., when you will be paid, how you can earn more or how you can build a multi-screen website. We've improved our resources and support options to help you find the answers to your questions.

Most of the answers to your questions are available in the AdSense Help Center and in the Troubleshooting section. In addition, you can find answers and exchange ideas with other publishers in the AdSense Help Forum.

To provide a more simplified and personalized support experience, we’ve launched a new Contact us flow in the AdSense Help Center. Publishers consistently earning more than $25 per week (or local equivalent) are eligible to sign up for email consultations with AdSense support (available in 36 languages). If you can't see the “Contact Us” button, you can still reach us via the issue-based troubleshooters in the AdSense Help Center.

For all questions about your AdSense account, don’t forget to explore the AdSense help resources below:

To hear more about new features and opportunities, subscribe to the Inside AdSense blog, follow our Google+ and Twitter channels, and opt in to receiving emails from us.

Posted by Saurav Roy - AdSense Support Team
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Posted:
Today we're introducing Matched content, a free content recommendation tool for AdSense publishers that promotes your content to your site visitors. Matched content generates contextually relevant and personalized article recommendations from the pages on your website.

With Matched content, your visitors can:

  • Discover relevant articles on your site
  • Spend more time on your pages
  • Engage more with your content

This new feature can help you increase your site's page views and ad impressions, and could increase your ad revenue by making it easy for your visitors to find your content. To provide a great experience for you and your site visitors, Matched content is available for sites with multiple pages and high volumes of traffic. Have a look at the site management settings in your AdSense account to see if your sites are eligible to run Matched content.
Adding Matched content units to your site now could help you to grow the number of page views on your site and increase user engagement. You can get the most out of this new tool by checking the best practices in the AdSense Help Center.

We'd love to hear your thoughts about this new feature in the comments section below this post.

Posted by Tobias Maurer, Matched Content Product Manager
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Posted:
Nursingcrib.com provides extra study materials for student nurses, an idea that came to Michelle Bartolome in 2007 when she got frustrated with textbooks and in-person lessons. She and her husband, Deric, thought the Internet must have a better solution, and it did. The Bartolomes created Nursingcrib.com, implemented AdSense, and today the site receives visitors from across the globe. With the ad revenue from Nursingcrib, Deric and Michelle have been able to build their dream home, support their family, and work full time on their website. We asked them to share their tips for other entrepreneurs.

How they got started:

Michelle: The concept of Nursingcrib.com came from me. I happened to take up Nursing as a second course from 2004 to 2006. At that time, Nursing was an in-demand course. Almost 90% of college students were taking it up. First, I just wanted to have a blog where I could share my notes with other aspiring nurses like me. I uploaded several care plans, modules, and diagrams, and instantly it became a hit. It became even more popular when I published the names of nursing board passers, which happens twice a year.



What were their main challenges:

Michelle: It was back in November 2007 when we first hit the $100 minimum AdSense payout. Deric and I were so happy because the dream of having another source of income opened up. By 2008, we were earning enough so that Deric could quit his call center job and go full time with our websites. People thought we were unemployed because we were always at home in front of the computer. They said we could not do it because we were young. They said it was impossible because we were not working abroad. Well, all I can say is that they were all wrong.

How to push through obstacles:

Deric: The biggest challenge was getting the site recognized. At first, I thought it would be easy. But with the Internet being so big, you have to compete with established websites. Learning how to market our new site was the key to overcome every obstacle that came our way. Online business requires fewer people, but it’s still not easy. The main lesson we've learned is that success doesn't happen overnight, it takes time and effort to build your dreams.

Posted by Michelle and Deric Bartolome, co-founders of Nursingcrib.com

Sign up for Google AdSense now and make the web work for you. If you have an AdSense success story, please share it with us.

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