August 9th, 2011 | Published in Google Adsense
If you’re an avid blog reader, you probably remember blog series like AdSense Facts & Fiction and Newbie Fridays. After much demand, we’re excited to announce that we’ll be delivering more frequent policy posts. Every month, we’ll be taking a closer look at our policies to provide clarifications, best practices, and tips.
This week, we’d like to revisit one of our longest standing and most asked about policies: adult content. As every AdSense publisher should know, ads may only be placed on family-safe content. Because the label “family-safe” is a general term that differs among all countries and cultures, we often receive questions asking for clarification on what we consider adult content.
Prohibiting sexually explicit pornographic images is straightforward, but publishers often unknowingly overlook some of the more subtle content that can be intended for a mature audience. Examples can include adult toys or fetish sites, sheer/see-through clothing, and lewd or provocative poses (even if clothed) that have sexually gratifying overtones. This rule applies to links or ads that drive traffic to adult or mature content too.
Something else to keep in mind is that images are not the only elements that are considered adult. Text that is sexual in nature is considered adult content as well. Some examples include articles with sexual health tips (including medical-related advice), erotic stories, and comment spam with adult keywords (most commonly found on sites with user-generated-content).
When in doubt about whether an image or text might be construed as adult content, our rule of thumb is this: if you wouldn’t want a child to see the content or if you would be embarrassed to view the page in front of colleagues, then it’s probably not family-safe and you shouldn’t place AdSense ad code on it. We appreciate your help in making the network a balanced ecosystem where users, publishers, and advertisers can grow and thrive together.
Cecelia Choi, AdSense Policy team
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