These days, user-generated content is everywhere, from the comments below newspaper articles, to the photos and videos shared on social networks. So it's no surprise that many publishers are monetizing this type of content with AdSense ads. But, while you're familiar with types of content which are compliant with the AdSense program policies, your users might not be. We understand that it's not always easy to monitor hundreds of new comments, posts, user profiles, videos, or photos every day, so here are a few ideas on how to maintain an advertiser-friendly environment on your pages.
As a quick note before we head into the tips, remember that inappropriate content can come in many forms -- images, forum posts, comments, links, and so on. For example, adult content isn't only limited to pornographic images; it can also be sexually explicit forum posts or spam bot comments with links to adult sites, which aren't permitted by our policies. We recommend reviewing our previous Inside AdSense post on this topic for further clarification and a few tests you can try on your content.
Now for the tips, which we've divided in two sections - 'Prevention' and 'Monitoring'.
Here are some recommendations for ways to prevent your ads from appearing alongside user-generated content that isn't compliant with our policies:
- Publish clear content guidelines and policies that your users will have to accept and adhere to in order to sign up and use your site's services.
- If you own a photo or video sharing site where users are permitted to upload adult or other non-compliant content, clearly structure your content to avoid placing your ad code in sections/categories containing this type of content. The same idea could also be easily applied to online stores with adult sections or to classifieds sites which offer adult dating classifieds.
- Ask users to tag their inappropriate content (e.g. sexually suggestive pictures or videos) as being non family-safe. This can help you perform human evaluations of potentially inappropriate content for AdSense ads. You can also try installing keyword filters for content related to adult topics, violence, or drugs, for instance. While we're unable to provide you with details about setting up these filters for your site, we recommend searching for terms such as "keyword filtering" or "content filtering" on Google.com.
- Implement spambot protection for your comment forms, forums, and guest books. If you need more information on this topic, try a Google search for "spambot protection".
We suggest these tips to ensure that your existing user-generated content pages remain compliant with our policies:
- Set up ways for your community to monitor itself. For example, try adding a "Report inappropriate content" link to your pages, to allow users to flag content for you to review.
- Proactively review pages, videos, photos, etc. with high pageviews on a regular basis.
- Spot-check content based on keywords, content search, or related user accounts. For example, try entering keywords related to inappropriate content in your own search engine and checking the results. Alternatively, you can search on Google.com using the following parameter, replacing 'example.com' with your own site's URL and 'keyword' with a specific word or phrase: "site:example.com keyword".
- Create editorial policies and exercise moderator control in your comments, forums, and guestbook sections.
We hope you find these tips helpful. You can also read related information and suggestions from our Search Quality Team in a recent post on the Webmaster Central Blog. If you have any other ideas, or if you've already implemented similar measures on your sites with user-generated content, please feel free to leave a comment below and share your experience.