Google announced two changes to its AdSense network today that it says will increase transparency about how it deals with violations and removes ads from websites.
First, AdSense’s technology has been changed so it can now remove ads from individual pages, instead of entire websites. Previously, Google usually removed ads from every page on a website after a policy violation, instead of just the pages with offending content.
Second, Google will launch a platform in a few weeks called the “Policy Center” to help website publishers understand the program’s rules and fix violations more quickly.
In a post on The Keyword, one of Google’s official blogs, Scott Spencer, the company’s director of sustainable ads, wrote “as we roll out page-level policy action as the new default for content violations, we’ll be able to stop showing ads on select pages, while leaving ads up on the rest of a site’s good content. We’ll still use site-level actions but only as needed. And when it’s necessary, such as in the case of egregious or persistent violations, we’ll still terminate publishers. Altogether, this means fewer disruptions for publishers.”
Of course, this also means less disruption and more money for Google, since it shares revenue from AdSense with publishers.
AdSense’s new Policy Center will give publishers information about how many violations their sites have, what issues triggered ad removals, and step-by-step instructions about how to fix the problem so they can start displaying ads and making money again. Spencer referred to this as a “one-stop shop for everything a publisher needs to know about policy actions that affect their sites and pages.”
The Policy Center is intended for website publishers who use AdSense, but YouTubers who monetize their videos through the program will also be curious about how it affects them. That is still unclear, however: Spencer said in his blog post that “later this year, we’ll be adding policy centers in other publisher platforms in addition to AdSense,” but he did not specify which ones.
Many YouTube creators have seen their ad revenue drop dramatically since Google made changes to how ads are displayed on its ad network and YouTube. The changes, which include different default settings, more account controls for advertisers, and a hiring spree to develop new artificial intelligence tools, were implemented after companies began boycotting Google because their ads appeared next to offensive videos.
YouTubers, however, have complained that the new controls unfairly penalize even videos that adhere to the platform’s policies and asked Google to be more transparent about how its moderation by people or algorithms work.