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AdSense Rejection

What makes a site a 'search engine'?



8:00 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I have a fairly good dynamic site with over 20,000 pages and around 1000 hits/day and today I applied for AdSense. About 30 minutes later I got my rejection letter because of "Type of site". I checked in my logs and saw someone from adz.google.com come into my site and look only at my home page.

I think the reason I did not get in was because they classified my site as a seach engine but it really is not. Every single one of my pages is available through a site map and the pages are not dynamicly generated depending on search terms.

Why is google so opposed to displaying ads on search engine type sites anyway (even thought I dont really consider mine to be one of them!)

Just wondering if anyone wouldnt mind taking a look and letting me know if that is why I was rejected and if anyone has any ideas how I could get myself in.

If you want to know the site URL I will sticky it to you if you let me know.

Thanks in advance!


8:10 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Could be because of your ads for ************.com at bottom left

I have no idea of their criteria for this sort of thing.

Also if you look at a sub-section at random, there is very little info there.


8:23 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Maybe it was the amount of content {or lack of}. How much actual content is there besides the listings?


8:27 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Your site may look like a search engine, otherwise Google wouldn't reject it. Though I would love to check it out for myself. Good luck and try applying again.


8:59 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The problem is the google editor never saw any ads, which I only have 1 of. And they also didnt see any content (or lack there of) since the logs show that they only took a look at / (my index page).

I sent an email back asking for a more clear explanation of the rejection so hopefully they will get back to me some time.



9:09 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hey Kevin,

Please take this as constructive criticism. I checked out your site and I think you may be offering something nice, but your layout needs to make it clearer or nicer somehow. I can understand how he would view it.

I've been there before, working like crazy until you can't even tell what a new visitor to your site will react. Forest for the trees kind of thing. I learned a big lesson after paying Yahoo $200 bucks only to be rejected. 1. Never pay Yahoo $200 :) and 2. Ask newbies to look at your site and tell you what they think.

Also, just clicking around a few pages I got a script error...

I would never have guess you have 20k of pages...


9:16 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I like your site - its clear, uncluttered and easy to use.

However, while your (profile) site doesn't rememble a search engine as such - neither does it look - on intial appearance - full of content.

The only (obvious) way to get content IS via the search facility at the bottom of the screen - hence editors could come to the conclusion that its a "search engine" of sorts.
Re-enforcing this view is that all your "pages" aren't really seperate pages - but is the one (dynamic) page with multiple parameters. I'm not up to speed on whether adsense can view these as seperate, but human editors could easily mistake this as a searchengine-type feature (search engines use this type of url).

If you don't get more feedback from adsense, and really want to try to get it on your site, you could try the following:

Display traditional links to your content on your first page. It doesn't have to be all the links thats on your site map, as you can categorise it into sub pages.

Convert all your content into seperate pages - i.e. /keyterm1/filename.asp /keyterm2/filename.asp
- This doesn't mean converting them to html (though you can do it that way). You could simply have the same script on all these pages (use an include file?) with the variables within the page - this way it still comes from a database. With 20,000 pages-worth of content I'd look at dynamically creating files and folders (I've managed this in C+, but not with scripting languages)!


9:26 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)


Had a quick look at your site and the first sentence states that it is a search engine.

I would have thought that the Google Adsense member of staff would have read that and realised it was against the policies to accept search engines.

Of course your site is not what many of us would call a search engine and I would suggest that a reply to the Google Adsense team would be worthwhile just for you to clarify how you intend to use the Adsense service.

Good luck - the team at Adsense are very helpful :)



9:43 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Thanks for pointing out the words 'search engine' its been so long since we wrote that, I had forgotten it was there. I guess I will need to rewrite that copy! The 'search engine' was mostly there just for the users...I dont expect the the users of my widgets to be very tech-savy.

I was wondering also why would google be so concerned about showing ads on a page that shows some kind of search result?

Thanks again for your help!


9:53 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"I think the reason I did not get in was because they classified my site as a search engine but it really is not."

This is basic writing - the first paragraph of your site is your description.

“Welcome to CustomScoreCards.com! The golf world's premier search engine”

Am I missing something? You call (identify) yourself a (as) search engine.


9:56 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

The main reason I would guess that Google would not want to show the Ads on a Search Page result is that serps are created after a user input on the fly (not sure that is the right technical terminology) - and Google Adsense adverts run from pages being crawled.

I would not think anyone could expect Google to crawl all pages that result from a user input on a search engine and display a relevant content targetted ad on the fly. (does that make sense - I think I understand what I am trying to say - the content targetted ad would only work if the serps page was matched to Adsense in an instance)

In addition Google maybe would wish to negotiate on a one to one basis about providing adword results to search engines.

But of course this is only guessing.



10:50 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Yes I stated in the above post that the 'search engine' thing was incorrect and is now fixed.


I think you are correct about the search engine thing. I think that is why google does not want ads displayed there as well. All the querys on my site however are spiderable (and some but not all have been spidered/indexed) so I will wait for a reply from google and see how it goes!

I will let you guys know what happens!

Thanks again!


6:11 am on Jul 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've looked at the site in your profile, and it's hard to find the content--or even to figure out what the site is about. It's possible that the AdSense employee who looked at your site didn't see the "site map" link and missed out on your vast collection of golf scorecards.

It's also possible that there simply wasn't enough spiderable content on the site to pass muster with AdSense. By "spiderable content," I mean text. AdSense's MediaPartner bot might not be able to get enough information from your scorecard captions to display appropriate ads.


11:57 am on Jul 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

My site is a search engine of sorts (actually more a mini-Yahoo directoty, although it says search engine quite clearly in title and first paragraph) yet was accepted no problems. However, all pages are also available by drilling down the directory categories and these pages are the only ones I put the ads on (not the site SERPs).

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