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Are Bikini Pictures Considered "Adult Content" to Google Adsense?

Trying to understand vague Adsense program policies

   

DXL

5:23 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I manage an entertainment site that contains a great deal of original content. A fraction of the site's pages and posts contain photos of celebrities and known models wearing bikinis.

Adsense messaged me a link to one page with such content, pointing out:

Google ads may not be placed on adult or mature content. This includes any site which contains:

full nudity
pronographic images, videos, or games
pronographic cartoons or anime (hentai/ecchi)

For more information about keeping your content family-safe, please review our program guidelines and these tips from the policy team.


So I removed the content from the site. A week later, that particular site was banned from Adsense (though the account as a whole was not banned). So I reviewed their program guidelines once more:

The AdSense network is considered family-safe, which means that publishers aren't permitted to place Google ads on sites which contain #*$!ography, adult, or mature content. If your site has content which you wouldn't be comfortable viewing at work or with family members around, then it probably isn't an appropriate site for Google ads.


I have yet to find a concrete answer from Adsense online as to whether or not bikini pictures specifically violate their program policy. I'm talking the same kind of pictures you can find in magazines at your local supermarket. The same kind of swimsuits you see every time you go to a pool or the beach (where people go with family members).

How can anyone tell when you've moved into "adult content" territory?
7:27 am on Aug 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member swa66 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



jbayabas: how about all of us reporting your sites ?
Will you just get the robot and a mandatory change, or will your sites/account be banned (for life) ?

See the problem now ?

What you did is far worse than Google's automation of complaints.
The real problem behind that is the overly conservative mentality (for what's Google concerned in the USA) that's only growing and becoming far worse. Either start to change that, or learn to live with it.
11:04 am on Aug 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



When your company is as successful as Google is, then you can tell them what to do.


This constant idea that because google is successful they get to do whatever they want is absurd. With success comes responsibility and if they fail to act responsibly that is what government is for.
2:35 pm on Aug 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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This constant idea that because google is successful they get to do whatever they want is absurd.


I am not saying that they should get to do anything they want. I am saying that if you play this particular game, then you know that Google is pretty much in charge. If you didn't research that before getting in, then you shouldn't be doing this. If you are in it now and do not like the fact that this is Google's universe, then take Adsense off your site and get out. Find another way to monetize. Good luck finding anything that comes close to Adsense. Too many people seem to want to complain about Google but are more than happy to accept the Adsense check they receive each month.

DXL

2:57 pm on Aug 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Oh my, what a spirited discussion this has turned into.

I just got a response from Adsense support on their mature content policy. They suggested that I remove all swimsuit pictures from the website before filing an appeal, to be on the safe side. But the Adsense rep also added:

It's not necessarily just the fact that these pictures contain women in swim suits/bikinis, but our policy team also takes in to account the person's pose, cleavage exposure, and the general nature of the image (meaning is it meant to be sexually gratifying).


Which at least is more specific than the program policy detailed on their website. Although the "sexually gratifying" part is still very subjective.
3:06 pm on Aug 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Although the "sexually gratifying" part is still very subjective.


I don't think swimsuit pictures are adult per se. I've photographed models in bikinis and speedos, and adsense allow them. It's the person's pose - suggestive / sexually gratifying - that is not allowed. Though I agree with you, this can be very subjective, especially if the photograph is artistic in nature.

Swa66 may be right:

The real problem behind that is the overly conservative mentality (for what's Google concerned in the USA) that's only growing and becoming far worse.
3:09 pm on Aug 9, 2013 (gmt 0)



Oh wow..."Sexually Gratifying"...good luck trying to define that ...LOL. Anyway, it just reinforces what I said at the beginning of this discussion:

"Grandma Friendly" and grandma is extremely religious and easily offended is a more appropriate guideline.

DXL

3:38 pm on Aug 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Here's where it gets more confusing. If I Google "bikini girls" the results on the first page contain photos that would seem to violate Google's policies (close-ups of body parts with no faces, suggestive poses, women wearing pasties, etc). Yet some of these sites are very clearly serving Google ads. Are they getting a pass simply because no one has complained yet, or because of the ad revenue they generate?

Since the only complaints I've received from Adsense are about photos on an accompanying blog (and not the main site), I'm also wondering if I should simply switch to a different ad company for the blog. I would imagine the ad earnings would drop, but then Google would never have their ads served next to content they deem questionable.
3:44 pm on Aug 9, 2013 (gmt 0)



I would make that switch...do everything you can to protect your main site and it's AdSense earnings.

DXL

3:57 pm on Aug 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Any suggestions on an alternate ad company? I've been poking around the source code of a few sites to see what they use, but I don't know which ones will have the better earnings on average.

But for clarification, the blog actually generates more traffic and subsequent ad revenue than the main site.
11:53 am on Aug 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Here's where it gets more confusing. If I Google "bikini girls" the results on the first page contain photos that would seem to violate Google's policies (close-ups of body parts with no faces, suggestive poses, women wearing pasties, etc). Yet some of these sites are very clearly serving Google ads. Are they getting a pass simply because no one has complained yet, or because of the ad revenue they generate? 



Yup, no one has complained yet. Mind you, Adsense ads for bikinis, lingeries, underwear, and personals are even more suggestive. Such hypocrisy and double standard. 

Sadly, there's no alternative ad network that comes even close to Google's earnings. You really have no other choice but to clean up your site to pass Google's antiquated grandma conservative rules. That is if your goal is making money. If not, you can get rid of Adsense and stick with low paying alternative ad networks.
4:03 pm on Aug 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Google's antiquated grandma conservative rules


Some people don't mind these rules.
7:47 pm on Aug 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Adsense changes its policy to often and without warning, as it did with poker...
7:55 pm on Aug 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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If not, you can get rid of Adsense and stick with low paying alternative ad networks.


The way things have been going for a lot of us there's no difference.
10:02 pm on Aug 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The way things have been going for a lot of us there's no difference.


Indeed! Yesterday Chitika almost equaled Adsense.

DXL

11:46 pm on Aug 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I brought up on my previous post that a robot checks the site and not a real google employee


I asked an Adsense rep whether or not an entire page has to be removed, or just content that violates their program policy. I also asked whether or not the changes are checked via robot or by an employee. The response:

Make sure you remove all offending content. In some cases it is an image, sometimes it is an image and text. We manually review all appeals.
12:01 am on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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"in some cases", "sometimes"... Google has a way with words. So if you're a paranoid webmaster, you don't have no choice but to remove the whole page.

"we manually review all appeals." I was right all along -- they do manual check on appeals when your site is already disabled, but not the initial report violation.
12:17 am on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



No, that's not what was said. What was said was ONLY that they manually review all appeals. They don't say anything about the initial violation, so stop making out like you know something you don't.
1:11 am on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Netmeg, google is very clear:

"We manually review all appeals."

They did not say: "We manually review all reports or changes."

Appeals are different. They have a violation ID which you need to fill out in the form.

You have no clue at all since you've never been in that situation.

How reports violation works: a visitor reports a violation >> publisher gets 3 day warning to make changes to his site >> robot detects no changes >> Adsense disable site >> webmaster files APPEAL >> google manually reviews appeal.
12:34 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Are you out of your mind? Do you really think Google tells you everything they do? Or that if they don't mention it, it can't be happening?

Honestly, I've had it with this guy.
12:46 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)



His perception is his reality.
12:49 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I don't care if he believes it, I care that he is misleading people who may not know better yet.
1:02 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Yes, you don't have to believe me. That's your right. You've never been in the same predicament as the OP.

OP gets a warning. He makes changes to site. But still ban a few days later because robot detects no changes as the whole page is still live and displaying Adsense. Had it been manually check, his site would not have been disabled because he already made changes per googles instructions.

 You do not need to contact us if you make changes.


There's a reason why they don't allow you to contact them when you make changes because the robot checks it automatically. Don't you find it strange why you can't contact them for specifics? *shakes head*
4:22 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Ah, logic is so boring compared to leaping off the crumbling cliffs of an unsubstantiated conclusion with a make-believe parachute. Just because A is in the B set doesn't mean that it or isn't also in the C set. I know people who took logic in college specifically so they could learn how to advertise to people using illogical techniques i.e. by employing fallacious reasoning to create the appearance of proving a point. I could easily see that as clever and insightful. Then again, there are those who never even bothered with the subject but still insist on having a grasp of it. But I digress from the point of this thread. Seems to me that if one wishes to flirt with G's vague rules based on flawed conclusions, one is liable to end up riding naked down some slippery street, on the back of a straw horse while screaming semantic ambiguities at at a crowd of onlookers (all with cell phones) who will then post the whole affair on YouTube. And then someone else can as the question, "Can I post Google Ads next to my video of a naked guy riding down the street on a...?"

Some conversations are just not worth having.

But then again, I'm a sucker for a meaningless conversation every now and then. So, if titillating Google's review bot/team/cybernetic organism or whatever with borderline content is your thing, then we should definitely discuss the finer points of how to defend yourself with illogical arguments.
5:55 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I just think it is time that we all accept that jbayabas knows everything and that the rest of us, even those of us who have been doing this for years and have even been invited to by Google to Capitol Hill, know nothing.
9:27 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, Ember.
11:13 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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and have even been invited to by Google to Capitol Hill


I would consider that punishment more than an honor.
12:59 am on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I would consider that punishment more than an honor.


Dare I say, "capitol punishment?" (sic)

DXL

9:14 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I have gone through the website and removed anything that Adsense may consider a policy violation. I submitted an appeal, and will let everyone know the results.

There's a reason why they don't allow you to contact them when you make changes because the robot checks it automatically.


If Adsense tells you that they will review your site in exactly three days, why would they have their service reps burn up time corresponding with someone in the meantime?

Also, I noticed that you haven't addressed one important question with respect to your theory on robots checking to see if an entire page has been removed. What happens if your site's homepage happens to have a single image that violates the policy? Are you suggesting that you'll automatically catch a ban because Google will send a robot in three days and not get a 404 error for your index file?
11:48 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Once you submit an appeal, a real employee will review your site. Expect to receive a reply within 5 business days.

The 3 day warning has no reply. You won't be able to contact them. They will only reply to you during the appeal process, per above.

Violations are usually found on secondary pages, not homepage. But if the violation is found on the homepage, you won't receive a warning -- a real employee will check and ban your site right away, in which you will be given a chance to appeal.

DXL

9:52 pm on Aug 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Adsense rejected the appeal, and said that it still found content that violated their program policy. They did, however, suggest that I could still go through to remove content, and then file another appeal.

To get a better idea of what needed to be removed since I cleaned up the site, I sent an email to an Adsense rep I had been in touch with. Instead of offering suggestions, she simply said that once a site is found to have content violating the program policy, that site can never serve Google ads again.

I'm getting some very conflicting messages here. Does anyone know if the suspension is permanent, or if I can still file an appeal? Because even the Adsense employees can't seem to agree on this.
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