The Adsense approval process today
Although it’s not quite as easy to just get an instant approval today as it was in the past, the process hasn’t changed.
There are already a bunch of articles online that list guidelines and rules you need to follow, so I’m not going to repeat what they say.
Instead, I’m going to talk about passing the quality standard of the Adsense reviewer who’s going to look at your website.
From what I’ve seen, most people who get rejected aren’t rejected because they were missing something.
It’s because the site didn’t meet the quality standards of the reviewer. It just wasn’t seen as a high quality site that provided value to the internet.
But what exactly is a “high-quality” site that “provides value?”
A lot of the points in this article are my own opinions and not officially stated guidelines in Google’s Adsense policies.
You can disagree and that’s fine, but I think they’re common sense tips since…..
1. It’s a manual review, not an algorithmic review.
The most important thing you have to realize is that an actual Google employee is going to visit your site, click around, and read your content.
It’s not a robot that just crawls around your site to check if you have everything outlined in their requirements list.
That means… some ridiculously smart human being who works for Google is going to visit your site, click around, read your articles, analyze your source code, and then….
Decide that it’s a nice, high-quality website that provides value to readers.
Following the guidelines is just part of the equation.
To pass the manual review process, your site has to be high quality.
So how do you make sure you have a quality site?
2. Make sure you have enough pages
There are a lot of reasons a site can get rejected. But when you do everything right, and still aren’t accepted… this is usually the reason.
From my conversations with others, some people have been rejected with 50+ pages, and some people have been accepted with 10.
These things aren’t set in stone here.
It’s more about the overall quality of the site than it is about the number of pages.
Really… all it takes is just some common sense.
Don’t just order 5-10 articles at $10 each and then submit for approval.
Even with 100 pages… those types of articles seem to be the most common thing amongst sites that were rejected from what I’ve seen.
………..Low-quality, generic 500 word articles full of fluff.
They don’t add value to the internet.
If it were me, I wouldn’t apply until I had at least 5 really in-depth, well researched posts above 2000 words.
These 5 long-form content combined with around 10-20 normal 700-1000 word articles should be enough to please any manual reviewer.
A lot of people buy articles for their site, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But if you’re going to apply for Adsense with a site that’s full of articles that you paid for, make sure you paid a good amount of money.
If your site is full of $5-$10 articles, don’t bother applying.
It won’t get accepted.
Spend at least $30-$50 per article.
It may sound like a lot of money, but it’s the price of a quality article.
3. Make your site about one topic
If you’re submitting a site with less than 100 pages, stick to one topic, and provide value for one specific audience.
A lot of rejected sites I’ve seen are “magazine” type sites that talk about anything and everything.
5 posts about childcare, 5 posts about sports, 5 posts about design, and 5 posts about SEO.
Unless you have 100’s of pages on your site, don’t do that.
Make your topic narrow. Make it about one thing only.
4. Build traffic BEFORE applying
Traffic is not a factor that determines whether your site is accepted or not.
But why apply before you have any traffic? You need traffic to make money.
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes that I see: Applying too early.
Honestly, though…. I really don’t understand this from a logical point of view because everyone seems to do it.
What’s the rush? You’re not getting much traffic at this point. Why not wait until you do before applying, and grow out the site in the meantime?
Build out the site first.
Put out some great content.
Build some backlinks.
Rank for something.
Get some engagement on your site from readers.
There’s no need to rush.
If it were me, I wouldn’t apply until I grew the site to at least 50-100 visitors per day.
5. Wait at least a month
I would prefer you wait until your site is at least 3 months old before you apply, but it really shouldn’t be less than a month old.
You can try it sooner, but it takes time to build and grow some traffic, too right?
Remember, a human being reviews your site.
Quality content is one thing, but if you have a site on a domain that was registered last week, with 20 posts slapped onto it, all published on the same day……
I think it’s a pretty obvious sign that you just threw something up to get your account approved.
6. Stick to a publishing schedule (at least in the beginning)
Show the reviewer that your site is a REAL site that’s here to stay.
A domain registered a few days ago with 20 posts bulk published on the same day, and then none after that, doesn’t show that you have a real site that’s being grown into a quality site.
Show that it’s being grown out consistently.
Stick to a consistent publishing schedule.
Doesn’t have to be everyday, but if you can show that a new post is being added on every X number of days, it shows that the site is providing more and more value to readers as time goes on.
7. Get a premium WordPress theme and a custom logo
Getting a premium WP theme isn’t absolutely necessary, but I recommend it for 2 reasons:
1. Some free themes have spammy links or malicious code written in them.
I’ve tried a few free WP themes where I would see a bunch of links coded into the footer. Usually, they’re links to the theme creator’s own niche sites.
You don’t want anything like that showing up in the review process without you even knowing it.
2. Most free themes don’t have a nice design
It’s tough to find a great looking WordPress theme you can download for free.
It’s easier to find a theme with a design you like and install that instead.
A shiny, custom designed site isn’t necessary to get Adsense approval. But once again… it’s a manual review from a human being and it helps you get a good first impression.
Even I find myself discrediting a lot of sites as soon as I land on them if they don’t have a good, clean design.
If you don’t have a WordPress theme already, I recommend the Newspaper theme.
Getting a custom-made logo for your site isn’t absolutely necessary either.
But again, it helps.
Pixlr is a free online browser that’s pretty robust, and is also what I used to design the RankXL logo.
8. Ditch categories
If you don’t have over 25 posts in every category, ditch categories in your navigation.
I come across a lot of sites that were rejected from Adsense, and this is a common feature that everyone has on their site.
Having categories are a bad user experience if every category you click only has a few pages in them.
I’m assuming people do this to make their site look more vibrant and “full” but it actually has the opposite effect.
9. Link out to other helpful sites
Don’t be a dead end on the internet. Link out to helpful resources and sites.
But don’t just blindly link to random wikipedia pages.
Link to actual helpful resources that support what you state in your articles.
10. Remove any ads from other ad networks
Google gives you a maximum of 3 ad spots for a reason.
Any more than that… and it usually makes your site really spammy-looking.
Your site is there to provide value first, and make money second.
Your site essentially makes money by providing value to readers.
Plastering your page with ads from several networks makes for a bad user experience.
Even if you decide you want to mix in other ad networks in the future, remove them when you submit your site for approval.
11. Build backlinks, but don’t buy backlink packages
Having some nice quality links pointed at your site from established sites is a good thing to have before you submit your site.
This should be common sense, but don’t order any link packages to your site, and don’t submit sites where you have spammy links built on them.
Yes, SEO and Adsense are not related to each other, but no manual reviewer who sees 20,000 comment links built last week is going to take your site seriously.
Just imagine how many spammy sites the Adsense reviewer has to go through in a day.
Remember that for every site that gets rejected, a person had to sit there and go through it.
It’s been said that only 3 out of 1000 sites are accepted.
That means… these reviewers are going through about 997 sites before finding one that meets their standards.
Following the policies and guidelines of what Google wants is important.
But it’s also important to review your site for quality in the shoes of the Adsense reviewer.
If you can do that, you should be able to get your Adsense account approved with no problems.