Publishers are the backbone of the open web—the content creators, journalists, amateur videographers and our go-to guides for information. Fifteen years ago, we decided to help publishers make money from their content by starting AdSense, our first publisher platform. And today, our ad platforms are used by millions of publishers, large and small, as a way to grow their businesses. In 2016, we paid out more than $11 billion to our publisher partners from advertising.
Policies play an important role in protecting the open web. They ensure publishers have a sustainable way to make money through our ads platforms, setting rules about what we do and don’t allow. For example, publishers can’t just have a site full of ads. Our policies exist to balance publishers’ needs with those of our users, advertisers and all of the parties that depend on it to keep the open web going.
One of the top requests we hear from publishers is that they want more transparency about how we respond to policy violations on their content. They want more information about why we remove ads on their websites and more help to resolve issues quickly, minimizing the impact on their bottom line.
Today we’re announcing two updates, based on direct feedback from publishers, to how our policies are enforced and communicated to publishers.
Policy actions at the page level
We’re introducing a new technology for policy violations that allows us to act more quickly and more precisely when we need to remove ads from content that violates our policies. Historically, for most policy violations, we remove all ads from a publisher’s site. 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.
A new Policy Center for publishers that use AdSense
We’re also announcing a new Policy Center as a one-stop shop for everything a publisher needs to know about policy actions that affect their sites and pages. We have been piloting this Policy Center with thousands of AdSense publishers, who have been very positive about these changes—and provided great feedback and suggestions on how to make the Policy Center more useful.
In just a few weeks, all AdSense publishers will have more transparency about why policy actions were taken and the violations found, including page-level action data, so they can quickly resolve these issues across all their sites and pages using step-by-step instructions. The Policy Center also makes it easy for publishers to tell us when policy issues have been resolved and their pages are ready for review.
Later this year, we’ll be adding policy centers in other publisher platforms in addition to AdSense.
With this launch, we’re moving two steps closer to our goal of making it easier to understand how our policies work so that publishers can drive their businesses forward, using Google ad platforms.