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Google AdSense is one of the most convenient ways of displaying advertisements on your website, and is especially favored amongst website owners and bloggers. As AdSense is provided on behalf of Google, there is very minimal risk involved with payments, and you don't have to worry about your ads being tracked properly.

AdSense offers two types of ads: text and image. Text ads are just links with an additional description, while image ads can be plain images and/or animated images. As you might imagine, image ads will pay significantly more. To be considered for Google AdSense approval, you do have to take into consideration several precautions.

AdSense Alternatives
Image Source: Unsplash – Pixabay.com / License: CC0 Public Domain

Criteria for Being Approved on AdSense

The Google AdSense approval process isn't difficult, and as long as you're not trying to get Google AdSense approved on a site that lacks content, is blacklisted or sells adult material, there usually should be no problem whatsoever.

1. Content You want to make sure that before you apply for Google AdSense you have some sort of content already published on your site/blog. Ideally, you want anywhere from 30 to 50 posts that are of good quality and aren't direct copy/paste from other parts of the web. The more rich your content is, the easier it is to get accepted.

2. Design Google AdSense approval is all about the quality of your website, which means that you should always make sure that your website design is clean and easy to navigate. You don't necessarily have to invest in a premium theme either, but it helps to have a style that reflects colors that work with each other, as well as provides a user experience that's welcoming.

3. Policies One last thing to note is that Google AdSense usually will require of you to have the following pages on your site:

  1. About Us
  2. Contact Us
  3. Privacy Policy
  4. Terms of Usage
  5. EU Cookie Law

Make sure that you investigate each more specifically so that you understand what they mean, you only have to do it once, and this could often be the reason why someone is denied their AdSense application, because these pages are not appearing anywhere.

How to add AdSense Code using a plain WordPress Text Widget

Once approved, you will be presented with the Google AdSense dashboard and the ability to create new ads based on your requirements. A quite convenient and easy way to display Google AdSense on your WordPress website is by simply putting the ad code into a plain text widget and placing it in a favored widget area. For our premium WordPress themes, we have especially implemented several widget areas for advertisements.

Google AdSense
Creating Google AdSense Ad Units

The WordPress text widgets will then display the Google AdSense ad code you have added and the ads will be delivered based on the content of your site and the user behavior. So if you have a site about cars, it's very likely that you'll see ads for car rental services, car insurance or other related advertisements.

By the way, we have implemented additional “Advertising Options” for the MH Magazine WordPress theme which allows you to automatically display ads within the content of your posts and on archives. For more information on that, please see: How to place ads in your WordPress theme.

Display Google AdSense by using a WP plugin

Another way to display Google AdSense ads with WordPress is by using for example the plugin Quick AdSense. After installing the plugin and going to the settings page of Quick AdSense you will be presented with the page as seen in the screenshot below.

Quick AdSense Options
Quick AdSense Options

All of the settings are easy to understand and we probably won't have to explain how to use them. If you are now scrolling down on the settings page you will notice Insert Ads boxes, please see image below:

Ad Locations
Add Ads into the Quick AdSense Plugin

In these boxes you can put your ads that you created from your Google AdSense dashboard. You can specify for the ads to appear on the left side, centered or on the right side. After having specified the locations for each ad, you can scroll back to top on the settings pages and select from the options to assign the locations you want your ads to appear on. All of the locations will be inside of the content area.

Using the Google AdSense Official Plugin

Another solution to use is the Google AdSense plugin published by Google. While there are mixed reviews for the usefulness of this plugin, it does allow you to add Google AdSense ads to pretty much any area of your theme (which not always works without issues), and it comes integrated with the ruleset of AdSense ads. Google automatically determines potential placements for AdSense ads, suggests an initial ad layout, and allows you to lay out ads on your site.

Google AdSense official plugin
Google AdSense official plugin

Common Google AdSense Problems

Google AdSense is a professional advertising platform, so it tries to stick to the rules wherever possible. You might experience this in many different forms, so here's a list of the most common Google AdSense problems that webmasters may encounter when using AdSense.

1. Ad Limits

Standard AdSense publishers get a maximum of 3 display ads per each page. If you're trying to get more than 3 ads to show up on a single page, you either risk losing your AdSense account, or the ads will simply not show up at all. These limits can be removed by becoming a premium publisher, but your site needs to be one of the best in the world, or close to it.

2. Low Earnings

Any website has a specific niche it works from, so there is never guarantee that your content is going to yield big and expensive clicks. The other thing is ad placement, how you position your ads to engage user activity on them. One of the most important steps to take when starting AdSense is to test every possible situation and placement, so that you can gather data on what works with your visitors and what doesn't.

3. Ads Not Displaying

Sometimes you might have to deal with issues such as blank ads, or ads not showing up at all. Here's a checklist to verify any potential issues:

  • Wait up to 48 hours: It takes up to 48 hours for Google to verify newly placed ads, don't rush to quick judgements before getting verified.
  • Offer quality content: Ads must be placed on pages with content in order to show up properly, so make sure your site offers unique, quality content.
  • Find & eliminate obstacles: Check if you're running an AdBlocker, or find out if the CSS of your theme is blocking ads from showing up on your website.
  • Compliance of your content: Always make sure that your content is fully compliant with AdSense terms.

Other than that there should be no issues with getting your Google ads to work.

AdSense Banner
Image Source: Unsplash – Pixabay.com / License: CC0 Public Domain

Notable Alternatives to Google AdSense

AdSense is certainly a huge advertising network, and many webmasters love it because of its simplicity, but sometimes it's worth looking into alternatives as they might provide better revenue rates for the niche that you're working with.

  • Adversal — Adversal is an ad network providing pop under and banners advertising for advertisers. They have high quality publishers mostly from the two countries US and UK.
  • MediaNET — MediaNET combines both Yahoo! and Bing for a powerful combination of advertising potential, whilst providing a privately-funded publisher platform that's home to hundreds of advertisers.
  • Chitika — Chitika is home to more than 300,000+ publishers and has been known to partner with top-tier advertising companies to provide the best results and revenue.

The ways to advertise online are always growing, and ad networks are just a tiny part of the solution. Sponsored content, product sales, affiliate marketing are just amongst the few of the many names that you may come across when exploring web advertising.

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