In the blog community, one of advice I often give with regards to generating money is not to earn at all. At least, not in the beginning or until such time when a blog receives a lot of organic traffic. Even so, serving ads may not be in the best interest of the audience. For instance, Google AdSense serves pornographic ads.
Before continuing, here is a fair warning and a disclaimer.
1. This post contains language that some people, depending on context, may find offensive. Some people may also view the same material as outright pornographic.
2. I have included screenshots from two external websites. Both have no part in this, and they have no control over what Google AdSense serves.
I have nothing against advertising. If bloggers can earn money, then that helps in compensating for the cost and time. Let me also state that putting up ads comes with a responsibility to the audience.
As the publisher of our personal or commercial space, we control what visitors see and read.
Is it not true that our blog is a web representation of our character or intentions?
Deceptive Marketing Pages
Before discussing Google AdSense, let me share an experience I had in the past to set the tone.
A contextual ad company asked me to try their platform which has the same idea as Outbrain. By adding a piece of code, it enables a site to display sponsored content – the same ones seen on CNN, for example.
Contextual means that it shows ads related to the content of the original post. I tried it on an old blog, and it worked. For instance, I have an article on safety concerns in losing weight. The ad platform displayed sponsored content related to weight loss.
I checked out one of the articles, to see if it is true that the company filters the advertisers.
Here is what I found out.
It took me to a page where an individual talked about her personal journey using a product to lose a lot of weight. Of course, the intent is to sell the fantastic product.
Reading the comments section, there were a lot of testimonials. Several stated how they followed that post and in X months, they lost Y kilos. It was a lame attempt though, as the original post was published only a couple of days before my visit.
Suffice to say, I removed the platform from my blog.
I am not about to let even one reader visit a deceptive page.
Google AdSense Policy on Adult Content
Serving AdSense on a blog is one way to earn an income. But Google is picky and stringent before approving a website. In fact, they are so strict that many bloggers feel proud once accepted to the program.
Looking at their policy, they do not allow publishers to display ads sites with adult content.
- Nudity and pornography
- Sexually gratifying content
- Fetishes and sexual aids
- Mail order brides, escort services, adult or sexual dating sites
- Adult links to external sites
- Adult search results
- Explicit text and extreme profanity
- Comment spam
- Sexual tips and health
For more details, head over to their policy page on adult content.
There are two sides to Google AdSense. Bloggers, in this case, are the publishers. Of course, there are the advertisers as well.
On Google being strict with websites serving ads, there is no question at all.
How about the advertisers using Google AdSense?
Google AdSense Displaying Pornographic Ads
I keep seeing pornographic ads that are distasteful and offensive for weeks already. Finally, I decided to use incognito mode to confirm what I already knew. For the uninitiated, browsing in this way ensures that there is no personal history to influence what is served by Google AdSense.
Here is the first one.
See the ad written in the Filipino language?
Loose translation: Do you want to have three hours of having an erect penis? I will fuck housewife for three hours.
Friends, that is Google AdSense displaying an offensive ad in an article on creating a blog.
Here is another one.
Loose translation: Housewife, I will fuck for 12 hours. Guaranteed pleasure all night.
Again, the same advertiser appears in AdSense network. Google is strict in accepting publishers that many in the industry feel repressive. Yet, they are lax in allowing these kinds of ads.
Pornographic ads appearing in different kinds of articles and sites. In this case, it is from a news site reporting about a Filipina winning a writing contest.
Being Responsible Displaying Ads
It has been years since I used AdSense. But I still maintain an account because I had been experimenting a little with advertising.
Anyway, Google is supposed to display contextual ads. In other words, these are ads from their network of advertisers that are related to the content.
So, pornographic ads are relevant to creating blogs and winning contests?
It is not my place to tell bloggers and other website owners what to do. For the income from AdSense to matter, the site has to have tens of thousands of visitors a day. Once the amount of money becomes significant, will these owners even think of their responsibility to the audience?
As for me, I maintain that it is better to work with individual brands rather than show random ads.
Friends, I really want to hear your thoughts on this matter. Please leave comments to share your insight.