Google Flip-Flops on Removing Adult Websites from its AdSense for Domains Program

In April, Adult Video News reported that Google was removing adult websites from its AdSense for Domains program. Google’s ad programs help websites and domain owners generate revenue. AdSense for Domains generally serves high-volume clients. Google’s April email to clients stated:

“[W]e at Google are
constantly working to improve the experiences of advertisers,
users and AdSense partners. This change brings our AdSense
for Domains program more in line with our AdSense for Content
program and will also increase the attractiveness of the
AdSense for Domains network for advertisers. Greater
satisfaction with the AFD network will lead to more
advertisers on the network, providing users with a better
experience and domain owners with improved monetization.”

According to Google, an adult website is “any domain whose name, content or
advertising is lewd, graphic, or profane.” The new rules were to take effect for all clients on May 31.

Late in May, Google changed its plans, according to FishSEO. Google wrote a new email to clients saying,

“We are committed to maintaining a positive experience for end users
and advertisers, in addition to partners. We have determined that
continuing to allow adult domains in the program will be beneficial for
advertisers and users, and our domain partners. In the coming months,
we will continue to improve our policy on the technical implementation
of adult domains, but we will continue to allow adult domains in the
program for the forseeable future.”

While Google’s AdSense for Domains program experienced these gyrations, its AdSense for Content program, which is open to clients of all sizes, continues to exclude porn sites. Its program policies include these restrictions:

  • Violent content, racial intolerance, or advocacy against any individual, group, or organization
  • Pornography, adult, or mature content
  • Excessive profanity

We think Google had it right in April. Profiting from porn is bad business, and the interests of the public at large should be considered along with clients, partners and end users. Feel free to express your opinion in the Google AdSense Help Forum and encourage Google to follow the lead of Afternic, Sony and Omni Hotels.