Advertising is Google's main source of revenue, and as such, the company takes great pains in ensuring the system is free from fraud. For most websites, Google AdSense amounts to a big chunk of income, so it's devastating for your account to be suspended or worse, terminated. Here are a few things you should avoid or prevent altogether, to make sure your AdSense account doesn't fall into trouble.
- Clickfraud - The easiest way to get your account cut by Google is to be caught red handed while clicking your own ads. It doesn't matter whether you do the actual clicking, or if you use a software script. Google calls this clickfraud, and it is clearly against the AdSense terms of service. So as a rule, never click your own ads.
- Cloaking - This is done by hiding or changing your IP address so you can click on your own ads with lesser likelihood that you will be discovered. But if discovered, you will still get penalized with suspension or cancellation, unless you have a good explanation for clicking on your own ads.
- Improper ad placement - The AdSense terms of service explicitly prohibits placing AdSense ads on adult sites. The ToS also prohibits placing ads on different-language content. So if you run English ads, these should not appear on a web page that displays another language predominantly. You should also not fool readers into clicking ads by making these very similar to navigation links. Google also doesn't like it when you place ads right next to images, as these might be mistaken for navigation links. Instead, try to make your ads more attractive and clickable by placing them high on your web page, or right after the main content, so that readers will find interest in the keywords and ad titles displayed by AdSense.
- Spamming - Incessant and irreverent spamming will also get you into trouble. Sometimes, people try to game the system by using black hat search optimization tactics. They simply repeat and repeat keywords, hide these in hidden text and use sneaky redirects. Not only will your page be penalized for this unscrupulous attempt to game the system, you will also be barred from displaying advertisements for life.
- Malware and bad links - Google also knows your friends. If you link to pages that Google deems to be "bad," you're definitely going to be on their watch list. These sites include websites that contain malicious software, child pornography, and the like. You better be careful because you can go to the hit list in no time! Don't worry, Google doesn't discriminate. They just warn those who seem to be linking to sites that are connected to scamming and other illegal activities. If you've mistakenly linked to badware sites, you can simply remove these links and content, and you can request for removal through Google Webmaster Tools.
The lesson here is not to cheat the system. Just play the game fair. Try to increase traffic by improving your content and with some honest search engine optimization.