Depending on the type of network, sometimes it’s harder to remain a publisher than to get accepted into an ad network’s publishing program.
A vast majority of ad networks have some basic rules that publishers need to adhere to in order to stay in.
It’s only natural – on one side, publishers only have to be concerned with the traffic and content. On the other hand, networks have to worry about their reputation as much as being able to provide advertisers with good service and brand safety.
Two major rules publishers have to follow are concerned with action fraud and content. Some premium networks will also kick publishers from their program because of a dip in traffic and most of them will also have some stringent rules about ad implementation.
Unfortunately, there are publishers out there who are willing to stoop to any level to make a buck. That is why all networks, without exception, deal with action fraud swiftly and harshly.
Action fraud includes but is not limited to:
- CPC fraud
- Impression fraud
- CPA fraud
- CPV fraud
Whether human or machine-generated (bots and scripts), action fraud is a publisher’s one-way ticket out of the network. Action fraud can cause immense damage to a network: it can cost them advertisers, reputation, and money in the long run.
Networks have strict guidelines outlining what constitutes action fraud. In most cases, they prohibit publishers to solicit views and clicks from their friends as well as the general public (by advertising their site and asking for clicks).
Site content is also of major concern to most networks and for several reasons. First and foremost, networks are concerned about providing their advertisers with brand-safe platforms where they can advertise their products and services. Secondly, they are also concerned about their own reputation.
AdSense is particularly tough on this. Sites are reviewed on a regular basis and those containing sex, drugs, violence, nudity, or other offensive or discriminatory content are regularly booted. Most other networks follow AdSense’s lead even though they are not as successful at weeding out rule-breakers most of the time.
Some vertical networks will boot out publishers when their content no longer follows strict guidelines set forth by the network. This is because they want to ensure that ads are shown to right people at all times. A cooking site that has been attracting auto-racing crowd for some time (thanks to the new type of content they’ve been publishing lately) can hardly qualify for a food-related network.
Premium networks that work with a small number of publishers can devote more time to making sure that everyone in their network is offering unique and interesting content. In these cases, even things such as copyright infringement can serve as grounds for removing a publisher from the network.
Dip in traffic
Networks that have strict admission rules and only let in publishers who can pull in a steady stream of monthly visitors will be on a constant lookout for drops in traffic. Usually, they will warn the publisher about their dip in traffic but if it continues they can use that as an excuse for cutting the publisher out of the network.
Lastly, most networks will ask the publisher not to tamper with the ad code in any significant way that would cause the ads to display in a manner that was not intended. Also, some will have strict guidelines about ad placement and the number of ads that can be shown per page. Any deviation from those rules could result in publisher’s expulsion from the network.
While it’s true that some networks are more diligent in upholding the rules they lay out for publishers, it’s safe to assume that repeatedly breaking those rules will get you thrown out.
The best way to ensure that you’re compliant with them is to know them – knowing and following the rules of one network doesn’t guarantee that you will be compliant with the rules of all networks you’re participating in. However boring they may be, make sure you read the terms of service of every network you apply to partner with and follow them as closely as you can.
Of course, a publisher can be kicked out of a network through no fault of their own – sometimes all it takes is a simple glitch on the part of the network’s software and you’re out. Did this ever happen to you? We’d love to hear your story so share it with us in the comments section!