Since May 24th, we receive multiple emails per day from users who are not seeing AdSense ads on their sites anymore. While we help users every day with ads not showing up, this was clearly something new.
Hundreds of users reported similar problems in this large thread in the AdSense support forum, which is also very unusual. With only a small percentage normally reporting in a public forum, the issue must hit tens of thousands of site, if not more.
Of course, we ran our own tests to see if Advanced Ads is in any way related to this. We went as far as testing other plugins, and even using AdSense without any plugins on a blank WordPress installation. The result was always the same.
Meanwhile, AdSense reported that the ads might have stopped due to invalid traffic.
As we launch improvements to our systems and defenses, sites with invalid traffic may experience limited ad-serving. Additionally, if we are unable to verify the quality of your traffic, we may limit or disable your ad serving.https://support.google.com/adsense/thread/6825406?msgid=7121345
You can learn more about invalid traffic on this page.
Just this week, many AdSense account holders see a new warning about a missing ads.txt file on their sites. You should create an ads.txt file (which Advanced Ads does for you automatically), but it seems unrelated to the ads not showing up.
How do you know if your site is affected?
From what we are seeing, you are very likely hit by this update if your site stopped displaying AdSense ads after they worked for months. We also see empty Auto ad units placed.
If you have Auto ads enabled then just open the inspector tool in your browser and search for “google-auto-placed”. If you find a container with the class name and it is highlighted as an empty element on your website like in the screenshot below, then you share the same fate as many other sites.
You might be hit by the same issue if you don’t use Auto ads, but I did not find a way to distinguish this case from others, yet.
Based on our findings, I am not sure if invalid traffic is the only reason for AdSense not showing up. If AdSense would block your site for invalid traffic or other reasons then I would expect them to not place Auto ads anymore.
Update: Invalid traffic is a reason
AdSense confirmed for us that their enforcement of the invalid traffic policy is a reason why many publishers don’t see ads anymore. If you feel that your traffic is misidentified as invalid then you should reach out to their support team. Here are a few helpful pages from their manual:
- When does AdSense limit serving ads?
- Definition of invalid traffic
- How you can prevent invalid traffic
Update 2: warning in Policy Center
In this post, AdSense announces a warning in the Policy Center in your AdSense account if your site stopped showing ads due to an invalid traffic violation. They are not mentioning a timeline of this, though.
Update 3: warnings are showing in the AdSense account
A user shared screenshots about the warning appearing in the Policy Center now.
What can you do?
If you don’t see AdSense ads anymore then you can do one of these things:
- wait and hope for the best
- if you feel that you are being wrongly affected then reach out to the AdSense support team for investigation. Eligible publishers will find a contact form by clicking the Contact us button on any page of their Help Center.
- try an AdSense alternative (see below)
I still believe that AdSense is great, but the current incidence shows that you might want to have an alternative in place.
The following ad networks are a good AdSense alternative because they are also easy to implement, have no entry barrier, and are around for many years.
Ezoic is more than just an ad network. They help you to test new ad placements and try to outperform your existing setup. We also have a dedicated tutorial on how to integrate Ezoic. You can sign up for them here.
A completely different approach would be to sell ads directly on your site. It takes more work, but prices are normally higher and you save the commission. You can sell ads manually or implement an automated workflow using our Selling Ads add-on.
Will AdSense come back?
I hope so. When you don’t see any warning in your AdSense account then I believe it might just be a temporary glitch.
It has been more than 10 days now though and I would recommend you sign up for an AdSense alternative in case it takes them a bit longer.
We help users and clients who can’t see ads on their site and know that there are many different reasons for that. If you are not able to test it yourself or have a different problem then please reach out in our forum (free users) or via email support (for clients).