There are many great sites on WordPress.com that cover sexuality or that use profanity to make a point or express a personality. We don’t want these sites to change their blogs for WordAds. However, we do want to be helpful and explain why such sites cannot earn advertising income from WordAds and what criteria advertisers use to ‘blacklist’ sites that they don’t want their ads to run on.
Who Defines Family Safe?
WordAds is a technology, support and accounting liaison between your site and advertisers. We don’t create the ads or define the advertising goals, that comes from the brand and their agency. There are a huge number of sites on which these companies can advertise. If there is a chance that their brand will be embarrassed to be on a site, they will take their ad campaigns elsewhere.
Advertisers generally use software to both track where their ads appear to and scan those pages looking for ‘brand offensive’ content. This can be a blunt instrument that doesn’t take into context where the blog publisher is coming from. WordAds can and does champion sites that are black-listed by advertisers but we generally find that they err on the side of caution.
What Is Family Safe?
Google Adsense, which is the world’s largest online advertising network and one of the WordAds partners, has published their definition of family friendly here. In short: “When in doubt about whether an image or text might be construed as adult content, our rule of thumb is this: if you wouldn’t want a child to see the content or if you would be embarrassed to view the page in front of colleagues, then it’s probably not family-safe.”
The WordAds team has had a number of discussions with advertising partners where we have noted that the definition of family safe changes greatly from country to country. What we hear back is that family-safe is mostly applied based on the norms of the Internet’s largest advertising market – North America.
Other Categories That Can Cause Blacklisting
We see other sites that get black-listed by advertisers for the following reasons:
1) Illegal downloads or copyright violations. More on that here.
2) Comment spam that is not family safe. WordPress.com’s Akismet will filter comment spam for you but some sites over-ride those recommendations. We recommend that you trust Akismet as we find many comment spams that are offensive.
3) Extreme violence or hate – even if its of a historical nature. Advertisers don’t want to appear next to images related to genocide, cannibalism, etc.
4) Content is not unique or valuable. Some sites are created with content copied from others sites with just a minimal number of changes. Advertisers generally feel such sites are not a good complement to their ads. More on that here.