I have had a few run-ins with Google stop words, also called "poison words," which have resulted in no ads displaying on the particular article page. "What are these elusive words?" you might ask. Well, there is no definitive stop words list, but there are many words that webmasters recommend you DON'T use on your articles, websites, or anywhere that generates Google Adsense revenue.
Two of my current eHow articles are not earning a cent because they have no ads displaying. Granted, on one of them I have taken out what I believe to be the offending words, and Google still has not populated the article with ads. I fear I might have to delete and republish to fix the problem - not good. This article is pretty old, established, and has a few backlinks. I don't want to risk that by taking it down, so I haven't decided what to do yet.
Take a look at the article here and you'll see the type of subject matter that may result in accidentally using Google stop words. This is a completely innocent article on calculating ovulation - but it contained a phrase that Google frowns upon.
On article publishing websites like eHow and Suite101, if you use Google stop words, you may simply experience a complete absence of ads. On personal websites, or other venues, you may experience public service announcements (PSAs) displaying instead of relevant ads. And no, you don't earn a cent if someone clicks on a PSA.
In many cases, it's easy to avoid these scenarios once you know what NOT to write. Although no one can say for certain exactly what ALL the stop words are, there are numerous resources on some of the words people have had this experience with. Google also takes ALL the text on the page into consideration, so writing about libido, for example is very risky, as you might have to use several "risky" words to detail the subject.
So, how can you prevent using these mysterious Google stop words? Here are a few links with compilations of suggested words to avoid, and tips for avoidance. Again, remember that these are not always proven and you might be able to get away with using one or two on an innocent article. Sometimes, there's just no way to know. However, avoiding the words on these stop words lists as often as possible will reduce your chance for PSAs or no ads.
- Google Adsense Stop Words - This site has a pretty comprehensive list (notice the list is an image file so as not to trigger the PSAs), but I wonder about some of the medical terms - not sure how accurate all of these are. However, there is a good explanation of how Google stop words work if you scroll down past the list.
- Convert Text to Images: Prevent Adsense PSAs - This site also has a Google stop words list, in image format, and an explanation of how to get around the filters by displaying these words in image form. Note: This is only recommended if the words are necessary for your site/article. Don't just display them for the sake of doing it.
- Besting Adsense is a neat tool for finding stop words on your article page. You simply put in your URL, and the tool will tell you which words are considered stop words. Of course, I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this tool, as no one really knows ALL the stop words, and it can be a combination of words. However, if you're having problems with PSAs or no ads, this tool could be a good place to start looking for problem words and combinations.
- Besting Adwords: How to Stop PSAs - Here's another stop words list from the site above. Includes many of the words on other lists.
- Google Adsense Terms of Service - Scroll down to the "Site Content" section to see topics best avoided. These should be common sense, but you never know. Using any words associated with these topics will probably result in no ads or PSAs.