Avoid Demonetization: Tips For Content Creators From A Media Buyer

Avoid Demonetization

If you make money running ads on your content, this article is for you. There are a couple truths that need to be accepted before you will succeed:
  1. You're not entitled to ad revenue.
  2. Advertisers want to put their ads on content that "jives" with their brand.

Who Makes The Decisions

I'm a Media Buyer, which means that I'm the guy who takes my client's advertising budgets and spends it on content like yours; videos, blogs, articles, and news sites. I spend millions of dollars each year running ads for my clients.

We, the advertisers, have a lot of control over where we place the ads, but not as much as we'd like. There are defaults in our tools that most advertisers don't change. I'll show you what those are in a second.


Before we get into it, let's address the "Adpocalypse". The TLDR of the situation is that major news outlets reported that big brands were running ads on violent or racist content. Those brands pulled their ad dollars off YouTube and YouTube panicked by changing their monetization policies. The advertisers put their money back on YouTube, but those new policies still cause grief for a lot of content creators, especially news or political content which continues to be "demonitized".

In addition to these new policies, advertising defaults were updated in Google Ads, the tool that people like me use to put ads on your content. I'm going to show you those defaults and hopefully it sparks some ideas about how to avoid content that could cost you some potential ad revenue.

"Standard inventory" above is default. Below are specific details about what type of content qualifies for each type of inventory. To make more money, stay within the "Included" categories under "Limited inventory". That is the category that is most likely to be monetized.

Video contentExpanded inventoryStandard inventoryLimited inventory
Light profanity used in a non-hateful, comedic or artistic wayIncludedIncludedIncluded
Moderate profanity used in a non-hateful, comedic, or artistic manner, or a music video with frequent profanityIncludedIncludedExcluded
Strong profanity used throughout or at the very beginning of the video in comedy, documentary, news, or educationIncludedExcludedExcluded
Romance, kissing, limited clothing in non-sexual settings, or general discussions of relationships or sexualityIncludedIncludedIncluded
Limited clothing in sexual settings, sensual dancing, moderate sexually suggestive behavior, or a music video containing sexual contentIncludedIncludedExcluded
Blurred nudity, focus on sexual body parts, focus on sex as a topic, discussions about sex acts, implied or display of sex acts or sex toys without visible contact or nudityIncludedExcludedExcluded
Mild violence or injury without showing blood or graphic contentIncludedIncludedIncluded
Violence or graphic content in video games, comedy, or music videosIncludedIncludedIncluded
Focus on blood, gore, and excessive violence in video games, animal violence, or animation; sports, accidents, pranks, or “fails” with serious injury; blood shown in body modification or medical proceduresIncludedExcludedExcluded
Content with humorous references, education, music, or statements without glorifying or promoting drugsIncludedIncludedIncluded
Drug consumption, fabrication, and distribution in the context of music, comedy, news, education, or documentaryIncludedExcludedExcluded
News, documentary, or education content with words that could be considered biased, demeaning, or hate speech against a race, religion, gender, or other groupIncludedExcludedExcluded
Video Ad Safety Promise
Your ads are automatically excluded from showing on the most controversial content
Profanity in the title or thumbnail image, or profanity used repeatedly or throughoutExcludedExcludedExcluded
Full nudity, exposed nipples, animal mating, sexual abuse, or sexual content in the thumbnailExcludedExcludedExcluded
Content showing abusing, buying, making, selling, or finding drugsExcludedExcludedExcluded
Content discussing terrorism or sensitive current events like war, death, or tragedyExcludedExcludedExcluded
If the type of content you create is listed as "Exclude" in any of those columns, you will definitely earn less than you could have otherwise earned from your AdSense.
I plan on writing another article soon about how to increase your AdSense earnings. Follow me on Twitter to get notified when it's published.

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