There can be many reasons why a website may display less targeted ads or no ads at all. Here is a list of the most common issues.

Problems with indexing your site
Google system has not yet crawled all the pages of your website.

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If the Google AdSense crawler hasn’t ever visited your site, it may take up to 48 hours or more before the crawler visits and gathers content from that page. In the meantime, you may see that ads are displayed as transparent boxes or contain any alternative ad or colour specified in the ad code or ads that are only slightly relevant.

Note: Google crawler indexes by URL, and therefore considers http://site.com and http://www.site.com to be different URLs. Because Google crawler will visit these URLs separately, you may notice that ads appear differently on each of these pages.

Google crawler can’t reach your site.
If the AdSense crawler isn’t able to access your page, then Google will alert you by showing a crawler error. You can view crawler errors on the Account settings page of your account, in the Access & authorisation section.

Your site has restricted access using a robots.txt exclusion file.
If your site is using a robots.txt file, the AdSense crawler may be blocked from crawling your web pages and determining their content.

Your web pages are behind a login or password.
If the AdSense crawler doesn’t know the login or password to your site, so Google can’t determine their content and provide relevant ads. However, you can grant Google crawler access to login-protected pages in order to see relevant ads.

Website-Related Issues

Your website is using session IDs in the URL.

If your web pages use session IDs, you may not receive targeted ads on those pages. Since the session ID – and therefore the URL – changes every time a different user views a page, the URL won’t be in the index and will be queued to be crawled. Once the URL has been crawled, however, the session will most likely have expired. This means that pages seen by the users are never in the index. You will need to remove the session IDs in order to display targeted ads.


Your website is using frames.

When the AdSense code is placed in a frame separate from the primary content of your website, the AdSense crawler can’t match ads to your web page content. It is important to place the ad code in the same frame as the content of your web pages in order to serve ads targeted to your content.

Your page contains a refresh tag.
If the header of your page contains a refresh tag (), this may also lead to your page displaying irrelevant. Removing this tag can help ensure that you receive targeted ads.


Ads Implementation Issues

The AdSense code was placed within an IFRAME.
Placing ads in an IFRAME isn’t permitted by Google AdSense programme policies, which prohibit any manipulation of AdSense code that may affect the standard behaviour, targeting or delivery of ads that isn’t explicitly permitted by Google. In addition, Google targeting technology isn’t optimised to serve ads within a separate IFRAME. For these reasons, please make sure that you implement Google ad code directly into the source of your web page. Once you make these changes, it may take up to 48 hours or more before relevant ads appear.

Your ad code has been modified.
If your AdSense code has been manually modified, so as to change the ad unit width or height or the publisher ID, then Google may show ads as transparent boxes or contain any alternative ad or colour specified in the ad code. Please select the desired ad format on the Ads page in your account and then paste the generated ad code, unedited, onto your pages. Note that this doesn’t apply if you’ve created a responsive ad unit using the advanced mode. Bear in mind that only limited modifications to your code are permitted by Google programme policies.

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Content and Policy-Related Issues

Your web page may not contain enough content.
There may not be enough information on your site for Google crawlers to determine the content of your pages. Therefore, Google could be having difficulty identifying relevant ads to be displayed on your pages. Please note that Google crawlers are unable to derive meaning from:

  • audio and video files (.wma, .mpeg, .mov)
  • mp3 files (.mp3)
  • images (.jpeg, .bmp)
  • Macromedia Flash movies
  • Java Applets

In such cases, Google recommends that you include more content other than the above files on your website to assist Google crawlers in gathering information about your site to display relevant ads.


Your site has content that doesn’t comply with Google programme policies.

It’s possible that your site content isn’t compliant with Google programme policies. If Google system has detected something within your site that may be construed as potentially negative, non-family safe or even offensive, Google may not show ads. The two common policy violations that trigger our system not to show ads are adult and sensitive content.

Your site content is primarily in an unsupported language.
If the AdSense code is placed on pages with content primarily in an unsupported language, Google may show irrelevant ads or ads in another language. As noted in Google programme policies, publishers may not display ads on pages with content primarily in an unsupported language, so please remove the ad code from these pages until Google is able to support your language.

Ad units settings

Your ad unit is set to display ads only.
Display ad inventory for your content may be limited; if you’ve chosen not to display text ads in an ad unit, Google may show irrelevant ads or no ads in that unit when there are no relevant image or rich media ads available. To avoid showing irrelevant ads, Google recommends updating your preferences to show both text and display ads or implementing a backup ad.

You have blocked ads from too many advertiser URLs.
If you block ads from a high number of advertiser URLs, then Google may no longer have other ads available to target to your content, and Google may show irrelevant ads or no ads at all.

If none of the reasons above apply to your site, and your pages are still showing irrelevant ads, please review Google AdSense troubleshooter to fix the problem.

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