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Manage the risks associated with user comments

As a publisher, you can drive discussion and increase reader engagement by using user comments. At their best, comments enable your readers to share their perspectives and learn from each others’ experiences. By creating a community of conversation around your articles, your readers become more engaged and find your site more relevant and beneficial.

Alas, not every commenter is well-intentioned or well-informed. Consequently, comment sections can devolve into a place where social norms are tossed aside to further an agenda or to air a grievance. These negative, rude, or abusive comments take away from the article and ultimately harm your brand. Comments that violate Google policies can also cause your site to no longer be eligible to show Google ads. 

So, as a publisher, how can you keep comments — or, more generally, user-generated content (UGC) — policy compliant so that your site can continue to monetize with Google??

First, understand that as a publisher, you are responsible for ensuring that all comments on your site or app comply with all of our applicable program policies on all of the pages where Google ad code appears. This includes comments that are added to your pages by users, which can sometimes contain hate speech or explicit text.

Knowing this, please read Strategies for managing user-generated content. Make sure you understand how to mitigate risk before you enable comments or other forms of user-generated content. Managing comments on your site pages is your responsibility, so make sure you know what you’re getting into. For example, you’ll need to ensure you review and moderate comments consistently so as to ensure policy compliance so that Google ads can run.. We published an infographic in 2016 which offers a quick all-in-one glance at policy compliance.


Another option:

If you are unable to put into place strong and responsive controls over your comments, we strongly encourage you to make a simple design change: put comments on their own page, and don’t run ads on that page. Otherwise, unreviewed and unmoderated offensive or inappropriate user comments can show right next to your publisher content. This can damage your brand, offend your users, and cause you to violate Google policies.

Here’s one way to separate comments and content:

At the end of your content, place a call to action, such as: “User Comments” or “View Comments” which lets users open the comments in a new page. On that new page, make sure not to place any Google ad tags, so that no ads serve next to those comments...

At Google, we believe in fostering an environment where users, advertisers, and publishers can all thrive in a healthy digital advertising ecosystem. By valuing each party equally, we help ensure the sustainability of our industry. We publish Help Center materials, write blog posts, speak at industry events, provide publisher forums and host events at our offices to help our publishers succeed in an ever changing environment.