Is Google Going After Gay Blogs?

There is an interesting post over at Best Gay Blogs about how they were dropped from Google’s AdSense program because of adult or mature content on their site.  While normally I wouldn’t think too much of it, I can sympathize with Best Gay Blog’s plight because the same thing has happened to me.  Yes, the entire domain has been banned from showing ads from Google on the site.

I received the e-mail from Google about two weeks ago advising me that I had violated the AdSense Terms of Service (TOS) because my site contained adult or mature content.  I thought they were referring to content on The Eye Candy Albums until I realized I wasn’t displaying Google ads over there.  I was using a different ad provider on those pages.

I wrote back to Google and asked them to please elaborate on my violation of the TOS.  I also pleaded with them to reconsider their decision.  A couple of days later I received their reply.  The "adult content" they were referring to was the Eye Candy Mondays posts as well as an ad I have to my affiliate store.  The ad is currently running, but in case you miss it, it displays this image.  They also weren’t happy with the ad for David Rich’s "Look Great Naked" Workout DVDs.  They told me I would have to remove all that content to even be considered for reinstatement.

I don’t have a problem with Google enforcing the TOS of their AdSense program, however I began to wonder if it was being applied fairly across the board.  While yes, some of the images are provocative, none contain full frontal nudity or representations of people having sex.  I decided not to take down my content and figured I would use a different ad provider instead.  Matter dropped.  (On a side note, I don’t need to run ads on my site, but they do help me pay my web-hosting bill and other things.  No one has ever complained to me about them.)

After reading Best Gay Blog’s post about also being banned from AdSense, I began to wonder if Google was in fact being fair in enforcing their TOS.  Just doing a quick surf through some of the blogs on Blogger (which Google owns) showed me that there were many "straight" blogs with revealing photos of women that also carried Google ads.  On a couple of these sites, the women were naked from the back or side and one even showed a woman topless.  Now I’m no expert, but if some racy photos of men violated their TOS, shouldn’t these photos of the undressed women also be a violation?

I’m curious if any other gay bloggers out there have been dropped from Google’s AdSense, and if so, for what reason.  I’m not ready to call Google homophobic yet, but I would like to find out if they are targeting gay bloggers.  If this has happened to your blog, or if you know a blog that it has happened to, please e-mail me and let me know.  If you can also help me spread the word so that more people can tell me if they were affected or not, I would appreciate it.

I’ll keep you all updated as to what I find out.
P.S. The worst part for me is that my earnings were at about $95 for the month.  If you’re familiar with the AdSense program, Google only pays out once your earnings reach $100 or more for the month, so basically I just lost out on all the money.

30 Responses to Is Google Going After Gay Blogs?

  1. DWQ Online says:

    I’ve said from Day One Google was the devil. However, I am sorry you are going to miss out on your check. Maybe if you cancel your account they will cash it out for you

  2. That does suck! But, I too can understand Google wanting to live by it’s own terms. I always wonder who (if anyone) clicks on all those ad thingies – I have a few on my blog – but since so many blogs have them I figured it was pretty useless (I love to shop and I never click on them) to put them there. ;-)

  3. RcktMan says:

    I tried doing the ad thing and completely abandoned it after I realized it was doing absolutely nothing except cluttering up my sidebar.

    I would give it a little time and see what happens with those other sites– could be they haven’t gotten around to them yet. But it does smell fishy to me.

  4. jeremy says:

    I don’t run ads on my blog, but I do know that in certain cities in the U.S. my Blog has been blocked from view due to “questionable” content.

    I use word press, I left Blogger/Google long ago. But really, if Google is so homophobic, why do they insist on taking screen shots of our gay blogs for their search services yet, toss us for violations of TOS in adsense?

    hmmm. me thinks me smells a rat


  5. Jay Z says:

    I run — — and we ran into the same problem. We didn’t have any frontal nudity on our site — lots of guys in underwear and references to underwear fetish and some used undies sites.

    I went through several rounds of communication with Google Adsense after they dropped my program, and I even went through and removed posts referring to used underwear and underwear fetishes, removed any links to sites that included frontal nudity or explicit sexual discussions, and I really cleaned up my site.

    After a review, Adsense pretty much told me that if you could see a shape of a guy’s privates through the material, if you could see the guy’s pubic hair, or if he just looking kinda sexy to them, it wouldn’t work. And they also said that if I sent my site from review one more time, it would be the last review I would get. The photos they linked to were nothing in the way of sexual or explicit.

    Like you, I’ve come across several sites, some of them gay, that include all out frontal nudity with Adsense running. I pointed this out to the Adsense folks and told them I thought I was being singled out, and their only response was that I should turn in any offending sites to the Adsense police.

    I ultimately gave up trying to please them.

    Interesting note: I also tried to use Google Adwords to promote my site. I found that every time I used a keyword, it would have a “minimum” bid arbitrarily set, anywhere from $1 to $10 per click. These were very bland keywords, like “men’s underwear” and “men’s underwear blog” and such. I did some research and found that friends who run underwear retail sites were able to submit the exact same keywords for 5 and 10 cent bids. It was clear that the URL that was to be used with the ads made a difference, and my URL had been blacklisted. Google effectively blocked me from advertising using Adwords by creating a price barrier that only someone with alot of cash could afford.

  6. Adam says:

    I am on board with RcktMan. I had Google ads on my blog for a time and nobody clicked on any of the ads, in fact the ads sucked. Unless your blog is mondo-huge I can’t see how you make money, for those of us that are in it for personal journaling it makes no sense. In any case I think that the recent trend of gay bloggers moving from Blogger (owned by Google) to WordPress should continue in light of this crap.

  7. Lotta says:

    Well I could certainly understand their reasoning. I mean, gay’s don’t spend any money right? And nobody uses Google to look for “inappropriate” images.

    Pshaw! It’s enough to make me want to use Ask Jeeves!

  8. Rob says:

    I was actually booted from AdWords one time – not for content, but for alleged click fraud. I asked for re-instatement and they put me back in and haven’t booted me out again. Very odd, indeed. I hope I get my next check soon…

  9. Jamie says:

    I haven’t used Google for anything in over a year. They refused our ads for Homomojo because–get this–“Homo” is in the url.

    I love the ease of use I have with WordPress and am SO glad I never got hooked by Blogger. Google can kiss my gay ass.

  10. Keith says:

    Yep, was banned from advertising on adsense over a year ago because we dared to have the word “homo” in our URL. We didn’t have any adult content at the time they just banned the word “homo”.

    More recently, all stories from HomoMojo are being rejected from So it’s not just Google that is the enemy.

  11. Jester says:

    I don’t have any specific experience with the issue of Google AdSense blocking Gay sites, but I would like to comment that the ad program that you are running that connects to is running horribly slow. I’m working from a high speed cable connection and just had a >45 second load time on your home page. It took just over 30 seconds to load the single.php page.

    My personal opinion on ads for blogs is that they are usually more trouble than they are worth.

    If you are looking to help offset the cost of webhosting, try an affiliate program like Amazon. You can offer a personal opinion of a product, including a link that gives you credit. Your readers who have grown to trust your judgment are much more likely to click on a recommended item, rather than a random advertisement that clutters up your sidebar.

    I’ve also seen very successful tip jars. (Donate via paypal buttons.)

    Just my .23 adjusted for inflation.

  12. Angel says:

    I have NEVER liked AdSense. So I never used it. I use adbrite on my website. I always liked the fact that they don’t have a minimum. You set your minimum payout.

  13. Scott says:


    Thanks for the heads-up on that. I made a few tweaks and it should load a little faster now. It loads really fast on my computer, but I want to know what my readers are experiencing. Keep me informed.

  14. Bill says:

    One blog is a judgement, two is a coincidence, three is a pattern, and the number AdSense has banned is a deliberate policy.

    Google’s goodwill is going the same way as that of Intel, AOL, and Microsoft.

  15. Sam says:

    I’m finding it more and more difficult to use Google for anything at all. They keep all searches done (which can be traced back to your computer) and routinely turn that information over to the US government without subpoena. Most search engines only keep searches for about 60 days. Google keeps them forever. Now, they have a double standard like this for blogs. It just seems like they are becoming a self-impose arbiter of standards which are anything but equal.

  16. Dave says:

    You violated the agreement. Grow up. Don’t blame Google.

  17. Scot says:

    Scott, I understand hat the guys over at GAYTOGETHER ( are having the same trouble with google. It’s a shame that companies like that think they have the moral high-ground and can act like the evangelical church. I’ll use from now on.

  18. Jamie says:

    Try ChaCha (

    They have an interesting concept going there, with guides (real people) to help you search when you’re having trouble.

  19. GAYTWOGETHER says:

    Thank you for this post and it is important for you and your readers to know that this is not an isolated case. We have received hundreds of emails from gay sites that contained appropriate content and were harassed and targeted by the HOMOPHOBIC GOOGLE GORILLA.

    Please also note: the article at BEST GAY BLOGS was about us, We posted that original article of 1/18/07 and part 2 on 1/23/07. BEST GAY BLOGS simply re-posted our article on their front page for their readers.

    As for the person who commented “You violated the agreement. Grow up. Don’t blame Google.” When did you become the authority on Google AdSense Content Rules? We suggest you take the time to read the article that was referenced, and read posts by several other gay sites that have been targeted by the HOMOPHOBIC GOOGLE GORILLA for no reason other than they were a gay site, including ours.

  20. Keith Boardman says:

    I always use, and I was not even aware of these problems with Google, etc.

  21. My first thought was that Google was being cheap and giving AdSense people trouble when their earnings reached the threshold for writing a check. The real question is, how far up the org chart did the impetus for this policy begin? Is this some homophobic middle manager messing around? That’s my guess.

  22. Bob says:

    Good. If that truly is the case we need more Google sits FUCKING FAGGOT!

  23. Philip says:

    Google told me that my website was “Adult themed” and then blocked access to all of my websites and closed my account with them. When I asked them what was adult about it, they commented that I had a smily icon in my blog that was masterbating. It was about 40 px by 40 px. I think they just wanted an excuse to close my account.

    I removed the offending icon and they told me that I could no longer use their Ad program because I didn’t follow their terms of service. They blocked ALL my domain names essentually stopping my main income from 4 websites i run.

  24. Bill Samuels says:

    Just began my own gay blog on google and am concerned with some of these reports. I didn’t intend to run ads and now am convinced I shouldn’t bother.

  25. lonnie says:

    Thanks Scott…

    I canned Google a year ago for their stance on censorship in China. I brought them back as my site donates all the money to charity. They need to go….

    BTW: Who are Dave and Bob and why do they read this blog? Read it drunk and someone told them the next day they commented????

  26. […] it gets worse. I read Scott-O-Rama, a delightful and quirky gay blog, and found this. What? I wanted to believe it was an isolated incident…until I found that they weren’t […]

  27. […] addition to homophobic threats, Google has now said they will penalize sites that sell ad links on their site. It seems nobody is […]

  28. […] sorry, but I’m just not a big fan of Google. I can’t put my finger on an exact reason (other than possible homophobia regarding AdSense). Maybe it’s that I see Google as the new Microsoft, i.e. dominating the tech world. I just […]

  29. Trey C. says:

    And here I am 4 months late :) I hate google with a passion. They did the exact same crap to me! If you check out my site, you would notice there is barely a guy being provacative except for Chad White. And if they are following thier TOU’s on adult or mature content then why do they have advertising almost naked guys on their program?

  30. Louis says:

    Here at PLU Blogs, we are also being victimised but we are carrying the fight to them. Have a read.


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