AKA: how to avoid getting banned by google adsense.
Short answer: you should get an adsense account when the online properties you are going to be using it on have at least 100 visitors a day among them.
I know this blogpost will likely not be read by those it needs to reach: newby online marketers who will sign up for adsense as soon as they create their first blogpost or hubpage. They will likely only read this post when they’re already banned from adsense. Unfortunately, by then it’s too late. Google is notoriously bad at letting people into their program that have already been banned once.
Now that I’ve made you all suitably scared, here’s the deal.
Google is always trying to limit click fraud. That is: people only clicking on ads to make themselves or their friends a bit richer. This is petty fraud of course: most of us can’t find enough people to click our ads to add even 10 dollars a month to our account. But still for advertisers click fraud is a real problem. They want only people clicking ads who are genuinely interested in the product they’re selling. This is reasonable. In fact, clicking ads just to make a penny more is really stealing. Petty theft as long as it’s really just one click at a time, but still.
As a publisher you will be curious about those advertisers. I was too, at first. So you click on occasional ad. Your family knows you are trying to make money online, so they too click a few ads. All very innocent, though not very ethical if you think about the economics of it. The problem is, if you are getting very few visitors, it’s easy for google to see that all the clicks are coming from the same few ip adresses. The result: they’ll ban your account with little problem, because they weren’t making money off you anyhow.
The situation is very different if you’re getting some real traffic. Then suddenly those few clicks your friends are giving you are only a tiny percentage of the total clicks on your account. Google is also starting to earn money on you. Conclusion: you will not be banned.
Another reason to wait till you have significant traffic, before monetizing, is that it takes real traffic to be able to optimize your ads. Adsense ads get better click throughs when optimized.
By contrast: when you have less than a hundred visitors a day, the thing to focus on is getting traffic (aka SEO). Worry about the money later, it’s dependent on traffic anyhow.
Last but not least: newbies will fret over their adsense stats, A LOT. This is no use, especially if you’re not getting search engine traffic. If you’ve waited to sign up for adsense, maybe you’ll fret over two others stats which are way more important: how much traffic you have, and how many links your blog or hub has gathered.