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PPC Advertising for Poker Blogs

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There are a lot of poker bloggers out there using Google AdSense. There's a problem with using AdSense on poker sites and I wanted to create this post to point it out and present an alternative.

PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click. If you run PPC ads on your site and someone clicks on one of the ads, you earn some money. Your site's visitor doesn't have to buy or sign up for anything. It's a great form of advertising and one of the best for smaller sites that don't get thousands of visitors a day.

I've been using AdSense successfully on a number of sites for a few of years and have a good understanding of the program as well as issues people have had.

Google AdSense is the leader in the PPC advertising sector and if you host your poker blog on, adding AdSense ads couldn't be simpler. You just click a few checkboxes and you're done.

Google's policies for AdSense however prohibit AdSense ads running on sites that include or link to "Gambling or casino-related content".

That's a pretty vague statement and how Google chooses to interpret that policy can vary. In the past poker related sites could run AdSense as long as they didn't link to any poker sites and focused primarily on poker strategy. That doesn't seem to be the case anymore.

Google adds a ton new AdSense publishers every day and they can't have a real life person inspect each site for compliance. At first it may seem like everything is going fine, ads are running, you're making a few cents here and there so you think nothing of it.

Then one day you notice the ads on your site are different. They're all for charities or Google's services. These ads are known as Public Service Ads (PSAs). You don't get paid when a PSA is clicked.

Google has crawlers that inspect pages where AdSense ads run. They also seem to inspect sites when it's time to issue the first payment. Google doesn't pay publishers until they've earned at least $100. For small blogs that could take months or even years to earn. In the Google AdSense Help Forum, many posts about being dropped by AdSense start out with "I was just about to get my first check and then..."

Once you get an email from Google that your site is in violation, it may tell you the pages you need to correct or it may just tell you not to use AdSense on your site. Depending on the violation Google may even refund the advertisers all the money earned from clicks on your site and you get nothing. I don't know if this is the case with gambling/casino content.

Sometimes a violation may get your whole AdSense account dropped. If you have other websites that run AdSense, this could be a big problem. An AdSense account is great to have if you publish online. It's easy to get, but once it's gone, it's almost impossible to get back.

There are some big poker sites and poker blogs displaying AdSense ads as well as linking to poker sites. Publishers that generate a large amount of traffic have the ability to become premier members and negotiate different deals. I'm guessing that's the case. Most poker bloggers don't fall into that category.

Alternatives to AdSense for Poker Bloggers

There are two other ad networks that offer PPC ads with formats similar to AdSense but allow poker related sites.


BidVertiser's Program is the one most similar to AdSense. The allow sites with gambling content. You can even categorize your site as a poker site so advertisers with relevant ads can target your site.

Once you start up your BidVertiser, create your ads and publish the ad code on your site. Ads will start appearing. A cool feature of BidVertiser is that you can view the ads that will display on your page and the max bid they are willing to pay. You can even approve and decline ads that are listed to show on your site.

I'm testing it out here for a while and the ads appear to be relevant and the max bid prices look favorable.

By default BidVertiser ads have pop-unders enabled. While I'm not against advertising on websites, I think pop-ups and pop-unders are a little too much. I chose to disable them, you might want to do the same.

I'll follow up this post after I've run their ads here for a while but I'm not expecting much since this site is still fairly new.


Another alternative to AdSense for poker blogs is AdBrite. AdBrite allows ads on gambling related sites and accepts gambling related advertisers. You can safeily run AdBrite ads and know you'll have advertisers supplying ads that should appeal to your readers. Which means they might be more inclined to click. They also have some other options besides just text link ads such as keyword ads which will link words within the content of your posts. When a visitor hovers their mouse over one of the links they'll get an ad.

AdBrite has been in business for a long time and are known to pay their publishers on time. With AdBrite advertisers. The one drawback is that advertisers need to specifically target your site, unlike AdSense and Bidvertiser.

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