I have something like a sidebar that is being pulled out on a click on smaller resolutions. Therefore it is not initially visible, but can be visible when pulled out via a clearly indicated arrow, and is accessible from every page.

It is quite complicated for me to understand all the rules dictated by Adsense, so my question is, am I allowed to place Adsense ad units in this sidebar? And can you point me to the specific section in the rules that is referring to this situation, if such exists?

This is a simplified demo of what's going on on the page: http://jsfiddle.net/x2ynU/

Also worth noting that this behavior only occurs on the smaller versions of the page (when the width is less than 992px). On a big screen, the sidebar is always fully visible.

  • 1
    "On a big screen, the sidebar is always fully visible." Unless of course your user has add ons like AdBlock or Ghostery.
    – Pharap
    Jul 27 '14 at 17:17
  • Don't forget to approve an answer if you like it, thanks! Aug 25 '14 at 17:27

Take a look at this page. Search for 'Ad placement'. It says:

Google ads, search boxes or search results may not be:
Displayed in pop-ups or pop-unders.

I'm not sure if

sidebar that is being pulled out on a click.

is a 'popup' too. To read all the policies of AdSense, take a look at this page. This may not be the answer you were looking for, but you should be able to answer your own question with the links I have posted.

You should also contact Google, they may be able to help you.

Good luck!


You are not allowed to request an ad to AdSense and to not display it. In order words, if you load the ad when the user clicks on the side bar, this might be ok.

But, preloading is not ok, since there is a reasonable probability that the ad won't be displayed to the user (when he/she does not click on the sidebar). In this case, Google would count it as an impression, when there would not have been any impression.

You are not going to find a specific rule for your specific case, but basically, you should stick to the spirit of the rules: if you request an ad to AdSense, it must effectively be displayed to the user in all cases.

  • In a similar vein, I suppose that you should not make it request an ad every time you display the sidebar, but only on the first time; once you fetch an ad, leave it in the sidebar, even if the viewer hides it back, otherwise the additional impressions will be artificial.
    – sleblanc
    Jul 27 '14 at 13:35

Here are the parts from the Adsense programme policies that might be relevant:

It is forbidden for ads to be

Displayed in pop-ups or pop-unders.

Obscured by elements on a page

Also, Publishers may not

Direct user attention to the ads using arrows or other graphical gimmicks.

Place ads in a floating box script.

As you can see, some of the programme policies of Google are subjective. If you can defend your implementation to fall outside these policies, then I think you are good to go. You should also make sure that the page element that comes out can also be pushed back in, as placing adsense ads on elements that does not have a proper navigation options are also prohibited. However, it is subjective, and difficult to say without actually seeing your page.

  • Thank you for your answer. I am not allowed to share unpublished work, but i have created a fiddle showing the gist of how it works, and added it to my original post. Hopefully you can share some more insight of whether you think the scenario is allowed. Note that this behavior is only on smaller resolutions. Jul 27 '14 at 8:28
  • My opinion on this should not be taken to be of any value, and it is Google's people who decide what is legitimate and what is not. However, looking at it, I don't think this should be an issue. Many pages have parts of it that appear and disappear based on user actions and I don't think it should be a problem to display ads there. And in your case, it does not look like a popup to me too. Jul 27 '14 at 9:13
  • @ImNotMike Tricky one... I'm afraid we can't help you, please contact Google :) Jul 27 '14 at 11:34

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