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YouTube Partners: assess whether your content is advertiser-friendly to run ads

YouTube has launched a "Video Self-Certification" pilot program that allows some YouTube Partners to rate their own videos against the advertiser-friendly content guidelines when they upload. YouTube has also provided examples of non-advertiser friendly content, so all Partners can more easily determine if a particular video should be monetized.

Assessing Advertiser-Friendliness

If your YouTube channel is in the YouTube Partner Program, you are expected to make sure that your content complies with the Community Guidelines, the AdSense Program Policies,  and also is "advertiser-friendly".

Some content may be allowed under the Community Guidelines, but might not be something advertisers want to be associated with. If that's the case, YouTube recommends you turn off ads on that video.

If YouTube detects that a video is probably not advertiser-friendly, you will see a yellow monetization icon in your video manager, which indicates it is probably not suitable for most advertisers.

But it's not always as simple as saying a particular type of content is, or is not, allowed.

Now YouTube has provided examples of what content:
  • Meets the advertiser-friendly guidelines, so you can turn on ads.
  • Is suitable for some advertisers, so you can turn on ads but many brands may choose not to advertise.
  • Is not suitable for any advertisers, so you should turn off ads.
Sensitive content may include:
  • Profanity
  • Sexually suggestive content
  • Violence or graphic content
  • Harmful and dangerous content
  • Drugs
  • Hurtful or Hateful content
  • Firearms
  • Sensitive current events

For example, maybe your video includes profanity. Here is how you can assess whether you should show ads:

You can turn on ads for this content
Light profanity (shit, hell, damn, etc.) or occasional use of strong profanity even if bleeped (“f-word” or occasional use of vulgar words)
You can turn on ads but many brands may choose not to advertiseStrong profanity used during the beginning part of the video; or strong profanity used multiple times throughout the video even for the purpose of comedy, documentaries, news, or education
You should turn off ads for this contentProfanity in the title or thumbnail image; or strong profanity used repeatedly in a hateful or derogatory way

How does YouTube determine a video is not advertiser-friendly? 

YouTube uses machine learning and information from human reviews to update the algorithms they use to mark videos as not-advertiser friendly every few months.

YouTube has also started a Video Self-Certification pilot program that allows some Partners to self-assess their content when they upload their videos.
Here’s how it works: as part of the video upload flow, creators complete a questionnaire and rate their content against our advertiser-friendly content guidelines. If a creator rating is consistently matching ours, we’ll also start using their input to make the right monetization decision for the video. We hope this helps improve system accuracy and make sure creators are familiar with our policies.
YouTube is planning to expand this option to more Partners in the future.

What if YouTube gets it wrong? 

First, make sure that the title, description and tags on your video accurately reflect the content. If you tag a family-friendly video with "sexy naked boobs" to get more views, don't be surprised if it's not monetized.

Remember that context is essential. If you upload a video with no description, that may be marked not suitable for advertisers because YouTube can't determine the content.

If you believe your video should be suitable for advertisers, but you are seeing the dread yellow $ icon next to your video, you may be able to request a human review. But note that option is limited to channels that have at least 10,000 subscribers (even if the video is unlisted) or videos that have had at least 1000 views in the past 7 days.

Resources for YouTube Partners: