The Google Adsense team posted this morning what they consider to be the 8 most important best practices for not violating Adsense policies and to keep your account in good standing. Most of them are rather obvious, like "don't click your own ads" but they are worth reviewing if you make money from Adsense.
1. Don’t click on your own ads
There is no way to get your website banned quicker from Adsense than clicking your own ads. Simply don't click them and don't ask others to click them. "These kinds of clicks won’t count toward revenue and may get you suspended," notes Anastasia Almiasheva of the Adsense team. "Even if you’re interested in an ad or looking for its destination URL, clicking on your own ads is prohibited. Instead, use the Google Publisher Toolbar."
2. Think like a user
Write or create content for your users, not just to target certain types of Adsense ads. This is basic SEO as well of course, so they are simply saying good valuable and unique content that users enjoy consuming converts better than simply using copied content or stuffed keywords.
3. Keep it family-friendly and legal
Google promises their advertisers that their ads will not appear on adult sites or illegal sites, so it's best to stay family friendly. There are plenty of adult ad networks if you produce that kind of content.
4. Maximize content, not ads per page
Keep ads, Adsense and otherwise, to a minimum. Your web pages should be about the content, not the ads. This is especially true above the fold, where Google actually has an algorithm that defines the percentage of ads and if it's too high will penalize from an SEO perspective and will notify Adsense partners as well.
5. Avoid deceptive layouts
Google only wants their ads to be clicked when there is an intention by the user to click the ads. "Keep ads away from games, slideshows, and other click-heavy content and don’t place them near images," says Almiasheva. "Publishers may not use deceptive implementation methods to obtain clicks. This includes, but is not limited to: placing images next to individual ads, placing ads in a floating box script, formatting ads so that they become indistinguishable from other content on the page, formatting content so that it is difficult to distinguish it from ads and placing misleading labels above Google ad units."
6. Create unique content
As we said earlier, content is king with Google in general and especially when their ads are on your website. Don't simply rewrite content and always attribute quotes properly. Make your content stand out by being uniquely produced by you or your team. Building a long-term relationship with your audience is what's important, and you can't do that by copycatting others.
7. Track your traffic
It's up to you, the webmaster, to know that your traffic is real and is not bot produced or otherwise artificial. Also, you should make sure that your traffic is coming organically and not from spammy links or links from what Google considers bad neighborhoods.
8. Follow the Code of Implementation Guide
Never modify Google's Adsense code and always follow the Code Implementation Guide.