What Should You Do Now That Google's Retiring PSAs

February 7, 2011 AdSense Blog:   It was announced that Google will be retiring their PSA program (Public Service Ad) in an effort to develop more effective opportunities for their non-profit partners.  The new program is Google Grants if you would like to read more.

For those that may not be familiar with PSAs, these were unpaid ads that would display on your site if Google wasn’t able to match a paid ad.  There were many reasons an AdSense ad may not  have appeared . . .   from content to simply not having been crawled.

15 Reasons Your AdSense May Not Display

  • Site has not yet been crawled
  • Site may contain sensitive for which relevant ‘paying’ ads will not display
  • Your account may be under review or disapproved
  • Site has restricted access using robots.txt exclusion
  • Site is using session IDs in the URL
  • Site is using frames
  • Ad unit is set to display image ads only
  • Webpage may not contain enough content
  • Content does not comply with program policies
  • AdSense code was placed within an IFRAME
  • Webpages are behind a password protected login
  • Too many URLs have been added to your account filter list
  • Site is primarily in unsupported language
  • Ad code has been modified
  • Page contains a refresh tag

Publisher Bottom Line

If you have AdSense ads on your website and have selected to display PSAs when no relevant ads are available, you will now see a blank space. If you have in the past selected to show either a ‘color’ or non-Google ads from another URL this change will not effect you.

However, if you have opted-in for PSAs and want to make changes to your AdSense options, this can be done by logging into your AdSense account —> AdSense Setup —> Manage Ads.

From here you can make and save any changes to your ads. You will notice that when making these changes – or setting up a new AdSense unit – the option of selecting a PSA is no longer available.

Helpful Hint: Make using a non-Google URL easy by maintaining an HTML document that has link information for all the corresponding AdSense unit sizes you are using. You should have one replacement URL for each AdSense unit  size and for each URL you want to use as a replacement.  You can then easily copy and paste the URL into the appropriate box when setting up or editing your AdSense units.


Although PSAs are being retired this is not to say that your website is guaranteed to display ad units.  Review the above list and review your  pages to see if you need to update your website to comply.

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