Growth 3 min read  - July 20, 2017

How Do I Keep My App from Getting Banned?

We’re here with some guidelines which should help your apps remain in good standing with all networks.

You’ve worked hard on developing your game and planning your ad strategy, only to have your mediation platform of choice ban or reject your app. Some platforms are notoriously secretive about how they make their ban or suspension decisions, but we’re here with some guidelines which should help your apps remain in good standing with all networks.

Below, you’ll find the various items you should check in your apps. Our team warns users who go against any of these best practices, in order to give them a chance to rectify any shortcomings - and prevent any issues from arising with the ad networks integrated into any given app.

Best Practices for Ads

  1. The very first thing we’ll recommend is to make sure you only have those ad types turned on which you’re actually using in your app.
  2. Never call for clicks - there should be no specific CTA which tells users to tap on or interact with any ads.
  3. No ads should cover any interactive elements of the app. For example, a banner shouldn’t be over a commonly used button on the menu, or an interstitial shouldn’t pop up after every single tap or gesture. Ads should never cover the content of the app, preventing the user from viewing or navigating it.
  4. There should be no ads shown right upon launch of the app. Similarly, no ads should be shown when you wake the device from sleep mode or the app from the background.
  5. Do not show any ads on screens without content - this includes login and logout screens, as well as error screens, or screens with credits or words of gratitude. The logic behind this is that these types of screens are usually displayed either while loading or closing an app, or after processing purchase or download activities, where it’s not allowed to display ads.
  6. Do not show interstitials at random times, when there is an increased likelihood of accidental clicks.
  7. Do not show more than one interstitial back to back. This means no interstitials popping up after the user closes one.
  8. There should only ever be one banner on the screen at a time. Never layer multiple banners on top of the screen or one another.

If an app violates any of these rules, Appodeal notifies the app publisher. Our team gives the developer seven days in which to correct the violations, during which we encourage you to reach out to us should you need any clarifications.
It’s crucial to make sure all the violations are corrected during the 7-day period. This is important not only for us, but for you as the developer as well, since the ad networks determine these violations, and your app or even account may be banned by any of these networks.

Beyond simply catching and correcting violations, our team also works hard to optimize ad performance in our publishers’ apps. Our account managers provide helpful tips and best practices, some of which we’ve collected here.

Optimization Strategy

  1. Analyze whether new ad formats can be suitable for your app, in addition to the ad types you already use. While doing this, keep in mind that too many ads can negatively impact retention and eCPM, so it’s important to consider which ad types exactly, and how many overall. For example, rewarded video ads are seen to have a positive impact on retention.
  2. If the same ads are shown too often, consider setting price floors or frequency caps to mitigate the issue.
  3. For some apps, the default 15-second banner refresh period can be too short. In these cases, it can be helpful to experiment with the length of the refresh period, monitoring the ARPDAU as the determining factor for success.
  4. If you have a non-game app, the primary interface of which is in text or lists, consider introducing native ads in addition to banners, if you haven’t already. You’ll see a boost in retention with no impact on retention.
  5. If you have an in-game currency but use only in-app purchases, consider using rewarded video! IAPs are only effective for a very small percentage of users - 2-3% for the large majority of apps. Rewarded video ads are seen to boost revenue overall by encouraging non-paying users to engage with ads, thereby bringing in hitherto ignored revenue.

Following the rules in this post will ensure your app remains in good standing with all networks. The last thing any publisher would want is to have an app - or an entire account - banned by a network like Admob, with whom it’s difficult to begin again. While the rules are in place for good reason, it can sometimes be difficult to identify and follow them.

These two sets of guidelines should get you off to a good start in maintaining a strong and intelligent ad mediation strategy!

Marc Llobet
Product Marketing & Growth @ Appodeal
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