As part of our mission to empower publishers, Freestar recommends that publishers follow industry best practices and policies to support a healthy ecosystem and maintain sustainable revenue streams. Ultimately, facilitating quality experiences for users and advertisers alike is the best way to monetize engaging content.
By using the services provided by Freestar, you agree to abide by the guidelines set out in this document. We reserve the right to update this document as needed, and it is your right and responsibility to keep up-to-date with these guidelines.
While adhering to the following policies should help ensure sustainable access to advertiser budgets, we at Freestar, along with our partners, reserve the right to refuse monetization of any segment of inventory at any time. In addition, acceptance of any segment of inventory on Freestar's platform does not limit the right of Freestar's partners to reject that inventory.
Use of Google Ad Manager in conjunction with Freestar's services requires compliance with Google's guidelines. In the event of a discrepancy between Freestar's guidelines and Google Ad Manager's guidelines, the more stringent requirement will prevail.
Additional policies published by some of the leading SSPs and exchanges are here. Keep this information in mind if you plan to use any of these vendors.
The company or individual that owns the domain and site must be clearly (and easily) identifiable and verifiable as a legitimate business.
All domains must be submitted for review and explicitly approved by Freestar to be eligible for our services.
Any inventory or sites not directly owned or operated by the entity contracting with Freestar, must be clearly identified as such to Freestar, and may not be eligible for all Freestar accounts with demand partners.
- Clear definitions of the use of third-party cookies and data tracking for advertising purposes
- An opt-out link such as the NAI Consumer Opt Out
- Compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for EU users
To support serving personalized ads to EU users, a Consent Management Platform (CMP) registered with and following IAB standards must be correctly integrated, and be able to signal consent for all applicable vendors as required by Freestar.
As the proprietor of your website, you are responsible for monitoring and filtering the traffic that is monetized on your site.
Invalid traffic includes, but is not limited to:
- Non-human traffic (bots)
- Traffic from browser add-ons, toolbars, or rewarded clicks
- Traffic from referral links that would not meet Freestar standards or Google webmaster guidelines.
See Google guidelines for traffic sources for more information.
Please note that we need to see at least three (3) months of consistent and verifiable traffic history to approve a domain. Freestar reserves the right to reduce or deny ad serving to sites that rely on substantially all purchased traffic.
Site content restrictions
As a publisher supported by Freestar, you are responsible for keeping your domain free of the following types of prohibited content:
- Content that promotes, contains, or provides access to content that violates applicable laws or any third-party's intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to):
- Piracy, torrents, or unauthorized downloads of copyrighted materials
- Controlled substances
- Drugs or drug paraphernalia
- Malware and viruses
- Content that violates applicable laws
- Content that violates any third party's intellectual property rights
- Content that depicts, contains, or provides access to offensive content (including, but not limited to):
- Pornographic or adult materials
- Exploitative materials
- Threats, harassment, bullying, or content suggestive of violence
- Content that is discriminatory or is designed to incite hatred
- Content that misrepresents the site or the company
- Explicit language
- Content targeted at children 13 years of age or younger
- Unmoderated user-generated content
- Content that lacks originality or does not add value for users, including auto-generated content or content primarily copied from other sources
- Any content designed for the sole purpose of generating ad impressions
The following types of content are flagged and as so, may be considered on a site-by-site basis:
- Weapons and ammunition
- Smoking or tobacco
- Prescription drugs
The following activities and behaviour are prohibited on your site while working with Freestar:
- Activities which are fraudulent in nature (this includes, but is not limited to):
- Attempting to hide or mask traffic sources, users, pages, or layouts
- Incentivizing or tricking users into clicking on ads
- Misleading site behaviour (including, but not limited to):
- Downloads initiated without the user’s consent
Ad placement restrictions
The following ad placement practices must be followed while partnering with Freestar:
- Ads are not permitted to obstruct or overlap content, or otherwise hinder the user from engaging with the content.
- Ad placement that directly or indirectly causes accidental clicks is prohibited.
- Ads and other paid promotional material are not permitted to exceed the amount of site content. Site content must be the primary focus of any page monetized through Freestar’s platform.
- Ads may not be auto-refreshed below a minimum interval of 30 seconds, and may only be refreshed if actively viewable. No refreshing of ads is permitted without express approval from Freestar, and a declaration of minimum refresh interval may be required for compliance with Google and other Freestar partners.
- Ad placements and any associated Freestar code must be implemented as per instructions from Freestar. Any implementation providing inaccurate information in requests for monetization, including sending multiple requests for a single ad slot, is prohibited.
- Any modification to ad code altering the standard behaviour, targeting, or delivery of ads through Freestar’s platform is prohibited.
- Ads may not be placed on the following types of pages:
- Pages with personally identifiable information (PII) in the URL string
- Pages with no content
- Login pages
- Thank you pages
- Exit pages
- Error pages
- Ads may not be placed inside of any non-web-based desktop application, email program, or iframe outside of the root domain as whitelisted by Freestar.
- Ads may only be placed on pages requiring a login with express approval from Freestar.
- Ad sizes, formats, and layouts must be appropriate for the device type (for example, no 970x250 ads on smartphones).
You must declare Freestar (and Freestar’s partners, where applicable) as an authorized seller in your ads.txt file as per IAB specifications.
Additional resources and information
The following sections contain information that promotes a healthy digital advertising ecosystem.