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Google AdSense Forum

This 31 message thread spans 2 pages: 31 ( [1] 2 > >     
Encouraging people to click on AdSense banners
adsense banners clicks
beggers




msg:1406079
 8:24 pm on Jul 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google's AdSense agreement states that you can't offer incentives to get users to click on banners.

So what about saying something like "Please check out the offers from our advertisers" (right under the banner). Or "Support this site by visiting our advertisers".

Legal or not?

 

woop01




msg:1406080
 8:33 pm on Jul 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Would you be willing to let each of the advertisers who run Adsense ads on your site know and let them block you? If not, it's not ethical.

beggers




msg:1406081
 8:50 pm on Jul 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, let's think about this:

1. Advertisers can't make any sales unless someone clicks on the banners.

2. Their ad is already perfectly matched to my audience so it's not like we're asking some odd demographic mismatch to respond. I think they would like me encouraging target demographic people to click through because that is their only chance of introducing people to their sites and getting sales.

3. I didn't invent the line "Be sure to check out our advertiser's offers" -- I think it's been in use since the beginning of time.

4. Let's say you were running a TV ad on David Letterman. You don't think the advertiser would like him to say, "Hey, call this 800 number because it's a great offer you should check out". They would DIE to get an endorsement like that.

ThatAdamGuy




msg:1406082
 9:45 pm on Jul 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

This is really a fine line. As an advertiser AND publisher, I'm really not sure where I'd stand on it.

However, to be on the safe side, you may just want to call attention to your AdWords in other ways:
- Putting them higher up on each page.
- Surrounding them with a red table / red border / etc.
and so on.

This absolves you of any guilt of explicitly encouraging people to check out and/or click your ads, but still calls attention to the ads -- which is good for you AND your advertisers.

woop01




msg:1406083
 9:48 pm on Jul 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Beggers, you didn't answer the question. Would you be willing to tell your advertisers you're doing it so they could decide if they want to turn them off on your site?

europeforvisitors




msg:1406084
 9:53 pm on Jul 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

1. Advertisers can't make any sales unless someone clicks on the banners.

Yes, but it's unlikely that they'll get many sales from people who click on their ads to support your site.

2. Their ad is already perfectly matched to my audience so it's not like we're asking some odd demographic mismatch to respond. I think they would like me encouraging target demographic people to click through because that is their only chance of introducing people to their sites and getting sales.

No, because AdSense ads are meant to be direct-response ads--i.e., ads that people click on when they're interested in buying something.

3. I didn't invent the line "Be sure to check out our advertiser's offers" -- I think it's been in use since the beginning of time.

Yes, but advertisers at "the beginning of time" weren't paying pay-per-click fees--they were buying impressions.

4. Let's say you were running a TV ad on David Letterman. You don't think the advertiser would like him to say, "Hey, call this 800 number because it's a great offer you should check out". They would DIE to get an endorsement like that.

Bad analogy. David Letterman wouldn't be taking money from that advertiser's account every time someone called the 800 number.

Tell you what: Why don't you ask Google's AdSense people what they think of an invitation to "support this site by clicking on the ads"? It's easy--just use the contact form on the AdSense site. Or you can tell yourself that ignorance is bliss and continue to cheat advertisers until somebody notices and your AdSense account is cancelled.

buckworks




msg:1406085
 9:54 pm on Jul 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

As an advertiser, I DON'T want your "help".

I don't want anything or anyone to encourage people to click on my links except my own ad copy. If that doesn't connect with them by itself, they're not a good customer for me and it's not worth paying you for the click.

Make sure the ads are clearly visible, and leave it at that.

Bronte




msg:1406086
 10:11 am on Jul 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

What about explaining to users that they can rightclick to open ads in another window?

I appreciate that the advertiser is paying to 'take' my users, but a lot of them are novices, and I would like them to be able to visit the advertiser's website, but still find it easy to return to my content-filled page - and the other Google ads.

Any thoughts?

chiyo




msg:1406087
 10:28 am on Jul 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>I appreciate that the advertiser is paying to 'take' my users, but a lot of them are novices, and I would like them to be able to visit the advertiser's website, but still find it easy to return to my content-filled page - and the other Google ads. Any thoughts?<<

Yes, most people who didnt know they should hit a back button to get back to your site probably is not smart enough to fill out a credit card order either!

The advertiser does not really want people to easily go back to your site and their competing advertisers, until they have completed their order or been given a good brand communication. Their copy and spin will be designed to keep them on THEIR site, the lead for which they have paid for, and make them focus on their offering rather than where they came from.

If the quality of the lead does not meet their ROI, they may cancel content adwords ads altogether.

I'm not convinced either that opening a second window makes it significantly more likley they will return to your site. The new window obscures yours, and the back button goes nowhere..

Adwords advertisers are willing to pay good money to promote themselves. Are you willing to take a reduced commission if that benefit is reduced?

[edited by: chiyo at 10:52 am (utc) on July 13, 2003]

chiyo




msg:1406088
 10:31 am on Jul 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

You mean those "begging" type lines beggers? ;)

Personally I find those "please click on our sponsors" type statements remind me of the beggars on the street outside my window - i feel sorry for them for sure, but i realise that my few cents are not going to help them nor the cents of others. They need far more sensible help! It's almost suggesting that you wouldn't click on them otherwise, this devaluing both them and your site. "click on the ads to support our site" suggests to me that you want me to click on the sites and come back quickly to yours without really reading their pitch or offer. As an adwords advertiser this is a rubbish click, and if i could i would ban your site from displaying my ads. Let's hope google does it for me!

ams_david




msg:1406089
 1:52 pm on Jul 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

ditto ditto ditto

As one of the 10,000+ advertisers using Adwords, I would encourage all AdSense sites to leave the ads alone. Don't draw users attention to them, don't "help" us in anyway. We only want real clicks from real users that are really interested in our products or services.

When I come upon a site that encourages visitors to click on adsense ads, the only thing that makes me happy is knowing that Google will soon get around to kicking them out of the network. It also makes me happy that Google is refunding clicks made via violations like this.

Be safe - be smart - let the ads themselves do the job of attracting clicks. Don't put *ANY* notices about the ads on your site. Stick to making your content better. It'll pay off much more for everyone involved.

universetoday




msg:1406090
 3:56 pm on Jul 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

In my opinion, Adsense is the first ad network that has broken out of the downward spiral of inappropriate ads, decreasing performance and advertiser thriftiness.

For the first time there's an opportunity for people who create content to make a living at what they do without having to wear a hat that says "I also sell advertising."

Please please please don't do anything that could mess this up. Don't be greedy. Take extra care when you deal with Adsense, and live by the spirit of what Google is trying to do, not by the letter of their agreement terms.

See this through, and I think we'll all be rewarded in the years to come.

mat_bastian




msg:1406091
 4:19 pm on Jul 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree...

It's almost as though the concept is too good to be true.

I'm so frightened of this system being drastically changed or dropped after a few over zealous webmasters try to take advantage of the situation not as a partner of google and its advertisers acting in a mutually beneficial manner, but as greedy profiteers with no longterm vision.

I implore. Treat this dream system with kid gloves. Be a parter and allow this to be a profitable system for all involved. Don't aid in any way, the taking us the webmasters out of the loop.

ScottM




msg:1406092
 4:39 pm on Jul 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'll put it bluntly:

I run Ad Sense on my site. If I found out someone was clicking those ads just to help 'support' me...they'd be banned from my site.

I don't need THAT type of support..

<added>I wonder how long before a "Report AdSense Abuse" form is set up?<added>

altyfc




msg:1406093
 8:12 pm on Jul 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I would be pretty sure this is against Google's T&C...

Aaron

Lisa




msg:1406094
 10:17 pm on Jul 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

You pass your referral along to the advertiser with every click of your users, so expect all your advertiser to be stopping by to see who is using their ads and how. Abuse will get spotted and the abuser will not get rewarded. I think there are enough checks and balances in the system. Abuse will not last, only honest sites will. I feel sorry for abusers because they waste their own time.

europeforvisitors




msg:1406095
 10:24 pm on Jul 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I wonder how long before a "Report AdSense Abuse" form is set up?

Soon, I'd hope.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Google combat problems such as low-quality sites, clueless or dishonest Webmasters, and unpredictable ROI by giving more options to advertisers. For example, AdSense might evolve into a multi-tiered program where the advertiser could select:

1) Google search
2) Adsense corporate partners
3) Niche sites that have received a "Google seal of approval"
4) Everything else

Maybe advertisers could bid separately on each category, or maybe they'd just be able to exclude one or more of the above categories.

Also, it wouldn't be surprising if Google let advertisers include or exclude specific domains, just as publishers are currently able to filter out advertisers they don't want. This feature would work nicely with an "Advertise on this site" option, which would encourage publishers to use Google as their exclusive ad rep.

Botttom line: If advertisers had more control over where their ads appeared, they'd be more willing to buy content ads...and Website owners would have a financial incentive to behave themselves.

woop01




msg:1406096
 11:37 pm on Jul 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

You pass your referral along to the advertiser with every click of your users, so expect all your advertiser to be stopping by to see who is using their ads and how.

What makes you say that? Maybe I haven't dug deep enough into my logs but the only referrals I've seen are [pagead.googlesyndication.com...] and [pagead2.googlesyndication.com....] I would LOVE for Google to allow separate tracking URLs for the AdSense ads but they've already told me there isn't a way to do so.

West of Willamette




msg:1406097
 12:13 am on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

While I can't say I would agree with someone saying "click on these ads to support my site", I don't think it would be violating Google's terms of service the way I read them. I don't see any incentive to the web surfer (who is doing the clicking) to click just because someone asks them to. To me, charity or courtesy isn't a true incentive. A more tangible benefit (e.g. money) given to the person who clicks is what I believe Google is referring to in its terms of service (unless Google Guy tells me otherwise).

Whether the advertiser would approve of this or not is another matter entirely. However, there are many ways I can think of where the webmaster can call attention to the ads in a way that enhances the value of them and would increase the likelihood of a relevant click. This would be win-win for both the webmaster and the advertiser. Something along the lines of "if you are looking for quality widgets, click on the ads below" would show the webmasters "seal of approval" for the Ad Sense ads much in the same manner as people working with affiliate banners generally do. Under this scenario, I don't think the advertiser can say the clicks would be less relevant than if no special attention were shown to the ads.

europeforvisitors




msg:1406098
 12:21 am on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't see any incentive to the web surfer (who is doing the clicking) to click just because someone asks them to. To me, charity or courtesy isn't a true incentive.

It is on community sites.

Something along the lines of "if you are looking for quality widgets, click on the ads below" would show the webmasters "seal of approval" for the Ad Sense ads much in the same manner as people working with affiliate banners generally do.

The difference is that affiliate merchants aren't paying for clicks. They're paying only for sales.

yoyo8




msg:1406099
 12:37 am on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

'Something along the lines of "if you are looking for quality widgets, click on the ads below"'

It may not violate Google's terms of service, but I am 99% sure you would be kicked out if they found out. Google likes for the ads to speak for themselves.

ScottM




msg:1406100
 12:51 am on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Something along the lines of "if you are looking for quality widgets, click on the ads below" would show the webmasters "seal of approval"

Hmmm...

Recently the FTC took a look at some search engines. ( [usatoday.com...] )

If the FTC is looking at Search Engines, how long before they look at content sites for a "Seal of Approval"?

Not to mention the liability involved in approving these websites in question.

Something to think about.

markus007




msg:1406101
 12:52 am on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

I saw a site doing that very thing yesterday. They had a huge image with 2 arrows and the text said, "click on our sponsers ads" I am sure if they where reported they would get booted fast.

yoyo8




msg:1406102
 2:20 am on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

"I am sure if they where reported they would get booted fast."

I myself unintentionally commmitted a minor infraction less serious than that (not in the terms of service), and I was asked by Google to re-do it. So they may warn you first if it's not too bad.

europeforvisitors




msg:1406103
 2:33 am on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

If the FTC is looking at Search Engines, how long before they look at content sites for a "Seal of Approval"?

Not to mention the liability involved in approving these websites in question.

What liability? Do DMOZ and Yahoo! incur liability for listing sites that meet their standards of quality?

Google has a perfect right to determine which sites meet its editorial standards for a "Seal of Approval" or an "AdSense Select" rating or whatever designation it might choose. Such a designation would simply be a more rigorous version of the standards that it currently uses to accept or reject AdSense applicants. And I'm sure it would be accompanied by a disclaimer so that Google wouldn't be responsible if somebody lost a filling after following the oral-hygiene instructions at Denny the Dentist's howtobrushyourteeth.com.

West of Willamette




msg:1406104
 3:41 am on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

The interpretation I put forth was based on my literal interpretation of what I read, not what I thought Google would want nor what I might necessarily do in the same situation. Google could have said something to the effect of "don't make references to our ads within your text" and they didn't. They just used the word "incentives" and I invite you to try to stretch the dictionary definition of "incentives" to cover these situations--I am not able to.

I understand your opinions but they seem to be stretching past the rule that Google posted into the realm of personal belief/philosophy about how such advertising should be. Now, if Google Guy were to chime in here and lend credence to your opinions, I will stand corrected. However, as of now, I don't see those opinions backed by either rules or practice.

woop01




msg:1406105
 3:50 am on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Why can't people read the intent of the terms and accept them rather than try to find loop holes to abuse? You've already heard from advertisers on here that we don't want you to incentive the ads in any way. What more do you need?

yoyo8




msg:1406106
 4:16 am on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

"However, as of now, I don't see those opinions backed by either rules or practice."

Well, my opinion is backed by practice since Google contacted me directly about something less serious, and asked me to fix it, which I did. I'm quite sure that Google will find these sites, and either warn them once or kick them out.

ams_david




msg:1406107
 2:47 pm on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

You pass your referral along to the advertiser with every click of your users, so expect all your advertiser to be stopping by to see who is using their ads and how.

Yes -- this is already happening. I've followed a few of my Adword clicks to AdSense sites, and plan to continue doing so.

I've found some AdSense sites hosting my ads are very well done, full of usefull content that is relevant and of interest to the surfer.

I've also found a few AdSense sites that are in clear violations. Most popular violations being Begging For Clicks and Double Serving ads.

I usually give the webmaster a quick email and chance to fix things. Otherwise, google gets a report.

My "favorite" violation so far is a site that has text like "Your mama wants you to click the ad." and "Hey, you don't want my two little daughters to starve, do ya?" surrounding the adsense horizontal banner.

ewanfisher




msg:1406108
 3:25 pm on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

awwwwww, poor kids... where do i click? ;)

This 31 message thread spans 2 pages: 31 ( [1] 2 > >
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