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Related Searches
This feature will be suspended until publishers have more options

 8:13 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey everyone, I just wanted to give you an update on the new features in AdSense. Last night we released a number of new features for Google AdSense publishers. We introduced color palettes to give the ability to customize the appearance of ads, daily averages on reports, more detailed feedback forms on 'Ads by Google', and related searches. Feedback on most of these features has been extremely positive.

A number of AdSense publishers did express concern about the related searches feature. As a result of this feedback, we decided to temporarily disable this feature. We will soon re-release this feature with greater flexibility for the publishers. I don't know if this will be opt-in or opt-out, but I believe publishers will be able to turn off the feature if they don't want to use it. I'm confident that this approach will effectively meet the needs of publishers that want to try this new feature and publishers who would rather not use it. I talked to an AdSense engineer a few minutes ago, and this change is scheduled to happen very soon (probably later today).

As always, we appreciate feedback, whether it shows up here or via direct emails to us. I'll be stopping by this thread off and on today to try to answer any questions that people have, and I'll post an update if I find out any more useful info.



 8:16 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I wish this stance of Google gets wild publicity. I love Google. No egos..they are not afraid to take a step back when things dont work out!

A true internet-economy :)Thanks GG, wtg


 8:16 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

The idea of a company with the power of google actually wanting to work with publishers and not just impose their will has renewed my faith in Adsense. I'm seriously close to feeling emotional. It's really nice to have our concerns be heard.


 8:18 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Kudos to Google for this rapid response. It's almost unheard of these days for a company to be this professional and responsive. I am VERY impressed.


 8:18 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Now Perhaps a method to replace blank boxes with psa's or something would be nice. All would seem perfect then. Flexibility man... that will keep you guys on top for a long time.


 8:21 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Big up Google-dude ;)


 8:22 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Related searches are disappeared from my site ;)


 8:22 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm at the moment not 100% sure if the related search results were a good or a bad thing. A have a hardware site, and on some pages they were showing usefull search results, but most of them were entirely unusefull and just placefilling.

But I must admit "Wow that was fast!"

Shows you once again how good Google is!
Thanks Googleguy! Hopefully Google will keep listening to the publishers in future.


 8:24 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the update GoogleGuy.

Making it optional is indeed the best route -- as the 'related searches' is a good option for some web sites, but not all of them.

I applaud the quick response, and plan on reinstating adsense soon as the change is made.


 8:25 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Glad I refrained from an angry post earlier and waited to see if there was any response now.

It is always nice to see Google responding to feedback quickly - and I am now willing to believe the related searches feature wasn't intending to be as 'sinister' as it first appeared!

Anyway, I can now go off and enjoy playing with the new colour palette.

[edited by: olias at 8:27 pm (utc) on Aug. 7, 2003]


 8:25 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm seriously close to feeling emotional.


As I said in a thread earlier I like to be associated with the Google brand - and this re-inforces this belief.

Can you imagine many other companies taking this action?

I imagine (although dont hold me to this) that it is probably not much of a deal to Google either way if the related search was offered (do they need more brand awareness!) - It might have been someone who thought that it was a cool idea (and no doubt it does show Google understanding of a web page to provide a related search) and to throw it in.

Obviously they did not expect this scale of opposition from Webmasters otherwise they would not be taking the step to remove the related search.

Dont know if I will leave them on there or not when/if the option is available.

Big up Google-dude ;)

Seconded :)


[edited by: Dayo_UK at 8:27 pm (utc) on Aug. 7, 2003]


 8:27 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Thanks Googleguy! Hopefully Google will keep listening to the publishers in future."

I just did the post--the AdSense folks did the hard work to make sure we responded quickly to the initial feedback. Our goal is to get everything right from the get-go every time, but I appreciate that our users and customers tell us when they think we could do better. Thanks to everyone for the feedback!


 8:29 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Rarely do I have my faith renewed in big business, but Google managed that today by responding so quickly to this issue. Thanks, Google!


 8:29 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

By the way Googleguy ;

When Adsense only finds a few ads for the page, but not the full amount of four, there are a few annoying blank boxes. Any chance of getting the option to remove those in future? It would be a good improvement of Adsense I think.

(I'm using the skyscraper by the way)

Another nice feature would be to let publishers choose how many ads they want to display on their website. So they can choose if they want to display 1, 2,3 or 4 text ads from Adsense on their website.


 8:30 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

cheers for the update I think the opt-in or opt-out option is almost definitely the way to go


 8:30 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thank you very much GoogleGuy & Google. :)


 8:32 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey GG, was related searches really released just last night? I'd seen those links on AdSense ads on numerous sites (www.infoplease.com, for example) for a week or so. Just curious...


 8:33 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

p.s. bravo for your company's prompt attention to these complaints. (I wish every issue got the same kind of attention!)


 8:33 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Kudos to Google. I am extremely impressed that user feedback prompted such an immediate change to the related searches addition to AdSense. I suspect many of those who spent time removing ads will now be spending time putting them back up :)

GoogleGuy, thank you for taking our concerns back to the AdSense team. It was very much appreciated, and I must say, the response time was pretty impressive, considering the size of Google ;)

Well done!


 8:34 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)


... Well done Google. I think it is the right decision from everyones point of view..

...Publishers for all the reasons given at WebmasterWorld

...Advertisers who must have been concerned by competing ads in the "related searches"

... and hazzard a guess that total CTR was well down for Google as a whole today


 8:34 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

nice one googleguy and the AdSense team!

Thanks for taking the time to post and put minds at rest :o)

If you continue to do business like you are then I am sure you will have the support of many webmasters for a long time to come.


how about the "this blank space brought to you by..." issue?


 8:35 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks GG. As many others have said, it's so refreshing to see a major company to take into account the views of us webmasters.

Puts the others who hide behind the anonymity of the net to scam others to shame.


 8:36 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> I suspect many of those who spent time removing ads will now be spending time putting them back up

Um, Pavlov's dog here,, keeps me off the streets taking them off, putting them on, changing the colour!


 8:37 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good karma baby...good good karma!

Thanks for the update GG. You have restored my confidence in Google and the AdSense program. At least for the moment.


1.) Make it optional.
2.) Even if it's optional, pay webmasters a revenue share for clicks generated from the referred "related links" click. Right is Right. Why should we as webmasters offer our hard work/visitors to Google for free? No way!
3.) Get rid of the blank ad boxes. Show nothing at all not even the place holder (good), PSA's (ok), allow a webmaster to insert some default code (best).


 8:37 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks for this news, GG. I commend Google for its prompt response to a situation that was getting very negative, very quickly.


 8:38 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google guy said:

I believe publishers will be able to turn off the feature if they don't want to use it

If this possibility to switch it off will be not connected with some penalizing of publishers who switch it off, then Google will be rehabilitated.

Suggestion: please give us possibility to switch "Related searches" on some web sites and switch off on other - as a parameter in the source code of the AdSense banner (default: off - important). Not just one global switch.

Greetings to Mrs. Wojcicki - either she or her husband are Polish too :-)

[edited by: PolishGuy at 8:40 pm (utc) on Aug. 7, 2003]


 8:38 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's easy to think of large corporations as being impersonal entities - and many big companies work hard to maintain this image.

Thank goodness that Google isn't one of them :-)

But every large company comprises people - yes, just like me, just like everyone on this forum.

I think it's great when a large corporation is prepared to be seen as a bunch of people.



 8:39 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have a suspicion the blank ads are gone. I'm showing PSA's instead of the blank space I had all day.


 8:40 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Any news on the blank Adsense boxes GG?

Those are more concerning to some webmasters than the related search issue was.


 8:40 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Wow! That was incredibly fast. Even more so, the related searches link is no longer displaying on my sites ads.

Excellent move Google. I'm willing to experiment around with displaying 1 related search ad on these ads (I can see how it could potentially help click-throughs), but I had some ads that displayed 7 of them at once - which is 6 too many!

Now, if only you could also get rid of that "blank space displayed by Google" thingy (in all seriousness, when people see it, they think it's a strange joke) and we'll be all set.


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