Unless you have an eagle eye, you likely didn't notice that AdSense updated their Policies today (although it is dated yesterday).
So what has changed? Here is the complete run down of the new AdSense Policies. And remember, when you agree to the AdSense terms, you also agree to abide by the entire policies as well, even when they are updated.
Competitive Ads & Services
There has been a lot of question about what exactly is considered to be a competitive ad that is not allowed by AdSense, and what is allowed. So while it isn't completely clarified, it isn't the "clear as mud" as it was in the previous policies release.
If you have elected to receive contextually-targeted Google ads, this would include all other contextually-targeted ads or links on the same page as Google ads. This would also include ads throughout the site that mimic Google ads or otherwise appear to be associated with Google on your site. Although you may sell ads directly on your site, it is your responsibility to ensure these ads do not mimic Google ads.
A few interesting thoughts on this section:
It seems that AdSense is now not allowing any ads that mimic AdSense to appear on any pages within the entire site - including those pages that are not even running AdSense. There are many publishers who run AdSense, then run their own text ads in an identical format, which would now clearly be against the terms, even if they are on different sections of the same site.
This could also mean that those running non-contextual ad networks could also be in violation if some of those ad networks run ads that appear to mimic AdSense ads (as many advertisers are doing these days), even if they are on completely different pages. This could result in publishers opting out of networks or campaigns if these types of ads could not be removed from the rotation.
And if you are running an alternate ad that mimics AdSense, this would not also be against the terms, since it would appear on the same site as AdSense, even though not on the same page at the same time.
In an odd change, the line Ads must not be displayed on any page with content primarily in an unsupported language has been removed.
Under site may not include, the following has been added
Sales or promotion of products that are replicas or imitations of designer goods
I suppose this will stop those publishers selling knockoffs who also display AdSense ads. They will no longer be allowed to have AdSense generating revenue for them on those pages selling or promoting those knockoff products.
Also removed under site content is:
Site must also adhere to Google's WebMaster Guidelines, found at [google.com...] or such other URL as Google may provide from time to time.
However, this is still valid, it was simply repetitive with the Webmaster Guidelines section that appears later in the policies.
Not anything earth shattering like has been found in previous Policies changes, but it is always good to double check you are in compliance and save yourself a warning email.
That's all folks :)
<edit>grammar edit, LOL </edit>
[edited by: Jenstar at 3:00 am (utc) on May 18, 2005]