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Google AdSense Forum

This 129 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 129 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 > >     
No images lined up with adsense ads
a rare policy clarification from Google
Rodney




msg:3192310
 7:09 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

From the Adsense Blog:

We ask that publishers not line up images and ads in a way that suggests a relationship between the images and the ads

blog [adsense.blogspot.com] post goes on to give visual examples of "prohibited" image placement.

I've been seeing this a lot lately as I've been browsing the web. I wonder if they'll start sending out warnings?

 

Hobbs




msg:3193567
 6:40 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is not a new rule, this is an explanation of an old rule.

Idris




msg:3193575
 6:45 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've always seen that such tactics were on the grey side of adsense and indeed Google did appear to pick up on the system recently with their demand that images be clearly separated from the advert with a border.

I have seen a lot of sites pick up on this trick though so it does seem like a big change for Google. Mostly these have been on the arcade and myspace script based sites which seem to be very profitable if you have high levels of traffic. It will be interesting to see the impact upon these sites if Google do enforce this rule.

danimal




msg:3193595
 7:00 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

hobbs, this is an abrupt policy change by google.

there is a huge thread on another adsense forum that has covered this issue in agonizing detail, for over a year and a half now.

many sites were approved by g for the exact pic-per-ad layout that you see in their examples... what was once legal will now apparently get you banned?

bumpski




msg:3193602
 7:06 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I must say I was astonished, when I read (even in this forum) what I believe to be tacit approval of this by Google. I'm sure if I looked hard enough in the old /numbered/ subdirectories I'd find posts reporting approval by Google.

I'm glad they are discouraging it now.

I'm also surprised to see someone posting in a Adsense forum, that they totally avoid sites with Adsense. It's actually got to be pretty hard to do!
(You can't even use Google!)

FourDegreez




msg:3193618
 7:20 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm glad to see this. The images lined up with ads give the impression that the images have something to do with the ads, when they do not. It's deceptive.

However it would be a nice enhancement if Google allowed advertisers to include small images adjacent to their text ads.

hyperkik




msg:3193676
 8:01 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

does anybody know what's the last day we need to remove pics?

Seriously? Yesterday.

I anticipate under the circumstances that Google will provide some sort of mass notice or, in the short-term, individual warnings before heads start to roll. But it's your neck, so you may not wish to rely upon my guesswork.

workingNOMAD




msg:3193682
 8:05 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree with many here, about time they cleared this one up. I have been tempted in the past to put pics next to ads but glad I stayed away from temptation!

jomaxx




msg:3193686
 8:06 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

It might be worth digging up ASA's specific comments on the matter. I'm not sure I agree this is a true policy change, as there's always been an understanding that anything deceptive or confusing or that appears to be connected to the AdSense ads is not allowed.

Tapolyai




msg:3193687
 8:07 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wasn't there recently an example, on a Google authorative web site where an image of a globe with a large blue arrow, pointing down than right at the ad was considered "well done"?

Hobbs




msg:3193693
 8:11 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

hobbs, this is an abrupt policy change by google

Not according to the TOS that I know, and not according to their recent statement:

There's been some confusion on this issue, and so we turned to our policy team to set the record straight

Finally not according to my own gut feeling and common sense.

As for the publishers that claim to have an explicit approval for this, I can only guess it was part of "special" agreements made between them and Google giving them "special" privileges, it happens, and says nothing about the TOS that we go by.

I've written here many times against the vagueness in their blending directive, but in this specific case, the violation is very clear.

rogerd




msg:3193694
 8:14 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>what was once legal will now apparently get you banned?

Welcome to the world of search engines... that's been the standard for a decade now. A few people do something a little tricky, no problem. More pile in, and some keep pushing the envelope... finally, whammo. Unfortunately, they rarely warn you before the hammer drops, so I guess this alert is unusually gracious. Must be that ol' Christmas spirit.

Hobbs




msg:3193702
 8:22 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

rogerd,
There is no contract or published written rules for search engine services because it is a free service guarded and enclosed in secrets, this is a different matter.

danimal




msg:3193714
 8:33 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>>Not according to the TOS that I know<<<

there is nothing in the old tos that specifically forbids images next to ads, which could be why nobody has posted the relevant links.

an old email i have from adsense support required a border around either the pics or the ad block, and as you can see from this thread, they still do allow pics next to ads under the right circumstances.

i agree with your opinion to some extent, but until you have read the thread that i was referring to, it will be difficult to understand just how far g has swung on this issue.

Tapolyai




msg:3193735
 8:48 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am disappointed in Google Adsense.

Most are cowering and providing "attaboy" to Google Adsense/Adwords decisions no matter how shrouded or inconsistent they may be.

This reminds me very much of AT&T.

One of the differences is the 'Internet speed'...

[edited by: Tapolyai at 8:49 pm (utc) on Dec. 19, 2006]

timster




msg:3193740
 8:53 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hobbs is right, there's nothing new here. Google is clarifying their TOS, as this is an example that "draws undue attention" to the ads. If you abide by the spirit of the TOS, you don't get into these jams.

And this issue is not the same as blending. Blending is not about drawing undue attention to ads; to whit, it's about making the ads stand out as little as possible.

I'm not sure why anyone would be surprised by this article. What advertiser would want their fine products and services associated with our cheesy graphics? Seriously, "random" images corresponding to their ads could be seen as interfering with their branding efforts. And they are the ones supplying the cash.

maxgoldie




msg:3193746
 8:58 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

the fake freeware site rules the serps for 100's of apps ..none of which it has

This is proof that something is broken in Google as compared to other search engines in the way it allows the MFAs to rise to the top of the food chain like that.

Isn't it duplicitous though in the end, to say that you are not allowed to show images beside ads because it might be "misleading", but then mislead even far more people yourself by returning pages and pages of bogus MFA-laden search engine results (like the freeware site Leosghost refered to!)?

rbacal




msg:3193748
 9:02 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure why anyone would be surprised by this article.

Well, there's people who are surprised, and people who are surprised and unhappy, and then there are people who aren't surprised, etc.

The unhappy people get mad because their attempts to skirt the edge of adsense policy get foiled. It's the same people who complain, each time one of their fave "avenues" gets blocked.

There's no surprise here, as you indicate. Except for people who believe they are entitled to...[fill in blank]

Hobbs




msg:3193749
 9:02 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

until you have read the thread

Try this search [google.com] daminal, it has to be there.

rytis




msg:3193775
 9:24 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ironically, one specific language links from that Adsense Blog article under "Links to this post:" land on supposedly authoritative sites for webmasters in that country, and all 3 say this: oh, ah, what a black day, was good while it lasted, but don't worry we will come up with new solutions real soon, followed by some ideas. LOL

BTW (western) internet in that country to this day is taken by most webmasters as some faceless media which is suitable for milking money without fear to be caught.

danimal




msg:3193800
 9:44 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

thanks hobbs, here is the relevant thread that proves exactly what i was saying:

[webmasterworld.com...]

as i stated before, numerous websites with pics next to ads were approved by adsense suppport... in the thread discussed by critters, we saw google approval for specific url's that had the exact same pic-per-ad page design that has now been specifically outlawed.

if you are a publisher who got caught up in this, consider emailing adsense support to get an opinion on your specific site... it might give you a bit of breathing room, while you are changing your page design.

netmeg




msg:3193807
 9:48 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Regardless, things change.

Hobbs




msg:3193814
 9:51 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

AdSenseAdvisor in that same thread:

placing images above AdSense ads is not necessarily prohibited by program policies. However, depending on the method of implementation this could be considered ‘encouraging users to click on ads’

jomaxx




msg:3193821
 9:53 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

...placing images above AdSense ads is not necessarily prohibited by program policies. However, depending on the method of implementation this could be considered ‘encouraging users to click on ads’.

Right, this is exactly how I remember it being left by ASA. The policy is a bit vague as always, but I don't actually see any difference between that statement and the current one:

We ask that publishers not line up images and ads in a way that suggests a relationship between the images and the ads.

whatson




msg:3193824
 9:56 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ok, so what happens if you do not remove your images from adsense ads?
Adsense account closed?
Site penalized in SERPS?

Would the penalties be removed if you correct the site?

Hobbs




msg:3193845
 10:09 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

whatson,
This has nothing to do with the serps
don't take my word for it, but act now or contact them as danimal suggested.

TXGodzilla




msg:3193864
 10:17 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

FourDegreez,
However it would be a nice enhancement if Google allowed advertisers to include small images adjacent to their text ads.

FD, Google does allow image ads for advertisers. The layouts are a bit crummy, but they do exist.

stef25




msg:3193890
 10:38 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

the rule existed before but there was no clear guideline and its still not very clear. in fact i see nothing different from 6 months ago when i looked into it

im surprised that MFA sites like "best 4 x" still exist with adsense accounts AND they drive traffic to their site with Adwords!

danimal




msg:3193893
 10:40 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

the big difference is that we now have two specific examples of page designs that are not allowed... this is the first time that google has given us a concrete policy about certain certain combos of pics and ads.

but in the same breath, they turn around and state that is o.k. to use pics next to ads under different circumstances... so that's no different, lol.

maxgoldie




msg:3193937
 11:21 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

im surprised that MFA sites like "best 4 x" still exist with adsense accounts AND they drive traffic to their site with Adwords!

Isn't this really what is at the core of most of these sorts of issues? Why does Google allow these people to game their serps and ad program in the first place?

mvander




msg:3193970
 12:17 am on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think if they are making this stand, they need to be diligent and enforce it across the board. There are a lot of folks who will leave it up until they get an email from google.

In the long run, it should improve Adsense for everyone.

noodlebox




msg:3193990
 1:04 am on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I never liked the misleading efforts of ad placement like this anyway.

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