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No images lined up with adsense ads
a rare policy clarification from Google
Rodney

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 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?

 

gamiziuk

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 8:05 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ruh-roh!

:(

Leosghost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 8:08 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

What one sees far more often than their examples is 4 images in a horizontal row ( usually near the top of the page pretending to be thumbnails and their associated nav links ) with text link adsense ( the part that is intended to be taken for the nav links ) precisely lined up under each image and less than 10 pxels below it ..

Shame they couldn't have shown that "combo" and said "don't do this clear and out loud" ..

It's way against their TOS ...but far more prevalent than the exmaples that they did show ( albiet this is at least apartial pulling aside of the curtain ) ..maybe from this toe in the water at clear speak they will go further?

worst one I saw recently as last friday .."click to download" links that open to a page with "if the download does not start within 5 seconds ..click any of the links below to begin your download" ..needless to say the only working links below were all adsense related to the descriptive text ( "free software site" and thus to the supposed download ..that never would start ..

friend thought his machine was broken ..said "I keep trying to download this thing ..but the links just keep opening on other websites" ..he's in France ..the site was in english ( which he understands a little ) ..he was searching for an old app ..normally freeware ..the fake freeware site rules the serps for 100's of apps ..none of which it has ..

all the site's adsense was in english ..well targeted pages ..well crafted ..pure scam ..manual site reveiw by adsense would have blown it out of the water ( it may yet :) ..if Mr cutts is on the ball ..?

then again decent serps wouldn't let it exist any way ..it had 7 from 10 of the page one places ..for each app it supposedly has available to download ..and sits in the serps like that due to it's being the centre of it's own web of recip sister sites all of which are linked to from the bottom of it's pages ..

despite what Adam may say in another thread ..G has lost it's grip on fake recips and fake sites and MFA's ..

And G ..having spent years saying "blend it" ..is now backtracking and saying different ..short memory? change of heart? ..

In which case why did I find a froogle ad at the top of serps today ..above the number one site for a 3 word search ..the froogle ad ( called itself the "product search result"..I wasnt searching for a product ) "had 2 words from 3 in the title that matched the 3word search ..the site below ( the normal number one organic result ) had 3 from 3 in the title..perfect match according to G ..but somehow it came second ~:o

serp ..3 words ..G gave 158,000 results

the "product search result" ..had a little image ( shopping sac ) right next to the ad text ..sort of screaming to be clicked on ..cute lil' grocery sac it was :)

and it and it's "Oh so close" ad text was out of the blue ..in the white ..down there in the place where normally only the organic search results are ..just above the first real organic result ..which was a better match for the search string ..

do as we say ..but not as we do? ..hey G?

edit ..clarity and spelling

[edited by: Leosghost at 8:10 pm (utc) on Dec. 18, 2006]

Rodney

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 8:36 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

What one sees far more often than their examples is 4 images in a horizontal row ( usually near the top of the page pretending to be thumbnails and their associated nav links ) with text link adsense ( the part that is intended to be taken for the nav links ) precisely lined up under each image and less than 10 pxels below it

I've seen that one pretty often as well, but I thought it was covered pretty clearly in the policy clarification.

It also seems to be virtually the same as the vertical thumbnails they showed in their example; showing both methods might have covered all bases though just in case someone didn't understand the plain text explanation they gave.

koan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 9:46 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Tricking people to click on an ad is no good business for anyone.

MThiessen

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 9:47 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

someone didn't understand the plain text explanation they gave.

Some folks like to act all stupid if it is not dick-and-jane romper-room spelled out for them in simple 5th grade (or lower) level grammer...

hyperkik

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 12:13 am on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

In relation to the lined-up images this a change of policy (without a change of the text of the policies)? I've seen this done on so many sites for so long, although I never tried it, I had assumed Google was okay with it.

By way of contrast, YPN is quite explicit in its terms that lined-up images are not acceptable.

I've seen the site navigation matched to ad appearance on fewer occasions, some of which were plainly misleading and others of which still made it pretty clear that they were ads. I'm not really surprised that Google is dropping the hammer.

iwannano1

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 12:50 am on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I welcome this move. Well done G.

moTi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 1:34 am on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

bravo! blending is for beggars. back to good ol' ads recognizable as ads. shouldn't that be self-evident anyway?

for clarification: former google policy was, that images shouldn't point directly to the ads, resp. contain text that invites to click.

fi5hbone

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 2:48 am on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Regarding the freeware site, I think I have come acrossed it before. The webmaster must be earning tonnes by now.

I was just wondering if Google should set up a department who spends their time receiving complaint emails from honest webmasters and dealing with such websites. It is a good time to clamp down on such things if not the bubble is going to burst again soon and we are going to move even further away from Web 2.0.

And on a more personal level, I think it is very unfair to honest people if these blokes are allowed to continue cheating the system.

Erick_L

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 4:19 am on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

What I don't understand is I saw a few webmasters with images lined up with the ads claiming they had the OK from Google.

ken_b

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 4:36 am on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

What I don't understand is I saw a few webmasters with images lined up with the ads claiming they had the OK from Google.

Yeah, that is probably going to be an issue for some folks.

Hopefully anyone who got that advice or approval has kept the emails about it. More troublesome are the situations where the advice/approval was given in a phone conversation.

I suppose the best advice would be to email Adsense again and double check to see if their page layouts need to be changed somehow.

jomaxx

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 5:39 am on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Frankly I'm happy with this policy. There's a site I go to frequently, actually quite a useful site, but it's monetized by an AdSense block below thumbnail images and it's very confusing. Even as an old AdSense hand, I still find myself regularly almost clicking on those ads by mistake.

BTW this site has been banned from AdSense for a while now (a few weeks maybe, not really sure how long). I have no idea if the images are connected to the banning, but other than the blending the site comes across as strictly legit.

leadegroot

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 7:42 am on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Oh my! Thats quite a change! Most of that was definitely on the 'ok' side of the line until now.
Makes me glad I never got around to trying it....

swa66

WebmasterWorld Senior Member swa66 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 12:36 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good!

As publishers we can only be happy about this going to go away. A few idiots getting banned over it is the price to pay for gaining more trust from the advertisers and have them compete more for the space we offer them.

As far as policy changes go: it can easily fall under the "calling undue attention" clause or many others.

Hobbs

WebmasterWorld Senior Member hobbs us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 2:31 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I failed to report one of those (aligned images) using the new reporting page format:
[webmasterworld.com...]

Even before Google's explanation, it was very clear to me using only common sense that this is a big no, can't understand how anyone saw it as blending.

Next should be link units hiding as navigation.

Jon_King

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 3:06 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>Next should be link units hiding as navigation.

That's the real biggie.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 3:46 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>Next should be link units hiding as navigation.<<

That's the real biggie.

I see your point, but clicking on a link unit doesn't result in a charge to an advertiser (unlike clicking on an ad, which does).

Mind you, I'm not suggesting that disguising link units as navigational links shouldn't be discouraged. I just don't think it's as big a deal as disguising ads as navigation.

WiseWebDude

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 3:46 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

GOOD, I am sick of those type of tricks anyway, I have to give it to Google on this one, thanks!

[edited by: WiseWebDude at 3:47 pm (utc) on Dec. 19, 2006]

vincevincevince

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 3:48 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Why now, just before Christmas, does Google throw us this extra work?

>>Next should be link units hiding as navigation.
That's the real biggie.

Next should be adsense ads hiding as content.

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 3:50 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Makes me glad my main site only has one image on the whole site - a shadow for the background.

Angelis

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 3:52 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

If they made the adsense adverts a little better to customise they might get some more publishers using adsence. I personally hate it because the adverts are so drab. They also look like everyone else's adverts. If I see an adsence advert on a website I hit the backspace button immediatly.

JoaoJose

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 3:53 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think this is a good move from the adsense team because for me it wasn't clear if you could put images next to ads.

The problem is Adsense is a contextual program and the ads are mostly text ads. So blending with the website's content is one of the secrets of Adsense's success.

So I think it's not that simple to draw the line in what is and what isn't acceptable.

Putting images next to ads isn't acceptable but what about blending ads in the middle of your site's content?, and what about adlinks what's the purpose of that?

It's not easy to draw the line on these issues.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 4:56 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

If they made the adsense adverts a little better to customise they might get some more publishers using adsence.

I don't think Google has to be concerned about a dearth of AdSense publishers. They're more likely to be concerned about "ad blindness" from too many text ads on the Web.

If I see an adsence advert on a website I hit the backspace button immediatly.

ZDNET, THE WASHINGTON POST, and THE NEW YORK TIMES don't seem worried about losing online readers because of their AdSense ads, so your aversion to sites with "Ads by Google" probably isn't typical.

maherphil

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 5:13 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

wow, its about time. I remember seeing this a LONG while ago and trying it for myself. It works! More clicks when you do this.

Genuine1

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 5:33 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

But as usual google wont inforce it. So those well behaved webmasters will earn less than the cheaters.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 5:50 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

But as usual google wont inforce it. So those well behaved webmasters will earn less than the cheaters.

Not necessarily. Google is a company that was built around automation, and in terms of scalability, automated incentives and disincentives (such as smart pricing, "quality scores," etc.) make a lot more sense than playing whack-a-mole with every individual nitwit or scumbag who tries to game the system. Starvation kills just as surely as shooting does--it just takes a little longer and isn't as dramatic.

HowYesNo

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 5:55 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

ah this sux :(

advice for google: remove all mfa sites from ads and set the minimum click value to 10c, then we wont need to use images because the links will be quality and visitors will get what they are searching/clicking for!

sory for bad english ;)

danimal



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 6:09 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

according to the big g, if clicks don't convert, publisher epc will go down.

so this is really a tacit admission by google that their conversion tracking system does not work as well as it should... no surprise there.

i am glad that i never bought into this ad-per-pic layout, but i feel sorry for all those publishers who got the o.k. from google over a year ago to do it... now they have to change all their page designs.

HowYesNo

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3192308 posted 6:38 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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

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