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Google AdSense Forum

AdSense in Web Software
Vendor puts its Adsense code by default into a free web script.

 12:25 pm on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is it allowed to put my AdSense code into a web script (say, CMS) by default. Almost all users put their adsense to it anyway, but can I put mine until they change it?

For example, what if phpBB forum had pre-installed adsense,, which you can change via admin panel to your own adsense code? That would make extra money for phpBB team, but is it legit?



 1:44 pm on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

If the code is as delivered by Adsense, and was put up with the end-users agreement, I see no problem; You can use Adsense on any site.

The only problem I can see is if you are proposing to do a swicth which may end up deceiving someone as to whose Adsense code was being displayed.

That would almost certainly break the TOS (and the fraud laws!). Else I see no issues.


 2:08 pm on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

You may also find that it is part of the terms and conditions of the forum software owner that AdSense is installed as a prerequisite of using their templates, so they earn money this way, as many forum software is free to use, but relies on income from such things as AdSense to make money.


 2:42 pm on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

According to the Terms and Conditions of Google Adsense you must have the permission of the website owner to display Adsense on that website. This practice does seem to run contrary to that term.


 6:52 pm on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

A while back I installed a php based script that had pre-built modules for adsense and other types of advertising. By default, it was set up to feed ads using the adsense ID of the people that wrote and distributed the code. Doesn't bother me.

One potential problem -for them - I installed the script on an adult themed site. But I turned off adsense the first day - as soon as I figured out how.

Bottom line - I wouldn't want my adsense code appearing anywhere I didn't specifically put it.


 11:09 pm on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

It is unethical, sneaky, and clearly a violation of AdSense TOS. Plus, it is the easiest way to lose your AdSense account. People may end up creating all kinds of unacceptable websites (and yes, any competitor can do that to you if they want to hurt your AdSense account), but at least when a competitor does that you have a defense in front of Google - "I do not own this website and I have not put those ads." When you are the provider of a software, there is no defennse.

There are already so many crooks out there; please don't be one of them.


 4:24 am on Jul 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't see a problem with it. Lots of software (especially freeware) do the same. You'll have to make it clear to your users that your adsense code is running on their site. In some cases users aren't even allowed to remove the adsense code because it is illegal to edit the source code. Some software let user to remove the adsense code after they purchase a licence.

Again, you just have to make sure your users know about it. It is up to your users to decide if they want to use your software or not.


 5:01 am on Jul 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thank you a lot. Although I couldn't find examples of other software vendors doing same I think we'll try doing that the following way:

1. On software installation we will clearly state that our Adsense code will be running on their site and we will explain how they can change that setting (put thier own adsense code) in admin panel.

2. We will suggest removing our AdSense should they want to run adult or any AdSense-illegal content off their site.

3. On our site, at download area we will state that since the software is free we run our AdSense by default but they are free to change it and the change can be doe easily by simple copy-pase in admin panel.

Hope this won't cause any problems with Google. We have an adsense account for years (opened it one week after the adsense program introduction, used to be in DHL club and always receive fancy Google presents for Christmas) and would hate loosing it.


 5:23 am on Jul 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

NazaretH, I feel you are ignoring clear terms from Google just to suit yourself. What you propose is not permitted unless you get explicit permission from the website owner for your adverts to be placed there.

What I would suggest is a checkbox in the setup process:
[ ] Show Adsense adverts for NazaretH's account

If ticked then you will show the adverts, if not, then you won't.


 5:54 am on Jul 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Okay, so now you're going to be responsible for the bad traffic, invalid clicks, and various TOS violations of websites all over the world, as they set up and experiment with their websites.

I'm not sure this is specifically against the AdSense rules, but it sounds like a potential nightmare, especially since you'll be relying for your income on newbies who don't grok things too fully in the first place. Well, you can't say you didn't go into it with your eyes open.


 6:06 am on Jul 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hm... still not clear enough and still very tempting. Thinking about a workaround - putting our own ad script with our own sites banners and keep AdSense on that sites (since we control them).

But the initial idea is still oh-so-tempting.


 6:30 am on Jul 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google Adsense(TM) Online Standard Terms and Conditions extract:

5, (v) : Prohibited uses (emphasis mine):
(vi) directly or indirectly access, launch, and/or activate Ads, Links, Search Results, or Referral Buttons through or from, or otherwise incorporate the Ads, Links, Search Results, or Referral Buttons in, any software application, Web site, or other means other than Your Site(s), and then only to the extent expressly permitted by this Agreement...

It seems very clear to me. If it's not your site then you can't run the ads there.


 6:35 am on Jul 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

As per Program Policies:

No AdSense code may be integrated into a software application


 6:37 am on Jul 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

No AdSense code may be integrated into a software application

Thanks for that information. I have always thought you can do that. I have seen some web application software that do that as well, and one of which is a really popular ASP forum software too.


 6:43 am on Jul 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

It seems very clear to me. If it's not your site then you can't run the ads there.

It does seem clear but then I wonder why Google supposedly allows "revenue sharing" sites.


 6:57 am on Jul 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

It does seem clear but then I wonder why Google supposedly allows "revenue sharing" sites.

From further on in the same document:
The payments made under this Agreement are for use by You only and may not be transferred or in any manner passed on to any third party (i.e., distributed to Sites managed by You that require separate payments) unless expressly authorized in writing by Google (including by electronic mail).


 7:01 am on Jul 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

It's getting even more unclear now. We are also thinking about rev-share model, which would let us have control and set guidelines for the sites, since we will host them and will manage the software. Is it ok to show ads on that sites? Or should we explicitly state to every subscriber that it would be OUR site, but they would just "operate their part" of the site and would have to point their domain to it?


 8:17 am on Jul 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Re the "software application" rule: Assuming this script's effect is to serve up plain HTML containing the AdSense code, whatever happens behind the scenes is invisible to Google and irrelevant. In my understanding this rule refers to spyware, browser plugins, games, etc.


 8:40 am on Jul 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

As per Program Policies:
No AdSense code may be integrated into a software application

Seems pretty darn clear to me that it means what it says.


 9:55 am on Jul 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

The one thing that does vary is the meaning of 'your site' - which I would guess refers to any site you have 100% control over (and 100% responsibility for).

If your business model involves sharing adsense income, you are never going to get rich anyway, so why risk what you have?

You've got your answer - don't do it. Let your partners apply for adsense themselves, if they wish, then you don't need to sahre anything, or have their errors on your plate.

You are on your own if you persist - and you may be sure that if Google don't find you, one of your 'partners' will drop you in it.

Drop it, leave it, move on ....


 11:11 am on Jul 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yo sure knew that the question would be "Why revenue sharing won't make me rich?" Assume I have really good software, which looks even better if managed and hosted. What's wrong with me taking %% from adsense ads on the sites I manage?


 11:13 am on Jul 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Having great software, hosting and managing it, sounds a great position to be in. I'm sure that there are other ways to monetise it than revenue sharing though. If it's a sure winner, then your customers will be happy to pay in cash rather than shared clicks and then recoup their cash through their own Adsense ads.

NazaretH, if you had already made up your mind about this, why did you ask the question in the first place? You've been clearly told that it's not permitted but that doesn't seem to matter to you...


 11:35 am on Jul 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Some folk just have to learn the hard way ... choose not to be one of those people.

Reread all the good advice you've been given and think about it.


 3:15 am on Jul 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

I really have not decided yet, and the reason for me asking over and over is that there's still no clear answer if this can or can not be done. For me, it still looks like it can be done, if done properly, if "partners" agree explicitly and if the site is "ours". They are many IFs, but nothing really impossible.

We are considering AdSense as a way to monetize traffic/software for a reason. Taking payments, per se, is a major hassle, which we try to avoid whenever possible. Refunds, charge-backs, failed orders, problems with payment processors and post-payment servicing - all that becomes a nightmare if you're not based in US and rely on worldwide operation. AdSense is so much more simple, stable and rewarding.

To sum up, I think I will craft a short plan of the upcoming project and send to Google Adsense team to see if they would approve it or not. I will post about the outcome here. IMO the topic is still not clear and pretty controversial, especially when it comes to definitions and IFs.

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