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How to check if something is a TOS violation
This is really something they should allow people to ask
graeme_p




msg:4283284
 8:44 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google no longer provides a general "contact adsense" form.

I want to ask if two things I want to do are TOS violations. Both are perfectly reasonable and non-deceptive, but skate close to the programme policies. The programme policies are fairly obviously written to stop other behaviour (which would be deceptive), but the wording is so wide that you could argue that I am breaking the TOS.

IN case anyone knows, the two things I want to do are:

1) use CSS with a media selector to hide a div containing a large ad from small screen devices. It will be completely hidden and unclickable.
2) encourage the use of somone else's application that opens my site in an embedded browser when users click a more information button.

 

AdSenseAdvisor




msg:4283310
 9:30 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

The general contact form for policy violation clarifications is:

[google.com ]


On your second question

2) encourage the use of somone else's application that opens my site in an embedded browser when users click a more information button.


This sounds like it's against our policy. In the Traffic Sources section of the AdSense Program Policies, it states:

Google ads may not be placed on pages receiving traffic from certain sources. For example, publishers may not participate in paid-to-click programs, send unwanted emails or display ads as the result of the action of any software application. Also, publishers using online advertising must ensure that their pages comply with Google's Landing Page Quality Guidelines.

There's more detail on this policy on the AdSense Help section here:

[google.com ]

Please read through and ensure you're complying with policies!

ASA.

Leosghost




msg:4283321
 9:48 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi, the new ASA,

Thanks for the clarification ;-)..the second part I figured but the first part
1) use CSS with a media selector to hide a div containing a large ad from small screen devices. It will be completely hidden and unclickable.


Must have had a few people wondering beside the OP.

Interesting to know your response on that one ?

Please read through and ensure you're complying with policies ;-)


just a small difference :)

Especially in the light of that sometimes Adsense policy is explained real clearly ..and sometimes it reads like Nostradamus writing while under the influence of something that made him even more obscure in his meaning ;-)

.. Would be more in the spirit of here ..just saying ..

[edited by: Leosghost at 9:59 pm (utc) on Mar 17, 2011]

Lame_Wolf




msg:4283330
 9:56 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Even point #1 sounds like it is against the TOS too.

What I would like to see is the TOS for premium accounts. How do we plebs know if they are breaking the TOS if the rules are different ?

I was on Google.com a while back and clicked on a SERP. I should have been taken to the page directly... was I ? No. I was presented with a page with adsense on it, with a message saying that I will be taken to said page in 15 seconds.

Another site I visited showed a similar thing once I browsed a few pages.

Just because they are premium account holders doesn't mean they are playing the rules... but how do we know ?

tim222




msg:4283334
 10:07 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

1) use CSS with a media selector to hide a div containing a large ad from small screen devices. It will be completely hidden and unclickable.


This sounds like the method use by some ad blockers. I'm not sure if that means you can block your own ads, but it would be ironic if a 3rd party is able to do that to a website, but the publisher is not allowed to do that to their own site.

Anyway, I can think of a workaround for this... I would look for small screen devices at the server level - before the page is even rendered - and then serve an ad that's an appropriate size or maybe no ad at all. This way, the ad itself is not being modified.

graeme_p




msg:4283346
 10:26 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

@tim222 How do you reliably check at the server level, especially with tablets with largish screens running the same OS and browsers as phones with tiny screens?

display ads as the result of the action of any software application


Thanks for the clarification. I had interpreted "action of any software application" to mean the application to mean the application opening a web page unasked, rather than providing a "click to open a web page" link.

I will ask the application developer to link to the site with a get parameter that tells me where the traffic comes from and put in ads from another network when it is present.

graeme_p




msg:4283347
 10:27 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the link to the clarification form, I could not find it.

I have used it to submit a detailed description of what I want to do.

If they say no I think the rules are silly in the circumstances (opening a web page because someone clicked on a "more from the web" button is hardly misleading or harmful).

netmeg




msg:4283354
 10:49 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just because they are premium account holders doesn't mean they are playing the rules... but how do we know ?


I expect they figure that's between Google and the premium publishers, and nobody else's business.

ken_b




msg:4283362
 10:59 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just because they are premium account holders doesn't mean they are playing the rules... but how do we know ?

Get a job at Google on the AdSense Premium Publisher Violation Patrol?

Otherwise, I'd suggest we worry about working on our own sites and let Google worry about any violations of the agreements they have with premium publishers.
.

Lame_Wolf




msg:4283371
 11:25 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Get a job at Google on the AdSense Premium Publisher Violation Patrol?

I'd do it for free.

tim222




msg:4283380
 11:51 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

How do you reliably check at the server level, especially with tablets with largish screens running the same OS and browsers as phones with tiny screens?


True, the tablets would probably get small ads, but that's the nature of a workaround.

I suppose some AJAX method could be used to get the screen resolution and then do a post back to display the page, although that sounds like way more trouble than it's worth.

netmeg




msg:4283408
 12:57 am on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hello; someone else's contract with Google is not your business, regardless of how much you wanna play AdSense cop.

Leosghost




msg:4283439
 2:08 am on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

What I would like to see is the TOS for premium accounts

There isn't really a standard one ( there are always customized tweaks and so on in them for each premium publisher/partner "deal" )..so there couldn't be any "standard" definition of breach of "premium" TOS..and some premium publishers are more like "feed agents" and can resell the feed..

And their TOS ( that you sign up to ) are not exactly the same at each feed reseller either .

Same thing applies to all the major ad feeds.( Google are not the only one ..and you'd have to recognize the different query "string" Id type markers to know which ad feed a site uses ..not all "sponsored ads" are from Google )..no one premium or partner account has exactly the same terms.

You want an approximate idea of the basic terms ..sign up with oversee or fabulous etc ..but even then the TOS that you'll sign to is way more restricted than the TOS that they get from their feed suppliers..and it's all confidential ..which is how it should be.

The electric and the water utilities don't have the same deals with all their big customers as with their medium and their domestic ones..and their contracts are confidential too..I used to be a major electricity consumer with one business I had ..I paid nowhere near the price per Kwh that smaller businesses or domestic customers did ..and way more than the really huge users did ..

There are more constructive things to worry over than what the big dog's deals are ..like how to get the traffic figures to be invited to become a big dog.;-)

graeme_p




msg:4283491
 5:57 am on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

I suppose some AJAX method could be used to get the screen resolution and then do a post back to display the page, although that sounds like way more trouble than it's worth.


It would not be that difficult to use javascript to load different ads depending on screen width, and that should be within the TOS given things like OpenX seem to be OK.

graeme_p




msg:4283498
 6:07 am on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Please read through and ensure you're complying with policies!

I have read the policies and it is far from clear: I usually find that its either so obvious that you do not need to read the policies to be sure (ads that look like content, encouraging people to click) or reading the policy in detail leaves me in doubt.

CMidd




msg:4283542
 7:56 am on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

First one seem ok. an ad that's hidden is like an add way below the fold. will give you some impressions, but bad page layout and design isn't against the TOS.

the second part is shaky. Embedded browser from an app is more like an app. why can the software just open a new browser window page to your site.

graeme_p




msg:4283551
 8:36 am on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

@CMidd it is not clear that opening a new browser window would make any difference. The relevant part of the policy is what AdsenseAdvisor quoted, plus the extra info if you click on the learn more button in that section you get a detailed list of what is not allowed, which included:

Display Google ads, search boxes or search results as a result of the actions of software applications such as toolbars.


Displaying ads as a result of the actions of a software application does not necessarily cover displaying a page that contains ads. I took it to be talking about things like toolbars that insert the toolbar developer's ads onto other people's sites.

It also says ads may not be:

Be loaded by any software that can trigger pop-ups, redirect users to unwanted websites, modify browser settings or otherwise interfere with site navigation. It is your responsibility to ensure that no ad network or affiliate uses such methods to direct traffic to pages that contain your AdSense code.


I am definitely not doing any of that.

Anyway, the problem is that it is shaky, but I want certainty. I have now contacted them through the form AdsenseAdvisor linked to and should get a definite answer.

Incidentally, I nearly licensed the content bundled with the app under a Creative Commons license. If I had, then I would not have been able to stop him from using it and linking back from his app. It is currently under loose terms, but not quite as loose as CC because it only gives permission for use on websites. I am sure it is not Google's intent to leave publishers with a problem in those circumstances.

If the answer I get is no, it raises a lot of questions. For example, what if you encourage people to open a site outside a normal browser? I mean things like this:

chromium-browser --app=http://example.com/

I think it would be chrome.exe --app= on Windows.

CMidd




msg:4283575
 9:12 am on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

slippery slope.

policies are so confusing and generic.

I would say, Ask for forgiveness not permission.

If you are in good faith not trying to game the system, I wouldn't worry about.

If the toolbar is just a source of info or a way to find info and your site is one of many results or possible choices I wouldn't worry about.

If it's just a way to send people back to your page and show them Adsense i wouldn't do.

1. Google probably won't know the traffic originated from an app. It will be direct traffic, and maybe the user agent will be the name of the app if it's embedded.

2. if after a review Google feel it violates it's terms redirect the app traffic to pages without Adsense.

graeme_p




msg:4283835
 7:47 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google lived up to their usual standards of customer service, and sent me a completely useless reply with an answer that is entirely irrelevant to my question. I really wish WW allowed us to post quotes from emails. They must have bots answering inquiries as well as indexing the web.

I think I will play it safe and just show non-Google ads for visitors from the app for now.

Does anyone have an opinion on whether I need to remove Google ads from the landing page, or whether I need to track visitors from the app and hide Google ads if they follow links as well?

graeme_p




msg:4290649
 10:54 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

@CMidd see my recent thread for why I prefer to ask permission than foregiveness:

[webmasterworld.com ]

I am trying to move away from Adsense as the rules are hampering too much of what I want to do. I have not found adequate replacements, but I am working on it.

DanAbbamont




msg:4292856
 4:31 am on Apr 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

If you're doing a toolbar or something that's legit and will get lots of downloads, your opportunities for monetization will get better over time. You might be able to get in with a premium publisher that will let you get a cut doing something with their feed, or if you have enough traffic you could get your own premium account.

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