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Adbrite Says it is Allowed on the same page as Adsense - AdSense Says!?

Did or did not Google approve of it?

   
8:18 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I've been contacted by AdBrite a bunch of times about putting their ads up on my site. I told them "no" because after trying them they simply couldn't compete with Adsense in terms of the revenue brought in.

To my surprise, an Adbrite rep now claims that they have Google's blessings to appear on the same page as Adsense. The following is paraphrased from the letter they wrote to me, to comply with WW's ToS.

Our CEO was on a panel with the Google founders at a recent music festival and someone asked them a question about Google’s thoughts on AdBrite and they said that AdBrite is the perfect compliment to Google.

She then said that there is a loophole in Google's ToS, that because the ads are free standing (it doesn’t look blocked like the google ads) and because the ads aren’t contextual, they are allowed to appear on the same page.

I'm kind of surprised by this. Even if there's a "loophole" why would the Google founders publically endorse a competitor whose ads look similar? That's not exactly something a shareholder would like to see. Something strikes me as odd about this (though I do hope that it's a legitimate claim).

This thread seems to agree with my gut reaction: that common thought is it is not allowed.
[webmasterworld.com...]

I checked with Google and haven't heard back. I'll update here when I do with a clarification.

I'm posting this in the Adsense forum (rather than the affiliate section), because it's very important that Adsense publishers be aware of these claims and seek independant verification from Google before signing up, (should other third party reps be telling them this, too).

8:21 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



The first thing I'd do is find out what Google means by "contextual". If I have a page about green widgets and I purposely put up ads for green widgets via CJ, that's contextual. But is it a competing contextual advertising system? Maybe what Google means is an algorithmic competing contextual system...?
8:25 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I would be very interested to hear what Google says.
Adbrite would work very well for me on a section where Adsense ctr is very low. However, to put it there would mean that they would both show on the same pages and so I have not.

EVO

8:36 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I do know the owner of AdBrite, Philip "Pud" Kaplan did visit Google not too long ago as there were some images from inside the GooglePlex he posted on Mobog, so it's POSSIBLE, but I'd ask Google for clarification.
8:37 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Adbrite would work very well for me on a section where Adsense ctr is very low. However, to put it there would mean that they would both show on the same pages and so I have not.

Can't you just remove Adsense from the page you want to put Adbrite on?

9:45 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If you get comfirmation from google over this, be sure to keep a copy of the message they send to you so you can use it for proof in the future if it ever becomes an issue.
10:24 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Can't you just remove Adsense from the page you want to put Adbrite on?

Where I want to run it is in the sidebar, which runs on every page. The adsense in other sections of the pages do very well, but the sidebar does not.

EVO

1:01 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



EVO, from what I saw on your site the AdSense sidebar was almost below the fold, on the few pages I could even find it. I don't think either will do very well unless it's moved up.

BTW, you got a lot of prime pages just crying to be loaded out with AdSense :)

2:01 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Just rotate adbrite / adsense 50/50. You can do that because adsense never appears at the same time as adbrite.

Then after a week/month/day whatever, see which has earned you more.

2:13 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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BTW, you got a lot of prime pages just crying to be loaded out with AdSense :)

I know. I'm in the process of rebuilding the site from the ground up and all will be better.

But, it's also a factor of the traffic pattern of my site. People are coming to find specific information and only after they have had a look around, do they "exit" through the ads.

Taking a cue from your other thread, it will be maximized by fall.

EVO

2:25 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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EVO,

Just something I noticed about the sidebar. I tend to set my browser window at about the width it would be on an 800x600 screen. The thing I noticed about the sidebar is that the right 2/3rds of the sidebar ads are cropped off my browser window (and anyone running 800x600). I think that if you moved the sidebar to the left a bit they would perform better. Probably not an easy task to do but I thought that I would throw that out there.

Hope you don't mind my input.

2:32 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Where I want to run it is in the sidebar, which runs on every page. The adsense in other sections of the pages do very well, but the sidebar does not.

I just figured you could use a scripting language to determine which pages you want it on and which ones you don't.

2:48 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I don't mind the input Emmett, thanks. It's actually too far right because of the adsense leaderboard. Originally it was scripted to show either "banner" or leaderboard based on screen res, but I gave up on that. It is a good point.

HughMungus, my scripting knowledge is limited. I am reworking the site though and plan better alternatives. It's been pieced together over five years and five programmers and time for a complete overhaul. Much of what I have learned on this board will be incorporated in the "new and improved" LWE.

EVO

2:25 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Now the CEO of Adbrite is backing this claim up. He pointed me to a transcript of that conference.

Upon reading the transcript,

A) It turns out it wasn't the "Google founders" who participated, as the adbrite rep said. It was one of the Google Adsense people (Gokul Rajaram). That makes a lot more sense.

B) In the transcript it says nothing about ads being allowed on the same page. Gokul seems to word himself carefully and calls the programs "complimentary" when asked if he's upset about AdBrite's existance. He repeats that contextual ads aren't allowed on the same page. He doesn't outright say that Adbrite and Adsense are allowed on the same page.

The transcript is not a perfect one, and I still haven't heard back from Google yet, so I'll wait to see how that goes before making up my mind.

4:34 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Not sure if this will help, but I had them both on one of my sites and google emailed me telling me to remove adbrite as it is too similar to google. This was about 2 months ago.

Brian

6:01 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



rookiecrd1,

Did you get a qualification of whether is just "looked" too similar as AdBrite isn't contextual at all.

Changing the layout may be enough to run them both, just a thought.

7:00 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well I was earning about 10X's with google as I was with adbrite so I didn't even question the. I just removed it.

Brian

7:29 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have posted the following in another thread on this subject just a few moments ago:

...considering that there is Adsense and Adbrite on the site that GoogleGuy pointed out to (and was kind enough to help them get reincluded after they were dropped from G) at the URL he has mentioned in his post (msg #21) at: [webmasterworld.com...] I would want to believe that had this (running Adsense and Adbrite on the same page) been a violation of Google Adsense T&C, that site would not have probably survived a scrutiny that it would have received while being considered for reinclusion in Google index.

But then this is still mere speculation/extrapolation on my part. If you want to play it safe, check with Google/GoogleGuy/Googlette.

10:24 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google just sent me this vague canned reply.

Google AdSense program policies do not permit Google ads to be published on web pages that also contain what could be considered competing ads. This includes all contextual ads as well as text-based ads. We do allow affiliate or limited-text links. However, we do not allow text-based ads that directly mimic, could be confused with, or attempt to be associated with Google ads.

This didn't answer my question (which specifically pointed to AdBrite) and I feel that it was deliberately worded as to be vague as possible. Clearly it's not a NO, you can't use AdBrite, but it's also definitely not a yes.

I wrote them back asking for more clarification.

10:30 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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OK, I just got official word: It is NOT allowed.

We currently do not allow Adbrite ads on the same pages as Google ads.
1:19 pm on Mar 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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And now I see this on Adbrite's blog:

Google
Wednesday, March 30, 2005, 04:26 AM ET
Frequently asked question: I'm a publisher. Can I use AdBrite and Google AdSense on the same page?

Answer: Yes. We're okay with it, Google's okay with it.

[adbrite.com...]

I'm finding Adbrite's assurances about Google's policies and Google's stance incredibly confusing. If I got a no from Google when asking directly, why is Google apparently telling Adbrite that it's fine.

3:07 pm on Mar 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google has a vested interest in keeping as much screen real estate to themselves by continuing to disallow competing ads being displayed alongside of Adsense ads. If Google allowed Adbrite ads on the same pages as Google ads it would be a big change in policy that I hope would be documented somewhere.

Adbrite has a vested interest in getting as much buzz (and new publishers) as possible. But why are any of us listening to Adbrite on matters which concern Google's policies?

4:05 pm on Mar 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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upside, that's exactly why I'm posting this... to make sure that everyone takes everything told them with a grain of salt.
9:52 pm on Mar 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Evidently all this discussion hasn't been missed by Adbrite.

That blog entry has now been edited to read:

Answer: We're okay with it. We believe you should have the right to control your own site, so AdBrite has no exclusivity requirements. As for Google's stance, lot's of publishers use AdBrite and AdSense on the same page, and so far we haven't seen any problems arise.

That's not quite the same thing as:

Answer: Yes. We're okay with it, Google's okay with it.

is it?

11:01 pm on Mar 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hey Everyone,

Thanks for caring and for researching this issue. There are hundreds (thousands?) of sites that use both AdSense and AdBrite so it's an important question.

I started AdBrite in 2001 (formerly known as HttpAds, then MarketBanker. a couple of years before adsense existed) to make it easy to sell links to my visitors on #*$!edcompany.com. People wrote me wanting links, so I built a system where I could say, "okay, for $20, you can be in the 'Sponsored Links' section for a week."

That’s how AdBrite works. Publishers set their pricing, put a “Your Ad Here” link, and AdBrite takes care of billing and everything else.

I don’t think Google has a problem with an AdSense publisher selling a text link to a friend/advertiser/whatever, as long as the ads couldn’t be confused for Google ads.

My only explanation for why they made have told someone, “no AdBrite”, is that Google doesn’t really understand what AdBrite does, and thus see it as one of the many competing “contextual ad networks” out there, which it’s not. We’re more like Paypal for ads with a built in ad server.

I suspect we’re not big enough to be on Google’s radar yet, so no reason for their customer service people to really know how AdBrite works or what it does.

Does anyone know if Google has a problem with you selling links directly to advertisers, using the old Paypal and HTML method?

Pud
Founder, AdBrite

11:03 pm on Mar 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



darn, webmasterworld censored "F---edcompany.com" in my post above. :)

more about my sites: www.pud.com

11:26 pm on Mar 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I suspect we’re not big enough to be on Google’s radar yet, so no reason for their customer service people to really know how AdBrite works or what it does.

Could this really be PUD?

The history of httpads evolving into marketbanker and then adbrite could easily be gleaned off your web site.

I'm skeptical especially considering this recent Wall Street Journal article:

His new company, AdBrite Inc., sells online advertising, competing with the likes of Google Inc. for a share of a rapidly growing U.S. market, estimated at about $10 billion a year. To expand and gain legitimacy, AdBrite recently landed funding from Sequoia Capital, a prominent Silicon Valley venture-capital firm that also was an early Google backer

If there was only something only the REAL pud could do, like post "Google won't let AdSense and AdBrite co-exist on the same page" on F'dCompany, that would pretty much clench it :)

2:31 am on Apr 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It's not for AdBrite to say what is and isn't allowed under the GOOGLE ADSENSE TOS. They can say that THEY are fine with it, but it's up to google so say if if google are happy with it.

I think it's a bit irresponsible for adbrite to say that google is fine with adbrite ads on the same page as adsense.

5:56 pm on Apr 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Welcome to the site. Thanks for the extra info Pudster - sorry we missed you at South by South West (but we had friends in the audience that said you were just excellent). Also cudos on the funding! and on the awesome AP story last week. You guys are the hottest thing in advertising I've seen since adsense.

Nice to have it from the horses mouth and an internet legend to boot.

We are trying to get Googles official response to this issue.

As far as I read the TOS, it is legit to have them both on the page.

6:10 pm on Apr 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



It's not for AdBrite to say what is and isn't allowed under the GOOGLE ADSENSE TOS. They can say that THEY are fine with it, but it's up to google so say if if google are happy with it.

The problem is that due to Google's extremely vague rule that ANY other ad on a page with Adsense (including text AND non-text ads) could be seen as competing and since they don't WANT competition, of course their default answer is going to be "no".

Hey Google, how about some public clarification? Could you please define what "competing" means or could you be more specific about what other types of ads are allowed?

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