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Is this against TOS?

A site w/ adsense says "visit our sponsors"...

     
5:00 am on Feb 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Ok, I ran across a competing site w/ adsense that has a "Our Advertisors" page or something like that, and they say something like this just above a Google ad (nothing else on the page but this & Google ad block directly below it; this is a roughly paraphrased):

"These wonderful advertisors help make our site possible. Please visit them and thank them for supporting our website, Widget World"

Is this against the TOS? Should I report them or no?

5:09 am on Feb 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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That certainly reads like a TOS violation to these eyes.
5:10 am on Feb 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yep, definate ToS violation.

If you take the ToS to the letter (and you should!) The only thing you can label ads with is 'Advertisments' or 'Sponsored Links'

6:57 am on Feb 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Huh?

I have the search box on my site, and it defaults to searching my site, and the results pages are filled with ads by Google.

10:10 am on Feb 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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On a related subject, I was thinking about slightly twisting one of the articles on my website about 'career change' to talk about actually financing the career change (training, lost earnings etc.). Clearly, this would mean writing about loans, mortgages, credit cards etc.

If I wrote something like "you need to check out the best credit card deals available", and there is adsense on the page, picking up credit card deals, is this in violation of GATOS? Seems pretty close to the wire to me, but then again, it does not say 'click on these ads', and the content stands alone as useful(ish) content without the google adsense on the page...

8:55 pm on Feb 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Very much a TOS violation! REPORT THEM!
9:00 pm on Feb 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"These wonderful advertisors help make our site possible. Please visit them and thank them for supporting our website, Widget World"

Is this against the TOS? Should I report them or no?

Certainly sounds like it may be against the TOS.

Sure you can report them ... will something happen is another question. :)

9:09 pm on Feb 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Today I saw a forum with the following above it's search:
Sopport "forum name" by searching through Google

Yep another TOS nono, did not bother reporting them, if Google is serious about catching those, a simple Google search will list them all.

1:17 am on Feb 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have a friend who has a very big site.

He says: Because we are so big Google lets us do these things. They do not want to lose a big customer like us.

He also says that they have a personal "helper" in Google who they talk to basically every day so Google does not have to pay for anything else but "real" clicks. If you are big enough you are allowed to break a few rules on the way...

So in the end "Content is not king, MONEY is".

/P3

2:02 am on Feb 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Premium publishers do have more face time with Google and more flexibility, but that's not having a licence to break the rules. It's having different rules.

If they tried that "Please visit our wonderful advertisers and thank them for supporting our website" (LOL) gimmick, they'd probably be kicked out as fast as anyone else.

2:18 am on Feb 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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He says: Because we are so big Google lets us do these things. They do not want to lose a big customer like us.

Not long ago I purchased on ebook from someone where the topic promised to provide a secret for significantly increasing my earnings from a certain affiliate program. The ebook was correct, the technique would work.

Problem was, the technique was against the terms of the affiliate program. And it wasn't a term hidden in a long bit of legal mumbo-jumbo. It was a simple two-sentence term that said, "Don't do this."

So I contacted the author of the ebook, explained the situation and asked for a refund since I didn't get anything useful. He told me he had friends who work for the merchant company and they gave him permission.

Uh huh. They gave him permission to violate the terms and to tell other people how to violate the terms. And I'm the Pope.

I made him an offer. He could either provide a refund or I would contact the merchant and ask if the method he was using was valid. If the merchant told me he had special permission, I wouldn't seek a refund.

I got a refund in a matter of a few hours.

Needless to say I take such statements with a huge grain of salt.

FarmBoy

2:20 am on Feb 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sopport "forum name" by searching through Google

If instead the text had read, "Use the Google search box below to find more information on widgets" - would that have been a violation?

FarmBoy

8:35 pm on Feb 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"Use the Google search box below to find more information on widgets" - would that have been a violation?

Yes Farmboy, I think so.
The G search box applies to the same rules as Adsense ads. You are not allowed to draw explicit attention to them.

1:38 am on Feb 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'd e-mail the webmaster to tell him that he's violating the Adsense ToS. It's likely that he doesn't realise he's violating the ToS, and it's not nice to lose your adsense by an accident. Of course, if he ignores your advice, I suppose then it'd be okay to report him to Google.
2:14 am on Feb 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I would strongly advise NOT blabbing to AdSense after contacting the webmaster. Pick one or the other. This is their livelihood you're messing with, and there could be some pretty serious fallout.
6:13 am on Feb 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Now, how about something like this: I have "Visit our SponsoR(No plural). Then have a Sponsor link matching Google fonts and then follow it up with Adsense ads.

I understand Google has this condition that any other ad should not be made looking to be confused with their own ads. And I would never ever try to even think a bit about me getting banned. But, just want to know are these kinds of smart playing tolerated by G?