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Is it ethical?

Where to put ads?

     
2:48 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm running an website showcasing advertising from around the world and so far I only had google ads below the adverts displayed. But yesterday I tried to put a small button on the frontpage hidden between the thumbnails. Is this ethical? People are used to clicking the thumbs to get the bigger size ads and they may click by mistake even on this small google ad. So far the income has at least 10x the normal income, but I'm afraid it's not ethical. Is it in your opinion?

[edited by: jatar_k at 2:53 pm (utc) on Mar. 17, 2006]
[edit reason] no urls thanks [/edit]

6:10 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So far the income has at least 10x the normal income, but I'm afraid it's not ethical. Is it in your opinion?

Think of it like this: If you were an advertiser paying for some of those unintentional clicks would you be a happy camper? Your answer to that question should help you determine the answer to "Is it ethical"?

6:40 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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while AdSense encourages blending in ads with your page content, it does not encourage tricking users to click an ad. To be within rules, I'd add more white space around the little AdSense ad.
6:52 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The final word is Google Support. Send them an email and ask them to view the page and see what they say.

I always ask Google Support if I have a question about a layout choice. I have asked them about putting small graphics next to the ads, and Google Support came back with an OK. I have asked them about putting PodCasts about AdSense next to AdSense ads... they came back with an OK.

So it is best to just ask.

7:04 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If you even have enough of a moral compass to ask the question then you already know the answer so why are you asking us to rationalize it for you?
8:24 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Your talking about tricking people into clicking ads.....NOT GOOD
8:54 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In your initial post, when stating your intentions you used the terms "hidden" and "by mistake"

If you have read Adsense TOS you will find that your answer lies within your initial post.

10:48 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Can we stop responding to his question with a question?

No, it's not ethical.

2:08 am on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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watch out, there are a lot of ringers on this forum
2:24 am on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Can we stop responding to his question with a question?

The search for knowledge often leads us to the answers within ourselves.

6:42 am on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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watch out, there are a lot of ringers on this forum

ringers? what does it mean? thanks!
6:49 am on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Could he put something like...For more information see below and then have the adsense ads Is that ok?
6:01 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You're talking about using a small block of adlinks, mixed in among the assortment of image links which lead to specific ads? If that's all you're doing, at least to my eye the links block is clearly indicated as "Ads by Go...ogle", don't look like the images, and further the AdSense advertisers are protected by the fact that there is the intermediate page between what people might click on your site and any clicks which would actually cost the advertiser any money.

There is nothing wrong with getting official confirmation from Google, and in fact that can be a good idea with a novel and potentially confusing presentation of ads, but I personally did not find the site's homepage at all confusing - it was easy to tell the ads from the images.

6:21 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Could he put something like...For more information see below and then have the adsense ads Is that ok?

He could, but he'd be violating Google's clearly stated rules.

7:21 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have a bachelor's in marketing (probably has a lot to do with my interest with adsense) and I find it incredibly unethical to be misleading with adsense. I also agree that these false clicks chase websurfers away and hurt profits by giving advertisers false interest.
7:50 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The combination of tricking visitors into clicking ads and the fact that a lot of ads are themselves misleading is all that is needed to ruin the credibility of the program. These two things in combination are the worst thing for legitimate advertisers and vistors alike!