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A number of AdSense publishers did express concern about the related searches feature. As a result of this feedback, we decided to temporarily disable this feature. We will soon re-release this feature with greater flexibility for the publishers. I don't know if this will be opt-in or opt-out, but I believe publishers will be able to turn off the feature if they don't want to use it. I'm confident that this approach will effectively meet the needs of publishers that want to try this new feature and publishers who would rather not use it. I talked to an AdSense engineer a few minutes ago, and this change is scheduled to happen very soon (probably later today).
As always, we appreciate feedback, whether it shows up here or via direct emails to us. I'll be stopping by this thread off and on today to try to answer any questions that people have, and I'll post an update if I find out any more useful info.
But I must admit "Wow that was fast!"
Shows you once again how good Google is!
Thanks Googleguy! Hopefully Google will keep listening to the publishers in future.
It is always nice to see Google responding to feedback quickly - and I am now willing to believe the related searches feature wasn't intending to be as 'sinister' as it first appeared!
Anyway, I can now go off and enjoy playing with the new colour palette.
[edited by: olias at 8:27 pm (utc) on Aug. 7, 2003]
I'm seriously close to feeling emotional.
As I said in a thread earlier I like to be associated with the Google brand - and this re-inforces this belief.
Can you imagine many other companies taking this action?
I imagine (although dont hold me to this) that it is probably not much of a deal to Google either way if the related search was offered (do they need more brand awareness!) - It might have been someone who thought that it was a cool idea (and no doubt it does show Google understanding of a web page to provide a related search) and to throw it in.
Obviously they did not expect this scale of opposition from Webmasters otherwise they would not be taking the step to remove the related search.
Dont know if I will leave them on there or not when/if the option is available.
Big up Google-dude ;¬)
[edited by: Dayo_UK at 8:27 pm (utc) on Aug. 7, 2003]
I just did the post--the AdSense folks did the hard work to make sure we responded quickly to the initial feedback. Our goal is to get everything right from the get-go every time, but I appreciate that our users and customers tell us when they think we could do better. Thanks to everyone for the feedback!
When Adsense only finds a few ads for the page, but not the full amount of four, there are a few annoying blank boxes. Any chance of getting the option to remove those in future? It would be a good improvement of Adsense I think.
(I'm using the skyscraper by the way)
Another nice feature would be to let publishers choose how many ads they want to display on their website. So they can choose if they want to display 1, 2,3 or 4 text ads from Adsense on their website.
GoogleGuy, thank you for taking our concerns back to the AdSense team. It was very much appreciated, and I must say, the response time was pretty impressive, considering the size of Google ;)
... Well done Google. I think it is the right decision from everyones point of view..
...Publishers for all the reasons given at WebmasterWorld
...Advertisers who must have been concerned by competing ads in the "related searches"
... and hazzard a guess that total CTR was well down for Google as a whole today
Thanks for the update GG. You have restored my confidence in Google and the AdSense program. At least for the moment.
1.) Make it optional.
2.) Even if it's optional, pay webmasters a revenue share for clicks generated from the referred "related links" click. Right is Right. Why should we as webmasters offer our hard work/visitors to Google for free? No way!
3.) Get rid of the blank ad boxes. Show nothing at all not even the place holder (good), PSA's (ok), allow a webmaster to insert some default code (best).
I believe publishers will be able to turn off the feature if they don't want to use it
If this possibility to switch it off will be not connected with some penalizing of publishers who switch it off, then Google will be rehabilitated.
Suggestion: please give us possibility to switch "Related searches" on some web sites and switch off on other - as a parameter in the source code of the AdSense banner (default: off - important). Not just one global switch.
Greetings to Mrs. Wojcicki - either she or her husband are Polish too :-)
[edited by: PolishGuy at 8:40 pm (utc) on Aug. 7, 2003]
Thank goodness that Google isn't one of them :-)
But every large company comprises people - yes, just like me, just like everyone on this forum.
I think it's great when a large corporation is prepared to be seen as a bunch of people.
Excellent move Google. I'm willing to experiment around with displaying 1 related search ad on these ads (I can see how it could potentially help click-throughs), but I had some ads that displayed 7 of them at once - which is 6 too many!
Now, if only you could also get rid of that "blank space displayed by Google" thingy (in all seriousness, when people see it, they think it's a strange joke) and we'll be all set.