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My site has a black background so when I put the ads on there, I pick a black color scheme and it hides the ad's URL. This is not a modification. All I did was use Google's color scheme picker to do this.
My CTR has risen sharply because they no longer look like ads.
But, is this legal? I checked their TOS and there is no mention of "hiding Urls" like this. As a matter of fact, there's nothing about displaying/not displaying URLs on there, as well.
Any thoughts? It may SEEM illegal, but it is probably legal. Maybe I should write them.
Have people found it better to choose a really different colour scheme to their site (the "stand out" theory) over choosing a very similar colour scheme (the camouflaged "not really ads" theory)
anyone willing to share their experiences on this one?
I do know that you cannot hide the "Ads by Google" - it changes between white and black text, depending on the lightness or darkness of the border color.
I changed my colours today to a "blend with site" combination.
my base ctr was 100
my "clashing colours" ctr was c. 160
if, after three or four days, my "blend with site" ctr doesn't match 160, back I go.
[edited by: esllou at 5:03 pm (utc) on Sep. 12, 2003]
And I'm applying it to all my sites this time.
The main success critirion is the CTR. Up or down?
I'll keep y'all posted.
Watch this space :-)
I just got an email from them in regards to this.
<snipped email quote>
To sum it up, you cannot hide any text on the ads.
[edited by: Laisha at 5:45 pm (utc) on Sep. 14, 2003]
[edit reason] posted email [/edit]
Google does have a problem with the urls in the ads being the same color as the background.
Before changing anything I have asked Google AdSense support, and I got the answer that clearly says that it is allowed!
So I don't understand why you seem to go get a contradictory answer? Of course I want to comply too, but clearly I was allowed to do it.
I am confused...
The email I got also seemed to be pretty clear that you can't hide any info on the ads, such as the urls. Which makes sense -- why have info on an ad if they allow you to pick what parts you wish to display?
At any rate, I'm complying with their request.
Elements on a page must not obscure any portion of the ads, and the ad colors must be such that the ad text and URL are visible.
I would change any code that has the URL hidden.
You will find a breakdown of the new terms, policies and FAQ here:
(Scroll down to msg # 16 for the breakdown of policies and the FAQ.)
Hidden URLs are now against the new policies which went into effect on October 16th.
I must admit that I hadn't noticed that change in the TOS. I've been hiding URLs for about 3 weeks now (as an experiment) and I had notice NO conclusive change in CTR as a result.
I've made no changes to the color schemes, but I see now that the URLs are being displayed in the same color as the descriptive text.
So clearly, Google have a way of automatically adjusting colors so as to comply with the changed TOS.