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Interpreting "conflict"

are existing banner ads a problem?

6:50 am on Oct 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Some time ago I decided to de-frame a large destination guide site and Adsense arrived just as the rework was nearing completion. Several high profile pages are already carrying banner ads which are paid advertising direct to me by the business owner. They are not in any way part of, or related to, a banner exchange.

These existing banners promote accommodation, tours, travel etc which is most certainly the same categories of adverts Google will be delivering in the ADsense boxes. Am I likely to have a problem with "Competitive Ads" where Google says:

We do not permit AdWords ads to be published on web pages that also contain what could be considered competing ads. This would include all content-targeted ads as well as text-based ads. Text-based ads, for this situation, can be loosely defined as ads that mimic AdWords ads or appear to be associated with AdWords ads on your site. We do allow affiliate or limited-text links.

I know what "text-based ads" means, but what does "content targeted ads" mean?

6:57 am on Oct 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Google doesn't want you to have any text ads that mimic the format of the Adwords / AdSense ads. And they don't want you to use any other advertising service that offers contextual ads, such as another text-ad competitor that offers ads based upon the content of each page (ie. the rumored Overture program).

Your banners sound fine, as long as none of the banners are designed to appear similar to Google's ads.

7:05 am on Oct 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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On the principle "if in doubt", you need to contact Google with an example

I put a dummy page up, and sent the click through to it to them plus the message "Here is what I want to do guys, are you happy with it?"

They looked at it and I got the OK back from them in under 24 hours.

They appear to be happy to sanction banner ads on the same pages as AdSense, but since its easy to check directly with them, easiest thing is to do that.

3:18 pm on Oct 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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There's at least one type of banner that would violate the AdSense TOS: the Google AdWords banners that some of the ad networks are running.

This doesn't sound like a problem in your situation, but it's worth pointing out to AdSense members who use banners, skyscrapers, etc. from networks like FastClick and Tribal Fusion.