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The hidden "Ads by Google" is back in black

Cannot hide it with a white or light border anymore



6:58 am on Nov 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jenstar is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

For the past several weeks, publishers were able to hide the "Ads by Google" link by using a light colored border. This would make the ads appear like a part of the site itself, rather than ads provided by Google, particularly when the border and background matched the website's page color. Many reported a much higher CTR when doing this.

As of this evening, all ads with light colored borders are back to showing "Ads in Google" in black text, as they did prior to October 16th. Before October 16th, the text color would toggle back and forth between black and white, depending on how dark or light the border color was, so the "Ads by Google" link was always visible. This includes all code currently on webpages, as well as newly generated code.

There was a lot of reaction when this hidden "Ads by Google" began, with people worried about violating the AdSense terms, and I am sure they got plenty of emails about this.

It is interesting that it is no longer hidden - it may have been a deliberate move on Google's part to test CTR when AdSense was branded as Google ads or not. Or it might have been a technical flaw when they brought in the hidden URL & description violation into the terms on October 16th.


7:57 am on Nov 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Curious as to when this started? My stats have been extremely bad lately. I know you can't post your earnings, but I think CTR is okay?

Before Oct 29th my earnings would fluctuate much higher, now, lately all I've been getting is considerably lower. What is up with that?

[edited by: engine at 8:33 pm (utc) on Nov. 4, 2003]
[edit reason] no specifics, thanks [/edit]


8:05 am on Nov 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jenstar is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

The hidden "Ads by Google" began on October 16th. It began showing up again on white/light borders this evening (November 3rd).


12:14 pm on Nov 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well while its been white and the "Ads by Google" being unreadable my CTR has been up and i had good earnings for last month, so now its back and the "Ads by Google" is showing again i hope to still do just as well.


2:25 pm on Nov 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

cpals wrote:
I know you can't post your earnings, but I think CTR is okay?

Don't shoot the messenger, but posting CTRs, clicks and impressions is prohibited.

See Section 8 of AdSense Terms and Condtions at [google.com...]

"You agree not to disclose...click-through rates or other statistics relating to Site performance in the Program provided to You by Google"

That said, I don't know what your CTR was before the period you pasted in, but be aware that impressions includes all unpaid PSAs. In other words, if your pages are viewed 1,000 times and 95% of the page views show PSAs you might expect to see 50 impressions ( (100% - 95%) * 1,000 ) in the AdSense reports, but it shows 1,000. This is not a guess, this has been confirmed by plenty of my own testing which I've shared in other threads and which others have confirmed.

Since clicks of PSAs 1. result in no payment and 2. do not count towards clicks which are displayed in the reports, the first thing I'd look at whenever CTR goes way down is whether there has been a spike in pages showing PSAs.

The only effective way to do that is to implement Google's fairly new Alternate Ad parameter - see [google.com...] If the alternate ad is hosted on a page on your server, you will be able to track how many times it's accessed (assuming you have raw log access). You'll also be able to track which pages it's being called from. With that information you'll be able to determine, for example, that Page 1 was viewed 10 times and showed 0 alternate ads, Page 2 was viewed 10 times and showed 3 alternate adds and Page 3 was viewed 10 times and showed 10 targeted ads. Based on that, you might conclude Page 1 consistently shows content-targeted ads, Page 2 may have less supply of ads than demand or users from certain countries may not see content-targeted ads and Page 3 may never show content-targeted ads, possibly because there is not enough content for the AdSense to determine what the page is about, the page contains "negative content", Google can't spider the page, etc.


4:00 pm on Nov 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks. I don't think I can edit my post, so if it is against terms can someone edit it?


10:36 pm on Nov 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

on the 728x90 ads If only 3 are displayed the Ads By Google are still missing .. odd ..

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