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Can Google Adsense Auto Ads Get Your Site Penalized?

     
1:28 am on Mar 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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In case you were away on vacation, Google Adsense recently announced Auto Ads [webmasterworld.com...] . Basically you add a few lines of javascript to your page and Google figures out how many ads, what ads and where to splice them into your page to maximize profits. Sounds great, right? From my first hand experience Adsense is being incredibly aggressive. Imagine 5 ads embedded into a single article of about 800 words. Since Google still enforces a page layout penalty, is this a car crash about to happen?

Did the Adsense team talk with the Search Quality team?

Adsense has a dubious record of sometimes suggesting practices that are not ideal for Google's own SEO quality standards. Is this another miscommunication between Adsense & SEO? Yeah, it will boost profits in the short term but will it also impact my rankings and/or audience in the long term?

What do you think of Adsense's Auto Ads impact on SEO?
3:54 am on Mar 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I think they are pushing it hard so something will come over it. I doubt the Search Quality team will ever meet with Adsense team. Like everything Google, don't trust it and wait 6 months to see what other people do with it.
10:01 am on Mar 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Can Google Adsense Auto Ads Get Your Site Penalized?

Of-course it does. It has never been said that Adsense's behaviors had to be compatible with Google Searche's rules.
5:52 pm on Mar 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Well I thought I'd be a guinea pig and give it a shot. Our site is a large established site, entertainment/games space:

I activated auto-ads a week ago with in-article, interstertial, and sticky-mobile ad types selected.

My revenue soared about 25% instantly.

Google traffic to my site dropped starting 2 days later, about 5% week over week, and accelerating downwards. Pretty clearly I was starting to get hit with either a "too many ads" penalty or a "users bouncing back because of ads" penalty.

So yes, stupidly, moronically, google search does appear to penalize google auto ads.

I removed them entirely from my site this morning, as the drop in traffic has started to become a bit alarming. Hopefully my traffic will bounce back quickly.
7:21 pm on Mar 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Ultimately, you're responsible for your site's user experience. Google Search's constituency is searchers, not site owners who surrender their better judgment to ad networks.
4:00 pm on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Westcoast, comment us if you recover your traffic or not.

In my case, I enabled it but I've not noticed any relevant change in my traffic, sort of the same with a increase in my earnings.

I haven't enabled fixed ads and related content.

Best
4:14 pm on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Isn't it at least a little comforting that Google Search doesn't appear to give Google Ad Network a free pass?

Whilst one might wish that the two teams would talk to each other, if they DID then a site owner running these new ads would know exactly where the line was drawn with regard to ad placement. Google isn't known for being transparent.
4:33 pm on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Personally I think it must not affect to rankings because is not manual ads that include a code in each position, with this type of ads, only there is a portion of code, googlebot doesn’t see if you are including one or five ads because is automatic.

In the other side is, if it affects to your users and his permanency, i think this can be the reason for loosing positions.
4:47 pm on Mar 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Personally I think it must not affect to rankings because is not manual ads that include a code in each position, with this type of ads, only there is a portion of code, googlebot doesn’t see if you are including one or five ads because is automatic.

Try looking at your pages with Google Fetch and Render. Do the Auto Ads show up? If you can see them, so can Googlebot, unless I'm badly mistaken. (Googlebot has come a long way since the days when it merely crawled text.)
2:22 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Im curious about this as well.

Sometimes autoads will put like 8 ads on my homepage and I know there is a google penalty for too many ads
10:53 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Indeed, I mentioned it, at another topic, auto ads are a very bad idea, because you (web master) cannot control what is going on at your own pages! And yes, it can have your site banned by Google Search, or penalized for excessive ads.
3:13 pm on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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ITs almost like google is seeing who will take the bait and sabotage you, they give you the option and then use it to penalize you later, remember when Adsense which is owned by google would send out ways to optimize your ads and would say put ads above the fold on a heat map then later google came out with an algo penalty saying if you have ads above the fold it will hurt your ranking its like some cruel game.
6:18 pm on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The "problem" is that even is Adsense and Google are part o the same company, they are independent businesses with different goals. Nowhere is Adsense claiming that if you use their ads or follow their guidelines, it will remain compliant with Google Search guidelines. Adsense is here to produce money, no matter how. It's up to web masters to find the good balance.
2:59 am on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Yeah and many people believe like I did, oh they are both from Google so its all good, you would think that but many people got punished from too many adsense ads
11:22 pm on Aug 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My experience has been that Auto Ads' RPM is pennies. Total garbage ads that don't pay.
4:24 am on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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yeah I didnt even get a single click from the auto ads so I removed it. I had multiple impressions yet nobody clicked them very strange.
9:24 am on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I guess that auto ads, has a long learning curve, before "potentially" creating results. After all, it's a matter of testing plenty of different spots. So Adsense certainly has a knowledge data base of placements which are earning the most, but then it has to practice to see if it really works or not. But as said, I don't think it's a good idea, to let adsense display ads anywhere they want in our pages. I know the concept was to let adsense does everything, and the web master no longer having to bother with this, but I would have preferred an intermediate solution where we could have defined ourselves potential spots (with empty divs, with particular id tag), and then adsense would have picked up the ones with which it wanted to experiment.
9:38 am on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I also opted to try auto ads and I see another potential issue. If your website used common header and footer files and you add the ad code within your header file, you may well end up displaying ads in areas with very thin content. One thing that might be relevant is that Google probably doesn't display ads to non-human users using this method.

I see it as having several advantages, but also some possible drawbacks. Time will tell.

Mack.
1:56 am on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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yeah google placed auto ads in between paragraphs so I was thinking cool those will probably get my some clicks and its hard to place them with coding cause it can crash the site if you do it manually and mess up

so after a few months I only had auto ads and one regular responsive ad, and not one single auto ad got a click only the responsive add I placed got clicks.

So I just removed the auto ad code. plus a lot of times they will over place ads on my homepage it put like 9 ads in between the read more display of each article.
5:50 pm on Aug 22, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Can Google Adsense Auto Ads Get Your Site Penalized?

In a second thought, may be "not". The question is, does Adsense serve ads to Googlebot ? I would guess that, when Adsense detects that a page is visited by a known bot, it will not serve ads at all*. If so, then when Googlebot is visiting a page with auto ads, it has no way to know, if there are ads, where they are placed, and therefor, if this is against Google search's guidelines.

But Google can still collect this information through Chrome.

*if Adsense serves ads to robots, our impression counter would be very high, and CTR would collapse. Or, if Adsense serves ads to robots, but does not include them in our stats, then this is huge waste of resources, to serve ads which will not be billed to the advertisers.