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We ask that publishers not line up images and ads in a way that suggests a relationship between the images and the ads
I've been seeing this a lot lately as I've been browsing the web. I wonder if they'll start sending out warnings?
Shame they couldn't have shown that "combo" and said "don't do this clear and out loud" ..
It's way against their TOS ...but far more prevalent than the exmaples that they did show ( albiet this is at least apartial pulling aside of the curtain ) ..maybe from this toe in the water at clear speak they will go further?
worst one I saw recently as last friday .."click to download" links that open to a page with "if the download does not start within 5 seconds ..click any of the links below to begin your download" ..needless to say the only working links below were all adsense related to the descriptive text ( "free software site" and thus to the supposed download ..that never would start ..
friend thought his machine was broken ..said "I keep trying to download this thing ..but the links just keep opening on other websites" ..he's in France ..the site was in english ( which he understands a little ) ..he was searching for an old app ..normally freeware ..the fake freeware site rules the serps for 100's of apps ..none of which it has ..
all the site's adsense was in english ..well targeted pages ..well crafted ..pure scam ..manual site reveiw by adsense would have blown it out of the water ( it may yet :) ..if Mr cutts is on the ball ..?
then again decent serps wouldn't let it exist any way ..it had 7 from 10 of the page one places ..for each app it supposedly has available to download ..and sits in the serps like that due to it's being the centre of it's own web of recip sister sites all of which are linked to from the bottom of it's pages ..
despite what Adam may say in another thread ..G has lost it's grip on fake recips and fake sites and MFA's ..
And G ..having spent years saying "blend it" ..is now backtracking and saying different ..short memory? change of heart? ..
In which case why did I find a froogle ad at the top of serps today ..above the number one site for a 3 word search ..the froogle ad ( called itself the "product search result"..I wasnt searching for a product ) "had 2 words from 3 in the title that matched the 3word search ..the site below ( the normal number one organic result ) had 3 from 3 in the title..perfect match according to G ..but somehow it came second ~:o
serp ..3 words ..G gave 158,000 results
the "product search result" ..had a little image ( shopping sac ) right next to the ad text ..sort of screaming to be clicked on ..cute lil' grocery sac it was :)
and it and it's "Oh so close" ad text was out of the blue ..in the white ..down there in the place where normally only the organic search results are ..just above the first real organic result ..which was a better match for the search string ..
do as we say ..but not as we do? ..hey G?
edit ..clarity and spelling
[edited by: Leosghost at 8:10 pm (utc) on Dec. 18, 2006]
What one sees far more often than their examples is 4 images in a horizontal row ( usually near the top of the page pretending to be thumbnails and their associated nav links ) with text link adsense ( the part that is intended to be taken for the nav links ) precisely lined up under each image and less than 10 pxels below it
I've seen that one pretty often as well, but I thought it was covered pretty clearly in the policy clarification.
It also seems to be virtually the same as the vertical thumbnails they showed in their example; showing both methods might have covered all bases though just in case someone didn't understand the plain text explanation they gave.
By way of contrast, YPN is quite explicit in its terms that lined-up images are not acceptable.
I've seen the site navigation matched to ad appearance on fewer occasions, some of which were plainly misleading and others of which still made it pretty clear that they were ads. I'm not really surprised that Google is dropping the hammer.
I was just wondering if Google should set up a department who spends their time receiving complaint emails from honest webmasters and dealing with such websites. It is a good time to clamp down on such things if not the bubble is going to burst again soon and we are going to move even further away from Web 2.0.
And on a more personal level, I think it is very unfair to honest people if these blokes are allowed to continue cheating the system.
What I don't understand is I saw a few webmasters with images lined up with the ads claiming they had the OK from Google.
Yeah, that is probably going to be an issue for some folks.
Hopefully anyone who got that advice or approval has kept the emails about it. More troublesome are the situations where the advice/approval was given in a phone conversation.
I suppose the best advice would be to email Adsense again and double check to see if their page layouts need to be changed somehow.
BTW this site has been banned from AdSense for a while now (a few weeks maybe, not really sure how long). I have no idea if the images are connected to the banning, but other than the blending the site comes across as strictly legit.
As publishers we can only be happy about this going to go away. A few idiots getting banned over it is the price to pay for gaining more trust from the advertisers and have them compete more for the space we offer them.
As far as policy changes go: it can easily fall under the "calling undue attention" clause or many others.
Even before Google's explanation, it was very clear to me using only common sense that this is a big no, can't understand how anyone saw it as blending.
Next should be link units hiding as navigation.
>>Next should be link units hiding as navigation.<<
That's the real biggie.
I see your point, but clicking on a link unit doesn't result in a charge to an advertiser (unlike clicking on an ad, which does).
Mind you, I'm not suggesting that disguising link units as navigational links shouldn't be discouraged. I just don't think it's as big a deal as disguising ads as navigation.
The problem is Adsense is a contextual program and the ads are mostly text ads. So blending with the website's content is one of the secrets of Adsense's success.
So I think it's not that simple to draw the line in what is and what isn't acceptable.
Putting images next to ads isn't acceptable but what about blending ads in the middle of your site's content?, and what about adlinks what's the purpose of that?
It's not easy to draw the line on these issues.
If they made the adsense adverts a little better to customise they might get some more publishers using adsence.
I don't think Google has to be concerned about a dearth of AdSense publishers. They're more likely to be concerned about "ad blindness" from too many text ads on the Web.
If I see an adsence advert on a website I hit the backspace button immediatly.
ZDNET, THE WASHINGTON POST, and THE NEW YORK TIMES don't seem worried about losing online readers because of their AdSense ads, so your aversion to sites with "Ads by Google" probably isn't typical.
But as usual google wont inforce it. So those well behaved webmasters will earn less than the cheaters.
Not necessarily. Google is a company that was built around automation, and in terms of scalability, automated incentives and disincentives (such as smart pricing, "quality scores," etc.) make a lot more sense than playing whack-a-mole with every individual nitwit or scumbag who tries to game the system. Starvation kills just as surely as shooting does--it just takes a little longer and isn't as dramatic.
so this is really a tacit admission by google that their conversion tracking system does not work as well as it should... no surprise there.
i am glad that i never bought into this ad-per-pic layout, but i feel sorry for all those publishers who got the o.k. from google over a year ago to do it... now they have to change all their page designs.