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I'm interested in finding out how Google reacts to a request for an ad for a page it knows to be a 404
It's against Google TOS, if I remember correctly. A potential reaction may be a ban if they find out. And your reaction to this may be a "I've been banned thread".
Section 5 - "Prohibited Uses"
"You shall not, and shall not authorize or encourage any third party to: [...] (v) display any Ad(s), Link(s), or Referral Button(s) on any error page, on any registration or "thank you" page (e.g., a page that thanks a user after he/she has registered with the applicable Web site) [...]"
I hate it when people do what I've just done.
As mzanzig points out, it's there (I missed it - I'll blame the very late night and lack of caffeine).
Maybe we should think up a suitable self-administered punishment for posting something stupid.
However, if your sales confirmation pages also contain other text about your business or product, AdSense can provide a relevant 'next step'
Err, you have NOT done what I have done. You read the document and did NOT find the section. I read the document and DID find it
I read it as the OP saying that he hates it when people post a question in the forums without thoroughly reading the TOS first. 'As he has just done...'
...our policies were designed to prohibited the placement of ads on non-content pages, so you'll need to use your discretion to determine on which types of exit pages it would be appropriate to display Google ads. -ASA
My content management tool creates a 404 page using my standard navigation area where Adsense is included
Yikes. My programmer is fixing this now. These are errors that are more likely to occur innocently on large sites.
What about 404's that redirect the user back to the home page? Plenty of content there.