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Google Ad Background Images

     
1:46 pm on May 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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There is a package of background images being sold that appears to enable you to place a bacground image behind your AdSense ads. Images include notepads, boxes with surrounding images of people, etc. I presume this is done by dropping the image in a table cell as a background then putting the AdSense ad in the cell.

It looks like this would really make your ads stand out BUT... isn't this against the AdSense TOS?

1:55 pm on May 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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isn't this against the AdSense TOS

Without going back and reading the TOS again, I'd certainly think this was a violation.

3:35 pm on May 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We need an Adense Advisor to weigh in on this. This idea (and the corresponding product) is really being promoted, and several of the marketing "gurus" are saying that it is NOT against the TOS. One of the guys selling the background images even has a supposed letter from Adsense posted on his site saying that the backgrounds are not against the TOS, since no code modifications are being made, and the images do have a product on them, or are misleading.

I would definitely like to try these out, but want to hear an official word before I do anything.

[edited by: Rx_Recruiters at 3:37 pm (utc) on May 4, 2007]

4:44 pm on May 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Well the adcode itself has a "background"...

Sooo.. correct me if I am wrong, but putting it in a table won't do anything at all the the ad, regardless of the table's background, since in adsense we cannot choose an *invisible* background.

It can be a picture of daffy duck caught in a compromising position, it still will not show in the adsense ad, it's own background will cover it up...

4:57 pm on May 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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But you can match the background color of adsense on another image ... example, in the Halloween season, use a orange Adsense background, and place the ads on an image of a pumpkin that is the same color. There are a ton of other examples, such as spiral notebooks, jackets, baseballs, etc .. just anything that catches the eye and looks professional. I'll have to admit, the examples I saw made the ads look much more professional and blended in nicely with the overall theme of the web page.
5:00 pm on May 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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use a orange Adsense background

And it is *still* just a plain ole orange background adsense ad. None of the pumpkin will show. Seems pointless to me, you will never get G to allow transparant backgrounds...

5:15 pm on May 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Probably against TOS - unless it's Google who puts them in.

Remember those 'cute' backgrounds they had towards the end of 2005 (pumpkins for Halloweeen, candy sticks at Christmas)? They must've bombed as I don't recall seeing them much past early 2006.

5:42 pm on May 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't know if it applies in this situation, but the Adsense Policy states: "Any changes to the code other than those available from your publisher account are not allowed."

Again, not sure if it relates to this case, but gave it a shot.

5:45 pm on May 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I just did a quick search for AdSense Backgrounds and found one of the sites selling this.

It's just a frame or border around the ad, not an actual background, showing the ad block within a notebook, in a calendar etc. and actually they look pretty good.

They appear to be TOS compliant, but they are pushing the envelope as far as 'undue attention' goes. I won't be using them myself...

5:52 pm on May 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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marcel, yeah I just saw it too. They do look good, no doubt.

I would fear the "undue attention" to ads though. They really look good, too good maybe.

Sorry OP I misunderstood the concept. Yes they are not altering the code at all, but what about having images *near* the code? This has been talked about lately, it not only is NEAR the code it is *right on top of the image*... sheesh you cannot get any closer then that!

I would like to hear from an adsense person in here on this one myself.

11:28 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone actually checked with AdSense on these?

Somehow I've got to think they violate the "drawing undue attention to the ads" TOS restriction. I remember G wanted a line or something between adjacent images and any ads.

11:40 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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i don't see anything wrong with most of them. Many look really cool.

I might create one myself and then ask permission before going live.

12:33 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hi all,

Ah, this is a familiar topic. Honestly, our policy specialists and I aren't able to offer you a blanket "yes" or "no" on placing images behind ads because we've seen so many variations of it. In many cases it depends on the specific site and context in which the ad and image are placed.

In general, we don't encourage the use of programs like this because there's a good chance that placing images behind your ads will bring unnatural attention to the ads. So to be on the safe side, I suggest you avoid this type of implementation.

(Obviously any implementation that requires AdSense code alteration would be strictly against our TOS, but it's my understanding that that isn't the case with most of these programs.)

Thanks for your understanding,
-ASA

1:02 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yes or no, I don't see a need to buy the product, just screenshot it and cut to fit.

Seeing his 'evidence' of the income graphic, I see the income over may 2006 as DROPPING from a high of 446 to 300, with no evidence of income trending up.

Not a good indicator of 'success'.

[edited by: netchicken1 at 1:07 am (utc) on May 9, 2007]

1:20 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I've had one up for 1.5 hours and so far ctr is down 10%.

I hope G reads my request for approval before they ban me!

2:38 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Somehow I've got to think they violate the "drawing undue attention to the ads" TOS restriction.

Does it draw more "undue attention" than someone using an AdSense color pallette of a lime green background, for example?

FarmBoy

5:31 pm on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I just got a reply from G about a specific similar example of the background image - I got a definite NO! Don't do it.
3:50 am on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for repling ASA. :)

Yeah, I think, if you did it thoughtfully, you could make the ads look better without breaking the rules. But, is it worth the risk of violating? nah, I think I will pass.

Now if google upgaded the adsense account so you can configure one with google approved backgrounds *right* in your account, that would be cool. Might happen if they figure out it increases revenue...

9:44 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I bought one of those "background images" packages last year. After looking through the images, I was not "comfortable" to use most of them - draws too much "attention" to the ads, as Google would say.

I only felt "safe" using one image that put a SUBTLE frame around the google ads.

Perhaps I will try out the others with some affiliate links to see how they do.

5:36 pm on May 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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On a lot of german sites is an ad running, with an animated border of white stars scrolling on red... about 15 pixels width/height around the ad! It could also be a banner itself and it really stands out. Red/white movments just suck your eyes in! There is for sure a thin red line between nice and evil and these borders open pandoras box! In googles case I would not allow them... or at least define clear rules: borders in the sites style (like articles have the same border) etc. = not an easy topic, IMHO!

P!

5:52 pm on May 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Two years ago I created a box with round corners and a solid background, and placed my AdSense ads in the box with the same backgound color. It looks very web 2.0'ish.

By itself it didn't effect my CTR much, but it allowed me to run the large rectangle ads in a prime location on the page without it being the normal butt-ugly, which I wouldn't have done otherwise, so it did increase my CTR.

I've been using it ever since. I don't think I'd try the background images, though.

5:59 pm on May 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The rounded corners is a good example. If you have rounded-corner boxes around all the parts of the page and you also put one around the Adsense, I'd expect that should be okay.

Similarly, if your page has boxes that look like they're on notebook paper and your Adsense has a similar look (by means of a customized image) then I'd expect that to be okay too.

I don't do anything fancy on my sites right now, but I do give the area my Adsense lives in the same treatment as, for example, nav blocks or the login/logout block.

9:36 pm on May 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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There seem to be two philosophies running here.

One is that you should blend the adverts in with the page and make them seem part of the text.

The second here seems to be to make your adverts stand out as much as possible.

If the first one is the standard technique, tried and proved over time, then trying to make your adverts stand out is working against the best practice?

 

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