... but avoid aligning images with your ads or making nearby content mimic their formatting
Don't use the same color font?
Don't use the same font typeface?
Don't use the same font size?
Before - "For highest CTR, use the same background color in the ads."
Now - "Use a different background color for the ads?"
Before - "For highest CTR, don't use borders - blend in your ads."
Now - "Use borders to prevent blending in of ads?"
Before - "For best performance, place your ads above the fold."
Now - "At least SOME content MUST be above the fold?" And just how much would that be? Seven lines of text? Twenty per cent of vertical screen space? Fifteen? Which crystal ball do we use? The aggressive one, or the conservative one? By making the criteria WHOLLY subjective, there is NO WAY to determine the desired, required objective, thereby making the entire exercise arbitrary. Not good. Catch as catch can. Maybe you are good, maybe you will be penalized. Your proper guess determines your success. And the training, bias, opinions, attitude, and objectivity of the Googler doing the reviewing. Just hope he isn't having a bad day.
Before - "You are losing revenue, by not using more ads." I got this a lot.
Now - "While our policies allow you to place 3 ad units, 3 link units, and 2 search boxes on each page of your site, placing the maximum number of ads on your page may make it look cluttered
. I have been saying this for 6 years.
Some times, short ties are "in"; other times, long ties are "in". If you miss the trend, and are not "stylish", you will get zapped. Just be hopeful that the Googler inspecting your site is not Mr. Blackwell, of fashion fame (now deceased). Trying to do the right thing, and improve your appearance, may spell doom for many hapless dressers (guessers).
[edited by: Sally_Stitts at 8:41 pm (utc) on Apr 21, 2011]