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What does EU GDPR means for Adsense?

Question about GDPR and Adsense.

     
5:38 pm on Mar 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Question: What does EU GDPR means for Adsense?

Most of the Adsense income is from interest based ads. Will this be affected by the EU GDPR?
I'm concerned because today with the latest update for my Android Phone, I got asked for permission related to interest based ads. (Maybe it is because I did disable it before. This is to see the normal ads on my pages with Adsense. But I'm still concerned.)
7:07 pm on Mar 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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G sent out an email yesterday talking about this, saying they will be offering users the chance to opt out of personalised ads.
11:59 pm on Mar 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Then we'll wait and see.
5 years ago I earned 4000-7000 dollar/month. I'm now trying to build everything from scratch. But it's now harder. If GDPR kills Adsense, then it's time for a new focus.
10:07 am on Mar 25, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I've been asking the same, some times ago : [webmasterworld.com...]

Google will come with a solution, where EU visitors will not be shown ads which are involving cookies (which doesn't mean that Google is not storing and processing the IP addresses). I also think that, an option will be included in Google Chrome, and Android OS asking if you accept or not personalized based ads.If the option is set, then Google will serve this kind of ads.

This can have a significant implication for sites which are mostly receiving EU visitors, since these ads are usually earning more. In the other hand, EU visitors will see contextual ads, which might also be a good point.

The good point in all of this is that, publishers will no longer have to display a cookie banner, which is taking 1/3 of the screen on mobile devices. (considering the publishers are not themselves using tracking cookies, of course).

In all events, Internet giants will find a work around, and will always find tricks to by pass the GDPR, no doubt. In the upcoming years, I wouldn't be surprised if the EU refine the GDPR to fight the constant abuses of these companies.
11:00 am on Mar 25, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I would like to add that this is not the EU itself which is in charge of watching at the respect of the GDPR, but this is each national privacy protection agencies. Some, like the CNIL in France, are much more picky than others.
9:39 pm on Mar 25, 2018 (gmt 0)

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So could someone please clarify: In regard to the recent Google email "Important updates about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)", there's no action required on this issue by Adsense publishers? It was just a heads up email, with the bulk of the issue being that we may be loosing the ability to show "interest based" ads to EU website visitors? Thanks.
2:16 pm on Mar 26, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Seems they will provide some solutions for us in the near-future, at least before May 25(?)...

"To comply, and support your compliance with GDPR, we are:

- Launching a solution to support publishers that want to show only non-personalized ads.
- Launching new controls for DFP/AdX programmatic transactions, AdSense for Content, AdSense for Games, and AdMob to allow you to control which third parties measure and serve ads for EEA users on your sites and apps. We’ll send you more information about these tools in the coming weeks.
- Taking steps to limit the processing of personal information for children under the GDPR Age of Consent in individual member states.
- Launching new controls for Google Analytics customers to manage the retention and deletion of their data.
- Exploring consent solutions for publishers, including working with industry groups like IAB Europe."

So I think we may have to implement some things on our properties for European users. So thanks Europe!
2:44 pm on Mar 26, 2018 (gmt 0)

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So thanks Europe!

No one force you to take European's money, you can simply block the access of Europeans to your sites, like that you'll be fine.

Also, there would be no need for regulation if the Internet giants behaved properly...

Without the legal aspect, this is the exact same thing than with ad blockers. If site publishers hadn't stuffed their sites with excessive ads, people wouldn't be installing ad blockers in mass ...
8:16 pm on Mar 26, 2018 (gmt 0)

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publishers will no longer have to display a cookie banner,


This has never been "the standard", it just so happens to be the one many have adopted since they did not actually learn what was required. Check the navigation at the top of this page to actually see what the EU does itself:

[europa.eu...]

FWIW since the Cookie directive was introduced I adopted a "Cookies are not required" policy for my sites, even without cookies Google still serves, usually, relevant ads to the sites since, supposedly, they should already know what your site is about, I repeat, should know what you site is about however that seriously has to be questioned at the moment!
11:39 pm on Mar 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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So could someone please clarify: In regard to the recent Google email "Important updates about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)", there's no action required on this issue by Adsense publishers? It was just a heads up email, with the bulk of the issue being that we may be loosing the ability to show "interest based" ads to EU website visitors? Thanks.

No, the email sent by Google the other day, mentions that publishers need to obtain the explicit consent from EU visitors before letting Google/Adsense process personal data (which I remind everybody includes IP address). So it's not a "no action required". It means that, before showing an Adsense ad, publishers are supposed to ask the visitor if he accepts personalized based ads or not, and if not, the publisher is responsible of displaying something else.

Now, Google said they'll provide new tools to serve non personalized ads, but since they didn't yet described how this will work, we can't really assume. Ideally, it should be an option in Adsense to disable interest based ads for EU visitors. But it can take other forms too, like a piece of javascript code, prompting each Eu users to accept or not interest base ads, and depending of the answer display such or such adsense code. (which would be the worse solution, since it would mean that each EU visitor will get a popup / message box, to approve or not before being able to see the page!)

Also, Google said that it's up to the publisher to obtain the explicit consent from the user, AND, to keep a record of this consent, AND to provide an options to revoke the consent. So it means that this kind of consent has to be on a site by site basis, and can't be handle globally by Google, a web browser, or the Operating system. I thought that may be from the moment a user had accept interest based ads from Google at one site, then this consent would be apply to all other sites running Adsense. But no.

Here is an other article : [wsj.com...]
1:49 am on Mar 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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For me, it's easiest to just block all the EU countries. They're a very small percentage of my visitors anyway.
8:36 am on Mar 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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FWIW since the Cookie directive was introduced I adopted a "Cookies are not required" policy for my sites, even without cookies Google still serves, usually, relevant ads to the sites since, supposedly, they should already know what your site is about, I repeat, should know what you site is about however that seriously has to be questioned at the moment!

I did not understand what you said. Even if your site is not using cookie, Google will continue to. this is unrelated. Each adsense ad will drop a cookie on the user's device, and Google will continue to serve interest based ads. Also, Google's use of cookie has nothing to do with serving ads related to the content of the page. The cookies (or other tracking mechanism) are only for the interest based ads.
10:38 am on Mar 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I did not understand what you said.


Quite simply whilst browsing and not accepting cookies through your browser, AdSense will continue to show ads, how relevant they are depends upon how well Google knows your site, sometimes they are fine, sometimes they are seemingly way off-mark.

My tests in the past showed that Google does not drop a cookie when told not to do so, I'll check again.

For me, it's easiest to just block all the EU countries. They're a very small percentage of my visitors anyway.


You may not need to bother, Google is evidently following Trump's America First policy by excluding and removing many non-USA business websites. I am amazed that not more people are talking about this, my entire global widget trade is questioning what is going on.

FWIW I'll publish my figures at the end of the month but so far PVs are down 15-20% this month at a time of year when they have always gone up, certainly realworld business enquiries and orders have maintained this trend.
12:17 pm on Mar 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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So users will have to give their consent before interest based ads can be displayed by a website. Implied consent will not be adequate, it must be explicit. Therefore the website will need to show a banner with a checkbox left blank that a user must choose to select. The banner presumably can be:

1) Closed after a user has ok'd interest based ads
2) Closed after the user declining interest based ads
3) Displayed every time a page is loaded if the actions in 1 or 2 do not take place

Therefore it wouldn't surprise me if we end up with a situation where only 10% or so of the total user base actively opts in. If that is the outcome the viability of interest based ads as we know them now will be open to question.

The revenue impact for publishers is a known unknown. Advertisers will still want to reach people so the money which was being spent on targeted ads will presumably be spent on other types of ads which could offset any loss to publishers.

That brings me to my final point. What is the point of publishers spending time and money implementing a bespoke solution for interest based ads if they aren't going to be around much longer? Why not save yourself a lot of bother and just opt out of interest based ads on day 1 of GDPR assuming Adsense provides that option?
12:28 pm on Mar 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Therefore it wouldn't surprise me if we end up with a situation where only 10% or so of the total user base actively opts in.

I bet on 0%. First of all people are not really reading what is printed on screen, they scan page, they see a message box in the middle , they'll close it, without reading it. Secondly, the annoyance of getting this kind of message will make more and more people get ride of the web sites, and just stick wight Google's snippet / answer boxes.
Also, who knows, the display of a message box, to prompt user, might be perceived by the Google Search team as hurting the user experience, and downgrading ranking ...

If that is the outcome the viability of interest based ads as we know them now will be open to question.

A first victim will be Criteo, they already announced they'll expect to loose at least 20% of their incomes.

What is the point of publishers spending time and money implementing a bespoke solution for interest based ads

Exactly. I hope Google (and other ad networks), will come with a simple option, where they would disable interest based ads for EU users, and that's all.
3:03 pm on Mar 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Exactly. I hope Google (and other ad networks), will come with a simple option, where they would disable interest based ads for EU users, and that's all.



Regulation can lead to innovation. Therefore I would not be surprised if the solutions devised for GDPR end up being deployed in other markets too.




A first victim will be Criteo, they already announced they'll expect to loose at least 20% of their incomes.



Criteo appeared to take a hit when Safari started blocking third party cookies last year. However I believe they reported strong earnings in 2017 and seem confident about GDPR not having a big impact on their business. We shall of course see what happens. My involvement with Criteo ended when they ditched their Publisher Marketplace Passback solution at the start of this year. TBH I'm not even sure how they now operate.
4:54 pm on Mar 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Ya, I really hope Google handles this issue on their end - seems like the most logical/simple thing to do with so many worldwide publishers and advertisers in play (instead of relying on all these players to "do their part").
10:01 pm on Mar 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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How is the internet "free" when entire countries can impose regulations, restrictions or limitations on internet businesses?
10:18 pm on Mar 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Is it just for ads? What about sites running 3rd party comment sections like Disqus, and social share buttons that track users data in exchange for being free to use?
10:29 pm on Mar 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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How is the internet "free" when entire countries can impose regulations, restrictions or limitations on internet businesses?

Do you mean that internet businesses should be exempted of any kind of rules ?

Is it just for ads? What about sites running 3rd party comment sections like Disqus, and social share buttons that track users data in exchange for being free to use?

EVERYTHING is concerned, so Disqus too, but this should be discussed in a different topic.

Back to Adsense, and while re-reading the email from the other day, I noticed that, another element which has to be taken in consideration is third parties which are monitoring ads. Adsense is quickly pointing that third parties can also collect personal information for the purpose of measuring ads efficiency. The e-mail suggests that a tool will be made available to select which third parties measuring services to include/exclude. I think that instead of making plenty of options to choose from, at the risk of making mistakes, Adsense should simple serve the ads which are fully respecting the GDPR to EU visitors, but I suspect that Google is trying to protect itself. It floods publishers with lot of information, which are hard to read/understand, which are available at multiple places, and adding to the confusion with a tool to be release "at some point", to help publishers conforms to the GDPR. Like that, if there is a problem regarding Adsense (in this case) , Google can blame the publishers, and argue they gave all the information and tools, so they did their part of the job.
10:27 am on Mar 30, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Most of my revenue comes from the UK so GDPR potentially has a big impact. I've been looking for websites that have have already put solutions in place but haven't found any. In fact some don't even appear to provide a cookie notification banner! If you're not familiar with the UK online market but are concerned about GDPR it may be worth keeping an eye on the websites of the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Guardian, Sun and Daily Mirror newspapers.

FWIW I see GDPR as a challenge and an opportunity. If we end up with better quality advertising and higher CPCs there is the potential for everyone to be a winner. Not sure how it is in other countries but in the UK TV ads are often (not always) viewed favourably and can become talking points. It would be nice to see web advertising going down a similar route.
1:21 pm on Mar 30, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I see GDPR as a challenge and an opportunity. If we end up with better quality advertising...

I hope so too.
2:45 pm on Mar 30, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Do you mean that internet businesses should be exempted of any kind of rules ?


Of course not! I don't like the EU involving themselves with my website and what I can and can't do with my website. That's ludicrous. I live in America, not Europe.
10:37 am on Apr 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I don't like the EU involving themselves with my website and what I can and can't do with my website.

It's not a mater of what you can do with your site or not, it's what you can do with personal information of European citizens or not. This is very different.

If you accept that EU visitors contribute to earn you money, then it's normal that you respect EU rules about these visitors. If you want to deny the rights of EU citizens, then simply block them from accessing your site.
5:27 am on Apr 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If you want to deny the rights of EU citizens, then simply block them from accessing your site.


I fully intend to block all EU countries. They don't click on ads at my site anyway, even though they do visit. They're only using my bandwidth and getting free goodies. I can do without that nonsense.
1:28 pm on Apr 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I fully intend to block all EU countries.

From I've read, that is easier said than done.

Does anyone have a simple way to do this?
2:04 pm on Apr 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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you can use the Maxmind apache module : [github.com...]
3:20 pm on Apr 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, Travis!
6:03 am on Apr 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@azlinda, if you have Cloudflare you can block as many countries as you want.

Or just use a cookie prompt for EU geos

Or skip the cookie prompt and just wait for Adsense to activate option to show EU users only non-personalized ads.
6:56 am on Apr 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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In Adsense is there a way of seeing the percentage of revenue that is currently generated from "targeted ads"?
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