Thursday, January 18, 2007

AdSense Policies Updated

JenSense, a must read for all things contextual advertising, has a summary of the AdSense policy changes and how they affect you as a publisher. Noe these are not minor changes by any means and they will likely affet nearly every publisher in one way or another.

The biggest change revolves around ad rotators and displaying YPN and AdSense ads on the same site but not on the same page, this has and will remain against the terms of service. The new rules address the issue:

"Competitive Ads and Services In order to prevent user confusion, we do not
permit Google ads or search boxes to be published on websites that also contain
other ads or services formatted to use the same layout and colors as the Google
ads or search boxes on that site. Although you may sell ads directly on your
site, it is your responsibility to ensure these ads cannot be confused with
Google ads."

What does this mean for you as a publisher? You can no longer place any other contextually targeted ads on the same site with AdSense ads, not just the same page. Now this is only pertinent if your ads looked the same which most publishers strive to do. As I read it to get around the policy you ads will have to look distictly different like having a different color pallate or one set having a border and one set not having one. Now Google did not go as far as to outlaw them but that appears to the direction they are heading.

Some other changes of note:
  • Referalls used to be limited to four per page. The four per page limit has been thrown out and it now states you can have up to two referall links or buttons per page per product.
  • AdSense officially documented their long standing attitude of pictures by ads which is not to have any pictures near ads without a seperation of some kind.
  • Placing ads on pages with copyrighted materials is illegal unless you have permission to publish it.

These document the major changes Google made to policy. There are some more "niche specific" policies I won't discuss here but that you can read about here and here.

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