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AdSense Updates Policies – Some Publishers Will Need to Make Changes

Posted By Darren Rowse 18th of January 2007 Adsense 0 Comments

JenSense has a nice compilation of the changes that AdSense has made to it’s policies today.

There are quite a few but the ones that caught my eye are:

Referrals – you could previously have four referrals products per page but could only link to each one once.

Now you can use up to two referrals links/buttons per referral product – I can see this being very useful!

Use of Images – they’ve now updated their policies to reflect what they’d previously announced – ie that you cannot use images next to ads.

Copyrighted Material – the policy now reads:

“Website publishers may not display Google ads on web pages with content protected by copyright law unless they have the necessary legal rights to display that content. Please see our DMCA policy for more information.”

Great stuff for those of us who are getting our content scraped! Now how do we enforce it?

Competitive Ads and Services – this is a significant one that I know some publishers are going to have to make some changes with. They are tightening up on publishers who have ads on their sites which have ‘same layout and colors as the Google ads or search boxes on that site.’

This means you need to be very careful about running ads that resemble AdSense ads on them – anywhere on your site.

The policy now states:

“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.”

This means that if you are running YPN text ads on one part of your site and AdSense on another that have the same colour palettes you are in violation of this policy (or if you’re rotating AdSense and YPN ads as I know some publishers do).

Jen writes a helpful post on this change here. As she writes – you now need to ensure that your different types of ads don’t resemble each other (ie change colors, add borders etc).

While I understand why they’re doing this (it’s a defensive move against other ad networks) it is going to cause a lot of publishers time and work – especially as it is a sitewide thing.

I know of many publishers who run AdSense on one part of a site and YPN on other parts and who rotate ads – looks like they have some significant work to do in the next day or two to comply.

I’ve already heard from a number of publishers that if given the choice between AdSense and YPN that they’ll jump to YPN because of the less stringent requirements – this change has put one too many hoops to jump through in front of some publishers.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. With a relatively new blog, I only have Adsense right now so some of these changes won’t be too big an impact on me but I agree that this could cause a headache for a good number of publishers.

    I’ll have to read more on the competitive ads to see if it is only for contextual ads or does it include anything. For instance, your TLA ad below this area has a similar look/layout to an Adsense block.

  2. This is defiantly going to affect a lot of publishers and not in a positive way.

  3. This will affect a lot of people. I do want adsense to get better. I felt they lacked good quality clicks. I would by ads through YPN before Adsense.

    I also publish through YPN as well.

  4. […] AdSense Updates Policies A quick rundown of the most significant changes in the AdSense policies that were released today. There is a re-affirmation of the no-images policy, new limitations on referral products and some changes in the competitive ads that can be displayed along with Google Ads. If you display Google Ads on your blog along with other Ad types, this article, along with the original from JenSense might be worth a quick read. (No Ratings Yet)  Loading … […]

  5. I don’t think the item about copyright will hold. With the number of blogs broadcasting videos from YouTube.

  6. I was just about to start rotating ads. Glad I got the news before I wasted my time. Thanks Darren.

  7. I can’t not ask myself how much of this has anything to do with fairness and stuff. I stronlgy believe it’s rather a matter of gaining even more market.

    Now that you can’t have ads that look similar to AdSense what will you do? I would go with keeping AdSense and either drop other ads or choose the less profitable color schemes for other networks. And that’s just more money for Google.

    I take my hat off:)

  8. This is bad news for some publishers who have spend hours trying to get a workable mix of ads from competitng ad networks. Google Adsense is certainly more demanding in terms of requirements and all those rules. To a rather positive note, the payout is definitely worth all the trouble wouldn’t you agree?

  9. Im using YPN and thats it

  10. Honestly, I’d use YPN if they accepted my registration request. It would be alongside Google but not in place of.

    It’s not because Google’s rules are too stringent, it’s more-so because it’s another ‘stream’ of income. I like that Google has actual guidelines that help its advertisers as I am one of them. Quality is important when it comes to getting the right kinds of people to the pages you’re advertising.

    Personally, I think disguising ads as links on your site is clever but annoying. And it got old a while back. It’s a good thing Google is putting out the vibe that this is not OK.

    On the flip-side, Google’s smart pricing is a pain in the arse it seems, as my daily income has dropped more than 50% dramatically. It’s a good thing I’ve been starting affiliate marketing. :)

  11. I’m honestly getting really tired of putting up with Google’s bs! I think there days of being the advertising dictatorship are coming to an end.

    If someone out there will come up with an alternative Google will be kissing our butts to come back.

    I think the best solution (attention Yahoo and Microsoft) – would be to compete with Blogads.com

    Create a text and image advertising program where the ADVERTISER has the option to put images near their text ad. This could be a win-win situation, I think… yes? no? Take a look at an example on the right site of

    Let us be, Google!

  12. […] today i found AdSense Updates Policies – Some Publishers Will Need to Make Changes this article, which is quite interesting to me since i just signed up AdSense 2 days ago and plan to to add other ads services. […]

  13. I want to know how and why google let you have images next to all your ads on your camera and phone blogs Darren?

  14. FG – not sure which you mean. I did experiment with them for a while but not these days (unless I missed some). You don’t mean my chitika ads which have image in them?

  15. I’m slowly starting to take Adsense off my blogs, I don’t really make much money from them and these stringent rules are just one big headache.

  16. Hey Darren.
    No, I mean those ones at the top near the headers with the 4 ads across the top of the 728 banner. Is that cool with Google?

  17. […] Google has updated their TOS. And of course they use their G-stick to do whatever the hell they want in order to optimize their profits. I guess we all do it, but a big company like Google should have some sort of social responsibility to their “affiliates” and allow all us dedicated Adsense users to optimize our profits. […]

  18. Regarding your question how to enforce breach of copyright, this happened to one of my popular posting in our blog regarding the Yumiko t-back video, which was copied by a blogspot website. Then I sent a complaint letter to Google by mail, detailing the breach, a copy of which can be found at http://eonenet.wordpress.com/2006/12/21/complaint-to-google-for-yumiko-t-back-video-copyright-infringement/

    After 2 weeks, Google replied.

    “After reviewing the blog post in question, it appears as if the blog administrator has removed the content. We hope that this resolves any dispute you may have. Please let us know if we can assist you any further.”

    This infringing post was also removed from the search results in Google. So it seems Google is taking this seriously and would act on complaints.

  19. […] Update: Darren has now posted about the Adsense changes, but I don’t think he spotted that you might be able to use contextual Chitika now. […]

  20. The point about competitive ads is that the final judgment will necessarily be subjective unless there is a very specific set of guidelines. While it’s likely that Google will provide these guidelines to employees, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll ever see them. With that said, will enforcement actions depend on which of Google’s enforcers sees the page with the infractions? I suppose we’ll have a better idea about what they actually will accept when people start receiving warning letters from Google.

  21. […] Segundo John Chow e Darren Rowse, esta alteração visa dificultar o uso do AdSense e do YPN no mesmo site, para quem usa os dois, esta clausula causará uma certa dor de cabeça, mas para nós nenhum problema. […]

  22. AdSense Updates Policies, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Google….

    Once again Google lays down what most are saying is a whippin’ on others trying to get into the contextual…

  23. […] Some good summary articles include – Problogger and Jensense – both of whom are on roughly (IMO) the same page. […]

  24. I am not sure i understand this: They are tightening up on publishers who have ads on their sites which have ’same layout and colors as the Google ads or search boxes on that site.’

    This mean that this website is bad: http://seoforwordpress.net/

  25. Darren, my trackback on #22 doesnt seem to be working, its going to some random site rather than marketingshift. just an FYI.

  26. This goes even stronger against the adsense beautifier plugin, by saying that images cannot use images next to ads.

  27. I am so glad that you have this blog I can check out the latest on AdSense..Thanks for all the work you put into your blog!

  28. The competitive ads change is rather harsh. Especially when Link Units look so “generic”! Will any sort of text advertising that displays links in a list violate the terms? E.g. Text-Link-Ads.com

  29. […] Found this this morning on Darren Rowse’s excellent blogging blog, ProBlogger. […]

  30. […] Darren Rowse of ProBlogger thinks some publishers will drop AdSense over the change: I’ve already heard from a number of publishers that if given the choice between AdSense and YPN that they’ll jump to YPN because of the less stringent requirements – this change has put one too many hoops to jump through in front of some publishers. […]

  31. Taking a look at the big picture Google wants to protect their customers, the advertisers. Without them Adsense would not exist.

    Will they lose legitimate publishers? Maybe. To me Google is making it tougher for the publishers that cheat the Adsense system.

  32. […] Voc est sabendo que mudaram algumas coisas? Estava lendo uma analise do que mudou e umas dicas de outro blog a respeito. A politica pode ser lida aqui. […]

  33. […] Competitive Ads and Services The most significant change, and the one that affect publishers most. Significant enough that JanSense has written two more posts just to cover this (here and here). There has been some different interpretation among publishers, some concluded that now publishers can display AdSense together with Kontera or IntelliText, and some disagree. Darren from Problogger thinks whatever that means, the fact that now AdSense publishers are not allowed to display on sites that have YPN – same page or otherwise – will make many publishers jump to YPN because of less restrictive policies. […]

  34. The way google bans people at will makes these changes a bit stressful. Earning for January are way down for me on the same CTR as previous months and these rules just make it harder to find secondary streams of revenue on sites I think.

  35. […] The rules of AdSense use have been changing lately. Make sure you’re up to date. […]

  36. I do not see any big change in the AdSense policies. They just redefine almoust the same but using different grammar. However, it is another story if the policies will be followed strictly now. Especially the one fo rnot placeing AdSense on pages without content.

  37. […] Further reading:  Problogger | JenSense Quickly bookmark AdSense policy changes means a lot of work for some publishers at                                          Related PostsAdSense ads can now be run on the same page as other contextual ad programsDoes the AdSense Beautifier break AdSense terms and conditions?Is every blog a potential moneymaker?Killer AdSense Tips – #10 – Diversify!Killer AdSense Tips – #2 – Position your ads like you mean it! […]

  38. […] Changing their Adsense TOS to softly hit major competitors. The new rules are good for many of Googles smaller competitors. They’re not so good for the larger ones like Yahoo. The rules will hurt Yahoo and MSN AdCenter as many publishers choose AdSense to wear the best color scheme. And then the rules will hurt them further as publishers are more open to try out other, smaller ad networks. […]

  39. […] Segundo John Chow e Darren Rowse, esta alterao visa dificultar o uso do AdSense e do YPN no mesmo site, para quem usa os dois, esta clausula causar uma certa dor de cabea, mas para ns nenhum problema. […]

  40. […] It looks like none of the changes will affect my sites and blogs, but with all the restrictions I can see why Darren Rowse (who I first found this story from) says: I’ve already heard from a number of publishers that if given the choice between AdSense and YPN that they’ll jump to YPN because of the less stringent requirements – this change has put one too many hoops to jump through in front of some publishers. […]

  41. Unknown says: 05/19/2007 at 10:56 pm

    When Jensense publishes some interesting articles on up to date adsense policies, stop copying them and adding the bare minimum just to fill your site up with comments.

    Theres enough duplication on the web without you jumping in too.

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