Webmasterspot - Website creation and management
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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Beware!!! Adsense as forum posts.

After the recent clarification the Adsense team made concerning images next to ad units, I decided to err on the side of caution and e-mailed Adsense support to do a review of one of my sites to make absolutely sure that it is in compliance.

Two days later I received a response from them and luckily my site was still in compliance with the ToS (phew!). Their response did however contain a very interesting tidbit:

Thanks for your email. I have reviewed the implementation of the ads on your site and it currently does comply with our program policies.

In the future please keep in mind that publishers may not implement Google ads in a manner that disguises the ads in any way, for instance, by formatting neighboring content to look similar to the ads, or by making ads look like games or forum posts. Additionally, publishers may not attempt to associate specific images with the individual ads appearing on their sites. Such an implementation may confuse users who assume that the image is directly related to the advertiser's offerings.

Now that is a very interesting point although it could be very easily overlooked. I know quite a few forums where Adsense ads are inserted after the first or last post and appear exactly like a post created by a member (although the member name is normally Advertiser, Sponsor or something similar).

If I’m reading it right those webmasters need to be very cautious and work out another way to integrate their Adsense ads into their forum. So if you are using a similar method, please contact the Adsense support team to make sure that you aren’t in violation… unless you’d rather take your chances and pray that you don’t get the dreaded "account suspended e-mail".

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