A recent post on the Google AdSense blog indicates a Google crackdown on AdSense publishers who ‘blend’ the Google Ads into their own content. This has been regarded as one of the most effective ways for publishers to increase their click through rate, but has been placed on the naughty list by Google.
In extreme cases, some AdSense publishers have managed to blend their Ad units into page content, so that it’s almost impossible to distinguish from actual content.
Common ways of doing this have been making AdSense look like navigation, or placing ad units amongst other groups of links. Google issued the following rules in their blog post.
Rule 1: Ads shouldn’t be placed under a title or section heading in a way that implies that the ads are not ads.
This includes using ads under a title such as “Today’s Hot Deals” as shown below:
Rule 2: Ads should be easily distinguishable from surrounding content.
This refers to disguising ads amongst other content or links on a page. Google recommends users make the colors of the ad unit different to surrounding text. Below is a screenshot of a site breaking this rule:
Google’s reasoning for these guidelines is that the above techniques may cause readers to lose trust in your website (and the Google advertising platform) and not return.
If these guidelines are going to effect you, share your thoughts below.