AdSense Policy Changes to Hit Comment Spammers?

Jen observes that Adsense have made a few changes of wording in their terms and conditions (mainly minor changes) and points out one that could be linked to an attempt to crackdown and penalize comment spammers. The wording that they’ve added is:

‘In addition, publishers may not bring unnatural attention to sites displaying ads through unsolicited mass emails or unwanted advertisements on third-party websites. These activities are strictly prohibited in order to avoid potential inflation of advertiser costs.’

‘unwanted advertisements on third-party websites’ – sounds like comment spam to me too. If it is comment spamming that they are talking about I’m right behind them. Of course the challenge is to go beyond changing a policy and enforcing it – time will tell if they have what it takes to tackle this on a larger scale than just the one off banning of publishers that we’re used to for breaches of policies.

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  1. they should exclude explicitly banners as not unwanted advertisement me thinks, i.e.: site A has banner to side B that has ads.

  2. Lindsay says:

    More likely they’ll end up doing a huge sweep that drops everyone from the SERPS who has ever left a link to their site in someone’s comments. :P

    *debates on deleting link above*

  3. Presumably if you put the banner on your site, it’s not unwanted. I think they’re specifically targetting spam content not created by the site owner (and hence ‘unwanted’), such as comments on blogs, forum postings, guest book entries, user-submitted reviews, wikis, etc. Legitimate (or ‘wanted’) content would still be OK, for example where you post some helpful advice but have a link to your site in your signature.

    They can’t really know every site owner’s definition of ‘unwanted’ advertising content, so they’ll probably only act if the site owner complains.


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