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Google bans Mango Sauce from AdSense

There’s a fascinating story over at Mango Sauce today that recounts it’s blogger’s (David) interactions with one representative at AdSense who has banned Mango Sauce from AdSense over what it says are violations of the program. The AdSense team member says that MS has content for mature audiences which violates the program. The post is long and raises all kinds of interesting ideas and possibilities for conversation. Of particular interest to me is the double standards that David points out. Personally I’m not a fan of ‘adult’ content in any form but have long wondered whether Google seem to have different standards for different parts of it’s business.

Head over and have your say.

Found via an email from Stuart

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Comments

  1. Stuart says:

    If Google did nothing more than return adult sites when people searched for relevant adult terms that would be one thing but Google also takes money for adsense advertising from the adult industry.

    Hypocrisy? Probably but then even politicians do it so why should we be surprised that Google does it too?

  2. sg GOD says:

    I’m totally against what google did to that site…and like covering their mistake, they’re bringing new rules in every email.. damn! a guy working with google… Such a responsible job position… handling and reviewing thousands of sites a day.. He don’t know who is the owner of which site???!!! And accusing David for ‘www.thailandstories.com’ … don’t know what to say O_o

  3. stuart says:

    Interesting latest news item on http://www.thailandstories.com
    “April 26, 2006
    Due to some unforeseen circumstances we have decided to remove all our mature stories until we can figure out how to best deal with the issue.”

    The internet in Thailand is running scared! ;-)

  4. PhiMix says:

    This is insane and really shows why you need more income streams than just AdSense.

    What Google have done to Mango Sauce is crazy. It’s one of my favorite sites and I would be very sad to see it disappear.

    Let’s hope a lot of people e-mail Google and complain.

  5. Clark says:

    I used to be a big fan of Mangosauce and it’s sad to see what has happened. International publishers like him (and myself) need an alternative to Google Adsense.

  6. Jack says:

    what happened to “google -do no evil”??

  7. A.H says:

    I see everybody’s jumping on the bandwagon of assaulting Google, just like the author of that blog advised; Which is pretty sad.

    It’s so easy to make people biased about a certain issue after self-praising and assaulting other cooperations for their success, especially if that was a long post which got completley off-topic.

    I don’t say that what has been done to the owner of Mango Sauce is right, but before we start pointing out at different suspects, let’s get what Google have to say, if they have something to say.

    One logical reason might be the “Sex” section in Mango Sauce, which is, by Google’s TOS, forbidden.

    A.H

  8. PhiMix says:

    A related question: I recently received an e-mail from Goggle stating that CJ (Commission Junction) ads and AdSense aren’t allowed on the same page.

    I cannot see why they shouldn’t be allowed on the same page. Adsense TOS only says that no contextual ads can be placed together with Adsense, but CJ is not contextual. I have selected my CJ ads manually by looking through some long lists.

    Have any of you received the same message? Or maybe received the opposite answer (i.e. that CJ and Adsense are allowed on the same page)?

    Thank you, Mads

  9. Stuart says:

    Looks like the experts at Google Adwords now want to dictate what other ads you can have on your pages.

    Is it only me or have others begun to note a level of arrogance and superiority beginning to appear in various Googlers’ public statements?

  10. Nicole Simon says:

    I know that many Americans run scared by everything remotly sexual, but hey a) Porn is one of the main interest for many people on the net b) there is money in it and c) Adsense works.

    Why not have a dedicated Adsense for Porn? I am sure, many people would jump in. It is just like a way for the childs (normal adsense) and the grown ups.

    Well, because I am sure that any ‘respectable’ American company will not be able to do what everybody knows work. But they sure as hell take money from advertisers displaying on their site.

    I do have one posting on my blog which gets quite a lot of traffic – and no, it is not about porn, it is about what people search for funny things on my website and the fact that google matches me for those terms. Bigott I think is the term for that …

  11. stuart says:

    The site in question certainly wasn’t a porn site.

    I think there are a couple of important issues in this case. The first is the obvious double-standard — Google apears to be happy to make adwords income out of adult listings, but will bar any adsense member who tries the same — I mean, if an adult adwords advertiser signs up for the content network, where exactly are those ads going to appear??!!

    But if they want to have double standards – it is their business..

    However, the second point is the one which is more worrying — when they say no adult content, what exactly do they mean by adult content and just how strict will the policing be?

    For example — take an adsense-enabled messageboard which is dedicated to nightlife in XYZ city. A member posts a message asking about organising some paid sex. Now I’d consider that definetly an “adult concept” but does this mean messageboard owners need to troll through thousands of posts to make sure all the posts fit the Google TOS? — if they leave the post there, then surely they’re in contravention of the TOS… or is it down to a judgement call on the reviewers at Google…

    I understand why Google keep some guidelines vague, but I think this is an area that publishers could really do with a bit more clarification…

  12. Patrick says:

    Though I agree that the Google policy is a bit vague, I fail to see where hypocrisy enters into it.

    It’s quite obvious that Google isn’t against earning money from adult content. So people looking for that through Google’s search engine will be served with the sponsored links, meaning Google isn’t trying to “protect” their users.

    If it was up to Google they would probably want to display all kind of links. My guess is that some customers doesn’t want to be associated with pages serving adult material, so in order to keep these Adword customers Google has this policy.

    A similar thing happened to the tv show Nip/Tuck (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0361217/) when Toyota removed their ads from the Nip/Tuck website; Nip/Tuck Ads Slashed: http://www.tv.com/tracking/viewer.html&tid=77781&ref_id=17095&ref_type=101

    It would however feel better if there was some kind of warning from Google and more cooperation from their part.

  13. Dave G says:

    It’s a shame that double standards rear their ugly head in so many areas now. Will be interesting to see how this one pans out.

    Dave
    http://blog.brightonvibes.com

  14. Andy Merrett says:

    It just makes it so difficult to know what is acceptable, and it feels like there are moving goalposts. One of my blogs is about family relationships, and sometimes I talk about s*x (it is, after all, a pretty important subject). I never talk explicitly about it, but am I someday going to get a call from Scott or some other Googleplex guy telling me my site breaks ToS?

  15. PhiMix says:

    Fantastic! I just received another e-mail from Google Adsense and now they have changed their mind! I’m allowed to display CJ ads together with Adsense :)

    Morale of the story: Complain if Adsense support tell you something strange.

  16. Cary says:

    I think the single truly-distressing point that stands out in this case (and others I have read about,) is that Google – or perhaps just a handfull of employees at Google – doesn’t seem interested at all in working with the publisher once they decide there is a violation…

    Considering that publishers are a very large part of what makes AdSense work, I would think that they would want to work *with* their publishers, not *against* them.

    Strange business model for sure…but hey, it’s working for them, right?

    ;)

  17. shankar says:

    hi friends, i have developed a website http://www.glamourar.com. its all ment for beauty n fashion. my income depends on google adsense.
    but now i am wanting to add some adult contant on it. can i do that please tell, how this could effect to my adsense account.

  18. Darren Rowse says:

    Adult content will mean you are likely to be banned from AdSense – it’s not allowed. Keep it family friendly and you won’t have any problems.

  19. hungtop says:

    Google are allowing adwords to be shown of some high traffic Adult websites!

    Gay.com (Gay dot com) has been running Google adwords along side Pornographic images and content for over one year.

    There is even an Adult search area that returns full on explicit photos with custom styled google adwords (stylesheet hosted on google’s server especially for the site) running along the top and bottom of the page as well as a google adwords search box.

    If you open a profile, you get to see more explicit photos and more google adwords.

    I know of many webmasters who have reported gay.com to google abuse and get google have refused to ban gay.com from showing adwords along side porn content.

    One webmaster reported that adwords were turned back on for his adult site after reporting gay.com to google abuse (I guess to keep him quiet)

    It you look at gay.com traffic ranking in alexa, they are ranked at 1,100. Gay.com must spend a hell of a lot on google adwords for them to be allowed to break the Google Adwords Content Policy.

    It seems that money talks when it comes to google.