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Sexy AdSense Ads

One of the side effects of staring at blogs with ads on them all day is that I generally don’t see them any more.

But yesterday I spotted some AdSense ads on a number of sites that definately got my attention.

There’s a screen capture of one of the ads below:

Sexy-Adsense-Ads-1

There were other version on the sites that rotated through with each page impression – in each case there was an image behind the AdSense ads that made it look like the person in the image was holding the ads. Some were provocative like this one (I’m sure naked women holding ads get more attention than most) others were not.

I’ve seen similar tactics before and on each occassion they didn’t last long before AdSense either banned the site from the program or before the images around the ads just ‘disappeared’ (probably at the request of AdSense).

Today I went back to the site and they were gone – I suspect someone from AdSense had a quiet word in the publisher’s ear.

Violating the AdSense rules like this is not worth the risk. In doing so you jeopardise your potential earnings with AdSense which in the long term could be very costly.

If in doubt about what you can and can’t do with AdSense ads – simply email them and ask.

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, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. I’ve seen this sort of thing before — always on splogs.

  2. Ma2T says:

    Just a little typo Darren, “I’m naked women holding ads get more attention than most”.
    The “I’m naked” part kinda worried me for a second! lol.

    Interesting tactics, certainly pushing it a bit too far.

  3. Brad says:

    I can’t figure out why people would risk being banned from Adsense by doing something so “senseless”.

    Adsense is my bread and butter. They are my only source of income from my blog at the moment, so I’ll do whatever it takes to keep them on my good side.

    If people want to increase their adsense revenue, they should work on producing quality content, which will increase the number of hits, and then the adsense revenue will follow.

    I’m glad adsense doesn’t let people get away with such childish tactics!

    Brad

  4. Hmmm, why can’t adsense backgrounds be transparent. ;) On another note, her face looks like a chimp off the original War of the Worlds. ;)

  5. Sex sells, at the very least get peoples attention. Thats what your example does, but I never thought people would be using it with adsense.

  6. I actually find it kind of amusing.

  7. Peter Cooper says:

    Is this really significantly different to the ‘pretty’ Adsense borders / surrounds that were mentioned here a couple of months ago? I seem to recall they were allowed and not frowned on, despite drawing attention to the ads. The line seems very vague.

    Would the arrangement, as above, be allowed if it looked like, say, a sandwich ad board? A billboard?

  8. Darren Rowse says:

    I guess the point I’m trying to make is that if you’re going to put something around your ads get permission first. The borders I highlighted a while back were consistent with the theme of the blog they were on, they helped integrate the ads into the blog and were tasteful.

    These ones were dubious on a couple of fronts:

    1. I’m not sure some advertisers would want a semi naked lady draped around their ads
    2. They were not consistent with the blog’s actual design at all and were very obviously there to draw attention to the ads.

  9. Andy Merrett says:

    Fine line strikes again. I’m sure many of us know (as our friend MC will tell you for $99) how many people tell you to deliberately place images above and around AdSense ads to ‘draw attention to them’, and at the same time introduce their methods by saying “there’s nothing sneaky or against the rules here”.

    It is a very fine line, and what they often don’t say (or make very flaky reference to) is to check with the Big G first.

    Yes, these particular images are out of context to the design of the site, and it’s certainly not worth jeopardising your AdSense account over, whatever the short-term gain might be (the funds will probably be withheld anyway).

    Checking it out first is always best.

  10. MTO says:

    I thought it was creative…
    What exactly is against the rules here?
    Would it be ok to have a well dressed person holding the ads?

  11. Darren Rowse says:

    it’s probably a violation of this paragraph of their policies:

    “Web pages may not include incentives of any kind for users to click on ads. This includes encouraging users to click on the ads or to visit the advertisers’ sites as well as drawing any undue attention to the ads. For example, your site cannot contain phrases such as “click here,” “support us,” “visit these links,” or other similar language that could apply to any ad, regardless of content. These activities are strictly prohibited in order to avoid potential inflation of advertiser costs. In addition, publishers may not bring unnatural attention to sites displaying ads or referral buttons through unsolicited mass emails or unwanted advertisements on third-party websites. Publishers are also not permitted to use deceptive or unnatural means to draw attention to or incite clicks on referral buttons.”

    Of course it’s open to interpretation – but coupled with the fact that ‘what AdSense says goes’ I guess they are the ones that do the interpreting.

  12. Thilak says:

    Hi Darren, I read your Comments on JohnTP’s blog

    “even the second example you’ve put up can get you in trouble.

    The rule with images is that you need to either a put a border around the ads or around the images to show that they are not related. That’s the official advice I’ve been given from AdSense.

    Those second ads are not conforming to this (although many people are doing it).”

    I’ve reconfirmed with adsense about this and they said that it won’t harm my adsense account

    I’ve seen many blog’s doing this
    http://cypherhackz.net
    http://liewcf.com
    http://blogiseverything.com

    What do you think ?

  13. Darren Rowse says:

    I think they tell different people different things for some reason. I’ve seen some people asked to remove pictures next to or above/below ads and others told it’s ok. I’ll ask the contact I have at AdSense to see what they think.

  14. Thilak says:

    Please let us know what they say about those kind of ads.

  15. Thilak says:

    OK, I asked Adsense about placing ads near images. and here is their reply

    Hello Neela,

    Thanks for your emails regarding images near Google ads and your ads in
    Firefox.

    You’re welcome to place images near the Google ads on your site. However,
    we ask that publishers not place misleading images near Google ads or use
    images that appear to be directly associated with the advertisers and
    their offerings. Such images may draw undue attention to the ads and
    prompt unintentional user clicks, thereby artificially inflating
    advertiser costs. As you may know, drawing undue attention to ads is in
    violation of our program policies, so we’re unable to approve the
    placement of all images next to Google ads.

    If you choose to experiment with placing images directly next to the ads,
    I’d strongly encourage you to maintain a visible border around the ad
    units to reduce the possibility of confusing users.

    In regards to your second email about the the ads breaking up in Firefox,
    please reply to this email and include the details listed below. Your
    answers will allow me to investigate your concerns more effectively.

    -What browser version are you using?
    -What operating system version are you running?
    -What is the exact URL that is causing you trouble?
    -What is the specific error message you are seeing?
    -Does this problem occur every time you view the page?
    -When did you put our ad code on your site?
    -What ad blocking or personal firewall software do you have installed, if
    any?
    -What is the date and time you saw this problem?
    -Can you send me a screenshot showing this problem? You can find
    instructions for capturing one in our Help Center:
    http://www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/answer.py?answer=38066.

    For additional questions, we encourage you to visit the AdSense Help
    Center (http://www.google.com/adsense_help), our complete resource center
    for all AdSense topics. Alternatively, feel free to post your question on
    the forum just for AdSense publishers: the AdSense Help Group
    (http://groups.google.com/group/adsense-help).

    Sincerely,

    Becky
    The Google AdSense Team

    The answer is pretty confusing. What do you suggest ?

  16. Brad says:

    Even though I commented above, I’d like to throw my two cents in again.

    If I were the one paying for those ads through adwords, I’d be pretty upset if someone used a half naked lady to entice people to click on my ad. I’m not a prude or anything, but what does sex and nudity have to do with digital cameras?

    Sure, the person clicking on my ad probably would have an interest in digital cameras – but I wouldn’t want my website and ad associated with such things.

    Adsense created their rules to try and level the playing field for everyone. If you need half naked women to entice visitors to come to your website and click on your ad, then you should seriously look at the quality of the content you’re providing on your site.

  17. Darren Rowse says:

    My own response from AdSense when I asked them about ads beside images last night:

    “There is the possibility of attributing “undue attention” to the ads if
    the images placed above ads are misleading or seem to be directly
    associated with the advertisers and their offerings. Because ads are
    dynamic, publishers should be very careful not to place images that could
    deceive users directly adjacent to the ads. Highly general “stock” images
    are less likely to be deceptive than very specific images that suggest a
    specific offering at the advertiser’s site.

    We would also strongly encourage publishers to maintain a visible border
    around ad units if they choose to experiment with placing images directly
    alongside ad units. While we realize that this may reduce the
    effectiveness of the technique, it’s important to strike a balance between
    the potential to overcome ad blindness and the possibility of confusing
    users. “

    Hmmm – I’m still confused – but I guess the motto is to give AdSense an example and then to ask if it’s allowed. If you get a specific goahead then go for it.

  18. Thilak says:

    Yes Darren, I gave Adsense Team some example when i asked my question. As you said earlier they give different reply to different publishers.

    OK, Now I use images near Ads at my blog. What do you suggest ? So Should i keep them or remove them

  19. Darren Rowse says:

    Thilak – as I say above. If you put them up – email and ask them to look at them – if they say yes keep that email so you can prove they did later if they come back at you and go for it.

  20. Mariano says:

    I put images around adsense ads on an especific blog, and I asked for approval to adsense team. They said it was ok to use it, so I guess this is reviewed as per-case basis. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help when in doubt, and don’t take other examples you see for granted :)

  21. Thilak says:

    OK Darren I did as you said. So here what they say

    As for the images next to your ad on
    http://www.tech-buzz.net/index.php/2006/06/21/i-am-a-official-sob , I’ve
    found that the placement of these images complies with our program
    policies. We appreciate you taking the time to check with us first.

    Thanks for helping me out.

  22. Frank says:

    It is ok, if google dose not give any expicit objection.

  23. Mike says:

    Why not do it ? if you can attract more people to your site, and Google dose not say anything about that.

  24. tiger says:

    hehe,this like a joke

  25. Sepham says:

    wow, good way to attract eyes!

    http://www.sepham.com

  26. Bob Morgan says:

    i know this is old, but can you give us any tips on the best way to contact adsense? is their a prefered email addy to get a quicker reply?

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