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AdSense: “BTW – That Video Product We Launched – It’s only for US Publishers”

<rant>Once again AdSense have alienated publishers not based in the US with an update to their blog post announcing their new video units with a short update:

“Video units will be live in AdSense accounts later today (10/9). Currently this feature is open only to publishers located in the United States with English-language websites.”

These US-centric product releases are incredibly annoying for those AdSense publishers situated outside of the US. Despite having sites which attract largely english speaking US based readers and despite our blogs usually being hosted on servers within the US we are penalized by our own locations.

Yes I know there’s probably a perfectly legitimate reason for it – but give us a break! By the time we get to play with these new ads the US dollar that we all get paid with for AdSense will be worthless and video will be SO 2007!

Just once I’d love to see AdSense release something that is exclusively for those situated in Asia, Europe or Africa.</rant>

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. Nelson says:

    Some guys have all the luck, I’m already running YouTube Adsense videos on my blog, is kind of cool.

  2. Darren, I feel your pain in an ironic sort of way. We’ve been doing a lot of research on the legalities of contests because our new contest blog got way more popular than we anticipated.

    But a quick chat with my lawyer ensured I was absolutely terrified of allowing any entrants outside of the US. And it breaks my heart to do it! But a quick realization of the fact that I don’t know Canadian, Australian, English, Chinese, or Indian contest laws, nor do I have the resources to hire legal counsel for all of these countries, makes me deathly afraid to go there. (Especially when even in the US you can lose hundreds of thousands of dollars and your business over a pair of dry-cleaned pants)!

    But honestly, I don’t understand why Google would limit this to US publishers. It’s not like they don’t have an international legal staff of their own!

  3. We Canadians are the closest yet it’s not available to us. The upside is that bugs will be corrected when it will be our turn ;)

    I just hope it’s in 2007.

    Steve

  4. Glad I’m in the USA! But I do think they aren’t so bright doing this… since MANY great blogs reside outside of the states.

  5. CFernandes says:

    The fact you cann´t pick the videos is lame… I use Adbrite invideo on a few sites. There is an extra step involved, but what the hell

  6. Jeff says:

    >Just once I’d love to see AdSense release something that is exclusively for those situated in Asia, Europe or Africa.

    Hey, Darren, what about Latin America? :-)

    Actually, there’s a lot of people in Latin America with English-language sites, not to mention the often overlooked Spanish-language Web.

    Anyway, I am in total agreement with you.

  7. Jamaipanese says:

    yes I hate these “US only” offers as well -_-

    “Asia, Europe or Africa”…don’t forget us in the Caribbean!

  8. Oh, I SO know what you’re talking about. The worst for me is Amazon. I don’t have big plans to make a lot of money from them – I display their ads more to fill out my sidebar than anything else – and yet they take $15 off every $100 I make to send me a check. Did I ask them to send me a check? No way, I would have totally preferred direct deposit.

    I guess I forgot to read the memo clearly stating that non-Americans are second class citizens.

  9. Jacob says:

    I agree that it is stupid. Although I am based in America, I think that with the internet being so vast as is, you shouldn’t need to be from a certain area to participate. I can understand wanting American traffic, but since the internet can be found by anyone, what makes being an American site better than say, an Australian? What if I get all Chinese people to my site and this blog gets all American? Which is better for Adsense at this exact moment?

  10. Ken Dahlin says:

    I was under the impression that I would be able to choose the videos that display on my site, but instead I’m offered the opportunity to choose “hints” for the videos to be delivered, Hoping to at least get a good how-to video tutorial, I entered php, mysql, xhtml and css as keywords and somehow I ended up with “Smosh” of all things… go figure. I entered my video code on a test page of my website if anyone’s interested in seeing a Smosh video they’ve probably seen two or three billion times instead of something relevant to the content of my site.

  11. I told you AdSense wasn’t all the buzz. Oh well.
    I’m still waiting for Yahoo to release their Publisher Network Beta for those outside the U.S. too. It’s annoying when companies put restrictions on its users based on their locations. Internet discrimination? I think so.

  12. To me the Internet is the only true World Wide community. Why would a large corporation not take advantage of marketing to this community from the start?

    The only reason that I have ever found to explain a company’s reason for not making what seems to be a logical common sense decision is $$$$$$$$$$$$$.

  13. I’m in Singapore and I’m pretty disappointed that Google Adsense is ignoring the Asian market again. Are we not contributing any revenue to Adsense?

    The way Google Adsense is working is as though they think global, act local. I mean, in my Adsense account, I can’t use the mobile ad units and video units.

    Infrastructure-wise, I don’t think we have a problem since my friends watch youtube like, ALL THE TIME~ and for legal matters, I don’t see that big difference between video ads and text ads.

  14. Genesis says:

    Argh, yet another frustration with Google. What I don´t understand is why they are trying to eliminate other forms of earning, like text links, but refuse to include everyone in their Adsense! Basically, they are telling the rest of us to drop what we are doing and they won´t give us anything. I´m finding this very frustrating!

  15. Gee people, you all whine too much!

    This is the one time I’m not going to side with Darren.

    Although it may seem fairly easy to launch these projects (from a geek/coder’s prospective) there is probably a lot of legal mumbo jumbo they have to work out (and test out) before they can launch abroad.

    If this were simply a tech piece, then I would be whining too. But this has a financial component attached to it, which means Google has to work out the legal bugs of video’s, sharing revenue, copyright, etc. via lawyers.

    The same thing happened with Google Checkout before it was launched internationally.

    It’s easy to criticize big corporations because their easy targets. But until we know what hoops multi-billion dollar companies have to jump through when launching products like these, I think you should at least give them the benefit of the doubt, or at least wait a week before whining.

  16. Damn Americans….. thats all I have to say. lol

  17. maneesh says:

    I presume this is done keeping hte interests of the advertisers in mind.. being from India I very well knwo that a click on an ad from India the probability of turning it into a sale for the predominantly US advertisers is very less if not nil.. maybe its the case with most other coutnries as well… From Googles perspetive they cannot take excceptions becuase a dozen or two bloggers in every country outside America maybe big, the fact is almost everyone else other than the top 15-20 bloggers in any country doesnt’ add up to much sales for the advertisers.. perhaps that’s the reason for this discrimination.. or so I think…

  18. I feel for you, but I agree that they probably have a legitimate reason for it. You could always host your site in the U.S. and manage it remotely.

  19. Easterangel says:

    I think that the reason for this US only at the moment policy, is the nature of these being videos (copyright) and the providers who want to protect them.

    It is weird though since even in any location you can see the videos for example provided by NBA.com or CBS at Youtube.

    There must be something in the legal mumbo-jumbo out there.

  20. Hyder says:

    Figures,

    People in the U.S think the world is flat! Just ask the host of “The View”. They need to get out more.

  21. Any internet business, accessible worldwide, which constantly limits features, offers and competitions to the home territory is always going to alienate people…including me.

  22. ernesto says:

    Sad to hear about that even the adsense for momile ius not available in my area grrrrrr

  23. Robert says:

    I don’t know if I would easily use the Video Adsense.
    My logic says: It’s gonna slow down my blog/website, I’m going to lose readers if there are too many distractions.
    (I could be wrong)
    I think its a good idea. But I would not easily use it. Unless there is something that really catches me about it. If it looks nice then I suppose I would… Eventually.

  24. “there’s probably a perfectly legitimate reason for it ”

    Wish they could tell us, let people know — and then perhaps understand –the reason behind it.

  25. Dave says:

    Yes, completely agree Darren, once again publsihers outside the US are left out in the cold. I’d say 45-50% of my core traffic is US based, so why not allow that demopgraphic see the video ads? Google is clever enough to determine where each visitor is from, why not use this information to serve country specific video content etc – I’m struggling to understand why we can’t select video ads to be shown to US visitors, and standard text/image ads to the rest of the world.

    Its almost as infuriating as the poor exchange rate for those of us outside the US that aren’t planning to visit there – I’d be one happy chap if I was flying to the US to make some purchases, but as it stands I’m on the losing side of a weak dollar when it comes to being paid by Google.

  26. plonkee says:

    My site is hosted in the US, but I think that I’m still excluded because I write and am based in the UK. Its lucky that I don’t really want to include videos anyway.

    When we get this sort of thing fixed, can we also get films to be released worldwide on the same day?

  27. gErry says:

    I agree with maneesh, maybe most Google advertisers market products available only to US-based internet users, or advertisers assume that non-US traffic does not convert.

    If an ad were clicked somebody who is not likely to buy the product because he/she is not in the US, then the advertiser pays for a click that cannot possibly convert to sales.

    Google assumes that if you’re a publisher from a particular country, you traffic also comes from that country, or you are most likely to develop sites catering to your regional audience.

    But it’s always not right to assume.

  28. Mariella says:

    Thanks for ranting for all of us outside the US, Darren.

  29. Neil Duckett says:

    Yes, the US centric theme to a lot of these deals, affilaites, programs is always annoying. When will they ever learn that the US is not the be all and end all of the world? Just look at the USD at the moment … the wheels ar falling off … glad i`m in Japan where our Yen might not be the strongest but we have 0.5% interest rates.

  30. Keith says:

    Mildly irritated British guy right here.

  31. Michal Levy says:

    When you wrote that post about that new adsense thing, I went to look for it, and I couldn’t see it (like you said you couldn’t either). I tried it again a few times, but then I figured that it must be something that we poor people from the 3rd world (anyone outside the US) can’t use.
    Poo!

  32. Dan Schawbel says:

    I feel your pain

  33. Joe says:

    Hi Darren and the other commenters, I think that it’s terrible that so many limits are being placed on this service. In addition to it being limited to the US, there are limits on the size of the unit, color schemes, and even content. It’s really obstructive looking, and while I’m experimenting with it, they need to make a lot of changes before it becomes really worthwhile.

  34. Kensaku says:

    Hi, Darren, I know how you feel, since I am outside US (Japan).

    However, probably we should wait for Google to explain this issue. I think Google has already noticed these anger from outside their soil by now and probably lots of guys already sent messages to Google or wrote a blog post about it just like you did.

    I hate being treated like this as well, but hoping and whining will not get you anything. So I think we’d better send messages to them to ask why, of course, in a proper way, not in a spamming way. We have a right to do that, at least..

  35. Mr. Triple D says:

    Oh no, I even log in, log out, log in and log out again just to check whether the adsense video ad is in my account already..darn that is a waste of time..hopefully they will get it worldwide soon!

  36. @ Darnell,

    I think a lot of the problem could be solved by corporations being upfront about things. Ten years ago, it was assumed that any service launched by an American company would be exclusively for Americans. The world has changed, though, and it’s not unreasonable to assume the possibility for international participation.

    The issue I take is with the lack of transparency. I wouldn’t mind if a company were to say, “Hey, because launching worldwide would be an administrative nightmare, we’re just going to start in the US. If you want, we can e-mail you when the service comes to your area. Thanks so much for your patience.” It’s the fact that even Darren Rowse wasn’t informed that this was exclusively for the US that bugs me. If they couldn’t even let him know, how are the rest of us supposed to find out?

  37. Zeila Rich says:

    Why do you care?
    I thought you said you didn’t want to use Adsense anymore?

  38. raj says:

    We Canadians always get screwed too. We still can’t run YPN. (Although some are, violating TOS i guess). And our dollar is even worth more right now :)

  39. Santosh P says:

    HI! Darren..
    Its not only adsense which is not allowing Non-US people to make money..
    Few days back I was mis-read Google Apps pays $5 per referral..
    I referred 25+ sites, Shoot!!! I got nothing.. when I read it again.. all I told myself JackAss its for US Guys!!

    $125+ was something good for a starter kid like me.. but its like you earn more if u reside in US!!?

  40. doug m says:

    i honestly can’t seem to understand what the big deal is with these big releases. with the power and speed of the internet companies should be able to create a worldwide release without any hassle. i work in the video game industry and there are companies that release worldwide to multiple languages without any problems.

  41. Darren Rowse says:

    Zeila Rich – you might want to watch the video again – it says I don’t use AdSense on Problogger – but that I use it on my other blogs.

  42. Luke says:

    As a fellow Australian I have to say this seems a little strange. That said, the US tax laws are fairly restrictive and this may be something that google could not avoid. There are also a string of other things I find annoying about US only (buying electronics and even the most basic things from Amazon) but usually it’s for a reason that the company itself would change if they could. I am not sure in this case but it’s still very annoying.

  43. Good post Darren. These much hyped youtube adverts are still far from what I require.

  44. Brad V. says:

    Luckily I’m in the USA, but I still feel for you Darren, as I’m sure you’re itching to try out these new video ads.

    I’m actually looking forward to trying them myself. I’ve been really down on Google Adsense in general lately, so hopefully this will “spice” things up with their ads.

    I will add, however, that even if you’re in the US and have an Adsense account, you might not be able to use the video ads right away, as you have to give YouTube permission to access your Adsense account first, and then it has to be confirmed/verified (which can take up to 12 hours).

    So I’m waiting for that email saying I’m good to go. Once I am confirmed/verified, I will be posting the video ads on my other blog at: http://laymantechie.blogspot.com
    (sorry for the shameless self promotion)

  45. Mike Panic says:

    I imagine that does blow a bit, but I’ve added the video adsense ads to my blog just now, I’ll give them a full month to see how they perform, unless the readers bitch and complain about them.

  46. Costa says:

    Talking about double standards, folks in Malaysia referring someone to signup for their referral programs like Firefox or picassa, gets a paltry 10 cents as compared to a dollar (or is it more?) for peeps in the US.

    Dunno if this practise has changed though. I abandoned Adsense long ago.

  47. Mike Hartford says:

    Darren,

    I normally love everthing you say, but on this post I take issue. Do you not realize where Google is based (and where most of their advertisers want their ads shown)? Yes, it’s in the USA. Don’t you think it would be smart of them to test it out in the USA first, until they build up an international base?

    I really do hate to critisize you, but when a company pays you $10,000+ per month (I assume you get close to that anyway), how can you find fault with a most likely short term issue? How narcissistic of you.

  48. It’s good to see some people have started to stop whining about this deal and realize that the US has very different laws in the financial world than most countries, mainly thanks to 9/11.

    Moving on, I’ve uploaded this on one of my other blogs, and since I already had a YouTube account the feature went live within minuets.

    I put it over on my blog IsraGood (http://www.isragood.com) as I was already using video ads (via an affiliate) on the site already.

    For those of you who feel left out, I would recommend using Blinkx which only requires a PayPal account (and seems to have better targeting, Ad wise).

    TechCrunch has a review of it over here:

    http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/10/09/blinkx-adhoc-lets-publishers-monetize-your-embedded-videos-too/

    Note: My only complaint about the Google/YouTube deal is that you only have three default sizes, and all of them are huge! I’m running the smallest version on my site right now, but I would like a little more flexibility with the layout.

    ~Darnell

  49. Zeila Rich says:

    Ok. Thanks for the clarification Darren.
    Which are the blogs you are using AdSense?
    And by the way, the video units are rolled out for the US publishers for now… So why do you care so much for this?