Google lied? Adsense border shenanigans


Tired of Making Chump Change Online?

If you’ve ever bothered to read the terms and conditions of Google’s Adsense program, you would know that they are very strict against TRICKING people into clicking on adsense ads.  Fair enough.  Clear?  Not really.  When you actually use their ad tools, they want people to “blend” their ads with the publisher’s content.  The whole adsense tools section even ENABLE you to BLEND ads to your content’s look and feel.

Then Google released this:

Deceptive implementations: We’ve clarified this policy a bit in the ‘Encouraging Clicks’ section of the program policies – ads may not be formatted in a way that makes them indistinguishable from other content on the page where they appear. This includes, for instance, formatting content to mimic ads, aligning images with ads, and placing ads under a misleading heading.

The image ad align crackdown is understandable.  The same goes for the misleading heading.  However, there’s a lot of room for interpetation regarding formatting issues.  See this example


To protect itself, it appears that Adsense has been AUTOMATICALLY and RANDOMLY adding Blue Borders around ad units to break the effect of any blending.  While we agree that Adsense has to protect itself, it has to also consider the design considerations of webmasters that don’t break the rules.  We agree that this is a tight line to walk.  Sadly, during situations like this–one has to lose for another to win.

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