In case you missed the news during the busy holidays, a favorite WordPress Plugin, Adsense Beautifier by supriyadisw.net is now history according to a recent clarification of ad and image placement from Google Adsense:
We ask that publishers not line up images and ads in a way that suggests a relationship between the images and the ads. If your visitors believe that the images and the ads are directly associated, or that the advertiser is offering the exact item found in the neighboring image, they may click the ad expecting to find something that isn’t actually being offered. That’s not a good experience for users or advertisers.
Publishers should also be careful to avoid similar implementations that people could find misleading. For instance, if your site contains a directory of Flash games, you should not format the ads to mimic the game descriptions.
The Adsense Beautifier WordPress Plugin automatically inserted images next to ads in order to make them pretty, but also to draw attention to them. Google Adsense has now ruled these WRONG.
Google Adsense goes on to explain that “You can definitely place Google ads on pages containing images — just make sure that the ads and images are not arranged in a way that could easily mislead or confuse your visitors.”
The Adsense Beautifier Plugin author explains that you can still use the Plugin, as long as you follow the guidelines. The premise is that if the images don’t match the ads, the Plugin will still work. From my reading of the updated policy, it’s a big stretch to continue using the Plugin without massive modification. The images must not be close to the ads, nor associated with them in any way, and even a line between the images and the ads won’t work. If you’ve found a way to get the Adsense Beautifier Plugin to work and get past Google Adsense’s constraints, we’d all love to know how.
I’m of two minds on this one. Yes, I agree that images can influence people to click on ads that they might not want to. But advertisers have been using images totally unrelated to their ads for decades to influence people to buy.
More importantly, Adsense and related text ads are ugly. Anything that can be done to make them look more appealing on a website has my vote. I still won’t click ‘em, but at least make them look pretty and integrated into the site’s design.
Ads are clutter. Consider not using ads on your blogs. Not every blog must make money.
Either way, if you are using Adsense Beautifier or any other method to add images to your ads, you are warned.
- If I Had Ads Here, Would You Click Them?
- Blog Advertisements: Begging for Bucks and Clicking for Cents
- Advertising on Blogs – Affiliate Programs
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network