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Adsense Beautifier WordPress Plugin and Imaged Adsense Ads Banned

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.

Images stopped near Google Adsense AdsThe 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.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network

14 Comments

  1. Posted January 10, 2007 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Lorelle, I’d agree with you that not every blog needs to have Adsense or earn money.

    While it would be great to be able to monetize the traffic using Adsense (and some bloggers really succeed in that) I believe that the primary objective of the blog should be to communicate what you want to your target audience, and really establish authority in the area you blog about.

    That is the real power of blogs. :)

  2. Posted January 10, 2007 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Do you know wp-moremoney?
    It´s a plugin to detect visitors from search engines. Some people configure it with messages recommending some links, some AdSense links. I think this is not admitted by AdSense policy.

    Perhaps using this plugin to simply show ads to casual visitors via search engines with no text, just simple AdSense ads, and avoiding regular visitor -AdSense blindness- to see ads would be good and correct with AdSense policy.

    Waht do you think?
    Thank you.

  3. Posted January 10, 2007 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Another option is to use Adsense Backgrounds as I use on my WP Plugins site.

    To be honest though advertising blindness on blogging and WordPress related sites means that the gains are very hard to measure on that site, though there hasn’t been a decrease.

    I have had good results on niche websites with nothing to do with blogging, marketing etc, though I avoid using anything that might be looked on as drawing attention to the adverts.

  4. Posted January 10, 2007 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I updated my Adsense beautifier plugin so that the images resemble the unordered list styling of my blog’s theme. There’s no way that the new images I use could be associated with any ads Google could display on my pages.

    Have a look at the changes I made.

  5. Posted January 10, 2007 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Or you could still use images that clearly suggest there are NO relations between them and the ads. Like, errr, nekkid babez next to your random blog ads.

  6. Posted January 10, 2007 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    can you check out the images i use and tell me if it’s violating Adsense Rule & Regulations? thanks! :)

  7. Posted January 10, 2007 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the advice to try not to use ads on your site. Looks like people start putting ads on their sites instead of content all too often.

  8. Posted January 10, 2007 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Jaypee – I think the best person to ask is not Lorelle (and I think Lorelle would agree ;) ), but the Google peeps themselves. Afterall, anybody can say what they want, but its up to the people behind Google that call the shots.

    Martijn – Heh. Yeah really! Sometimes I surf on to blogs and the first thing I see smack at the top are ads. Well… while that is the “ad placement optmization” guidelines, it really spoils and cheapens the blog I think.

  9. Posted January 11, 2007 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Kian – ok, i guess Lorelle is also too busy to do that. hehe. bout the Adsense ads, some bloggers need something to finance their expenses for their blogs and putting ads is the only option. :)

  10. Posted January 11, 2007 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    You are right. I don’t have time to inspect Adsense ads, but the truth is, how would I know what is acceptable or not. According to the author of the Adsense Beautifier Plugin, unrelated images are “okay”, but readers report back that Google Adsense folks say “not”.

    Unrelated images, how much distance between the images and the ads, lines or no lines between them, all of that is pretty well spelled out to me in the policy, but it’s still open for a wide range of interpretation.

    If Google Adsense showed what was acceptable for using images with ads, then there would be no ambiguity about this whole subject.

    Personally, I have no problem with the images. I hate the ad clutter, so making them pretty and blending them into the look of the site rather than screaming at me from the page is perfectly fine for me.

    So I am not the one to ask to inspect this. I’d say “anything goes if it replaces the clutter”. ;-)

  11. Posted January 21, 2007 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Google just start to be evil, Google agreed people to show image next to ads, now slap their own face. Adsense will found ads related with site content include image, how to avoid image not related with ads? This is control by Adsense ads not site owner. Google always think user is stupid.

  12. Posted February 28, 2007 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Hay Lorello i want to integrate google adsense in my wordpress account, is it possible ???

  13. Posted February 28, 2007 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    See Monetizing WordPress Plugins.

  14. Posted June 15, 2008 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    whatever you do,service comes first before the money

    when good service has been served, then money comes in


3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Lorelle, I?d agree with you that not every blog needs to have Adsense or earn money . While it would be great to be able to monetize the traffic using Adsense (and some bloggers really succeed in that) I believe that the primary . (continues) [...]

  2. [...] everyday I visit so many blogs using the AdSense Beautifier Plugin. Lorelle points out that the plugin author has clarified that you can still use the plugin by adhering to the [...]

  3. […] Adsense Beautifier WordPress Plugin and Imaged Adsense Ads Banned […]

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