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Adsense Alert – Graphics

This is an important Adsense Alert regarding individual site’s Adsense accounts being suspended by Google.

I know it is happening because it happened with 2 of my sites. Please pay close attention to see if your sites could potentially be affected.

Do you have any Images that are “too close” to Adsense Ad Blocks?

I was just monitoring one of the Article Announcements blogs and saw that a member posted a link to his web site and his article page had a graphics block above the Adsense Ads that I know Google will definitely find objectionable. This ad will cause trouble if they find it!

Example screenshot from page:

click for full size image

That’s it – up above – I guarantee that when Google sees a page like the one above it will suspend your Adsense earnings on that web site and possible suspend your account. Change it fast or else!

Yes, it does look nice and draws eyes towards the ads BUT Google does not like this and considers it deceptive.

Now, what they’ll do to this site or your site that may have similar graphics near ads is not 100% clear, but based on my experience, I have received 2 emails from Google saying that they do not allow images next to ads that confuse and prompt visitors to click the ads thinkng they are related to the pictures. They are intentionally vague – but don’t let that stop you from using GRAPHICS on your article pages! Graphics are fine – just keep them seperated from the ads or make sure they are a different shape or size.

In my case, they turned off Adsense earning on 2 of my domains. I got 2 seperate emails in one day about 2 of my sites and it was not open to discussion. They just turned off earning capability. Oddly enough – it still showed the ads. While I simply switched them to Yahoo Publisher, I’m still pissed they turned me off. My graphics were NOT as deceptive as the example above. IN fact I did not consider my pages deceptive at all… My sites – were not even close to how the above example I found today looks (above) – my graphics were a completely different size than the ads and in no way looked deceptive.

As with most things Google – it’s not my opinion that counts – it’s their opinion that matters and they have the power to do what they want.


So… what I have done is on any site that I have graphics in close proximity to ad blocks is add a seperator in between. On one site I simply added a logo graphic with the name of the site and put it between the graphics and the ad block. To me this should be safe. No guarantees on that, but hey – it’d be totally ridiculous for Google to claim it looks decptive if there is something in between the graphic and the ad block. This SHOULD do the trick – but not in all cases – maybe – as in the above example – since the individual image boxes line up with the ads you may want to change that graphic or at the least put a bold lined box around it so it is seperated very clearly.

My point is that you need to make a decision yourself and decide what you consider fair and safe. I think it’d be extreme to remove all graphics from article pages. After all, graphics do make the pages look better and that is done not to manipulate clicks, but to make the user experience better. I’d say just make sure that your graphics do not try to “match” the size or shape of the ads, and like mentioned, put a box around the graphics or better yet a seperator of some kind that makes it obvious the pics do not match the ads. Another thing to do is put an affilaite product text link or graphic in between the ad block and the pictures. That should be fine. Of course – this is not clear 100% and you must do what feels right to you. My information is only for “entertainment purposes” so please consult your own brain for the proper course of action.

That should be enough info to help you do the things to keep your sites safe if you intend to do the Google Adsense things. Now of course there are other options. Me for example, I am now putting Yahoo Publisher on all my newer sites. Google is getting pretty risky to put on sites. Yahoo seems to be more “level headed” and concerend about us publishers, so I’ll be testing more sites with their PPC ads. So far I am making money with them, and as I add them to more sites the numbers grow. Whether they’ll make more than Google is still open to discussion. We’ll have to see!

Well, that all for this Adsense Alert! Best wishes for successful internet marketing!

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Mike Liebner


  1. Mike, did Google give you a chance to modify your pages and request reinstatement of earning capability?

    Comment by splinters — April 5, 2007 @ 4:22 pm

  2. Here is Google’s clarification for the use of graphics next to AdSense ads http://adsense.blogspot.com/2006/12/ad-and-image-placement-policy.html And Mike, they state that just a line between the graphics and the ads is NOT going to cut it.

    If you use graphics next to your ads, you MUST have a BORDER around your ads which will cut into your ctr because they won’t be as blended into your page as they should be. Click and read the above clarification from Google’s own mouth.

    I knew this was coming, that’s why I didn’t hop on the band wagon with the graphics thing.

    Comment by scott — April 6, 2007 @ 8:22 am

  3. “did Google give you a chance to modify your pages and request reinstatement of earning capability? ”

    As far as I am aware Google did not give me a chance to fix the problem. I did not try to contact them. The owrding of their note indicated it was not up for discussion. As I said I simply switched to Yahoo ads.

    Comment by mike — April 6, 2007 @ 6:58 pm

  4. “…they state that just a line between the graphics and the ads is NOT going to cut it.

    If you use graphics next to your ads, you MUST have a BORDER around your ads which will cut into your ctr because they won’t be as blended into your page as they should be.”

    I never suggested that a line would solve the problem. I suggested a seperator of some sort. Me, I used a big logo in between.

    Now as far as using graphic next to ads – it may be ok – in fact a reader just sent me a copy of his email from Google saying it was ok in his case – he had a pictire next to an ad block – but it did not look deceiving – they told him iyt passed their guideline. So please do not give folks the impression that you CAN’T USE GRAPHICS near the ads. Google is concerned with deceptive graphics.

    As for your link with Google guidelines – yes – I had seen that and was aware of their policy. They only showed 2 examples and the examples shown ARE deceiving looking to me.

    Also to clear the record – that sample I posted above is not from my site – I found it on an article announcement – the member has since fixed his site – I just put it up to show that what I saw is MESSING WITH TROUBLE!

    As for GRAPHICS in general – use your best judgement of course, but please, don’t think that GRAPHICS alone will get you in trouble – it’s only when you use them in a deceptive manner.

    A picture of a flower next to an ad block with several ads will in most cases NOT be deceptive.

    Comment by mike — April 6, 2007 @ 7:04 pm

  5. There are an awful lot of websites out there that have images next to ad units, and like you say – a line between the image and ad unit won’t cut it.

    This has to be major work for Google and I imagine it will lead to a significant loss of revenue. But then I do like the fact that they are walking the walk and sacrificing revenue for the sake of higher quality advertising.

    It will be interesting what the gurus come up with in response to this…

    Comment by Peter — April 7, 2007 @ 4:21 am

  6. This was always going to happen…

    Hey Mike

    Great post, thank you so much. Google were always going to have problems with misleading graphics.

    There will always be greedy or foolish AdSense publishers pushing the rules too far.

    I’m one of the “on the fence” publishers. I did not take the risk, which proved to be correct.

    I guess the smarter ones will profit from the misfortune of others in the long-term.

    Keep the advice coming. yours is always honest and correct.


    John Adams

    Comment by youallnome — April 8, 2007 @ 1:54 pm

  7. Mike your example does illustrate why this particular site was blocked by google adsense.Because the pics above the adsense looks like they are trying to promote specific products.

    The first pic looks like it is promoting particular colors of lipstick. But if the pic was of a woman putting on lipstick, that is different.

    If you read Google’s guidelines you can have pics like this, but generic pics that don’t target a product. They don’t want advertisers paying for the ads to be competing with the pics.

    Madeline Binder
    Super Science Fair Projects

    Comment by sunshineandlight — April 9, 2007 @ 7:10 am

  8. That old monster Google isn’t so much of a monster if you look at it from an Adsense advertiser’s point of view.

    I’ve always tried to work on that premise…simply because unless the clicks get a return for investment…they won’t be there tomorrow…and you’ll kill the golden goose.

    With that in mind, I try to create commercial content that’s interesting…and the art is in the placement and color of the ads…not just getting the click.


    Comment by the777group — April 25, 2007 @ 5:44 pm

  9. i am just starting out with Google Adsense. i am hoping that i would earn a good deal of money on this program.

    Comment by Maria — August 25, 2009 @ 2:23 am

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