Google finally clarified a much debated issue about the use of images to draw attention to AdSense ads. AdSense is Google’s advertising program that allows web site owners to place ads on their sites. AdSense is a revenue sharing program where the web site owner receives a portion of the ad revenue whenever a user clicks on an ad.
Over the past several years we have seen a growing use of images placed next to AdSense ads that are related to the theme of the page or web site. Read Google’s opinion here in the official Inside AdSense blog:
Ad and image placement: a policy clarification
The creative use of images placed close to AdSense ads may or may not be misleading, but it does draw users’ attention to the ads and has been proven to increase click-through rates. This in turn increases the cost for site owners who post the ads. In the blog, Google provides specific examples of commonly used AdSense and image placements that can now be considered in violation of their formerly vague policy on this issue.
According to the clarification of their position, the following use of related images placed next to an ad could lead to a violation of Google’s AdSense policies, which could lead to the closing of a violator’s AdSense account.
Google has been under legal assault for quite some time due to accusations of click fraud, which occurs when someone repeatedly clicks on Google ads with the intent of either driving up the cost for the AdWords advertiser or raising the revenue for the AdSense partner who benefits from the clicks.
The AdWords program differs from the AdSense program. While AdSense is Google’s ad revenue sharing program that allows site owners to earn extra income by allowing Google ads to be placed ontheir sites, AdWords is the actual advertising program where site owners bid on keywords that trigger the display of their ads.