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Google Trademark vs Blogger (Part 2)

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
6 years ago1,386 views

Nov 6, 2006:
Mail from AdSense.
<<While reviewing your account, we noticed that you are currently displaying Google ads in a manner that is not compliant with our policies. For instance, we found violations of AdSense policies on pages such as googlesystem.blogspot.com.

Publishers are not permitted to make prominent use of "Google Brand Features" on sites showing Google ads. Google Brand Features include Google logos, product screenshots, or other distinctive features Additionally, publishers may not place Google ads on sites incorporating Google trademarks in the site URL or on sites that frame Google pages, including search results pages.>>

Nov 8, 2006:
The ads are disabled. Philipp posts about this: blogoscoped.com/archive/2006-1 ...

Matt Cutts comments: "Hey, I'm writing to AdSense about this. In my personal opinion you should be allowed to show AdSense ads on your site, and I'll see if I can bring folks around to my world view. :)"

Nov 9, 2006:
Mail from AdSense:
<<While we do require that publishers obtain permission before running AdSense ads on Blogger sites that contain Google Trademarks in the URL, we've re-reviewed your site and are happy to grant you permission to continue running ads on googlesystem.blogspot.com .>>

Oct 20, 2007:
Mail from AdSense:
<<While reviewing your account, we noticed that you are currently displaying Google ads in a manner that is not compliant with our policies. For instance, we found violations of AdSense policies on pages such as googlesystem.blogspot.com.

Publishers are not permitted to make prominent use of "Google Brand Features" on sites showing Google ads. Google Brand Features include Google logos, product screenshots, or other distinctive features Additionally, publishers may not place Google ads on sites incorporating Google trademarks in the site URL or on sites that frame Google pages, including search results pages.>>

Oct 22, 2007:
The ads are disabled. No reply from AdSense.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

That's crazy. Have they changed their policy (unlikely) or do they just have a terrible memory (more likely)? Why can't they just flag your site as being "approved" in their system or something?

mukthar [PersonRank 7]

6 years ago #

We are with you Ionut, your blog is as important as google to us.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

Maybe the "approved" flag times out, just in case the blog layout changes. But yeah, this harrassing of a blogger is stupid. Ionut we've talked about this before. My suggestion would be to remove all "official" Google imagery from your site template:
- the Google logo in the top left
- the Gmail icon in the right
- the Google Custom Search logo (though that might violate the Custom Search ToS, but hey, that'll probably not get your AdSense banned!)

If you want to go over the top, you might even want to remove the "Add to Google" button or neutralize it by styling it yourself, though that button is officially handed out to people so theoretically it should be OK.

Not to say that your blog looks official due to those elements, but just in case you don't want to worry about AdSense banning all the time. Google is police and judge in one, sort of, utilizing their power they have over you through AdSense for a completely unrelated issue (or how are ads related to a given site allegedly looking too official?).

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

I could remove all of these (except for the CSE logo), but I think they have a problem with the URL. The blog contains "unofficial" in two prominent places and a similar disclaimer at the bottom.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

Maybe they have a checklist and assign points or something, maybe it's not just one single thing Ionut. Even the CSE logo might be worth it, tho it may be a violation in itself, but then again what you have to lose when you are already banned...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

Now received an AdSense block of my own, but apparently only for google.blogoscoped.cn – which I don't own, but which displays my AdSense code every once in a while. I'm currently asking Google why they banned this, because I couldn't spot a violation on the page they referenced.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

Maybe they've also got a threshold on how much money you're making before you receive a block, just in case you're making quite a bit of money by misleadingly using the word "google" in your domain...?

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

I don't know, but in my case I thought things were clear. Nothing really important changed since last year, I didn't mislead anyone into thinking the blog was official, most sites that linked to me realized the blog is unofficial.

Reto Meier [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

The email they sent doesn't say you have to be misleading anyone...

"Additionally, publishers may not place Google ads on sites incorporating Google trademarks in the site URL..."

Both Ionut and the site Philipp mentioned have 'Google' in the URL, so that's enough cause to be flagged.

Looks to me like they just did a 'sweep' and sent out the letters. Chances are (knowing Google!) it's all done automatically with post-hoc manual overrides. It's a silly that people like Ionut seem to be forced to justify the domain every time they do a sweep. Obviously overrides should be persisted...

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

You're right. Your blog doesn't mislead anyone into thinking it's official but the domain could be easily be mistaken for an official Google blog, and could therefore be (ab)used in that way, but only because Google hosts their blogs on Blogspot and there's no official way of telling a real Google blog from a fake one. If someone just went down a list of domains using Adsense, I can understand why it would look suspicious. However, this time they specifically say there are violations "on pages such as googlesystem.blogspot.com" which implies they've actually looked at the site.

The same can't be said for google.blogoscoped.cn though – so that's even more strange.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

Both emails were identical (both include "on pages such as googlesystem.blogspot.com"). I know they have a problem with the URL, but in November last year they sent an email that included this: "we've re-reviewed your site and are happy to grant you permission to continue running ads on googlesystem.blogspot.com".

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bureaucr ...

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