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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Google Updates AdSense Policies

Google updated their AdSense program policies. A lot of the changes are just clarifying the old text by removing some overly verbose stuff. There’s no crucial changes to the March 2006 version, but with the rewording, Google partly loosens some control over how webmasters may display Google ads.

For example, the old version told you it’s not permitted to have “Google ads ... to be published on web pages that also contain what could be considered competing ads or services,” whereas the new version emphasizes that it’s just not OK to “use the same layout and colors as the Google ads.” Another change is that Google removed the part that said you’re not allowed to put ads on “domain parking websites.” Considering there’s actually an AdSense for domains program at, that makes a lot of sense, in a spammy kind of way!

Also, Google removed the bit that disallowed ads on pages which incude “MP3, Video, News Groups, and Image Results," which was previously sorted under the awkward label “copyrighted material.” It’s good this bit is gone, because to indicate that music or video files by their very nature are somehow copyright-infringing is just wrong. Another silly sentence that is missing in the new policies is that your site “must not contain broken links and must be launched, functioning, and easily navigable.” Plus, the site responsiveness restrictions are gone (Google previously explained that sites must “respond adequately to support requests and enquiries of their users”).

A restriction that was not in the policies before is that Google AdSense-powered sites may now not include “Sales or distribution of term papers or student essays.”

[Via Google’s blogs.]


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