It’s that time again! Google AdSense has updated their Policies… and don’t forget, when you agreed to the AdSense Terms, you also agreed to adhere to the policies, even when they are updated.
The first main issue is the quality aspect of it for publishers.
AdSense publishers are required to adhere to the webmaster quality guidelines posted at http://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html
Previously the URL references was:
So Google has definitely broadened the scope of the webmaster guidelines that all publishers must conform to all the guidelines (such as the technical ones) and not just quality guidelines. Really no surprise here, though.
Site and Ad Behavior
A new bullet point has been added to this one:
Publishers using online advertising to drive traffic to pages showing Google ads must comply with the spirit of Google’s Landing Page Quality Guidelines. For instance, if you advertise for sites participating in the AdSense program, the advertising should not be deceptive to users.
An interesting decision to just link to the AdWords landing page quality guidelines, I am not sure why they just didn’t create new guidelines just for AdSense publishers. But again, for the majority of publishers, no changes or real surprises here, although some of the, um, less-than-quality publishers could run afoul with this change.
These new quality guidelines, however, are more hand in hand with the June 1st crackdown we saw on arbitrage and “Made for AdSense” sites, particularly now that they reference the new landing page quality score on the AdWords side of things… and that they don’t specify just AdWords traffic sources, but that all your online advertising practices that drive traffic to your site must also adhere to the AdWords quality score.
The Inside AdSense blog also comments on this quality issue:
We’re now requiring AdSense publishers to comply with the spirit of our Page Quality Guidelines. If you’re an AdWords advertiser, you might already be familiar with these guidelines, which are intended to provide a better experience for users, advertisers, and publishers alike. If you use any kind of online advertising, know that these guidelines encourage publishers to, among other things, create sites with simple navigation and substantial, useful content.
This new policy requirement doesn’t mean that you can’t use online advertising; it simply means that if you do, you need to be sure that the way you advertise meets with the guidelines, whether it’s through AdWords or through any other advertising program. However you advertise your site, it can always benefit from significant and relevant content, clear navigation, and the other points in our quality guidelines.
So this definitely clarifies that these guidelines refer to all advertising, not just those driving traffic via AdWords. It is interesting to note that publishers who advertise are required to comply with these rules as per the AdSense terms/policies, yet on the actual quality guidelines, it seems to be more of a suggestion to help improve quality score – rather than hard and fast rules to follow.
Google added the following:
Up to three link units may also be placed on each page.
This means that publishers are not limited to just a single ad unit, they now can have up to three, so you can now have a link unit in the footer as well as in the navigation.
So really, there were only two major changes, the first that won’t likely affect many quality publishers, while the other will be good news to publishers who find that link units convert very well on their sites.
That’s all folks!