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July 14, 2005

AdSense updates their terms & policies

AdSense updated their terms as well as their policies today, July 14, 2005. And here is your complete update and rundown of all the changes, and what they mean to you.

First, let's deal with the terms.

The first change is in the bolded capitalized text immediately following "Google AdSenseTM Online Standard Terms and Conditions". The last line in the section has a new clause added to it, which is bolded below.


1. Program Participation
Some changes have been made to this section, partially in response to the new AdSense for Feeds that is currently in beta.

The following clause has been removed:

(each a "Site") using Google's advertising serving and search technology

And in its place, the following regarding AdSense for Feeds has been added:

and the Atom, RSS, or other feeds distributed through such Web site(s) (each such Web site or feed, a "Site"). For the avoidance of doubt, any reference in this Agreement or the Program Policies to an individual “Web page”, “Web site”, “Web site page” or the like that is part of the Site will also mean feeds distributed through such Web site

2. Implementation and Operation of Ads and Search Results.

This section has a few small changes, the first which is bolded in the following sentence:

All content and Site-based Ads (and Ads served in response to end user clicks on and queries entered into Links, if any) shall be grouped by Google and displayed with Links (where applicable) to end users of the Site(s) as ad units (such groups of Ads and/or Links collectively referred to as "Ad Units") in standard formats as offered generally by Google from time to time, as may be described in the FAQ.

The second removes the bolded section of the following paragraph:

In addition, You agree that while You may display more than one (1) Ad Unit on each Site Web page, You shall not display any Ad Unit on a page that contains Ads associated with another Google AdSense customer (e.g., Your Web hosting company), unless authorized to do so by Google or such other AdSense customer, if authorized.

This helps clarify the section of the terms that has been confusing, and gives AdSense the ultimate control over where ads by more than one publisher appear on the same page during a single page view. Previously, as long as you had permission of the other publisher whose ad unit(s) also appeared on the same page at the same time, you were permitted to do it. This change now means that you must seek Google's approval before two publisher's ad units can be placed on the same page together during the same page view. Many freebie web hosts run AdSense on the hosted sites, but also grant permission to their clients to place their own AdSense on the same page. Now, those clients would need to seek permission from Google to do so.

Lastly in this section, the following in bold has been added:

If You have elected to receive content or Site-based Ads, You further agree not to display on any Serviced Page any non-Google content-targeted advertisement(s).

6. Termination; Cancellation.

An additional requirement has been added to the sentence regarding the number of valid clicks a publisher must receive in order to remain an active publisher. The addition is in bold:

In addition, Google reserves the right to terminate without notice any account that has not generated a sufficient number of valid clicks on or valid impressions of Ads (as measured by Google) for a period of two (2) months or more.

This has been added due to the new CPM ads. Theoretically, a publisher could be earning money while not receiving a single click due to the CPM ads, so it makes sense to change the terms to reflect this new ad format.

11. Payment

Another change has been made to reflect the new CPM ads.

You shall receive a payment related to the number of valid clicks on and/or valid impressions of Ads displayed in connection with Your Site(s) as determined by Google for its participants in the Program.

15. Information Rights

Another small change has been made to this section, again to reflect the new CPM ads, and the fact that Google needs to share publisher URLs with advertisers to select from in order to choose sites for their ads to appear via the site targeting CPM ads. The change to the following is in bold:

Google disclaims all responsibility, and will not be liable to You, however, for any disclosure of that information by any such third party. Google may share non-personally-identifiable information about You, including Site URLs, Site-specific statistics, and similar information collected by Google, with advertisers, business partners, sponsors, and other third parties.

And now on to the Policy changes.

Alternate Ads
A small change has been made to the wording.

If you have elected to receive contextually-targeted ads, you can make sure that your advertising space is always being used effectively, either by targeted Google ads, or by your own choice of content by specifying an image or ad server of your choice.

Previously, the term content-based was in the place of contextually targeted.

Code Modification

A change has been made to this section, with the addition made in bold.

. AdSense participants are not allowed to alter any portion of the ad code or change the layout, behaviour, targeting, or delivery of ads for any reason.

I suspect this was added to give some extra emphasis due to the fact people were adding the extra javascript lines for hints, keywords, etc that are intended to be used by publishers with explicit permission from AdSense only.

And that's all folks :)

Posted by Jenstar at July 14, 2005 09:30 AM

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Thanks for going through the gobbeldygook, so I didn't have to. That makes me very happy!

Posted by: Flippy at July 14, 2005 09:45 PM

Thanks for making heads or tails of all of that. A friend saved a copy of the recent version, but he didn't have the old version to compare it to. Looks like you did and now we all know what has changed and what it all means.

Posted by: John at July 14, 2005 11:03 PM

Thank you for your effort. I bumped agains the new terms today, and before accepting I when to bloglines, got your feed, and clicked to your site to see this post. Now that I see that everything is ok, I'll accept the contract with much more confidence.

Very useful. It's not for nothing that you've become the AdSense resource.

Posted by: Julio Alonso at July 15, 2005 01:41 AM

I'm wondering about section 6...

...Google reserves the right to terminate without notice any account that has not generated a sufficient number of valid clicks on or valid impressions of Ads (as measured by Google) for a period of two (2) months or more...

Any ideas on the criteria for this? I don't currently get huge numbers of impressions or clicks, though collectively across all my sites its probably acceptable.

Posted by: Andy Merrett at July 15, 2005 03:41 AM

I'm curious about the minimum clicks and/or impressions as well. Any idea what "a sufficient number" would be?

Posted by: Jennifer Grucza at July 15, 2005 11:02 AM

Just what I was looking for!!

When I tried to sign in yesterday (or the day before?) to view my reports, I noticed that before I could proceed, they required reviewing the Terms of Service, stating that changes had been made. I wanted to look online, to see if I could find info about these changes... I actually used a Yahoo! News search, and followed the first result to this piece from yesterday:

It is unfortunate to see that that entry states that "drastic changes" have been made; I am one who typically does not like change (and this is true for websites), but according to that AdJab entry, the changes have made things "quite a bit less user-friendly." I wasn't aware that there were interface changes, in addition to the Terms of Service changes; for the immediate moment, I'm more interested in understanding the latter. Thanks so much for this entry! I found your weblog via "Problogger"s entry about this topic, which I found from "The Blog Herald," which I found via that aforementioned "AdJab" piece.

It is incredible that there are so many friendly sources of good information, that become available so very soon after an event has occurred, and that they are readily accessible, at our fingertips... I guess that's why they call it the Information Age!

I haven't read through this entry yet, but it seems thorough and comprehensive. Thank you for providing exactly the information that I needed. I don't think I have any web technology-focused weblogs on my blogroll, but because of this, I think 'JenSense' may become the first. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Aakash at July 16, 2005 06:17 PM

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