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May 12, 2006

AdSense updates their Program Policies, and backdates it two months

I was over at Matt Cutts' blog reading his entry about the fact the Google webmaster quality guidelines had been updated and nobody noticed. So that prompted me to check the Google AdSense Policies, as I do every day or two, because AdSense has a sneaky way of updating their policies without telling anyone... sometimes I am sure they are testing to see if I am paying attention ;)

But lo and behold, sure enough they had been updated. But since I use the updated date at the bottom to check and see if they have changed or not, I noticed right away that the date was changed not to May 12, 2006, but rather to March 14, 2006. And just in case you are thinking I might not have been paying attention, the Google cache dated May 8, 2006 also shows the old version of the Program Policies (October 25, 2005). What is the significance of March 14th? I am not sure, nothing shows up on either my own blog or the AdSense blog on or near that date.

So, with the date discrepancy out of the way, what exactly changed? Interestingly, just a single change was made to the AdSense Policies this time around.

Under Ad Placement, the part in bolded italics was added to this point:

A single referral button per product may be placed on a page up to a maximum of 4 buttons, in addition to the ad units, search boxes, and link units specified above. Referral buttons are considered to be ‘Google ads’ for purposes of these program policies.

They also changed the wording from "Web site page" to simply "page" right before the bolded change above.

This highlights the possibility that there could be new referrals added for new products in the future, if they are concerned about too many referral buttons on a single page.

Always remember that when you agreed to the AdSense terms, you agreed to adhere to the program policies - even when they are quietly updated. So be sure if you are using referral buttons, you are only using up to four (there are currently five referral products at this time).

So just one minor change to the AdSense Policies this time around, and you heard it here first ;)

Posted by Jenstar at May 12, 2006 11:33 PM

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Did we also agree to abide by their datestamp lies?

Posted by: tom sherman at May 13, 2006 10:53 AM

> Did we also agree to abide by their datestamp lies?

Yes :)

Posted by: Mikkel deMib Svendsen at May 14, 2006 02:12 AM

That explains why some of my ads does not show up on other pages of my site. Hmmpp!

Thanks for update. *_*

Evsion from IntelliStore.ca

Posted by: evsion at May 14, 2006 03:58 AM

Maybe they had a typo Mar instead of May.

Posted by: SD at May 14, 2006 09:14 AM

I had thought about it being a typo, but it was only the 12th. If it had been on the 14th when the change was made, I would have assumed it was someone not paying attention and putting March instead of May.

Posted by: Jenstar at May 14, 2006 09:37 PM

SD: The full date is spelled out. March 14, 2006. Not "Mar."


Posted by: tom sherman at May 14, 2006 09:39 PM

I have checked out the Program Policies in some other languages (Hungarian, German, Spanish...), but none of them is in sync with the English document. All of them states that only one referral button can be placed on a page...

Does AdSense have different rules for international users, or this simply belongs to the large number of localisation / translation bugs?

Posted by: JJózsef at May 18, 2006 06:33 AM

Thanks for that - I hadn't noticed!

Posted by: Jen C at May 21, 2006 02:39 PM

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