June 29, 2006
Some EU countries may charge VAT on AdSense & affiliate earnings
Normally, European countries only charge VAT on earnings where VAT is charged. However, some European countries are considering charging VAT to publishers on their AdSense earnings, meaning some publishers could be paying up to 83% tax on their AdSense earnings. The same would also apply to affiliate earnings as well. And from a business perspective, losing 83% of your AdSense income to tax would not make it worthwhile for many publishers to continue using the AdSense program. And especially those using PPC to promote their affiliate programs or AdSense earnings could discover that their break even point of aquiring traffic is suddenly much different than previously thought.
For those outside the EU, VAT (Value Added Tax) is similar to sales tax or goods and services tax, and is also known as MOMS.
Denmark may require publishers to pay VAT, which is 20% in Denmark, on all Google payments, even though the publishers are not collecting VAT, since business owners in Denmark do not collect VAT when invoicing any countries outside of the European Union (EU). So a Denmark publisher could end up paying an additional 20% tax on top of the 63% (as the top tax bracket) that top earning publishers already pay as income tax on those earnings.
Holland is also rumored to be requiring AdSense publishers & affiliates to pay VAT as well on earnings. And other European countries could be doing the same as well, please add a comment if you know others following suit.
There is definitely confusion around this, since publishers and affiliates do not charge VAT on their earnings, and hence, should not have to pay it. And it seems to be turning into a 20% surcharge for those making money through online programs.
Shortly after AdSense launched in 2003, those with a mailing address in Italy were not permitted to sign up for AdSense, due to VAT tax restrictions imposed by the government. However, those now seem to be resolved, as Italy is on the country drop down list for publishers when signing up for AdSense.
It will be interesting to watch and see how this develops, and what steps Google AdSense or major affiliate program networks take to help publishers facing this situation. And I am not an expert on EU tax issues and implications, so feel free to contribute and I will update on the issue as needed.
AdSense finally supports channels for tracking referrals
One thing that was definitely lacking from the referral links offered by Google was the ability to track where the referral clicks and conversions were coming from. Publishers with multiple sites and various campaigns were not able to determine which referral products and links were working where, which resulted in some publishers removing them or replacing them with other products.
Fortunately for publishers, Google AdSense has now enabled channel tracking for referrals. Publishers must set up custom channels for referrals though, as URL channels will not track referrals at this time.
June 27, 2006
New AdSense "Vertical Images" within ad units
AdSense has launched a new beta test called Vertical Images, where an image would take the place of an ad within an AdSense ad unit. These images - which are generic, and not company-specific - act similar to an ad link unit, linking to a page related to the ads and image that appeared in the ad unit.
Here is an example of the new vertical images ad unit:
Publishers are allowed to click the images themselves (just be careful not to accidentily click the ad below it!) but you cannot click on any of the ads that appear on the results page, just as how publishers can click on ad links keywords but not on any of the results.
And good news for international publishers, this beta test is international, unlike many of the beta tests which are US-only. The vertical images appear in skyscrapers (both the regular and wide skyscraper, and all of the ones I have seen so far have taken the top spot in the ad unit. There are also reports that these vertical images are displaying in ad units that are specified as text only, so you do not need to enable images in order to see them.
This is an interesting experiment, since many publishers found success by putting images very similar in size to these next to or above ads, finding it draws the eye to the ads. However, there are rules publishers must follow in order to use this technique. But with AdSense now trying a very similar technique, they can easily track CTR rates and see how the clicks on the images compare to clicks on the first text ad, as well as those who may click the image, then hit back and click on that first text ad.
This will be one to watch, especially if it becomes widely released (it is only on a limited number of page views currently) or if it morphs into its own ad unit or option where a publisher could chose to display vertical images if they wish.
June 24, 2006
Yahoo Search Marketing Bot goes wild with 83,000 visits to single page in 24 hours
As many publishers know, the Yahoo Search Marketing bot - also known by the "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0" user agent - is responsible for visiting publisher pages in order to provide targeted ads. However, after investigating a massive spike in my bandwidth for JenSense from June 14th and 15th, I discovered that the YSM bot apparently really liked my blog entry from last summer comparing the Yahoo Publisher Network and Google AdSense. So much so that it decided to visit 83,000 times over a 24 hour period (well, 23 hours and 38 minutes, to be exact).
Yes, that is right, the YSM bot came as often as three times a second, but mostly every second. The longest break it seemed to take once it hit its groove was simply leaving a single second between visits. And it made for a grand total of 82985 visits by this hungry bot. And that makes for a nasty 3 GB of bandwidth that this bot used just on this single page.
It first showed up at 6:01 am PST on June 14th and the non-stop visits continued through to 5:39 am PST the following day.
It is worth noting that the visits came from three separate IPs - 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168, meaning that it wasn't a single bot having a bad day, but it was three of them. And those bots do trace back to Yahoo Search Marketing (as Overture Services).
Here is a bit of the raw logs a minute or so before it stopped (logs are EST):
22.214.171.124 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:40 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
126.96.36.199 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:41 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
188.8.131.52 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:41 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
184.108.40.206 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:42 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
220.127.116.11 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:43 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
18.104.22.168 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:45 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
22.214.171.124 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:45 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
126.96.36.199 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:46 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
188.8.131.52 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:47 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
184.108.40.206 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:47 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
220.127.116.11 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:48 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
18.104.22.168 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:50 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
22.214.171.124 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:51 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
126.96.36.199 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:52 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
188.8.131.52 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:52 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
184.108.40.206 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:53 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
220.127.116.11 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:54 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
18.104.22.168 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:56 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
22.214.171.124 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:56 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
126.96.36.199 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:57 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
188.8.131.52 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:58 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
184.108.40.206 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:58 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
220.127.116.11 - - [15/Jun/2006:08:38:59 -0400] "GET /archives/2005/08/womensfinanceco.html HTTP/1.1" 200 33712 "-" "YahooYSMcm/2.0.0"
I do have to wonder how no one from Yahoo could have noticed that the bots were going crazy on this particular page, especially on a page that generally only has a handful of page views per day. I never heard anything about this from Yahoo, I only discovered it when investigating the source of the massive traffic spike.
However, it is possible they noticed it, realized whose site they did it to, said a few colorful adjectives, and then crossed their fingers and hoped I wouldn't notice ;) If I were in their shoes, I would probably do the same!
However, this problem could definitely affect publishers who might not have the money or hosting arrangement to allow for the increased bandwidth the YSM bot used. Hopefully this was an isolated incident and I was the (un)lucky one to be on the receiving end of it.
June 23, 2006
A look at the new Content Referral CPA from Google AdSense
Google AdSense publishers have been buzzing about the new Content Referral program from Google AdSense since it was first mentioned on Seeking Alpha this week, which allows advertisers to advertise on the Google AdSense network using a Cost Per Action model, meaning those advertisers will only pay if the visitor not only clicks on the ad, but also converts for that advertiser. A conversion could be something as simple as submitting an email or mailing address, completing a survey, or placing an order.
This program is invite only at this time - for both advertisers and publishers - meaning if you are wanting to test out CPA through Google, you will either have to wait to receive an invite or wait and see if it becomes more widely available once the initial testing is over. AdSense is constantly beta testing new features and while some do make it to a wider release for all publishers, others are tested for a period of time and never seen again.
The Google AdSense team would like to invite you to test a feature that provides you with a new way to earn revenue from your website by hosting ads that are compensated based on a Cost-Per-Action [CPA] basis. These ads are very different in that you will be able to choose amongst a selection and you will also have more flexibility in promoting them.
I have heard from several publishers who have been invited to test out the new Content Referral program. Those who are invited also receive the following Q&A attachment about the new program and how it works.
How do I participate in the CPA test?
Simply reply to the invitation email and express your interest in participating and we will send you some sample CPA ads. You can then choose which ads you’d like to host and we will send you the code to copy and paste on to your site. It’s just that easy!
What can I do to optimize my revenue from the CPA ads?
While we encourage you to experiment as much as possible with these ads on your site, here are some general tips on implementing a CPA ad:
1) Ads that blend in with the site and are placed prominently tend to perform better. Look to integrate the ad within the page.
2) Ads that are relevant to the interest of your site visitor also tend to perform better. For example, if you have a travel site, having ads relevant to airline travel would generate higher interest. For more tips on increasing revenue, please see our optimization tips page at: https://www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/static.py?page=tips.html&sourceid= aso&subid=ww-ww-et-asui&medium=link
How do I get paid?
You get paid whenever a site visitor clicks on the ad on your site AND performs a specified action, such as generating a lead or purchasing a product.
Do these compete with regular content ads?
These ads will not compete with contextually targeted ads. Instead, they will show across a separate network, the Content Referral network. To place one of these ads on your site, you can set up a new ad unit that supports any of our current ad unit sizes.
How much could publishers expect to earn with this CPA test?
How much a publisher will earn will depend on a number of factors about the publisher and advertiser, including whether the ads match the topic of the site, and level of interest of their site visitors. We have tried to match the appropriate publishers with advertisers for this test.
Will CPA offerings compete with my current AdSense revenue?
We expect that the CPA test will offer ad units that will expand publishers AFC revenue because the ad units are separate and appeal to different types of users. These CPA ads are also additional inventory to your existing AFC ad units.
How can I promote the CPA ad unit?
Since this is a test and these CPA ads are not regular ad units, we are giving you more flexibility in saying things like “I recommend this product” or “Try JetBlue today” next to the CPA ad unit. However, you should still not incite someone to click on the ad, so saying “Click Here” is not ok.
Where do these CPA ads comes from?
The CPA ads come from a limited group of high quality advertisers that are interested in displaying ads on a CPA basis. They pay you whenever a site visitor performs a specified action, such as generating a lead or purchasing a product.
Will I be able to see reports within my account?
When the test begins, you will receive weekly email reports of conversions you have accrued and your total revenue within the CPA test.
I also emailed Google to ask for more details. Brandon McCormick from Google released the following statement.
We're always looking for new ways to provide effective and useful features to advertisers, publishers, and users. As part of these efforts we are currently testing a cost per action pricing model to give advertisers more flexibility and provide publishers another way to earn revenue through AdSense. We're pleased with how the test is progressing and will continue to gather feedback from advertisers and publishers.
So invited publishers will need to add a new specific Content Referral ad unit to their site in order to display these CPA ads. However, earnings will be sent via email to those publishers only once a week, which will make it extremely difficult for publishers to know how well these ad units are monetizing for them in comparison to regular ad units. However, it is safe to say that these will pay out significantly higher than regular CPC ad units.
Publishers get to pick and chose which ads appear in these ad units, and also get to do more to encourage clicks, without breaking the AdSense terms. While "Click Here" isn't allowed, publishers will be able to encourage clicks with such things as "I recommend this..." However, publishers must email Google for each individual ad unit code, it isn't available integrated within the AdSense control panel, at least not at this time. Because of this, it is very likely that the numbers of invited publishers are extremely limited to only a handful. However, if it does become a wider release, there will definitely be the need to have it integrated within AdSense through new tabs or through a completely new Content Referral program interface.
The move to the CPA model definitely placed Google in the new role of an affiliate program with the potential to compete with the likes of Commission Junction. With their access to so many advertisers, they could quickly amass a large number of campaigns, as well as likely attract new advertisers simply based on the Google name alone. And it could create issues for companies such as CJ. There is no word yet on how the deal works on the advertiser end of things as this time, although there is the assumption that Google will be tracking conversions closely and likely only using highly trusted advertisers at this time.
There is also no word on whether this could eventually be moved to being tested on the search results, although it would be a natural move for Google if these initial Content Referral tests are successful.
YPN lengthens pay period for publishers
When Yahoo Publisher Network recently released their new control panel and direct deposit feature, they also announced they had shortened their pay period to only 25 days, so publishers would be paid for earnings by the 25th of the following month, beating Google AdSense to when checks would be sent to publishers each month. However, it sounds as though this time period was a bit ambitious for YPN, as they have announced that they will not be able to issue payments by the 25th, but will be sending them by the 27th instead, two days later than expected.
In the control panel for publishers is the May payment notice:
May balances will be calculated and both check and direct deposit payments will be issued June 27, 2006 to qualified publishers.
This does appear to be a permanent change, which is unfortunate since YPN got plenty of kudos for beating AdSense for getting payments to publishers quickest. However, the help guide has not been updated as of yet.
Q. When do I get paid? A. Your revenue accrues over the course of the calendar month. On the 24th of the following month, your revenue will be transferred to your available balance. If your available balance is at least $100, a payment will be issued on the 25th according to the payment method you have selected. If you have opted to receive payment by check it may take seven to ten business days for mail delivery.
June 15, 2006
"RPC" added to YPN reporting
One of the new changes to the YPN reporting updates deserves an entry of its own. Yahoo has added "RPC" to the reports publishers generate.
I admit, I could tell by looking which figure it was they are referring to, what I refer to as Earnings Per Click or EPC, but I didn't know what the R in RPC stood for off the top of my head. I find it curious that YPN did not use the common terminology for it, and instead went with RPC which stands for Revenue Per Click.
Average Revenue-per-Click. This shows the average amount of revenue you earn each time someone clicks an ad on your site. Average RPC is equal to (Revenue)/(Clicks)
This is something AdSense Publishers have been requesting for quite some time, but YPN is the first to release this figure to publishers so they no longer have to calculate it themselves when viewing reports and wanting to know just how much they are making on average per click.
Botnet involved in click fraud scam shut down
The network comprised over 50,000 zombie computers infected by Clickbot.A, which could be controlled remotely
A joint effort between RSA Security, the expert in protecting online identities and digital assets, and Panda Software, has once again resulted in the detection and neutralization of a sophisticated online fraud attack.
What the story doesn't report is what was discovered on the publisher network side of things, and whether they were able to identify the fraudulent clicks to refund advertisers and suspend publishers involved in the scheme. ClickZ notes that Pandia didn't name names of networks who were being targeted, but just due to the sheer volume of publishers in Google AdSense compared to numbers of publishers in the Yahoo Publisher Network, it is very likely that Google was the most greatly affected by Clickbot.A.
More changes to the YPN control panel
Yahoo Publisher Network got some more features added into the control panel, although most of the things added were to promote other parts of the entire Yahoo network rather than focusing on things that are directly related to Yahoo Publisher Network. This follows the recent change in tone of the YPN blog to one that promotes all of Yahoo rather than one that focuses simply on the YPN program itself (whether it is talking about maps, photos or videos).
First off, a lot of things have been added for new users - a new FAQ, how-to guide, overview demo and implementation guide. If you are new to YPN, it is worth looking at, but there is nothing much new for the advanced user (like you probably are if you are reading this!)
Second, they have a new "Publisher Services" tab, which is split into "Drive Traffic", "Enhance Your Site" and "Build Your Site". And each section includes links to relevant Yahoo products, such as Yahoo
domains and web hosting, Yahoo Search Marketing, and Yahoo Site Explorer. It is worth a peek to see if there is anything you can benefit from.
All the changes are now live in your publisher account, just login to view them all.
With so much focus on the new user, one has to wonder if they are getting closer to going out of beta - or launching to more countries - when an influx of new publishers will be expected...
June 09, 2006
Want to work for AdSense, YPN or another contextual company?
AdSense just had a blog post saying they are looking for some new AdSense Team Members, and they are recruiting publishers to fill some of these positions.
So, if you want to work in the contextual advertising field on the program side of things, here are some links for you:
Yahoo Publisher Network job openings (all Sunnyvale or Burbank) including a Senior Product Manager position
And for good measure, some Microsoft adCenter positions (although a search for "ContentAds" returns no results, some of them could potentially be for the contextual side of things since they will begin testing contextual this summer).
None of the positions include earnings information. Problem is, most of the publishers they really want are probably making so much money with AdSense and/or YPN that it doesn't make sense to go and work for them, unless they happen to be really passionate about the job.
That said, it would be pretty cool to have a well known member of the community working on one of the teams ;)
June 01, 2006
Chitika running adult ads and images in their ad units
It's been a while since Chitika has been high up on my radar. However, a couple of Chitika ad units caught my eye due to their very adult nature, complete with images.
The chosen keywords in the script is the benign sounding "magazine subscriptions". Nothing terribly exciting there. Except the images included in the ad units happen to be nearly-naked women gracing the covers of Hustler and Genesis magazines. And there is absolutely no supporting text on the page that would influence these types of ads. It is strictly "magazines subscriptions" as the targeted keyword phrase that is triggering these adult ads.
A reload of the ad units shows "Purely 18" magazine, where someone has gone and blue barred out the otherwise naked woman on the cover.
Here are screenshots of the three ad units I saw. I have blurred out the "family un-friendly" portion of the magazine covers, but if you so desire, you can click on each to see the ad as it appears on the page.
I find it interesting that most magazine stores hide the covers of these types of magazines, yet Chitika is showing these images front and center on an otherwise extremely family-friendly page. I would have thought anything potentially adult oriented would have been removed from the ad rotation before they went public, unless the publisher had explicitly chosen "Hustler magazine" for the keywords. But this certainly should not happen for "magazine subscriptions".
If you are running Chitika, be very aware that these types of ads are running on the ad network, and could potentially be appearing on your site without you knowing it, so checking your sites for this kind of thing is definitely needed, since Chitika doesn't seem to be checking for them, or they are perhaps allowing it.
AdSense ads in floating post-it-notes - the official verdict
Since yesterday, everyone has been buzzing about a new implementation of AdSense ads provided by AdImpact.com, which places an AdSense ad unit in a floating yellow image that looks very much like a Post-It note. As the user scrolls, the ad floats down the screen, in the same ad position. From a user experience standpoint, it is quite an obtrusive and in-your-face ad unit implementation.
It utlizes DHTML layers to display the ad units, with it being served in an iframe on the actual content page. It is only available as a monthly subscription ($19.95+ per month) through AdImpact, although I suspect there is code freely available that would allow publishers to implement their own.
Here is an example of their ad unit, but keep in mind that as you scroll, it continues to float.
On one site I saw it implemented on, the ad unit was in the middle of the page, and stayed front and center as you scrolled and tried to read the content. Users do have the option of closing the box. On another site, the pop-up covered over another AdSense ad unit, which again was also clearly in violation of the AdSense policies.
However, when I first saw it, my first reaction was "this can't be allowed". And part of that is in part as how you define what a pop-up is, since publishers are not allowed to display ad units within pop-ups. From a user perspective, these are pop-ups, however from an implementation standpoint, they use layers instead of a new window as most pop-ups use.
So I decided to go straight to AdSenseAdvisor to get the scoop, because I was fairly certain that these must have hit the support team's radar as well. And yes, these are considered to be pop-ups from the AdSense Team's perspective.
Also, from an advertiser perspective, I don't think I would be pleased to see my advertisement displayed in such a way that seems to beg "Click Me" even when the person clicking might not be interested in whatever I happened to be advertising. I mentioned that I thought this implentation draws undue attention to the ads, and AdSenseAdvisor agreed.
"Yes, certainly. Additionally, they provide a poor user experience, and Google believes strongly in providing a positive user experience" AdSenseAdvisor said. "A general rule of thumb is that ads should always be placed in the primary content frame of a page -- first and foremost this is to ensure content-targeting works effectively. Also, it provides a more positive user experience."
So the final verdict is that this type of implementation is not allowed to be used by publishers. However, judging from the comments I have been reading, and the fact there hasn't seemed to be a flurry of publishers implementing them right away, publishers probably don't find this decision surprising at all. However, it is an interesting implementation for other uses, such as for newsletter subscriptions or special alerts on websites.
New MSN adLab includes some contextual offerings
Content Categorization Classify websites into categories.
Classify words into categories.
Exploring MSN: Online Advertising Intelligence Service Coming soon!
Analyze publisher website content and its audience to provide advertisers insights for ad placement and targeting.
Keyword Extraction Coming soon!
Extract representative keywords from a webpage content.
There are also two behavior targeted demos, also with two more listed as coming soon.
Demographic Prediction Predict a user's demographic information such as age and gender based on his/her past behaviors. Online Commercial Intention Detection Online commercial intention refers to a user's intention to conduct a commercial activity, such as buying, selling, bidding, and so on. Predict a user's commercial intention from their search query or a recently visited URL.
Ads Delivery on Social Network Coming soon!
Leverage social networks to create a new ad delivery channel.
Behavioral Targeting System Coming soon!
Create flexible and precise behavioral segments using different data sources, including clickstream, search query, and demographic information.
I had seem some of these demos several months ago while at Mix06, including their Search Volume Seasonal Forecast demo that so many advertisers will find handy while planning seasonal campaigns, so it is nice to see so many of them widely available to users now.
AdSense officially announces API for developers
I couldn't say anything on the API until Google officially announced their AdSense API, but now they have :)
The AdSense API allows developers to sign up new publishers who are publishing content through their site, and not only will they earn the $100 referral bounty on publishers who earn at least $100 within 180 days, but they will also earn 15% of that publishers earnings in a revenue share. And developers can optimize their ads without requiring each individual publisher to do it.
The AdSense API also comes with its own full set of terms that developers must adhere to in order to be in the program. Most interesting is the portion regarding scraping.
d) Data Collection. Except as expressly permitted by Google under a separate Google product or service feature, you shall not use any automated means other than the AdSense API (for example scraping and robots) to access, query or otherwise collect Google-related information from Google, the AdSense program or any website owned or operated by Google or a Google partner site that displays Google advertising (collectively, "Google Scraping").
It also continues to state that developers must not allow their clients to participate in Google Scraping.
It would be very interesting to see something like this show up in a future AdSense terms, and see how publishers using scraped data handle this - particularly the clause that covers all sites displaying Google advertising.
Lastly, the program is in beta and free to developers who qualify. They m ust have a minimum of 100,000 page views per day, and have customers/clients who maintain online content through that site.
Think you qualify? Apply here.