Another Two Excellent Google Blog Posts

December 18th, 2006 by Chris

There was another excellent post at Google Webmaster Central today that tells all about duplicate content. It is so uncommon to get such straightforward information from Google that this is definitely worth a read.

Additionally they answer the question about what TLD to use when targeting a specific country for search, I always intuitively thought what they say was correct, but without a solid source I was never sure.

Then, over at the Adsense blog, they finally put out a clear statement with regards to image ads and other tricky Adsense optimizations. Guess I’ll have to tweak my article a little bit.

6 Responses to “Another Two Excellent Google Blog Posts”

  1. Blue Cat  Says:

    Given this clarification on ads and images, I wonder how long before Google start cracking down on sites that don’t comply.

    There must be an awful lot out there.

  2. Josh  Says:

    Except, that latter one wasn’t as clear as it could have been. When they say things like this:

    “You can definitely place Google ads on pages containing images — just make sure that the ads and images are not arranged in a way that could easily mislead or confuse your visitors. For example, if you run a stock photography site with a catalog of thumbnail images, don’t line the ads up with the thumbnails in a way that could be misleading. Consider using a full border around your ads or changing your ad colors, for example.”

    So wait, does that mean if you use ads with a full border or different background color you can have thumbnails? If you offset the thumbnails so they don’t line up exactly with the ads is that okay? Their examples certainly don’t answer those questions, either (one implies it’s a no-no to put images related to the products sold in the ads, the other implies that it is bad to make yours ads look like content links–but what if your ads are the only things with thumbnails on your site, is it then okay?)

    The post was clearer, but certainly not clear. Google has always been good at being ambiguous about things and this is no different.

  3. Chromate  Says:

    I’ve contacted google about this, even giving specific examples, in an attempt to get a straight answer.

    It seems to me that Google haven’t completely made up their mind. They can see on the one hand that it increases CTR (and makes them more money) but on the other hand, it’s not good for advertisers.

    So many people seem to think they’re fine so long as they place a 1px line between the images and the ad. The blog post clearly indicates that this is not the case.

  4. Josh  Says:

    For the record, I also contacted Google and this was their reply:

    “I understand that you have questions about the example we’ve provided. We’re trying to convey that users who naturally have smaller images on their sites (for instance, the stock photography site we used as an example) should still feel free to place ads on their sites, as long as they don’t try to associate the images and ads in any way. The provided suggestions were general suggestions that referred to our example, and do not apply to other sites.

    Regarding your second question – if a site does not have thumbnail sized images for some other reason, then there’s really no circumstances under which images should be added and placed near Google ads.”

    So it seems that while they aren’t great at writing clear copy (seriously, how hard it is to say: “No images next to ads, but if you have images naturally on your site you can still run AdSense” ?), the bottom line is, thumbnails are off limits.

  5. Dave White  Says:

    Well it seems to be a very strange behavior from Google. On one hand people make several attempts to get things straight and they hardly get any response . On the contrary Google itself produces such fabulous posts which are worth reading for everyone.

  6. Kristina  Says:

    In my mother tounge we have an expression that explains very well what Google does. I won’t translate exactly but I will offer an alternative (sware-less) translation…

    They want everyone to perform an act of sensual energy exchange on them but they want to keep their integrity at the same time… Never worked together and it never will…

    Now as for that policy…

    It is not only unclear but it is unfair as well. Google Advertisers have an option to choose if they want their ads appearing on publisher’s network or not.

    Considering this detail, placing images or formating the ads to look the most compelling way possible should not be an issue in any way.

    I don’t feel compelled to make my sites look really bad because Google is afraid of Advertisers. They have a choice and so should Publishers have a choice to modify the ads more then they are modifiable now, and to place them wherever the heck they want.

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