As part of trying to understand how the Web works, I have experimented with enabling ads on the site to see how they affect its presence in search engines or if they do at all. Making things easy for Google I opted to use their AdSense program and in the latest experiment tried one ad on the right hand sidebar. That way everything involved, Blogger, Google Search, and AdSense, would all be Google products.
So after a year of no profit with the latest attempt (due to the fact it will take around a decade to hit the cash out threshold), they send me a nastygram informing I’m in violation of AdSense:
This is a warning message to alert you that there is action required to bring your AdSense account into compliance with our AdSense program policies. We’ve provided additional details below, along with the actions to be taken on your part.
Affected website: from-the-sidelines.blogspot.com
Example page where violation occurred: http://from-the-sidelines.blogspot.com/2011/11/few-war-movies-are-as-rousing-and.html?m=1
Action required: Please make changes immediately to your site to follow AdSense program policies.
Current account status: Active
My immediate reaction was wondering what in the world they were talking about. After visiting the page and seeing it renders as a mobile version with multiple ads, I rolled my eyes since I had no control over where the ads are placed with Bloggers default mobile version. In fact, I was astounded to see two ads, one each placed at the top and bottom of the post instead of only one as set.
Why is this annoying?
AD MISLABELING: Publishers may not implement Google ads in a manner that disguises the ads in any way. For instance, publishers may not place ads under misleading headers or titles as this may confuse users into thinking the ads are actually site links related to that header. To avoid this issue, we ask that publishers use only "sponsored links" or "advertisements" to label ads. More information about this policy can be found in our help center at https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/1346295?utm_source=crs&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=notification#Placing_ads_under_a_misleading_heading=en&answer=1346295#Placing_ads_under_a_misleading_heading
There was no header labeling of the ads they inserted on their own into the automatically generated conversion of the page to a mobile friendly format. It is sheer idiocy to trust Google’s services working properly with one another which reminds me of the bad old days of IBM where divisions would war with each other. It is one thing to have one hand not know what the other is doing, but neighboring fingers?
I’ve removed AdSense from the site and doubt I’ll experiment with it again. After removing the ad block on the side no ads render on the mobile version too. I pity anyone who tries to make money off of webpage ads these days if penalties are handed out so capriciously.
Somehow I don’t think the whopping $5 and odd cents theoretically earned by the site will be missed.