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New Adsense rule: No ads below misleading post titles

Google Adsense announced an update today regarding a new rule regarding the proper way of showing Adsense ads.

The first one referred to advertisements placed under a title that may mislead site visitors, while the second reiterated Adsense’s rule on ads that look very similar to links in a site.

The new rules, according to the official Google Adsense blog, are as follows.

1. Ads shouldn’t be placed under a title or section heading in a way that implies that the ads are not ads.

When I first read the update, I thought Google wants us not to place any ads under any blog post title. That certainly is not good, considering that in this site, the ads placed below the post titles are the ones with the highest CTR.

Fortunately, after re-reading it, I figured that Google only disallows ads under titles or headings that may imply that the ads are created by the publisher as part of the blog content. So if you have titles or headings that say, for example, “The Best Free Deals” or “Click to see our best offers,” you cannot place Adsense ads below them.

The idea is that the title can mislead users into believing that the “content” below it is created by the blog poster when, in fact, those are ads.

2. Ads should be easily distinguishable from surrounding content.

Similarly, you should not place an ad unit by a group of links that has identical colors and line spacing. Doing so may cause users to think the ad unit is content created by you. In this situation, we recommend using a different color for the ad titles or indenting the ad unit to help distinguish the ads from your own content.

This second rule is easy. Google does not want publishers to have links in the site with a similar formatting as the Adsense ads (and vice-versa). Obviously, such similar appearance can trick users into believing that the ads are not ads. What you can do is have a similar format for the ads or move its position so it doesn’t look like the ads are part of the content.

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