Google has instructed publishers not to blend Google Ads with the content. The new Google Adsense placement guidelines can affect at least 60% of Adsense users.
Many publishers place Google Ads right below the topic or in between an article to increase clicks. Some publishers have even resorted to show Google Ads as a horizontal or vertical menu forcing visitors to click on it thinking it’s the website menu.
The new version of Google Webmaster Guidelines by Meridith Major, Google AdSense Publisher Support, is simple yet straightforward. The updated guidelines is as below:
1. Ads shouldn’t be placed under a title or section heading in a way that implies that the ads are not ads.
For example, ads shouldn’t be placed under titles such as “Dallas Business Opportunities” or “Today’s Hot Deals”. Placing ads directly below titles such as these implies to your users that the links in the ads are publisher-created content.
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.
Though both the guidelines are fair and acceptable, a vast number of websites do not follow these guidelines.
These new guidelines are in the wake of publishers opting for smart and aggressive tactics to increase their Ad revenue as the revenue percentage have decreased during the recent times.