Google AdSense update policies

This morning Google AdSense updated their program policies.

The policy document has been changed to be more readable and with less legalise which is a benefit for those of use without a law degree.

JenSense has a nice summary of the major changes which I’ve summarised below

Increased referrals to two per page
Previously you were limited to having a total of 4 referral buttons for 4 separate referral products on any single web page. Now you can place up to two referral buttons, links on a page without the limit of four products.

Referrals must be free of obligation for the end user
Once again, publishers have abused the process and now this is specifically excluded. You cannot use referrals as an incentive for signing up for a newsletter or any other form of requirement.

No images next to AdSense image units
This amendment was mentioned last year where publishers were placing images next to ad units in an attempt to draw attention to the ads. You may not use images to draw attention to the ads such as arrows, you may not use images next to ads that might be misleading users into believing the images and the ads are associated.

AdSense for search now allows additional advertising
You may now add one text unit in addition to the ads Google serves up.

Domain parking clause removed
Doesn’t mean you can use ads on parked domains as this is covered by the clause which disallows ads on pages with no content.

Official provision for copyright protected content
Previously, you were not allowed to place ads on pages with MP3, Video, news groups and image results. This has been changed to limit to the display of ads on pages covered by copyright restrictions to cases where you have the appropriate permissions. This, therefore, covers those publishers who are plagiarising content directly from feeds and placing their own ads on them.
Darren Rowse says:

“Great stuff for those of us who are getting our content scraped! Now how do we enforce it?”

Lastly, no similar competitive ad networks
You may not have ads on your site (yes, entire site) which have a similar layout or colour scheme to Google ads. This is not limited to contextual ads. This specifically addresses the practise of rotating between Google and Yahoo ad networks.
JenSense covers this in more detail here

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