Google’s Adsense service is totally dominant in the marketplace. Yahoo’s YPN – so far anyway – has proven feeble, and Microsoft’s AdCenter has failed to move out of early stages. Game over? Hardly. Hardly at all. Both these major players are going to push hard in 2007 to win in syndicated paid results, and then there’s Ask, AOL, and many others who have intentions in this space. Not to mention all the other folks who hope to out-Google the leader – from Tacoda to Quigo, and back again.
So, with that in mind, Google is shoring up its defenses. Laying down some new rules while it can, so to speak. What am I talking about? Well, nothing less than this:
Competitive Ads and Services
In order to prevent user confusion, we do not permit Google ads or search boxes to be published on websites that also contain other ads or services formatted to use the same layout and colors as the Google ads or search boxes on that site. Although you may sell ads directly on your site, it is your responsibility to ensure these ads cannot be confused with Google ads.
Google has “updated” its Adsense policies, the above is new. The industry is noticing, trust me (though apparently, there’s some upside to this too). And do you remember this debate? Uh huh. Thought you did.
But wait, isn’t the blue, green, and black on white approach, well, pretty much diluted by now? Isn’t the way Google displays text ads, well, isn’t that so industry standard as to be, well, indefensible?
Good question. Watch this space. I am guessing Yahoo and Microsoft are. One thing I do know. Most folks who surf the Internet care not at all about this. Which is why it’s such a Big Deal.