Prepping For Competition

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…

Goog Ads

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.

6 thoughts on “Prepping For Competition”

  1. “Yahoo’s YPN – so far anyway – has proven feeble”

    Many moons ago (more than a year), I applied to YPN, they responded “thanks for your interest, we will get back to you”. They never did. With Google, the registration went thru immediately. I have not looked back and haven’t tried YPN again; why should I? They didn’t want my business back then…

    YPN == feeble Google == everywhere
    YPN == dumb Google == smart


  2. “Game over? Hardly” – hope you are right. AdSense started out strong for us but petered out over a couple of years (more supply as their network of publishers grew I assume). YPN jumped above the AdSense low for a short period but ended up close to the same as AdSense – too low.

    Every service I’ve checked out beyond those two were far worse. For us selling our own ads appears the only real option, thank heaven we’re having success at that. Looks to me like third party ads won’t be a part of our future at all, unless something drastically changes.

  3. It ain’t about the blue, green, and black on white approach. If you read the Google AdSense optimization tips, GOOG recommends “using colors for your ad text and links that already exist on your site” so that the ads blend in with the content.

    In essense, if GOOG is paying you the most, then the #1 color palette optimization is used for AdSense ads. And, if you want to run YPN or something else, you have to use a less optimized palette.

    To recap:

    1) Google Ads should not appear different from the content.
    2) Other ads should not appear like Google Ads.
    3) Other ads must appear different from content.

    Got it?

  4. Here are my two cents:

    1) There have already been dozens of posts from people who’ve lost their Urchin analytics, because they’ve tried comparing them to ClickTracks and Omniture simultaneously — these complaints date as far back as nearly three years ago. Based on this, is Google scanning through your code to ensure you’re ONLY using its service? My guess is a definite yes, because…

    2) If Google can already dump your page and/or PageRank if you “write white on a white background (go ahead and google that!),” for example, it will most likely monitor all your attempted advertisements to ensure their top dollars, as well.

    Overall, Google is headed in a very ugly direction if they keep pushing their services this way. This is not what I anticipated from the two geeks who seemed so innocent and un-corporate-like when they first founded the company. And it’s sad, really. The titans have already received credit for reinventing the online advertising structure, among other things. Why push for something this hard? Why not invite the competition to a challenge? After all, isn’t that how services and products are improved?

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