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Placing images next to your Adsense ads to improve your CTR

April 9, 2006 by  

In one my Adsense optimization posts, one of my readers suggested using images next to an Adsense ad to improve click thru rates.

In a related issue, a user over at Digital Point forum started the following thread:

Seems like most arcade games use some variation of pictures next to google ads to improve CTR and reportedly, it works great. The question is, is this OK with Google? Would you recommend using this tactic?

I am aware of this trick and it may be able to improve your CTR. However, I wouldn’t recommend this as much as the standard optimization tips because you could end up breaking Adsense terms and get booted from the program.

Jensense has written about this issue some time ago in her blog. She went straight to Google and asked them about it. Google replied:

Publishers are still welcome to place images above the ads. The only exception is if it’s in such a way that it looks like the images are part of the ads.

When something like that comes to our attention, we’ll ask that the publisher place a visible border between the ads and the images, to make it clear that the images are not being served by Google on behalf of the advertisers. We generally do not ask publishers to remove the images completely, we just ask that they add borders to avoid confusion.

So there you have it. To comply with Google terms, you need to make sure the image is not perceived as part of the ad. If it looks like you are tricking people, you might be breaking the terms.

The good news is, if you got booted, Google would likely listen to your plight and gives you the chance to correct the mistake and reconsider you for re-inclusion once the mistake is corrected.

To avoid any problem when using any optimization method, I’d suggest writing Google and asking them directly if you are in doubt.

[via Search Engine Roundtable]

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