Adsense – image "association" no longer allowed (examples)

Some publishers put images close to their Adsense units, in such a way that the image and the ad seem to be connected. Unsuspecting users try to click the image in vain, then try the link next to it, without noticing the link is part of an ad block. This trick to improve CTR (up to 4 times) was allowed by Adsense policies. As long as there was “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” (as quoted by Jensense). Was allowed, that is, until yesterday!

From the inside Adsense blog:

We ask that publishers not line up images and ads in a way that suggests a relationship between the images and the ads.

Here are some creative examples I collected over the past few months:

Geeky icons next to geeky ads:

Vertically aligned

From this tutorial on how to implement images next to Adsense units.

Slightly contrasting pic juxtaposed to single ad unit

Translation unnecessary, as seen on “” a Belgian collection of curiosities.

Horizontally aligned, with separator

Notice the placement nicely takes advantage of the amount of whitespace between the ads an the “Ads by Google” branding. As seen on Tijd.Blog. This implementation was perfectly OK with the old guidelines, but is explicitly ruled out now:

If the ads and the images appear to be associated, inserting a small space or a line between the images and ads will not make the implementation compliant.


Will this kind of creativity actively be sought after and banned? I doubt it. The Adsense team themselves constantly walk the very thin line between maximizing profits and pleasing advertisers …

See the recurring advice to “blend in” ads, what would that be good for? And you can always point them to the images they use themselves :-). (via)

[tags]adsense, images, pictures, optimization, optimisation, clickthrough, CTR[/tags]

2 Responses to “Adsense – image "association" no longer allowed (examples)”

  1. Stijn Says:

    You know, there used to be a WordPress plugin for just this kind of stuff. Adsense Beautifier if I’m not mistaken. is rather inactive now and the ad compliancy didn’t change untill after the move, but I guess it’s time to get rid of those images. Voila, already taken care of.

  2. Quin Says:

    mmm it’s a shame that they got rid of this, it would of worked well on my site :(