French Company Seeks $421M From Google For “Blacklisting”

Image courtesy Perhaps sensing "blood in the water," a French company called 1plusV has sued Google in the Paris Commercial Court for the equivalent of $421 million. (The civil complaint was orginally filed on February 22, 2011.) An operator of vertical search sites, 1plusV is the corporate parent of legal search engine, one of three companies (including Foundem and Microsoft-owned Ciao) that filed formal antitrust complaints against Google with European Commission last year. Those complaints led directly to the EC's decision to pursue an antitrust action against Google, which is now in proces [...]

Updated: Google Embroiled In Political Controversy Over Cost-Per-Lead Ad Test

google-republican-democrat-featured The Obama campaign ad that started it all -- a display ad on Real Clear Politics that requested a user's e-mail address -- wasn't even a Google ad. But someone from the Republican National Senatorial Committee (RNSC) thought it was, so she called her Google sales rep and asked about getting something similar for the GOP. (Publishers that run Google's AdSense ads aren't barred from running ads from other networks, so ads from Google can appear next to, or subsequently to, ads from other third-party networks, or even those sold by the sites themselves. ) What happened next is at the ro [...]

Google Bans iFrames for AdSense, Though Says It Will Grant Exceptions

Google has tweaked its policies for placing AdSense ads to curb abuse, going so far as to forbid the placement of its code in iFrames. Though the company acknowledges there are some valid uses of iFrames, it will require publishers using them to be explicitly granted an exception by Google. The policy change is likely to raise the ire of publishers, unless Google is liberal and efficient at granting exceptions. [caption id="attachment_81175" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Example of a partially-obscured iFramed ad. "][/caption] Publishers occasionally place AdSense or other ads [...]

Updated And Confirmed: Google “Testing Additional Phone Support” for AdSense Publishers

old-telephone-featured It sure sounded like Google's SVP of advertising Susan Wojcicki was promising phone support for all AdSense publishers "in the next quarter," at yesterday's annual shareholder meeting, but a Google spokesman now tells me it's only "testing additional phone support" for AdSense publishers. Wojcicki's statement regarding a timeline is said to have referred to the free phone support the company rolled out to advertisers in early April. (Hear the discussion about publisher support here starting around 1:06.) "We are working very hard to enable all of our advertisers and publishers to co [...]

Google Cracking Down On Toolbars Showing Too Many Ads

google-adsense-logo Google has been notifying their AdSense for Search partners of a recent AdSense guidelines change that impact the use of the program with browser toolbars and third-party client applications. Google is supposedly giving these partners 30 days to make changes to their toolbars and applications or be in violation of the revised guidelines. I believe the change is in the number of ads an AdSense for Search partner can display to a user through a toolbar or client application program. I believe this because the guidelines only allow two ads per page and I suspect this just might not have been [...]

Google Intros New Privacy Controls For Mobile Consumers

To date Google has not used the mobile handset UDID "device identifier" to target mobile advertising via its AdSense for mobile and AdMob networks. For several reasons that have to do with ad performance, Google has decided to use the device identifier going forward. That will enable the company to do frequency capping, behavioral targeting and better conversion tracking. But privacy is also being upgraded by Google. Google Going the Extra Mile Seeking to avoid others' mistakes and "do the right thing" Google wisely wants to ensure consumer privacy controls are in place that give people t [...]

Search-Oriented Sites Get Special New AdSense Format

Google has introduced a new version of AdSense aimed at making ads more relevant on search-oriented sites like a travel search engine, a job search site, or a product search site. AdSense Custom Search Ads are targeted based upon the keyword terms searched upon by the site's users -- the same keywords that the site itself uses to return results from its database of content. Because the results are coming up in response to specific user queries, it's possible that they'll drive greater responses than conventional AdSense ads, which are contextually targeted based on site content. Google is a [...]

Goodbye “Ads By Google” & Hello “AdChoices” As Google’s Backs Industry Label Effort

Those "Ads by Google" and "i" labels on AdSense ads will soon be replaced by an "AdChoices" triangle icon and label, as Google moves to comply with an industry initiative from the Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising. It will be the single largest roll-out of the "AdChoices" label to date, giving significant momentum to the effort. The program, aimed at regulating the industry before the government steps in, is backed by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (the Four As), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the American Advertising Federation (AAF [...]

Google Tweaks AdSense Code To Speed Loads

[caption id="attachment_68727" align="alignright" width="192" caption="Image courtesy Shutterstock"][/caption] Google is making good on promises it made to speed its AdSense code, rolling out an overhaul aimed at relieving the drag on publishers' Web pages. The company estimates that its helping pages load faster by a half a second or more, when, previously, Google acknowledged that its code could delay page loads by 12 percent on average. Besides helping user experience, the change may help AdSense sites rank better for search, since Google uses site load times as one signal. The cha [...]

Facebook Asking App Developers To Stop Using Google AdSense

The Inside Facebook Blog reports that some Facebook developers are receiving emails from Facebook to remove the Google AdSense ads they have on their apps. They posted a screen shot of one developer stating this in the developer group on Facebook. Here is a screen shot: Facebook issued a deadline of last month to remove ad providers that have not signed its Platform Terms for Advertising Providers. Google is one of those advertising platforms that have not signed those terms. Google and Facebook are known not to have a good relationship. For more on that, see our related storie [...]

Google Intros AdSense Mobile Interface

In a nod to the legions of smartphone users running AdSense on their sites or apps, Google has announced a mobile-friendly web interface to AdSense accounts. The site represents Google's response to apps such as DuoSense for iPhone, which third-parties have developed to serve mobile users of AdSense. Folks who go to the usual AdSense URL ( with their mobile phone browsers will automatically be re-routed to the mobile-optimized site, though they can click on a link to go back to the full site. On the mobile site, they can check earnings, get alerts, and view [...]

PSAs To Be Phased Out Of AdSense

Publishers running AdSense will soon see fewer public service announcement banners on their sites, as Google has announced changes to phase them out of back-up ad options. Previously, publishers were able to choose to show PSAs, to redirect to another URL, or to show a solid color when Google couldn't find an ad to match with the page's content. Public Service ads also show when publishers haven't been verified by Google. The company cites its own review of products and "feedback from our non-profit partners" for the change. It will continue to offer non-profits free AdSense ads through [...]

Google Testing Display Ads In Gmail

Google appears to be testing display ads in Gmail. I discovered the following image ad in my own Gmail account this morning, and Google has since confirmed a test. Image ads have made their way into paid search on and various other properties on Google. But this was really jarring for me to encounter. It's the only such ad I saw (next to an email from a clothing retailer in my inbox) after purposely looking for others. I'm sure it's a test to see how users react and what the response rates are. Gmail is formally a part of the "Google Display Network": Your text, image, ri [...]

Browsers To Offer Official Behavioral Targeting Blocking

Yesterday, Google and Firefox announced new tools to block behavioral targeting across the web. Behavioral targeting are a form of ads that use your online behavior to target specific ads to you, as you browse the web. Google calls these interest based advertising but most of the web calls them behavioral targeting. Google released a new Chrome extension named Keep My Opt-Outs. The extension helps block some of the personalized advertising and related data tracking performed by companies. I should note, Google has an older Chrome extension named IAB Opt Out that blocked Google's inter [...]

Google’s $8B Earnings Overshadowed By Leadership Change

Google just announced Q4 and full year 2010 earnings. They also dropped the bombshell that Larry Page would be taking over as CEO, with Eric Schmidt becoming "executive chairman." Danny Sullivan has more on that development. In Q4 Google reported revenues of $8.44 billion, 26 percent growth vs a year ago. Full year revenues exceeded $29 billion. Google-owned sites generated revenues of $5.67 billion, or 67% of total revenues. Partner sites (AdSense) generated $2.5 billion (30% of total revenues). International revenues were $4.38 billion, representing 52% of total revenues in [...]

Google Says “Ciao” To Antitrust Claim In Italy

Each day seems to bring new twists and turns in Europe in the unfolding saga of the many investigations against Google going on there. Yesterday, in a bit of good news for Mountain View, the Italian Competition Authority ended an antitrust investigation into Google News. The investigation was initiated in 2009 after complaints by Italian publishers that they couldn't remove links from Google News, which they said wasn't sending them traffic, without also removing them from search results, which would have hurt their general traffic and ad revenues. Google News has been a f [...]

Google Tweaks New AdSense Interface

Google has announced of series of changes to the new AdSense interface. There are a handful of changes in Google's blog post: The default metrics on the Home and Performances reports have been changed back to page-level metrics. The ad block/allow selector now shows the product name. Ad unit impressions and queries have been renamed "Ad requests." Ad types have been renamed in the Performance reports. Channels and reporting are available for those using AdSense for games and AdSense for video. I'm just brushing over the changes, so AdSense users should be sure to read the full anno [...]

Google Improves Copyright Protection

Anyone who has found that their content has been stolen (or scraped) online faces the decision of either letting it go (and using best practices that help Google rank things correctly) or dealing with the cumbersome task of filling out a DMCA  infringement notice. Those who are falsely accused of copyright violations have to deal with the equally cumbersome counter-notice process. Today, Google announced on their public policy blog that they'll be launching improved tools for both to make these processes easier and to better protect copyright online (beginning with Blogger and Web Search). T [...]

Google Releasing Beta AdSense Interface To All Publishers

Google has finally released the beta AdSense management interface they have been testing for over a year now to all publishers. AdSense publishers will now or soon be able to see the new interface via a link at the top of the old interface or by visiting Afraid to try out the new beta interface? Don't be. You can switch back and forth between the old and the new interface via the links at the top of the AdSense console. Google said the new interface provides better insights, controls and improves efficiency. Insights: Google has more details reporting [...]

Google AdSense Tests General Category Blocking

The Google AdSense blog announced they are testing an expanded version of category blocking called general category blocking. Google explained: General category blocking will allow you to block even more categories of ads from appearing on your site. We’re testing this feature with 170 more specific categories, including finance, travel, job, and automotive. This feature will allow publishers to block up to 50 ad categories from among a broad range of 170 fine grained categories. To help you understand potential changes to your earnings, we’ll provide you with the percentage of your to [...]

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