Google AdSense Adds Gold Stars To Ads
This morning, I reported on and noticed yellow stars on Google AdSense ads — these ads were named “featured ads.” I honestly didn’t believe it. I thought maybe this was some type of AdSense hack that placed gold stars on the ads. I just received confirmation from a Google representative that these ads are, indeed, real.
Here is a picture of the ad:
Google told me: “We are currently running a limited test in which a small number of users are seeing ads that are marked based on signals related to quality and relevance. This experiment is part of our ongoing efforts to help users find what they’re looking for, and we’re closely monitoring feedback.”
This sounds like Google is showing a star near ads that are contextually more relevant than the others. I asked Google for confirmation on that point.
Clearly, many AdSense publishers will find these ads hypocritical, since Google disallows images placed near ads. But at the same time, I doubt publishers will mind Google placing these stars on the ads, since it will lead to higher clicks and more money for the publisher.