FeedBurner added a little bit of integration with Google AdSense (makes sense, considering Google bought them months ago). You can now link your AdSense and FeedBurner account, and put together AdSense ad units to use on your website (though still not in your RSS feeds), with FeedBurner having all the AdSense ad units, custom channel and color schemes you like to use. Read more about it at Problogger.
Google has released to the world (well, to AdSense publishers) the option to embed YouTube players with ads and make money off them. You can’t just embed any video you like, so I can’t embed my occasional “Best of YouTube” posts and make money specifically from the video player, but instead you choose from a number of YouTube’s content partners like lonelygirl15, EmergencyCheese, Ford Models, LockerGnome (Chris Pirillo), smosh and many others, or you can enter a list of keywords for Google to auto-choose videos for you from.
The video embedded above is a sample video from Google explaining how the program works. The player below is targetted to the keyword “google”:
As you can see, a small banner ad appears in a space on top of the player, and while you watch videos, an ad overlay appears at the bottom that can be closed. The playlist appears as the flowing overlay at the bottom, as it does in many YouTube videos.
Obviously, not getting to choose the videos in the player severely limits the usage of the player. It can be placed on keyword specific pages, and little else. If there’s a Chris Pirillo video I really like, even though he’s a YouTube partner, I can’t share that video as an ad unit, because I can only broadly select his channel, not any specific videos.
Also, the argument for YouTube only advertising with partners only works with ads on YouTube.com, that users who upload video should get to decide if video appears beneath their content, and YouTube should decide which videos are worthy of advertising. If I want to put ads around my own videos on my own external site, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to, especially since this program links my YouTube account to my AdSense account.
Still, it’s good to see this getting started. Hopefully, Google will figure out that the appeal of this program in its current form is limited, and fix it soon.
The YouTube AdSense unit can be activated in your AdSense account, and is then available on YouTube itself at this link. It is currently only available to English-language publishers in the U.S..
As several blogs have noted, a problem is that the ads can only be shown on mobile sites, but not regular sites. If you have a completely seperate website for mobile devices, you can run the ads there, but if you just change your CSS for mobiles, that makes implementing these a lot harder. Expect to see them in a lot of iPhone “apps”, but not a lot of blog templates.
The other release was that of Google Gadget ads, which are a new ad format AdWords advertisers can take advantage of. It’s a rich media ad, that can contain anything a Google Gadget can, and thus have some very advanced functionality. Not only will these be used as ads, but they can be added to users iGoogle personalized homepages, monetizing iGoogle and expanding the reach of the ads beyond a display ad to something you keep and use continuously.
There’s this nice plugin for Firefox and Google AdSense that gives you some graphs in your AdSense interface, letting you better visualize your earnings. GraphSense comes either as a plugin or a Greasemonkey script, bringing a line graph showing the number of clicks, a pie chart showing income per channel, and a bar graph showing the clickthrough rate per channel. Looks like a useful addition to your AdSense interface.
It’s a shame Google hasn’t seen fit to add some of the charting functionality from many of its other products to AdSense. It’s quite clear that several Google products share the same charting code, so you have to wonder what’s keeping the AdSense folks from implementing it.
A commenter here had a story of how he noticed some strange activity on his AdSense account, and being a good citizen, he told Google that something odd was going on. What did Google do? They banned his AdSense account! Jeez. If the reality is as ridiculous as it sounds, Google should have been thanking him, not cutting him off.
Google announced a deal to be the exclusive provider of auction-based text advertising on CNN.com. The agreement will last multiple years, though it’s not clear how many. Clint Boulton notes a few other recent web ad exclusives, including Google getting a multi-year for ads and search with Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive last month and Yahoo picking up Philly.com earlier this month.
Every so often, I see a website that tells its users to make sure to click the Google AdSense ads and I just laugh. Actually outright telling your users to click a Google ad is one of the dumbest things you can do, as it can cause your account to be banned and you to lose any money you might have made legitimately. You see it all the time, and now it’s been spotted on Facebook.
Amit Agarwal found one Facebook application that includes AdSense ads (which might even be against Facebook’s Terms of Service), but worse, says you should come by and click the ads. Not just that you should click the ads, but that you should come by once every day and click an ad so that they can get a better server. Yeah, that’s wonderful. This blog reports they’ve already been banned by AdSense and the Facebook application is gone from the directory.
When will people ever learn?
The app was supposedly built by Google’s Mark Lukovsky, has a redundant UI, questionable features, and has been 404 for days. I hope it is fake, because if it isn’t, it’s an embarrassment.
Google briefly rolled out the Allowed Sites feature for all AdSense users this weeks, then took it back. The feature is a wonderful one, one that lets you list all the sites you are running AdSense ads on and thus prevent any other sites for damaging your account. Sometimes, a competitor or other evil party will run your ads somewhere that can hurt you, perhaps in a way that violates the Terms of Service or commits massive click fraud, and this feature acts as protection.
Earlier this week the feature appeared in all AdSense publisher dashboards, then a day or so later it went away. A Google representative explained that they had to roll back the feature, but it should be available to all account soon.
Why does the world continue to ignore the missteps that Google makes?
I don’t know if I’d go that far, but they do have to stop all the conflicting signals. I have the feature in my account, but that’s probably a Premium AdSense thing, and for all I know, it was there last week, too. Let me know if you start seeing it in your accounts.
Saw this Google house ad being run in an AdSense block on Nick Carr’s blog:
I liked it, but it brings up too many questions for me. Is the idea about to fall on the seesaw and knock over all the other Googlers like a schoolyard bully? Is the idea so good it’s floating, or is it floating because it’s full of hot air? What do you think?
Google’s Blogger has added to its interface the ability to place ads between blog posts, known as inline ads. Using Blogger’s Dashboard, users can click a check box to “Show Ads Between Posts”, which gives them the option of spreading the ads after every one or more post (for example, selecting to show every 2 posts would show an ad after the 2nd, 4th and 6th post), up to three ads per page, and customize the size and color of those ads.
While this was always possible with complex code and sometimes some bad or genius hacks, Google is bringing this to the blog dashboard so even beginner’s can do it with ease. Features like this are extremely important if Google wants to win back many of the users it lost to Windows Live Spaces, but it’ll also need more of the MySpace/Facebook-like social networking features many younger users demand.
Google is seemingly doing a really smart thing, reaching out to certain publishers and inviting them to become part of the first AdSense Online Advisory Council. Members would have the opportunity to test out new features and provide direct feedback to the AdSense team.
Considering the amount of problems that rise up from a lack of communication with Google, including publishers who are confused about the terms of service, the legality of various ad placements, the language used around ad units, and persons banned from AdSense, it’d be great if this is real, and Google is designating certain members of the community as “in the know”. Next time there’s a problem, publishers can contact an Advisory Council member and get a faster answer.
Not sure yet if this is for sure real. We’ll know soon. Read the full text of the invitation email at ProBlogger.
Google AdSense is set to start distributing short internet videos from Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy and Raven-Symone, star of the Disney Channel’s That’s So Raven. The two projects are supported by Media Rights Capital and will appear in a video box and packaged with banner ads and video ads to monetize it. Expect to see the videos on a Google AdSense-backed website near you.
At WebMasterWorld, yet another story of an AdSense publisher who was banned on suspicion of click fraud. This happens all the time (I get comments from banned publishers on random posts), but what makes this infuriating is that the publisher knew there might be a problem, emailed Google, got permission, and got screwed anyway.
The publisher in question is a guy who runs an internet cafe, as well as a number of websites. The guy came up with a smart idea: Make a default start page for all the computers in his cafe and load the page with links to his websites, AdSense and AdSense for Search. According to him, the AdSense for Search made a decent $10-20 a day, due to his customers using it to search on Google (an obviously popular activity on any computer).
The problem, which he anticipated, was that all the clicks would be coming from the same IP address. Not just the same IP, but all in the same room, at a farm of computers all next to each other. It could just as easily be a click fraud farm as an internet cafe, and the moment Google’s click fraud detection measures saw it, he’d be shut down. So he did the smart thing and emailed Google, explaining what would happen and asking them if he’d be okay. They said yes.
Didn’t matter. The click fraud bot still shut him down. Despite him having express permission from Google (not always an easy thing), his account was still banned and his earnings confiscated. This demonstrates a common problem with these sort of detection systems, be they for AdSense or YouTube; they don’t flag accounts with mitigating circumstances and require an intelligent human being review them before the account is deleted or banned.
I make a living off AdSense, as well as a few other ad programs. Something goes wrong, I won’t be able to pay my rent next month. I’d like to hope that my AdSense rep is protecting me from a dangerous ban that could completely screw me up for several weeks or months, but it looks like the system has no such protections.
I could always try calling Google customer service. I crack me up.
The Inside AdSense blog is reporting on an issue some people are facing after upgrading to the latest version of Firefox. In some cases, if you have the AdBlock add-on installed with the latest version, you will be unable to log into your AdSense account to manage your advertising. Google recommends turning off AdBlock until a fix is found.
Of course, AdBlock is a bad thing for companies like Google, since it blocks Google ads from appearing, but Google wouldn’t have a reason to be biased….
But seriously, it’s likely AdBlock is doing something strange, blocking not just Google’s ads, but the websites where ad accounts are managed, so I wouldn’t go imagining some sort of conspiracy theory.
Mobile Jones is yet another Google AdSense publisher who had a check from Google bounce. It happens; Google must have to close accounts all the time for one reason or another, I just hope they cover the bounced-check fee if it happens. The hilarious thing is their attempt to get through to Google customer service. Yeah, it doesn’t exist.
Voicemail Lady: For customer service/technical help press 5.
Me: I’m so there!
Voicemail Lady: (gives options 1 & 2) Press 3 for all other questions.
Voicemail Lady: As Google does not currently authorize customer support, please see our website.
(via Download Squad)
Here’s the FAQ for the program. It says that the ads can be contextually targeted but not site targeted. The ads are two lines of text, with 12-18 characters per line (depending on language), with an optional destination URL and optional link to call the advertiser. Smart pricing does not apply to mobile ads.
You Gotta love the Webware 100 Awards. With ten winners per category, every multi-billion-dollar corporation can win multiple times, often in every category! Gee, it’s just like the Oscars!
Here’s what Google won:
Google Reader won in the Browsing category, Gmail won in the Communications category, Google won in the Data category, YouTube won in the Media category, GOOG-411 won in the Mobile category
*, Gmail Mobile won in the Mobile category, Google Maps Mobile won in the Mobile category, Google AdWords/AdSense won in the Productivity and Commerce category, Google Calendar won in the Productivity and Commerce category, Google Docs won in the Productivity and Commerce category, Blogger, won in the Publishing category, Feedburner in the Publishing category, Google Analytics won in the Publishing category, and Google Maps won in the reference category.
My Yahoo - Browsing; Yahoo Mail - Communication, Yahoo Messenger - Communications; Yahoo Search - Data; Flickr - Media; Yahoo Video - Media; Yahoo OneSearch - Mobile; Yahoo Maps - Reference.
Internet Explorer - Browsing; Windows Live Hotmail - Communications; Windows Live Messenger - Communications; Windows Live Search - Data; TellMe - Mobile; Microsoft Office Live - Productivity and Commerce; Silverlight - Publishing; Microsoft Virtual Earch - Reference.
Everyone else makes an appearance, and in most categories, every major player is a winner. I love award shows where everyone wins. It’s like those Little Leagues where everyone gets a trophy and no one learns to be an adult.
(via The Google Analytics Blog)
* - cough, bullshit, cough. It’s a brand new service, and unless it feeds the homeless, it deserves nothing yet. Category filler.
Three items of interest from Valleywag this morning:
Jason Calacanis doesn’t understand that you can’t include extraneous text with your Google ads, especially if it seems like you are encouraging users to click the ads. His Mahalo wiki search engine has “[keyword] Ads by Our Friends at Google” above the AdSense ads, which definitely breaks more than one part of the AdSense Terms of Service. You’d think that with all of his experience optimizing ads for Weblogs Inc, one of AdSense’s big success stories, he’d know better.
Somebody stole the Google logo off the side of the building housing Google’s Santa Monica office. Literally, just ripped the thing out of the marble, leaving nothing but holes in the building in the shape of the missing logo. I’d love it for a wall decoration, if anybody wants to send it. But seriously, don’t be surprised to find it on eBay or something.
And finally, you have to read this story about what happened at Dennis Crowley’s new startup. Area/Code, the company Crowley started after leaving Google (pissed off at its handling of his previous startup, Dodgeball), suffered a robbery, probably by an overnight worker, who took two laptops, a flat screen, and a digital camera. The truly sick twist? The criminal spent the night having drunken sex with a hooker. A transvestite hooker. Who he left, hung over, passed out and surrounded by sex paraphanelia on the company couch.
Oh, and the couch is stained, and I won’t say by what.
If you see a listing for a black leather couch on Craigslist, don’t take it!
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