Google Adds Related Searches In Place Of AdSense Ads

from the people-not-happy dept

Michael Bluett writes “There’s quite some furor over at WebmasterWorld after Google started adding “related searches” to AdSense adverts where they had no inventory (i.e. no more ads to sell for that page). Some of the adverts lead off to searches that included competitor names. Apparently Google’s motivation was to provide useful information in the place of adverts, so that users would be more likely to examine adverts more thoroughly in the future.” There’s actually a similar discussion of upset people over at SearchGuild as well. Here’s an article that details Google’s reasons for the changes (at the bottom). I noticed this late last night when I saw a completely blank ad that said “this space brought to you by Google”. It was so odd, I took a screenshot of it. It appears not to be a case for when they “run out” of inventory, but when they don’t know what to put there. However, I can see why it’s upsetting some webmasters, since it’s taking people away from their page (sometimes to a competitor) without giving them any compensation. Personally, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. I also like the “related searches” option because it lets me finally understand how Google is coming up with the (occasionally bizarre) ads they’ve chosen. The completely blank ads are a little annoying, though. Update: As was pointed out in the comments, it appears Google has temporarily disabled this feature, and will bring it back at some point, allowing sites to decided whether or not they want to include it.

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