Recently Feedburner announced that they were integrating AdSense into the feeds. Great idea, but one thing they did not cover, nor could I find when searching AdSense help, was whether or not this would conflict with AdSense TOS if someone happened to be running another contextual advertising program on their site, and the feed happened to display ads that would cause a violation in the AdSense program policies.
Last year, JenSense reported on the change in AdSense policies that does in fact allow a publisher to run multiple contextual ads on the same page as AdSense, but with one caveat:
Botton line, this means you can use the same ad unit sizes from two different programs, as long as there are clear differences in the color scheme (and things such as borders or backgrounds) used by your Google ads. – Jennifer Slegg
So, different contextual ad can programs can be run side by side with AdSense on the same page, as long as special care is taken to ensure that one can clearly tell the difference between the two. My question was, what about having one contextual program on the page, and then one inserted by Feedburner in the feed? Does the same care need to be taken? My gut instinct tells me no, that the two are separate, but I couldn’t readily find an answer online. Since anything that could potentially cause a publisher to forfeit all of their earnings is, in my opinion anyways, important and should be clearly spelled out, I figured I would write to AdSense and ask them.
This is what I sent:
Subject: New Feedburner showing AdSense Question
Date: Mon, 02 Jun 2008 14:04:33 -0700
With the advent of the new Feedburner feature that started this past weekend, where AdSense ads will appear in my blogs feeds, I have a question. Suppose I have some other contextual ad program running on my website instead of AdSense (for instance, YPN or MSN’s program)… the AdSense displayed in my feed by Feedburner will not suddenly cause me to be in violation (ie. running another contextual ad program on the same site as AdSense), correct? This is totally separate?
Two days later, I got a reply:
Thanks for contacting us. To provide you with quicker service, we recommend you visit our online help resources.
-AdSense Help Center: https://www.google.com/adsense/support . You can search the Help Center by entering your query in the search field provided.
– AdSense Help Forum: http://groups.google.com/group/adsense-help . You can share knowledge and experience with other AdSense publishers.
– Inside AdSense blog: http://adsense.blogspot.com . This is a good resource for latest AdSense news, tips, and updates.
For additional questions, I’d encourage you to visit the AdSense Help Center ( http://www.google.com/adsense_help ) or the official AdSense blog ( http://adsense.blogspot.com?utm_source=txft ). Alternatively, feel free to post your question on the AdSense Help Forum ( http://groups.google.com/group/adsense-help?utm_source=txft ).
The Google AdSense Team
Are you kidding me? This wasn’t an automated reply sent out to confirm that they received the email, this was their actual answer to my question, basically telling me to go look it up myself! I replied back (and tried really, really hard not to be snarky):
I’m sorry, why did you just send me that? If the answer to my question was there in those resources, then I would not have written you.
Those links do not help with what I am asking you. At *all*. The answer is not in the Help Center, it is not in the Inside AdSense blog, and I do not need the opinion of other AdSense publishers… I need an official answer from someone who can give me one.
Do you simply not know the answer to my question…? Because if you are an AdSense Support rep, and you do not know the answer to someone’s question, I seriously doubt that suggesting they “go look it up” falls within the realm of proper responses.
Any thoughts or feedback is certainly welcome on this one.