The Google Adsense team have clarified the use of images near Google Adsense advertising.
For those that can’t be bothered clicking through and want a quick run down:
- Can you display little images beside the Google Adsense ad units?
- No, you cannot display little images beside the Google Adsense ad units. Doing so implies a relationship between the images and the advertising, which there isn’t.
- Can you display images beside the Google Adsense advertising?
- Yes, you can display images beside the Google Adsense ad units, so long as it is clear that there is no association between the image(s) and the advertising.
- Can I display images on the same page as Google Adsense advertising?
- Yes, of course you can but you must take the above two points into consideration first.
- Can you add in some white space or a separating bar between the images and the advertising?
- No, adding in white space or a separator would still appear as though there was a relationship between the images and the advertising.
I first noticed people placing images beside the Google Adsense advertising a couple of months ago. As soon as I noticed it, I knew that it wouldn’t be within the acceptable usage policy for Google Adsense. Unfortunately, at the time the policy didn’t explicitly disallow doing such a thing. So, while it wasn’t expressly forbidden, publishers took advantage of the loop hole and I’m sure enjoyed far higher click through rates than they would have otherwise seen.