5 Strange Things Google AdSense Has Done This Year

I’m using Google Adsense for a while now on this blog and I never had any issues with them.

However, occasionally there seem to be some strange things going on. Laura Backes, a freelance writer for DSL Service Providers reports 5 of them in today’s guest post.

This article may be a bit controversial, on the other hand, issues must be addressed when noticed.

So, here comes Laura.

We all know that Google AdSense has some strange peculiarities, but they seem to have hit an all-time high this year. With issues ranging from racial discrimination to gambling ads, AdSense is in the center of controversy. As a sample, here are five strange things AdSense has done (or been accused of doing) in 2011.

  1. Racism – Nathan Newman of Tech Progress conducted an unofficial study and found that Google AdSense was guilty of delivering targeted ads to users based on race by analyzing their names, surnames, class and geographical location. Google denies the claim.

    “[The research] relies on flawed methodology to draw a wildly inaccurate conclusion,” Rob Shilkin, a representative with Google told Colorlines.com in a statement. “If Mr. Newman had contacted us before publishing it, we would have told him the facts: we do not select ads based on sensitive information, including ethnic inferences from names.”

    Newman stands behind his research.

    “I would note that searches using the name “Juan Martinez” repeatedly brought up an ad for “Juan Navarro – www.exxelgroup.com – President and CEO of the Exxel Group” and that ad was served up ONLY for ones having Juan Martinez in the subject line.
    Whatever the sample size of my investigation, the probabilities of such a result are essentially zero without the ads being tied to the name. So clearly, some ads are being served up based on the name and the name alone.”

  2. Gambling – Google Adsense will start showing gambling ads on websites starting September 27, 2011, but many people will never see them. The ads will only show up for people visiting the websites from a country where online gambling is legal. In other words, don’t expect to see them any time soon in the United States.

    Strange Google Adsense things
    Photo Credit: greengardenvienna

    In a twist of fate, sites that allow gambling are not allowed to show AdSense ads. Okay, then, Google.

  3. Procrastinating – Google is going to be retiring the old AdSense interface in November of 2011, replacing it with the “new” interface. The new interface first began rolling in November 2009, and has been rolling ever since.
    Currently everyone can access the “new” interface but they have not been forced to switch yet; at least not until November. Two years? Really?

  4. Exchanging – Google has mixed up the exchange rate for the Canadian to US dollar, leading to publishers getting paid less than they should have.
    This is not the first time Canadians had this issue, they also had this issue in 2008 and Google fixed it for them. Really, this isn’t too uncommon. This happened with the Indian rupee, Australian dollar and others. Dyslexia strikes Google with some frequency, it appears.

  5. Self-promoting – Google+ goes to ads. Google AdSense ads will now sport the +1 of Google+, thus adding to the miasma of advertisement. Even mobile consumers are not free of the AdSense plea bargain.
    In any case, AdSense for Google+‘s proposition is this: with a click, users will be able to approve particular ads and make them more likely to appear to their social connections. Liking ads. What a concept.

There you have it. Just five ways that Google AdSense is being strange in 2011. So, what do you think? Is Google racist? Should gambling ads be allowed? How long is too long to update? Shouldn’t there be someone double checking exchange rates? It seems kind of important. And what about voting for ads? Will you use it? Or should Google give it up? Tell us what you think.

Guest post from Laura Backes, who enjoys writing about all kinds of subjects and also topics related to internet service in my area. You can reach her at: laurabackes8 @ gmail.com.

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One thought on “5 Strange Things Google AdSense Has Done This Year

  1. Rick Noel says:

    Nice website and nice post Laura. First off, let me start by saying the photo of the woman a the slot machine in priceless. I always try to leverage great images on my blog posts also. Regarding point #3, that is not giving me a warm and fuzzy about getting real time analytics out of the google anytime soon, since they announced three weeks ago and still no sign on it using the new analytics dashboard. Wonder when the sun will set on the existing (old) GA I/F forcing exclusive use the new GA dashboard like they are apparently going to do in the Adsense I/F. Does that mean that it is going to be 101 more weeks for real-time analytics unless you upgrade to paid version 😉 #4 is fine as long as your on the upside of that mistake. From now on, my advice is anyone dealing with exchange rates is to double check the math as it sounds like there is a need. Thanks for making me aware. Regarding the voting for ads, I wonder how this will impact ranking of ads and if this will a new ranking dimension beyond simply bid price and CTR?

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