Can AdSense Publishers Sell Direct Ads?

Feb 14, 2012 • 8:43 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdSense

Google AdSenseA WebmasterWorld thread asks a question that is so obvious and basic that I've never thought of it or even seen it asked before in the forums. The question is, can Google AdSense publishers also sell ads directly to advertisers who contact them?

Like we do on this site, we have ad relationships with advertisers directly and also have some AdSense spots on the site. This is incredibly common, most big web sites have direct ads and supplement the open slots with house ads or AdSense ads. So why would it be an issue?

Well, as pointed to in the thread, the terms of service for AdSense state:

Communications Solely With Google. You agree to direct to Google, and not to any advertiser, any communication regarding any Ad(s) or Link(s) displayed in connection with Your Property(ies).

I am not a lawyer but it seems all your ad deals, if you have any AdSense ads on your site, must go through Google?

One senior member said if it was him doing direct ads, he would first contact Google to see if it is okay. He said:

IMHO, I would notify Google of the contact. It is not worth jeopardizing a long term relationship for a short term gain. Who is to say the advertiser would not bail on you as they are obviously willing to bail on Google. Then what do you do?

I assume 99% of you who sell ads would never contact Google about selling direct ads on your site.

Am I reading the legalize right or is this an non issue?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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02/14/2012 02:33 pm

I think that paragraph in the Adsense  TOS  is referring to communication about ads displayed using Adsense. For example, if Adsense displays an ad that I feel is inappropriate, I would need to contact google about it and not go directly to the advertiser. It's not saying that you need to ask google permission before displaying other ads. Also, the Adsesne help says this: "You're welcome to display Google ads on the same site or page as other third party advertisements provided that the formatting or colors of the third party ads is different enough from that of the Google ads."


02/14/2012 03:56 pm

I agree with yohaas I believe that is only for questions, comments, complaints, etc about google adsense ads that get displayed on your site. As a side-note: Google owns DFP (Double-click for Publishers) which allows you to manage advertisements on your site(s) and you can have adsense ads fill slots when you have no inventory to fill them. So they clearly don't have a problem with third party ads on your site when also using adsense.

David Iwanow

02/14/2012 11:55 pm

I've run campaigns in the past for the specific purpose of knowing what sites to contact directly for placements. Most of these sites already have multiple networks for placement so it would be a huge over-reach for Google to insist they can't also serve that same advertiser directly. But I agree DoubleClick is built specifically for running 3rd party ads, and I'm not sure that it's such a big issue and it would be very easy for Google to crack down if it had an issue with it.


03/09/2012 02:10 pm

@yohaas you have said it all. I know a couple of bloggers that have advertisements on their sites that is not through Google adsense. If anybody is skeptical, they can easily just go through Google's Adsense policies to make sure they are not breaking any rules.

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