Google Advertising on the AdSense Network - Case of Reverse Arbitrage?
You may have come across AdSense ads that promote Google products like AdWords Builder, Google Analytics, Chrome Browser, etc. but here’s a new Google ad for Web Search that may even raise some eyebrows.
Google is using AdSense ads to promote (or rather advertise) their search results pages specific queries. The ad campaign is currently live on a couple of health related blogs in India but I won’t be surprised if this is extended to other domains like technology and entertainment. See screenshot:
These AdSense ads are in the form of a gadget and includes links to eight different search pages on Google corresponding to popular medical queries like “How to avoid pregnancy” or “How to get pregnant”. There’s also a Google Search box in the AdSense banner itself that will again take the visitor to the Google page.
These ads appear CPM (none of the outgoing links include tracking code) which is fine but I think there are two potential issues with such a format:
Issue 1: Regular AdSense ads have one exit point (the advertiser’s website) but this new format has 11 different exist routes - 8 search queries, 1 Google Search box, 1 Google logo and 1 Google text link - all pointing to the advertiser’s website which in this case is Google itself.
Issue 2: This is a not one and some web publishers may get the impression that Google is practicing some form of reverse AdSense arbitrage. That’s because when a visitor clicks a link on this gadget ad and lands on the Google search page, he’ll again be served with AdSense ads and these search ads could potentially be of higher value as they getting displayed on a page for a “popular health query”.
But issues apart, such AdSense ads would be a blessing for web publishers who rank on the front pages of Google for these search queries.
Update 1: Here’s another version of the same ad for technology blogs. It includes search queries like “How to create a website”, “how to create a blog” and so on.
Update 2: Here’s another set for Ads for Bollywood celebrities (entertainment) related search queries.
Related: Google AdSense Sandbox
Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion
Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.