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This actually is not a gray area at all. It is specifically against Adsense TOS.

See here under 'encouraging clicks': https://www.google.com/adsense/support/as/bin/answer.py?answ...

Nor is this a new idea. Google addressed this issue back in 2007, and specifically warned publishers not to post images next to ads. I know because I was one of them. Here is a snapshot of my earnings from a site I ran back in 2007. Note the big drop in CTR around Feb 7th. http://i.imgur.com/Kwbgw.jpg.

In my defense I was a brash 18 y/o at the time, this was a hobby, and I wasn't thinking long term. And ofcourse I did remove the images after Google clarified their TOS.

But at some level, even then, I knew that what I was doing was morally wrong. Technical loophole not withstanding.

These are not adsense ads, so adsense t.o.s. do not apply. The ads are served up by buysellads.com. (see last line of the blog post)

Fair point. Didn't see that line earlier and made the assumption it was adsense as the author talked about how Google serves up ads.

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