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Ask HN: Google AdSense Still Bans Ajax. What are the Alternatives?
58 points by wikiburner on June 21, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 34 comments
I looked into this many years ago, and Google had a beta going for running Adsense on ajax-loaded content.

The other day I was really surprised to learn that Google had actually killed this beta program a couple of years ago, and now it looks like they'll never support ajax loaded content.

What good alternatives to Adsense are there for ajax-loaded content, or is there a way around this with Adsense that I'm not aware of?

There is actually pretty good support, but you have to use AdSense through Google DFP - https://www.google.com/dfp/. Things like creating ad slots dynamically / loading them later / refreshing them dynamically work fine when you use GPT tags in DFP.

Afaik AdSense still explicitly prohibits refreshing through JS, but this doesn't seem to apply when going through GPT. I'm not entirely sure what the situation here is.

Case in point: I have an AJAX site where users spend about 18 minutes per visit and refresh ads every two minutes. So far no complaints from Google.

Interesting - is your site earning more than $1K a month? Just trying to gauge if you're big enough to get in their (human) crosshairs for more specific checks, or not.

> So far no complaints from Google

I dont think Google will complain, they will just ban your account saying you broke the generic T&C.

Yes, their rules are a mess. However, as the OP mentions there was indeed an "AdSense for Ajax" beta several years ago, and refreshing ad slots was listed as its primary use case.

In my case, my site is structured as tabs. I refresh the ads when the user switches the active tab. A tab occupies about 95% of the page anyway.

I prefer affiliate networks because they, unlike AdSense, give me the freedom to design my own ads. Also there's this:


Who wants this eyesore on their websites anyway?


I'm surprised the AdSense team is still toying around with amateur designs at the expense of the whole AdSense programme. I've seen the past works of the designers on the AdSense team and I'm not impressed. Plus it's quite naive to think that one design will fit all websites. Why can't AdSense, like other ad and affiliate networks, just open up an API so publishers themselves can be in charge of how their ads look and behave?

Affiliate ads may work well for narrow topics, but you are not going to be able to replicate the contextual ad earnings for larger sites. You have a lot of management overhead, additional payment risk, advertiser legal risk, and so on.

This is how Google is keeping their revenue moving up as desktop usage drops. It is a combination of fucking around with the Adsense style (more clicks) and advertisers (packaging tablet with desktop, now lumping in search with display "select.")

Adsense ads might be ugly, so is display. Auto-playing video ads are even worse. If your business model relies on advertising, either take it our build your own ad platform (some companies have done quite well with this, like Indeed and PlentyofFish.)

Affiliate networks (eg Commission Junction or LinkShare) solve pretty much all of the problems you mentioned.

It's a large business now, and can cover broad and narrow topics. Major affiliate networks can't compete with the scale of AdSense, but then no other ad network can either.

What you're asking for (publisher control of the look) contradicts the complaint about eye sores on your website. The majority of publishers will do whatever they can to get attention and we'll fall back to the flashing, blinking, and terrible contrast ads of 10 years ago.

The world could really use a good competitor to Adsense, couldn't it? How about some ad network that is based on contextual technology such as Facebook, retargeting, etc.

I've been buying Facebook stock for the past year under the assumption that they're going to release a product like this at some point. It just seems like such a logical business move. I think it's coming, and I think their recent tracking announcement is the first step.

> I've been buying Facebook stock for the past year under the assumption

Good luck with your speculation.

Thanks, over 50% return so far!

Nasdaq is up 30%. A rising tide lifts all boats but you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.

He's made quite a bit of profit over the past year then.

Nasdaq is up 30%. A rising tide lifts all boats but you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.

Actually, if you are willing to stack, analyze, evaluate creditworthiness, account for, and collect from several dozen DSPs and ad networks, you really can replicate and improve upon the AdSense offering. Very few instantiations of this strategy -- including the one of which I am founder -- allow open access to the service, though. At mass scale, fraud becomes the limiting factor. But any legitimate site doing 500K pageviews/mo needs to be thinking ahead.

(unfortunately) nobody cares about the desktop ad space anymore, "the future" is mobile

Come on, they're not that different :)

Hmm... I don't see ads on my Gmail mobile client. I see ads on Facebook mobile client or too small to notice (I do notice the "recommended posts" sometimes). Free iPhone apps come with "ads". I personally don't see how mobile ads are so effective as desktop.

People are saying the future of advertising is mobile, not because it presents a good platform for showing ads, but because increasingly that is how people are spending their time, so there is an expectation that advertising dollars will follow.

Your mobile gmail client will show ads on the promotions tab. I agree that you might not see those.

and single-page apps work great on mobile

>The world could really use a good competitor to Adsense, couldn't it?

Adsense is a lot like PayPal -- conceptually it seems easy to compete, but your biggest challenge has nothing to do with the legitimate product, but instead is preventing and dealing with unending and overwhelming attempts at fraud.

You're exactly right, and there is still a big need for one just as there was for a PayPal competitor.

You can use BuySellAds units with Google Adsense as backfill.

For an example of this you can check out our Discourse instance: http://forums.hummingbird.me/ (ads may not load on the initial pageview because of a timing bug I have not fixed yet, but try clicking somewhere and back to the homepage).

This is the source code: https://github.com/vikhyat/discourse-bsa/blob/master/assets/... (Ember.js)

It seems like you can give native advertising a try. I'm the cofounder of http://www.stackadapt.com and you can load our ad tag through ajax. You can also define ad formats using your site's HTML, so the ads are completely native and responsive to your site.

What do you think native means?


The question isn't about using code in ads, but about including ads on content that is loaded with ajax.

There are probably technical (though not insurmountable) reasons for this, i.e. if the ads are content based Google has to be able to scrape the content to know which keywords to match.

AFAIK, your only option with Adsense is to implement a #! alternative crawlable site.

I run BromBone.com. We have several customers using it to make static versions of their AJAX sites for Google Adsense purposes.

Email me at chad@brombone.com if you want to talk details.

An alternative way to make money online, is by removing ads and create a subscription-based feature, Stripe has a nice developer platform

Maybe dynamically add iframes with ajax-content? Every iframe would be static, and so could have adsense.

I tried a year ago and they didn't allow ads in iframes

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