Google Rumored To Limit Adwords To One Ad Per Page

    December 20, 2004

Several sources point to a rumor that Google is going to limit each search result to only one AdWords ad.

MarketingVox in an article today states:

“Michael Wong points to discussion group chatter suggesting that Google may allow only one text ad listing per page starting in the new year. The move would seriously limit inventory for many affiliate marketers and search engine arbitrage firms, but presumably make advertising more effective for those companies that make the greatest returns on the use of the words.”

Their take on Michael Wong’s blog post mentions affiliate marketers … but doesn’t explain the rumor correctly.

Even worse is Michael Wong’s actual post:

“This is not an official announcement, but there is a lot of talk in the forums that Google will be changing its AdWords policy to only allow one advertiser per landing page, after the new year.

The criteria for who gets the ad will be based on rank (CTR and CPC), though back-ups will be in place for when the spend is gone for one so another can come in.

This policy change is going to have a serious impact on search engine marketers, especially affiliate marketers, that use Google AdWords as their biggest source of traffic.”

He got his information from the Search Engine Watch forum where posters there apparently got their info from the WebmasterWorld forum. This is definately a story of how the Web can mis-spin a story.

Both MarketingVox and Michael Wong’s blog site indicate that Google may only allow one ad per search result. However, reading the forum thread on SearchEngineWatch it specifically states, “Google is going to restrict the number of affiliates that can send traffic to the same place (tracking/affiliate code not counted).”

At WebmasterWorld, here’s what the AdWordsAdvisor (a Google guy) said, “Google’s affiliate policy has not been changed. This means that your approved affiliate AdWords ads will continue to run on Please be assured that we have no current plans to completely block affiliates from AdWords. If we do make any changes to our affiliate policy, you’ll be notified.”

Another poster summed up what is presumably Google’s position, “Affiliates are neither real sites nor real URLs. As their URLs would not be allowed in natural SERPs, neither should they be in AdWords.”

So the issue is not about Google limiting each search result to one AdWord per page … it’s about limiting each search result to a maximum of one affiliate advertising the same product per page.

Rich Ord is the CEO of iEntry, Inc. which publishes over 200 websites and email newsletters.

Rich also publishes his blog WebProBlog which focuses on internet business and marketing trends.