Google Still Indexes AdSense Ads As Content; Top Search Result Are PDFs

Four years ago, I noticed that Google was indexing AdSense ads as if it were content on the host pages. I thought I'd check to see if they were still doing it.  The reason I care is that,  for Google,  indexing ads it serves creates wrong incentives around ordering pages in search results. Here's a hypothetical scenario.  "Hey, look, here's a page with just the query you are looking for". The user clicks on the organic search result and then clicks on the AdSense ad. (My own experience with site analytics has shown that organic search visitors are the best AdSense clickers.)  Ka-Ching! Google is a dollar richer.

I copied the text -- "Review Your Debt Settlement Options Online. Calculate Your Savings!" --  from a debt consolidation AdSense ad found on a random page and pasted it into Google.

The short answer is yes -- copy from AdSense ads still shows up in Google's own search results as if it were    content.

Here's a YellowPages page with the AdSense ad in question -- it was the third organic result for me.

But it was the first organic result that surprised me the most.  It was a PDF of a press release with  clickable AdSense ads baked into it and subsequently indexed along with the rest of the text. The second organic result, too, was a PDF; it was a copy of a job posting and it, too, had clickable AdSense ads in it.


  1. I wonder how much revenue they generate each year thanks to this "mistake"...

  2. Doesn't it diminish quality of their index? I also wonder if websites with adsense ads are ranked a little higher by google.


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