In response to advertiser and publisher feedback, Google has now expanded the types of ads available to AdSense users to include some gambling-related topics. Although Google is no longer directly banning gambling ads in certain countries, they’re not accepting them without reservation either, and advertisers are required to comply with strict ad policies.

Here we will take a look into Google’s new AdSense gambling policies, why AdSense may not be the best option for affiliates, and other PPC and promotional alternatives.

What Is Allowed

In certain countries (visit here to learn more about your country-specific regulations), Google is allowing advertising of online scratch games run by state, national or Indian reservations and national or state lotteries. It also allows the advertising of “bricks and mortar” gambling locations and fantasy sports contests.

What Is Not Allowed

Google will not accept ads that promote gambling, sports betting or casino games that are not run by national or state officials. Gambling-related tutoring, books, vouchers or promos are also prohibited. In addition, gambling ads aren’t allowed on sites whose audiences are primarily under the age of 18, regardless of country.

AdSense Not Much Sense for Gaming Affiliates

Advertising through AdSense generally doesn’t have a great ROI for most businesses, as the pages you want to advertise on need to be related to what you’re advertising. And since Google doesn’t allow AdSense to be displayed on gaming pages, this creates a situation where even if you can bypass the restrictions, there isn’t really anywhere you want your ads to be shown that is available. Plus, affiliate commissions pay higher than AdSense ads, anyway.

PPC Alternatives for Affiliates

A number of PPC programs have emerged to fill the AdSense void for gaming affiliates. One of the best known is Roar.com. Roar targets specific domain names within its network and provides highly targeted, gambling-friendly PPC campaigns.

Affiliates can also turn to companies like Experiment.ly to help them conduct their PPC campaign research. Experiment.ly allows webmasters to experiment with various configurations to their site— without changing the code—to see how visitors react to different designs and platforms.

Social Media is Key

Don’t forget the power of social media to boost your online presence. Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus and LinkedIn are home base for hundreds of millions of Internet users—making them perfect (and free) advertising portals for affiliates in 2012.

If you are located in a country that does allow for AdSense gambling ads, do you use them, or have you become accustomed to using other forms of PPC campaigns? Let us know in the comments below.


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