Friday, July 5, 2013

Will we lose our blogs? Clarification from Google

Last week, Google sent out a frightening notice to all the owners of blogs with the adult blog warning page, advising them that there would be a change in policy concerning adult blogs. This led to wild speculation and a mass stampede towards WordPress and personal domains.

Google has issued this clarification of their intentions, which appeared on WebProNews:

UPDATE: According to a Google spokesperson, it looks like they’re just going to be removing blogs that monetize from adult ads:

“We will be updating our Content Policy to strictly prohibit the monetization of adult content on Blogger. We will remove blogs that are displaying advertisements to adult websites.”
 Not so different from the original statement, which said, "After June 30th 2013, we will be enforcing this policy and will remove blogs which are adult in nature and are displaying advertisements to adult websites." The key word here is "monetize" as in "make money from".

I did a little research, and here's how Investopedia explains "Monetize" as it applies to blogs:

Another example comes from websites monetizing their content. Many are set up to earn money through advertisers. When people who browse the particular site click on one of the advertisers' links, the owner of the website earns a small amount of money (this is known as pay-per-click, or PPC advertising). If the website attracts enough visitors, the small amount paid by the advertisers for each click can add up to substantial monetization.

Another method used to monetize a website is the placement of banner advertisements. If a particular website has proven that it attracts a certain number of visitors each month, companies may pay to place advertisements that appear on the home page, certain pages or every page of the website, depending on the agreement between the website owner and the advertiser. Typically, larger and more prominently displayed advertisements cost more.

Other methods of website monetization include CPM advertising (cost-per-mille), text link advertisements, affiliate marketing and monetization widgets.

So it looks like you are safe if you have an adult blog but you aren't making money with your links to other adult sites. And it seems that the official Blogger Content Policy has not yet been modified to include the change.

We can all breathe a little easier now. You have removed any ads from your blog, haven't you?

From Hermione's Heart


bobbsroom said...

Thanks for the information Hermione.

I like this blogger format, I would be loathed to move.

As I mention in my blog, hope your burn has cleared up

Take Care

BOB B :)x

Roz said...

Thanks so much for posting this clarification Hermione. I too like blogger and would be loathed to move.


Terpsichore said...

thanks for the clarification :-) Glad to still be here

DelFonte said...

I prefer blogger to wordpress because the list of blogs I share is clearer and easier to use. So I'm happier here.
Perhaps you can help with something else? If I click on somebody who has left a comment, I often see their Google+ page and not their blogger profile, so I can't see if they have a blog I can follow. Is there a way to see passed this?
thanks for all your clarifiations and advice!

bob said...

Thanks for the clarification Hermione.

I am still here so they must of likes what I got.


Hermione said...

Bob - My burn healed very nicely and there is no trace of it now. thank you for your concern.

Roz - I would hate to move too.

Terps - I'm glad I could help.

DelFonte - Unfortunately, the answer to your question is "no". I have often struggled with this too, when I put together the "You Completed he Caption" post. I cannot add a link to some people's names because I have no way of knowing what their blog is. That's one of the lovely "features" of Google+. If the person chooses not to share their blog in Google+ you are out of luck.


Hermione said...

Bob #2 - Sorry I missed your comment. I'm glad you are still here too!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the information. I just removed all my links.


Minielle Labraun said...

Thanks Hermione, Thanks for the info.

Aimless Rambling said...

Thanks for the clarification.

I don't have the adult content gadget checked so I guess that's why I never received a notice.

ronnie said...

Thank you so much Hermione and thanks for the info on backing up my blog and your advice about removing some of the links.


Irishey said...

Thanks, Hermione. I don't know why they care one way or the other, but I suppose there could be legal ramifications for them. I believe this adult content restriction was a part of the original TOS when I started my blog. I think the email clarified/reminded bloggers with stricter language and a warning they would be checking and removing blogs that are in violation.

I really don't like Google+...a lot. I don't remember if I ended up sharing my blog through there or not. I know I tried not to, but it was such a pain and I was new to Blogger... I can't wait until I have something more than my phone to internet with.

Make a great day!


Anonymous said...

Doesn't resolve it for me, I'm afraid. I list all my books on my blog and they contain links to Amazon. It is a blog with adult content and the books are for sale so am I "monetizing" adult content? Literally, yes I am. But do I link to an "adult website" e.g. Amazon?
Amazon sells "adult content". But so far I'm still here.

garyntboy said...

Well done Hermione, good bit of research on your behalf. I have breathed a big sigh of relief with that news. Thank you.
Kind regards,

Erica said...

I really do believe they worded it vaguely on purpose, to scare people off.

I never had any ads, but I removed the section "Where Else to Find Me" where I had links to pay video sites. Why take chances?

Hermione said...

Joey - Good to know. I hope you stay safe.

Minelle - You're welcome.

Sunny - Yes, that would be why. I didn't get one either. Maybe that means we are under the radar.

Ronnie - My pleasure.

Irishey - I hate Google+ and hope they won't eventually force us to use it.

I can't imagine blogging with a phone. Hope you get a real computer soon.

Rollin - That particular point has not been explained by Google. I don't think they are in any rush to actually start deleting blogs with advertising such as yours.

Gary - I'm happy to help.


Hermione said...

Erica - That was wise. I removed some sites I have a link exchange with, that are more or less commercial, just in case.


Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing with everyone... no need to take chances, if you are not making money from sending people to sites... I wonder if any of my past links to sites might cause a problem, if only in a blog listing??
bottoms up

elle :) said...

Thanks for the update. I wasn't worried until someone else said they might take them! Glad for clarification! :)

abby said...

Thanks for coming to our aid once again. I feel better..
hugs abby

SirQsmlb said...

You are such an amazing asset to this community...just reading all of the bloggers who spent the time to comment, you know there are countless others who haven't. I appreciate your clarification. I appreciate all of your PSA's...



Hermione said...

Red - I shouldn't think those links would be a problem, unless someone reported a specific post in a DMCA complaint.

elle - You still never know what the automated spam detection process might do, but I think most of us are reasonably safe.

abby - I'm glad I put your mind at ease.

fiona - I hope that the more knowledge people have, the less likely they are to panic.


Anastasia Vitsky said...

This whole hullabaloo has made me glad I use Wordpress. Thanks for the clarification.

Enzo said...

Hi Hermione -
Thank you for helping further clarify things and answer questions. All this helps.

With all due respect, to my knowledge (and as I mentioned on Bonnie's recent and similar topic post), Blogger's Content Policy has always been clear about monetizing blogs. It is under "Adult Content" and is listed as the first exception:

"There are some exceptions to our adult content policy:
• Do not use Blogger as a way to make money on adult content. For example, don't create blogs that contain ads or links to commercial porn sites."

Unfortunately since they own the playground and we don't pay admission, they set the rules and we have to abide by them.

Thank again

Hermione said...

Ana - There are some advantages and disadvantages to both platforms. I'm glad you are our of the line of fire.

Enzo - True, that is what is stated in the ToS. They are just fine-tuning the language and making it more specific. We have been warned!


Pecan nutjob said...

Has somebody tried to understand the rationale behind this "do not monetize" rule?

(I could imagine the following: in the US, commercial pornography is governed by specific rules, e.g. having to keep an archive of the names of models and proof that they were over-age at the time of photoshoot. Google, who owns Blogger, does not want to deal with that, and thus wants nothing adult on their servers to be construed as commercial porn.)

Hermione said...

Pecan - Google AdSense is not available on adult blogs, so it looks like they are getting more in line with their policy about adult blogs and advertising.