GoogleGuy provides ann update on the AdSense changes. The "blank space is brought to you by Google" feature has been disabled too.
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Hey, just to give a quick update, I'll run down a few points that people have mentioned. PolishGuy and NeedScripts, I really can't even imagine there would be any penalties if people don't want to use it--publishers should be able to choose whether or not it's right for their site without worrying about outside reasons. And just to make sure I say it, AdSense has no effect (positive or negative) on Google rankings.
I think the "blank space" is also disabled, and that we're showing the public service announcement (PSA) ads now. I'm guessing that we'll show the charity ads instead of the blank space, at least until we can give more options to publishers. Just to set expectations, giving those options may take a little while. I think we'll want to do lots of extra testing on the next iteration to make sure it's just right. :)
dougb and Audri, I know that a few sites were beta testing the newer ads with related searches. The related searches officially started last night.
And nealw (and cdkrg, and others), thank you for the good suggestions--I'll pass them on. Part of the goal of this release was to make the advertising space more valuable by helping users notice the slot more. But rest assured that we also want to provide a product that works well for publishers and gives them the choices and flexibility that they want.