Google AdSense’s required Advertisements/Sponsored Links labels above ads: Do not use plain text!

In order to get more from Google AdSense, many publishers feel that placing ads under headings, titles, headlines and labels are the best way to get more clicks. This is one of the reasons why you see a lot of sites and blogs with ads under their headings, titles, headlines and labels.

Placing ads directly under headings, titles, headlines and labels is of course frowned upon by Google. Google doesn’t like it at all but Google understands why publishers insist upon placing ads under such elements. The whole damn idea works and converts really well!

Even though Google frowns upon publishers that place ads under elements mentioned earlier, Google allows them to do so under one strict condition. Publishers have to place a specific label above their ads. This is clearly stated in Google AdSense Programme Policies:
In order to ensure a good experience for users and advertisers, publishers participating in the AdSense program may not: Place misleading labels above Google ad units. For instance, ads may be labelled "Sponsored Links" or "Advertisements", but not "Favourite Sites" or "Today's Top Offers".
I only have one concern with the requirement. If publishers are not careful, the above requirement can hurt them a lot! You will see in a few seconds. Right now, let me just say that publishers should not use plain texts to label their ads. Publishers should consider using a banner or a simple picture.

Why can’t publishers label ads with plain text?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so please take a look at the following screenshot.


Do you see what I see? Now, do you understand why I said publishers should not use plain text to label ads?
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