Technology

Google backs down in ad switch-off row

Google logo Image copyright AFP
Image caption Like many sites, 9to5Google relies on Google to pipe adverts to it to generate revenue

Google has backed down in a dispute that deprived tech news site 9to5Google of adverts.

The search giant abruptly turned off the feed of adverts to 9to5Google on 24 February, saying the site's name violated its trademark.

The ads were turned off even though 9to5Google has operated for years and has a close relationship with Google.

However, the ad feed has now been turned on again after Google took "another look" at the issue.

'Shocking'

In a blogpost, 9to5Google said it had first found out about the problem when ads stopped showing up on its site.

It said adverts were its lifeblood, bringing in a six-figure sum every month, so losing the advert stream had been a real blow.

In an official email excerpted in the blogpost, the Google employee who handled 9to5Google's account apologises for the "shocking and frustrating" decision.

But he adds Google has to act fast once a trademark violation has been noticed, whether that is "early on or much later", and there can be no appeal.

The tech news site then asked its readers to suggest a new name.

But almost as abruptly as the ad ban had come into force, it was lifted.

And in a separate short message, sent on 25 February, Google said it had decided to reverse its decision.

Google has declined to comment on the story.

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