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Weekly Update - February 24, 2018: AdSense Auto Ads, Google Lens, YouTube Monetization

This week there were updates for YouTubers, AdSense Partners, Androiders (is that a word?) and more.
  • February 20th was D-Day - YouTube channels in the Partner Program that don’t meet the new eligibility requirements were demonetized. While 99% of affected channels were earning less than $100 per year, there are a not-insignificant number of channels with higher earnings that no longer can monetize their videos. If your channel is no longer monetized, and you have less than $100 in finalized earnings, you’ll either have to wait until you can monetize again or permanently cancel your AdSense account to get a final payment.
  • For those channels still monetizing, there’s some good news: YouTube has improved their monetization classifier - the automated system that decides whether a video is “advertiser friendly” or not. There should be less flipping back and forth between the yellow and green monetization icon. YouTube has pointed out that when you submit an appeal when you get the yellow icon, those human reviews help improving the system for everyone, so keep appealing. 
  • YouTube has also removed some data from the YouTube Analytics Demographics report in order to better protect viewer privacy. In some cases, your videos will only show data in the report if your video or channel has sufficient traffic. If your video only has a few views, the location, age and gender of the viewers could be too revealing.
  • For website or blog publishers, there’s an interesting AdSense update: this week “Auto Ads” were launched. You just place a snippet of code on your web pages, and AdSense uses machine learning to decide where to place the ads. It will be interesting to see reports on how well that actually works. 
  • Google Lens is helps you understand the world around you by identifying objects, businesses and landmarks, and copying dates or other information from the signs you are looking at. Currently Google Lens is only available in Google Photos on Pixel Photos. However, Google Lens will soon be coming to Google Photos in English on all Android and iOS devices with the latest version of the app. And it will also be available in Google Assistant on select “flagship devices”.
  • Next week is the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Google will be there, so expect related announcements. To start things off, Google has posted an article explaining how they are partnering with the mobile industry to connect people and businesses with rich messaging (RCS).
  • Google Assistant is going to be available in 30 languages by the end of the year. Google is also working with manufacturers and mobile carriers to integrate Assistant into more phones,, and is developing new features like Routines and Location-based reminders.
  • Finally Google also announced ARCore 1.0, which makes Augmented Reality available for more Android devices and apps. It will be interesting to see what developers do with it.
Plus tips and updates for webmasters, video creators, business owners, and more.

Image: Skier in a Snowy Landscape (~1918) by Aksel Waldemar Johannessen (Public Domain)


YouTube and Video Creation

Go Live


  • How to make Communities a good part of how you use Google+ (Robert Wallis)

Other social media

Google Photos and Mobile Photography

  • Google Lens coming to Google Photos in English on all devices (Google Blog)

Google for businesses

Bloggers and Webmasters

  • Webmaster Central Office Hours Hangout (Feb. 20) (Google Webmasters)
  • Webmaster Central Office Hours Hangout (Feb. 23) (Google Webmasters)

AdSense and advertising

Hangouts and Messaging

Made by Google and Android


More around the web

Updated March 2019 to remove Google+ links