13 Jun 06
23 May 07 10:09 pm
It's not necessarily a matter of "how far away" -- it's not that clear cut. What Google want is that visitors seeing your ads don't get the mistaken impression that the images somehow relate to the ad. For instance, if you had an adsense site for furniture ... you don't want to shove a picture of a couch in a position that people will assume the ad is for a store that has that kind of couch. The idea is that visitors will see the couch, go "ooh, that's nice" and click on the ad. Then when they don't see the couch they assumed was being advertised, they get annoyed and don't buy. The advertiser loses money.
So you can make it clear that the ads aren't related by:
a) moving them further away... but they could still be confusing.
b) putting a border around them
c) shifting them out of alignment with the ads
d) having the pictures be so generic that they can't be mistaken. For instance, images of smiling happy people (lame, but it's for example). Nobody is going to assume the advertiser is promoting smiling happy people.
The positioning of your images in relation to your ads is only going to be called into question if your page gets human reviewed by Google. I'm guessing a lot of people are banking on not being reviewed, and continuing to position their ads in misleading places.
It's up to you.