Just after Google recovered from the worldwide outage of May 14, there have been fresh reports about users complaining that they are seeing rubbish or bogus and in some case empty advertisements via Google Adsense, only on Linux systems. This means the advertisement correctly shows up on a website when it is being opened from a Windows or Mac machine but the same ad doesn’t show up properly on the website when seen from a Linux machine. However only the flash version of Adsense ads seem to be affected as the html/text versions display perfectly fine.
Apparently the Google Adsense team was completely unaware of this bug as an adsense team employee thanked a user on the Adsense Help forum when the user posted a query about the situation on the forum. There has been a similar post / report on the webmaster forums too. Here you can see how the buggy ads look like (photo taken from rustybrick’s flckr stream).
Now if we analyze the situation, there are many reasons so as to why such a thing may have occurred. There might be a possibility of flash going bad on linux or may be a flaw with the Google’s flash implementation of adsense. Since the flash ads work well in windows, we can not rule out a possibility of Google targeting ads based on OS and which is really not good on their part. Either way, publishers end up losing substantial amount of earning from Adsense as traffic to websites from Linux hosts is also huge in number. We hope Google will sort out the problem soon.