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Scraper Sites/Google Adsense
Withdrawing from Adsense will avoid scrapers?

 8:44 am on May 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi all

This occurred to me from reading the Bourbon thread (Pt.3) but i didnt want to drag that thread OT.

There's a suggestion that scraper sites are generally there to make money from Adsense (etc) ads. Someone suggested if one of your ads was used on a scraper, this could effectively be putting your site in a bad neighbourhood the way Bourbon appears to be heading.

Therefore, on this basis, and bearing in mind i get more hits from SERPS than paid ads, is it worth pulling Adsense (and maybe Overture) campaigns and concentrating entirely on Serps?





 1:42 am on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

you mean AdWords? To stop your AdWords and Overture campains? I am wondering the same thing, especially since I've read on another thread about serps drop, that participating in AdWords hurts your ranking, though many ppl disagree with this, but some insist it's true...

Also, how do they get those snippets of our content? From SE or by crawling our sites?


 2:55 am on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Someone suggested if one of your ads was used on a scraper, this could effectively be putting your site in a bad neighbourhood

C'mon kids, do your homework!

Adsense ads only show if the browser has JavaScript enabled, and none of the bots crawl with JS enabled.

If Adsense caused you to be in bad neighborhoods, wouldn't every site have literally thousands and thousands of backlinks from sites that showed their Adsense ads?

Jeepers, talk about grabbing at straws.


 3:00 am on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Like I said in the Bourbon thread, Adsense being a factor makes no sense, because nuke sites that were good adsense earns also hurts Googles revenue. Less clicks billed to advertisers means less revenue to Adsense publishers and to Google.


 4:18 am on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well, I've pulled AdSense off my main site, and will be pulling the Amazon links at the end of this quarter.

I agree either seems unlikely to be causing a problem, but this is the last thing I have left to try.

The more likely explanation seems to be too many scraper sites linking to me, but that's not something I have any control over.


 5:10 am on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

"and none of the bots crawl with JS enabled."

Get a life. You think Googlebot couldn't detect the CODE embedded in the page to generate Google ads?
The key in the discussion he was referring to was NOT the content of the google ads, but the fact that if you look like a scraper, by having a directory-like site which ALSO displays adsense ads, you may have been a victim of this update.


 5:26 am on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

if one of your ads was used on a scraper, this could effectively be putting your site in a bad neighbourhood

He is suggesting that ads are being crawled and putting adwords advertisers into "bad neighborhoods".

> Get a life.

Reading is fundamental, try to keep up with the rest of the class.


 7:31 am on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)


>The key in the discussion he was referring to was NOT the content of the google ads, but the fact that if you look like a scraper, by having a directory-like site which ALSO displays adsense ads, you may have been a victim of this update.<

I.e Google doesn't panelize your site just because you display AdSense spots. But AdSense spots might be used as a factor (among several other factors) to identify a scraper. Of course under the assumption that Google is really targeting scrapers ;-)

As to bots, Google can also use AdSense bot Mediapartners-Google* in this connection.


 8:23 am on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

"and none of the bots crawl with JS enabled."

Not true. I see bots crawling my JS links all the time. A lot of my links are redirected through javascript and they are monitored in my backend admin system.

"c'mon kids"
"do your homework"
"jeepers talk about clutching at straws"

And why do you have to be so condescending and downright rude? If you can't answer in a friendly manner then i'd rather you didn't answer at all.


 9:28 am on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

My take on this is that Adsense does not link directly to your site anyway, it has to go through Google so it can be tracked. This means the worry of links from a bad neighbourhood by just being an advertiser is not real.

However there is nothing to stop scraper sites linking to you as the result of you listing well for any term on any engine (see the Yahoo API explosion) or by detecting who is advertising on phrases. I'd say it's easier to grab yahoo results (which are likely to give a good set of outbound links) than most other methods so scrapers are likely to do that rather than bother with advertisisers.

The final thing mentioned was the snippets, well once a scraper has your url as a source to steal from (and assuming the stolen info is bringing them traffic) it's not likely that quitting an advertising campaign is going to make them stop using your content.

I'd say this is a huge annoyance but cannot be solved by stopping your advertising, that will just cost you money (assuming you have a positive ROI)


 9:59 am on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Maybe I am naive, but why the hell should Google penalize somebody for scrapper sites linking to YOUR site?! This cannot be helped, and you have no control over who is linking to you! Even if they display a snippet of your text, so what?! Our sites are much more than just one snippet.

Logical would be to assume that they should penalize you for linking TO the scrapper sites! They have this data, who is linking to whom.

For the person who said about "homework" and such. You know, more I do my "homework" and read these forums, more I become confused. Ppl say all kind of things, sometimes quite opposite, and it's easy to get lost. I don't understand: some ppl say they cannot penalize you when "bad guys" are linking to you, only when you are linking to "bad guys", now you are saying they can...

I dont know whom to beleive anymore...


 2:04 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

You will not be penalized if a site with a bad rep
(banned from SE) links to you.

You'll only be affected if you link back to a bad site or neighborhood
(i.e. FFA Pages) by listing their url on your site.

If incoming links to your site were a bad thing then your competitors
would submit your site to offending directories/web site and get you penalized.

I don't mind sites linking to me especially if they're sending traffic.


 2:21 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

> I see bots crawling my JS links all the time

There is a big difference between crawling a JS link, and having JS enabled and loading AdSense ads, and then crawling them.

A crawler will only see 1 or possibly 2 URLs from a page using AdSense, the JS code from Google, http:\\pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js , and if the page has an alternate page designated for ads, it will see that as well, ie www.example.com/alternate-ad.html .

Scrapers, in general, get their content from a search engine. They use a program that crawls Google (or Yahoo or MSN) and looks for every keyword, ranging from "widgets" to "best blue widgets review", it copies the text of the results of the top 10 (or 20, or 100) from the SERPs and that info is used to create a "directory".

AdWords/Overture ads never come into play, as they are not crawled. The scrapers want the "ransom note", the snippet from the page, which is keyword rich - it highlights the occurrence of the desired keyword in the SERP.

This mean a scraper suddenly has 10 "directory" listings with a ~30 word description for every keyword the owner thought to plug in.

Nothing to do with PPC advertising. It does, however bring up 2 related discussions.

1) Does PPC advertising hurt your Google Rankings.

- No. If it did *every* site that used PPC advertising would have been affected by Bourbon, and that is clearly not the case.

2) Do links from scraper sites hurt your rankings?

- No. If they did *every* site with top ten rankings in commercial niches would have been affected by Bourbon - because every one of them has links from scraper sites, and that is clearly not the case.

I realize that people who've been hurt by Bourbon are stressed and looking for answers.

I strongly suggest you look for causality in things like fraternal linking, shared IPs, similar whois, poor choices in reciprocal link partners, duplicate content, content hijacking, ROS (run of site) links, the majority of links coming from non-themed pages/sites.

Those are all *far* more likely explanations for poor post-Bourbon rankings than Google punishing sites that use AdSense on their pages, or worse, punishing sites because they are AdWords advertisers.


 2:24 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

it's not the links through adsense that are a problem.. it's the pure backlinks on the scraper sites. ESPECIALLY, when your backlink count triples in a month due to, say, high ranking in the Yahoo! directory:

inbound links from bad neighborhoods dont hurt, you're right.. but when those inbound links grow at un-natural rate due to scraper sites picking you up suddenly (maybe or maybe not from Yahoo! syndication of their content), that's what scares me.

i am sure scraper sites will eventually end up where they belong.. but for now I need to pay the mortgage!


 2:57 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Of course naturally Google, if it weren't so silent, would defend its algo penalizing those whose links massively increased due to scraper scum feeding of Yahoo by saying, We said there was "almost" no way a one way inbound could hurt you.


 5:10 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

If SEs are going to penalize sites for getting to many links too soon then EVERYONE will suffer.

As penalized sites drop in the SERPs others will take there place and the cycle will continue.

I can't worry to much about things that I have no control over.

The SEs are aware of this and they will handle it in whatever way they see fit.


 5:23 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've been in the sandbox for 12 months now, but do quite well in Yahoo. No sooner am I on the first page for a phrase then I start having all these sites link to me - mostly with PR 0 or worse.

I've got several thousand links now... how natural is that? Not sure.

Quite frankly, if this is keeping my site in the sandbox, then Google's got some pretty big problems - and not just with my site. Lately, I am seeing a real degradation in results from Google - and I actually like them. What I've noticed is that the top 2 or three spots are not targeted at all. Sometimes they've got very little to do with the search. I think Google should eliminate the "I Feel Lucky" button altogether - it's just not working anymore. They are self destructing trying to combat spam. How ironic is that?


 10:46 am on May 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would call adsense a bad neighborhood, since they sponsor what ever they like, so I have not used them for 6 month after all those scraper site realy took of.


 4:10 pm on May 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Very funny zeus. For a company that hates bad neighborhoods, it's dumbfounding how many bad neighborhoods G is willing to drop their ads into. >:-)

Not that the issue raised in this thread has anything to do with what's going on in the current update.

It's understandable that people sometimes grab at straws when suffering losses in big shakeups, and it's all made more confusing by the fact that G IS broken in some respects right now (redirect handling, for example).

But 99 out of a 100 times, the losses are not due to exotic or tricky explanations. Rather, they're do to some basic tenets of SEO being, 1) overlooked, or 2) abused in an effort to gain an edge.


 7:01 am on Jun 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't worry about the impact of AdSense regarding Bourbon. Note that if you don't like your AdWords showing on a site that you consider spammy, autogenerated, or a scraper site, you can use the Campaign Negative Sites feature in AdWords to keep your ads from showing up on specific sites.


 7:17 am on Jun 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Good morning GG

Welcome back. Hope that you and your sweetie have enjoyed your vacation ;-)

Fellow members on other thread were talking that AdSense spots were used by Google to identify scrapers and spam sites inorder to penalize them and remove them from index. In this connection Google might by mistake penalized other AdSense publishers with sites which are not scrapers or spam sites.

Problem is some/many start removing AdSense which I think isnīt the right thing to do.

Do you agree with me?



 7:51 am on Jun 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy wrote:
I wouldn't worry about the impact of AdSense regarding Bourbon.

I'm still worried that there seems to be some kind of correlation between my site's woes and my use of AdSense, and in particular my use of alternate ads. Google DOES index pages which are used as AdSense alternate ads and which appear nowhere else...

Is there any way to stop Google following and indexing AdSense alternate_ad URLs? I'd put "NOFOLLOW" on them, but I can't because they are embedded in the AdSense code as
google_alternate_ad_url = "http://example.com/";


 2:46 pm on Jun 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

> Is there any way to stop Google following and indexing AdSense alternate_ad URLs

How about robots.txt?

I personally just put a link to the sitemap below the fold of the ad on the alt ads pages and let Google have at them.


 2:00 am on Jun 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

and what's wrong with Google indexing alternative ad URLs? They index mines, so what? It's just a page with a banner, nothing more! Why should Google penalize me for that?

Unless you put smth THAT horrible in alternative ad that you can be penalized. I saw ppl even puting trojans and adware in it, but they deserve to be penalized than (though I NO WAY mean you, danny!).


 12:19 am on Jul 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just got an interesting response from Adsense Support today, which may be a change in stance about scraper sites.

I wrote to report a huge "Made-for-adsense" scraper site, which as even every newbie knows is "against the Terms of Service" and supposedly highly discouraged by Adsense. One look at this extensive SERP directory style site makes it obvious what it is. The site is already PR0 ranked, so I assume G agrees. I also just happened to mention in my e-mail, as a side, that this scraper had copied most of our site on to theirs in snippets which show up ahead of us in the SERPs, and that by removing them from the Adsense program that it would help discourage more of the same activity both in scraping and in made-for-Adsense sites which I thought Adsense discouraged. I was rather shocked about the "not so canned" response I got.

Since we cannot copy e-mailed responses I will do my best, paragraph by paragraph to summarize it:

Paragraph 1: Polite sentence thanking me for letting them know about it.
Paragraph 2: Explains basic info about Adsense and how it is for publishers to display ads relevant to content, yada, yada... But most importantly, to me, a disclaimer that publishers and NOT G controls the content of the pages and WHAT PAGES HAVE ADS ON THEM.
Paragraph 3: Says that G provides info and is NOT A MEDIATOR. Again that they don't control content of pages. That I should contact webmaster.
Paragraph 4: Notice that they've forwarded my e-mail to User Support Specialists (at Google not Adsense) who would be better equipped to assist.

NOWHERE do they suggest that they agree the site is absolute Made-for-adsense trash or that they are even considering reviewing it for such, or give a ... rat's butt. Therefore I'm assuming Adsense now endorses such. Roll out the scraper sites! I guess it's possible the support person scanned over it and saw the word copyright and misunderstood, but that was a very small part of my e-mail.

I later got a second response from G Support to whom they forwarded my first e-mail (not Adsense) saying that I can file a claim of copyright infringement with them, but that I better be absolutely sure that their use was not protected by the fair use doctrine or I could end up paying legal fees of up to $100,000 like another recent case.

Besides the fact that this was not my original point, in reporting the site, but, gee, obviously "snippets" probably qualify as fair use (or everyone would be suing G and Y! and...), but that doesn't stop G from penalizing a site for duplicate content when someone "snippets your site to death" by using EVERY single line at least once SOMEWHERE on THEIR site in a directory!

Ovbiously there is simply nothing that ANYONE can do about either scrapers or made-for-adsense sites and they're here to stay!

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