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Warning from Google - Not enough content on page
beavis




msg:1351218
 10:21 pm on Nov 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

A few days ago, I received a request from Google to take ads off of pages that they deemed did not have significant content, as their crawlers were "not optimized" to crawl pages with limited content.

However, the weird thing is that their crawler is doing an excellent job of showing relevent ads on these pages.

Has anyone received this message AND been able to convince Google to relax their stance? It doesn't make much sense to me why they would insist that I remove ads from pages on the basis that the crawler can't put relevent ads up when the crawler is doing a great job...

 

Blue_Fin




msg:1351219
 10:52 pm on Nov 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

It doesn't make much sense to me why they would insist that I remove ads from pages on the basis that the crawler can't put relevent ads up when the crawler is doing a great job...

It makes sense to me because I think their actual intent is to prevent publishers from putting up pages for the sole purpose of optimizing the relevancy of AdSense ads. There have been comments here as well as on other forums about people putting up new sites to benefit from AdSense. I'm not suggesting that's what you are doing, but it's likely the reason behind the message you received.

Jenstar




msg:1351220
 11:07 pm on Nov 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Wow, this is new. I haven't heard of them contacting publishers asking them to remove the code from pages deemed to be lacking in content. I am guessing this is in response to advertisers complaining ads are appearing on pages with barely any content, or on pages filled with spam keywords.

I don't think it is to prevent people from making sites for the sole purpose of AdSense. If you have a site with quality content, you have nothing to worry about. But if you have a site with autogen content, just filled with high-money keywords, or even pages with limited content on a page, it is nice to know something is being done to combat that problem. Those are the kinds of sites that are prompting Adwords advertisers to opt-out of content sites, because they are hearing about the spam content sites, and not the quality content sites.

I wonder what else we can expect from Google as they try and combat this issue that advertisers are complaining about. And don't forget that as Google is doing this, it will increase the CTR for quality content publishers, result in fewer instances of PSAs due to lack of ads, and will hopefully encourage fewer Adwords advertisers from opting out, or get some of those who have opted out to opt back into their ads appearing on content sites.

Hunter




msg:1351221
 1:01 am on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Look at it from another perspective, if a page does not have much content, it could actually increase the click thru rate of the ads benefiting both the advertiser and the site owner.

ronin




msg:1351222
 1:09 am on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well... it would certainly benefit the site owner. It might not benefit the advertiser, because the only reason that readers might be clicking through in greater numbers might be because they want to click on something on the page... but there's hardly anything there to click on.

Thus, lots more clicks that the advertiser has to pay for but no real increase in conversions, since the clicking public only wound up on the advertiser's site because they didn't know where else to go.

I can see why Google would be unhappy about this.

Jenstar




msg:1351223
 1:21 am on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> if a page does not have much content, it could actually increase the click thru rate

If people are clicking through, just to get to another page, it is not very high quality traffic, IMO. And those are the kind of pages that get the advertisers opting out of content site advertising.

europeforvisitors




msg:1351224
 3:44 am on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well... it would certainly benefit the site owner. It might not benefit the advertiser, because the only reason that readers might be clicking through in greater numbers might be because they want to click on something on the page...

Exactly. One major reason for using "content ads" is to attract prospects who are prequalified because they've taken the time to read information on a topic. If the page contains no real information, readers who click on ads are likely to be frustrated information-seekers instead of hot prospects.

davewray




msg:1351225
 5:14 am on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google isn't letting people Publish Adsense on their sites just because they have good content and Google wants to "reward" them for having that good content. It's because Google wants to make more money, plain and simple.

And this whole argument about content and whether adsense should be on pages with or without it is bunk anyways. People saying that pages with little or no content somehow results in lower ROI's for their campaigns I don't think know exactly what they are talking about. People always need to find something to complain about!

What do you think SERP's are? Full of content? No way, they're just pages of results with a limited number of "clickable" options. How do YOU know that the average Joe surfer doesn't think that the "ads" on the right side just aren't more SE results? They're just as likely to click out of curiosity...

Just my two cents from both a publisher and advertiser's perspective...

Dave.

europeforvisitors




msg:1351226
 6:04 am on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

What do you think SERP's are? Full of content? No way, they're just pages of results with a limited number of "clickable" options. How do YOU know that the average Joe surfer doesn't think that the "ads" on the right side just aren't more SE results? They're just as likely to click out of curiosity...

I doubt if that's true, but in any case, SERP surfers have the option of clicking on the search results--not just on the ads. On an ersatz "content page" with nothing but keywords and ads, those users have nothing to click except the ads.

I also think you'll find that mainstream advertisers prefer to have their ads displayed in an editorial environment. In my category, for example, advertisers of international villa rentals, barge or river cruises, travel accessories, etc. don't buy their offline ads in weekly shoppers or bulk-mail ad flyers. They choose media such as travel magazines (where readers are likely to be interested in their ads) or in magazines like THE NEW YORKER that reach an appropriate demographic. When those advertisers try their hand at PPC advertising, they aren't likely to feel comfortable if their ads turn up on junk pages that were created purely as SEO-driven AdSense vehicles. Whether the AdSense network chooses to indulge those traditional advertisers is up to Google, of course--but if Google doesn't give them what they've come to expect from advertising media, you can be sure that a competitor will.

techiemon




msg:1351227
 10:41 am on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

What constitues, significant, content?

If I have 10 links on a page is that enough?

If I have a paragraph on a page is that enough?

What if I am introducing a product and it takes a sentence, is that enough content?

I'm not asking for me personally, I am just curious what google is constituing as (enough) content.

ronin




msg:1351228
 5:16 pm on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

How's this as a rule of thumb:

If a page has enough interesting content that you'd be happy to recommend that page to a friend who is interested in the same topic (let's assume for the moment, that the page does not belong to you), then it probably has enough info and content for Google to be happy to allow adsense panels to be displayed on that page.

jimbeetle




msg:1351229
 5:31 pm on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

mainstream advertisers prefer to have their ads displayed in an editorial environment

Whether the AdSense network chooses to indulge those traditional advertisers is up to Google, of course--but if Google doesn't give them what they've come to expect from advertising media, you can be sure that a competitor will

Yes and yes, again. I don't see why many people think that just because this is a new format and Google that normal advertising standards and policies should not apply.

Just to reinforce with a real-world example, a typical magazine ad insertion order might read something like: full-page, 4-color, opposite editorial.

That's what advertisers pay for in the real world and expect in return for their bucks.

john316




msg:1351230
 5:35 pm on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's probably just a byte count that the crawler sends back to the Adsense folks, add some content.

daunk




msg:1351231
 9:22 pm on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

I wish google would do this more often. They should weed the wheat from the chaff.

I also think they should have been MUCH stricter in their allocation of adsense to sites, that way they keep advertisers on side - only shown on high quality sites - reduce trash pages and lastly but not least the advertisers wouldn't have been shelling out so much too adsense in the early months which would have lead to them instead of hastily dropping it running long tests.

I actually hope another program comes out, I used to think google was great, its not however and to get advertisers who quit back on board with contextual ads is going to be an uphill struggle...

europeforvisitors




msg:1351232
 11:17 pm on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

I used to think google was great, its not however and to get advertisers who quit back on board with contextual ads is going to be an uphill struggle...

Maybe, but Google has barely tapped AdSense's real target market: advertisers who have track records in media advertising and direct mail but are new, or relatively new, to PPC text ads.

daunk




msg:1351233
 6:46 pm on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes but these advertisers are mostly not using the internet anyway! Rather then hope new advertisers will come in google should have protected the ones they had.

europeforvisitors




msg:1351234
 7:01 pm on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes but these advertisers are mostly not using the internet anyway! Rather then hope new advertisers will come in google should have protected the ones they had.

I haven't seen any evidence to suggest that existing advertisers are abandoning AdSense in droves. That certainly hasn't been the case for my topics and subtopics. (It may be true in other categories, but there's no way of knowing without broad statistical evidence.)

And it's not true that large mainstream advertisers aren't using the Internet. They are, and they're increasingly shifting budgets from banner ads into PPC ads. (The Internet Advertising Bureau has just reported a 13.9% increase for Internet ad expenditures in 2Q 2003 over the same quarter last year. But the real news is that "keyword search ad" spending has more than tripled over the same period, going from 9% to 31% of total Internet ad revenues while banners have dropped from 32% to 22%.)

The big guys are moving in, and they've got money to spend.

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