Even with the risk of this generating a lot of incoming flaming hot arrows, I'm going to come to the defense of AdSense somewhat and especially AdSense Advisor.
Early on in this thread, the Advisor indicated they were responding to a request by publishers to be able to sign up advertisers directly on the publisher's site. I appreciate AdSense moving in that direction.
However, if this thread is indicative of publishers as a whole, either publishers didn't do a good job of being specific of how they thought it should work, AdSense didn't have a good grasp of the needs of the publishers or AdSense can't (for some reason) give publishers exactly what they want.
As relates exclusively to the topic of this new feature, it seems the top two concerns are first the inability to have different "landing" pages for each of a publisher's sites. (The lack of this is the reason I turned off the feature for my account)
The other top concern seems to be reporting on the activity generated by the new advertiser sign-up feature.
There are some other issues such as CPM ads and site targetting but those issues aren't necessarily exclusive to this new feature.
If AdSense could resolve the landing page issue, I think that would benefit a huge block of publishers.
If they could resolve the reporting issue, I think that would benefit another big block of publishers. Although there seems to be a diverse group of desires for reporting, so that may take a bit more consideration before being implemented.
With all that said, the bottom line is this is business. I entered into a contract with AdSense when I first signed up and it seemed to make it clear that things would change over time. At any time, if I don't like the arrangement, I can simply opt out.
I'll submit my suggestions and make my complaints (which I have) but I'm not going to start making demands, alluding to "rights" or assuming Google owes me anything other than what is in the contract.
I appreciate that I have somewhere I can come and get some level of ongoing direct communication with a representative of AdSense. I don't know if Advisor is one person or a group, but they are human. I hope this place doesn't turn so sour he/she/they will start to dread even visiting.
In closing I'll respectfully suggest that airing complaints, suggestions, comments, questions, compliments, etc. are a vital part of making AdSense better for us, for advertisers and for Google. But once it gets beyond that, comments might be counter-productive.
FarmBoy; Very well said.
To be realistic, Google didn't build this feature because publishers demanded it. There was no particular demand for this, although I think I recall a suggestion was once made along these lines. They built it because they feel it will improve their bottom line. The idea that "publishers didn't do a good job of being specific" is just ridiculous.
You're right that if you look at this thing at an atomic level, unconnected from anything else, there's nothing seriously wrong with this specific offering and it doesn't give advertisers any options they didn't have before. But the problems that (1) CPM earnings are not knowable in any way, and (2) CPM campaigns have been repeatedly perceived as lowering a site's income, really must be addressed if Google expect me to suggest to customers who want to advertise on my site that they do so through AdWords.
Problem (3) is that they don't give any indication what revenue split is involved in CPM campaigns, but I don't hold out any hope for them changing that in any case.
|Berto wrote: |
On the Onsite Advertiser Sign-up page, if you customize the site name to "this site", you get the following at the top of the landing page, a generic:
"Advertise on this site"
Problem solved, not in the best way (which would be individual per-site landing pages with individual per-site "Advertise on..." headers), but problem solved all the same.
That seems a good workaround for the landing pages, account-wide for now.
There are still the CPM (site-targeting) problems of off-topic ads and less revenue observed by several publishers. Possibly there is room for improvement here.
|To be realistic, Google didn't build this feature because publishers demanded it. There was no particular demand for this... |
The very first line currently on the AdSense blog is as follows: "Many of you have been asking for the ability to sign up advertisers directly from your pages."
Unless someone is privy to all the suggestion emails arriving at AdSense, I don't see how he/she could know what is being suggested, how it is being suggested and how often it is being suggested.
|The idea that "publishers didn't do a good job of being specific" is just ridiculous. |
To partially repeat, unless someone is privy to the suggestion emails arriving at AdSens, I don't see how he/she could know how something is being suggested.
|They simply need to quit throwing their page targeting out the window when showing CPM ads. |
Exactly. There is either an actual bug or else a design flaw in this part of the code. Everytime I find and URL block what appear to be site targeted ads my income goes back up to normal.
I think this area of code needs a little more QA on Google's part in order to work as they describe it. Right now there is a disconnect between how the Adsense people think the best ads are selected and what the code actually does. It is just not working as described on sites with diverse topics.
It appears that in some cases site targeting seems to be completely overriding page and ad content matching.
For example, let say I have a site on cars with a page about Fords. Ford parts advertisers see the Ford pages and sign up to advertise on my site. So then a single spare Ford part ad starts showing up throughout the site, including on the BMW pages instead of the 4 BMW ads. So under the current design, I have to block the Ford parts advertisers from all of the pages, and then the BMW ads start coming back to the BMW pages and the Chevy ads come back to the Chevy pages and my income starts to go back up.
[edited by: Jane_Doe at 8:05 pm (utc) on Nov. 20, 2005]
|That seems a good workaround for the landing pages, account-wide for now. |
Is there anywhere else along the advertiser sign-up process associated with this new feature where the particular sites in the publisher's account are identified to the advertiser by Google?
|Everytime I find and URL block what appear to be site targeted ads my income goes back up to normal. |
I keep reading about people blocking ads for this reason or that. I have a number blocked myself.
But as my pages continue to increase, I find it impractical if not impossible to monitor all the pages/ads/channels.
Is there some method others are using to find undesirable ads on large sites/groups of sites or is it just dumb luck when you happen upon an undesirable ad?
|Is there some method others are using to find undesirable ads on large sites/groups of sites or is it just dumb luck when you happen upon an undesirable ad? |
The page I mentioned is my page I use to find site-targeted ads. It is one of the more popular pages out of a few thousand or so. Find one of your highest traffic pages, monitor it once/twice a day, and you will probably see if there are any site targeted ads running on your site (especially if they are untargeted).
Making the landing page title "this site" was the first thing I did.
But I still dont know how google define "site". Does it mean "account" (so you get ads for weddings on the funeral pages...
Or does it mean URL which still wont work for sites that use a bunch of different subjects either on each page or in different "sub" sites? Anyone have any idea?
Because it will screw up targeting totally. It needs to be by page rather than by site or account!
|The very first line currently on the AdSense blog is as follows: "Many of you have been asking for the ability to sign up advertisers directly from your pages." |
Well that proves it then, LOL. This is just standard a PR line cribbed from every other product launch in history. AdSense has had "many" suggestions for all kinds of things. Google chose to implement this one because they felt it was in their own best interest, period.
Publishers can decide for themselves whether it's in their interest, and opt in or not opt in accordingly.
Great news. I just wish we got an URL to that landing page so we could add a banner o text link on our advertising page for those who interested in advertising.
I also sell some ads directly to whose interested but would prefer Google to take care of everything and dont bother anymore. Another reason is that people who contact me directly want to pay less.
Second time of posting, and this one repeated! I think I am invisible!
Anyway if anyone knows please? --
I still dont know how google define "site". Does it mean "account" (so you get targeted ads for weddings on the funeral pages or worse!
Or does site mean URL which still wont work for sites that use a bunch of different subjects either on each page or in different "sub" sites? Anyone have any idea?
Because it will screw up targeting totally. It needs to be by page rather than by site or account!
|It needs to be by page rather than by site or account! |
This is the only logical way of handling things for sites that cover more than one topic.
I would hope that Google would accept all of the criticisms outlined herein constructively. People aren't stating their experience, preferences, and stating why they won't participate, just because they like to hear the sound of their own voices... (Well, maybe one or two of us are. ;-)
They are speaking up because there are some genuine issues that, if not addressed, will reduce the utility of this feature for many publishers, and will likely reduce the number of publishers who participate. Google can decide whether or not it is going to respond to publisher concerns, but at least this way it knows what those concerns are.
Farmboy, defend Google all you want but we don't (as far as we know) get any more INCOME from site targetted ads, they won't share the info of how much site targetting is paying, nor do we get a commission from driving sales to their site via this new link. If we use the new REFERRAL button at least we know we get a commission if it's a new AdWords client and someone can SITE TARGET from there but I sure don't remember seeing anything about a commission from this new link for direct site advertising.
Not only that, YOU DON'T GET APPROVAL OVER WHO SITE TARGETS and I've already dropped people in the competitive ad filter for targetting me with CRAP THAT DOESN'T GENERATE CLICKS!
It's a poor implementation and overall I think their "privacy" policy treats the publishers like second class citizens as the advertisers know EVERYTHING and us publishers are basically treated like MUSHROOMS - KEPT IN THE DARK AND FED LOTS OF CRAP!
One of the reasons I originally signed up for AdSense was Google claimed they tested the ads for performance on THEIR search web site first and only released the best performing ads onto the content network. However, the new site targetting ads flushes that whole premise right down the crapper.
Heck, if all you wanted was direct advertisers on your site and let someone else run the text link ad program and collect credit cards our good old friends at AdBrite will do that for 25% and gives you %75 of the loot. What a concept, not only does AdBrite disclose the profit structure they let you set your own prices and APPROVE which ads appear on your web site!
If I didn't already have a merchant account and payment gateway and software to manage my own direct advertising campaigns I'd sign up with AdBrite in a New York minute for that purpose or at a minumum sell ad space via PayPal with their recurring billing.
Yes, people might've asked for this new feature but they obviously don't know what their options are as this implementation gives Google yet more leverage over your web site and those that would be YOUR ADVERTISERS. Now people that theoretically would have been YOUR CUSTOMERS are becoming GOOGLE CUSTOMERS and people that fall for this nonsense are just naive at best.
incrediBILL, I totally agree with you. Google should disclose on how much they share. If they share a reasonable amount such as 25:75 what is their to worry about? However, if they share a unreasonable amount, i could see why they don't disclose it, they would loose publishers.
Does CPM have any 'smart pricing' to it?
>>so you get targeted ads for weddings on the funeral pages or worse!
Ya, you can get *locally* targeted ads for baby sonograms on pages for bridal showers - cute, huh? Or nappy cakes for mens gifts - even cuter. Add to the list of "poison words" that can mess up targeting sitewide.
I've been following these Adsense threads for awhile now and appreciate many of the posts you and others have made, thanks.
As far as the site targeting biz goes, I know what it means to be site-targeted without being asked and I didn't like it either - especially when I discovered that my site was the only one this particular advertiser was choosing to post his poorly written ad!
and clicks plummeted (reminded me of that quote from Michael Cane to Steve Martin in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels"
- "A poacher who shoots at rabbits may scare big game away.")
On the other hand, I've recently seen some good site-targeted ads on another one of my sites that appear to be actually helping to focus attention on the Adsense block as something for visitors to pay attention to (a place for getting info that is updated regularly), not a generic ad banner to ignore.
With that in mind, I've decided to allow the "Advertise on this site" link and see how things play out. If it doesn't work out, then I'll consider opting out of it.
I do wonder what happens when an advertiser tries to site-target a site and then finds out that his/her Web site has been blocked from them. What then?
I've already disabled this feature for one very simple reason that should be obvious to all... especially G:
Giving anybody the ability to target your site specifically also gives them the ability to critically damage your smart pricing rating and thusly your earnings.
If, as they claim, your smart pricing weighting IS based on feedback from advertisers receiving a completed transaction from your clickthrus (at least partially, as discussed endlessly in other threads), all a competitor needs to do to bomb your earnings is to set up a dummy advertiser account, "targeted specifically AND ONLY to your pages" using this new option, and regardless of whether anyone buys from him or not (assuming it's even set up as a legitimate site) constantly report absolutely no positive results! Even if all your other advertisers had reported fantastic results previously, these overwhelming number of "negative votes" would quickly diminish most of the benefit of them and drive your smart-pricing ratio into the ground! Since it targets your entire site in one swoop, he can even set the CPM so low, that it only shows up on your otherwise least desirable ad spots, and thus do a lot of damage to your smart-pricing ratio for very little cost!
Another bad thing about this option in the damage area... think about your competitor who is able to "target" YOUR site with a very well blended, convincing looking, ad which says: "THE CURRENT SITE'S PRODUCTS SUCK! Shop elsewhere, like at THIS link." If you're like me, it could be weeks before I'd notice it... assuming it's not geo-targeted out of MY area as well! Even if you URL block them, we all know it's an endless battle because, as with the scraper ads, they can just pop up tomorrow with a new URL.
The only way I MIGHT consider accepting this option is if they allow me to approve every targetted ad AND the destination of the link PRIOR to the ad running, just like a seller approves a new affiliate.
[edited by: MikeNoLastName at 12:48 am (utc) on Nov. 21, 2005]
Why doesn't someone perform this experiment:
1) Create an adwords account
2) Target your own site with a couple of ads
3) Create channel on your site nobody knows about
4) Go to that channel and see your ad
6) Check how much money you got in that channel
7) Let us know
I mean I guess technically that is "clicking your own ad" but you aren't ripping yourself off, so other than Google getting pissed off that you now know the breakdown, I can't see what else they could complain about.
Not all AdWords advertisers report conversions to google anyway so they CANNOT penalize you too much for an advertiser reporting no conversions... unless maybe they report conversions for everyone but you or something.
A lot of AdWords advertisers are deeply suspicious about letting Google know which keywords they make money on, as they fear Google would somehow jigger the bidding to take a greater share of their profits.
|Giving anybody the ability to target your site specifically also gives them the ability to critically damage your smart pricing rating and thusly your earnings. |
AdWords advertisers can still site target you from within AdWords so in principal you might've slowed down site targetting but you didn't stop it.
[edited by: incrediBILL at 1:08 am (utc) on Nov. 21, 2005]
Opted out for the time beeing. That is:
Once I see that Google is allowing CPM ads on their own website AND meaningful reporting, I will opt in again.
If the feature works as advertised, why cant I site target Google?
Since no response about making a commision on new advertisers being found...think I will pass and continue to administer my own ads. At the same time feel that google may be getting a little deep into my work with these new releases. Bad enough with original toolbar...now collection of stats...then urchin offering (another tracking tool) that they would administer...now send potential advertisers to us so we can do what we want to.
Sorry I think google getting way to close to big brother on my site. Have to agree with others that sending them my potential revenue to administer as they see fit may be pushing the "trust" issue one step too far.
What everyone is neglecting to talk about is the fact that should someone sign up to target your site (has an interest in your pages) they STILL have to jump through hoops to get placement which they may not get due to other, higher bids.
Now you have a pi***ed off advertiser who liked and wanted to be shown on your site, angry at you and won't contact you directly as they may think that Google has an exclusive arrangement and their ad dollars are "lost" as far as your site goes.
Why can't Google simply sign them up for your site exclusively, give you the opportunity to accept or reject. If you reject then they can offer other sites or refund money...at least they will have a person who may be back in a week or two to run ads with that "nice company" Google.
A win win for all of us.
"AdWords advertisers can still site target you from within AdWords so in principal you might've slowed down site targetting but you didn't stop it."
True, but unless they are targeting ONLY you with a SPECIFIC ad (as is apparently the ability of the new ads) THEY can't tell (the way I understand it) if a PARTICULAR clickthru came from you (in order to designate it as a non-positive result) or any one of the many other sites they are targeting with (possibly) the same ad for legitimate business.
"Not all AdWords advertisers report conversions to google anyway so they CANNOT penalize you too much for an advertiser reporting no conversions..."
Exactly my point, The way I understand it, of course not all of them do, in fact probably very few do (maybe 1 in 10?) which makes it all the more important, that the VERY FEW who DO report, do so favorably in order to speak for the rest. One "bad apple competitor" bent on destruction could seriously skew your results overall.
"unless maybe they report conversions for everyone but you or something."
Pretty much my point. But not even that is necessary, if it works the way I visualize it. All they would need to do is report 1000 clickthrus and 0 conversions every month. Even if say you have 2 other reporting advertisers, who say get 500 expensive clickthrus each those extra 1000 clicks with 0's are going to drop your percentage 50%.
Ann has a good point too.
|unless they are targeting ONLY you with a SPECIFIC ad |
The advertiser can make a campaign just to target your site so they know just what your site does regarding conversions etc. so advertisers get all the information and publishers get nothing.
I may sign up later if the program gets good reports as people try it out but I opted out for now. I want to understand the program and know how it goes before I sign up.
If it turns out to be worthwhile like adlinks did I'll opt back in later.
Has this actually started? I saw one of ASA's posts that said it started 19 November yet all the ads I have show the standard Ads by Google or similar.
I also find it ridiculous that a pubisher cannot create a landing page for each site he or she has with AS ads.
Overall though after reading most of the posts I do not see this as a negative, as if I understand correctly the more advtertisers targetting your site the more each one will have to bid to appear.
As for direct sales I am unsure how this would affect those, as we can creatively give direct advertisers more preferential placement of other benefits.
Has anyone considered targeting their own site?
Create a targetted ad pointing at your own site drawing users to some landing page where you try and monetize the traffic, adsense ads, specific products to buy, whatever.
The goal is to raise the EPC on your site by forcing other advertisers to pay more. Google should have put in a "minimum bid" you for CPM on your site (either by letting you set one, or by taking your average eCPM and displaying it to potential advertisers as a minimum), and this could be a poor-man's version of that.
You would get back some of the money it costs to run the CPM ad since it is your own site. Google would obviously get a cut. The question is whether Google's cut is worth more or less than the increased revenue you will get from all the real advertisers on your site.
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