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To block or not to block?
That is the question (MFAs)
ari11210




msg:1334448
 1:16 am on Mar 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have one page on my site that brings in most of my AS revenue. I noticed via my AS tracking that the #1 clicked ad on that page is a MFA site. This ad is almost always showing in the #1 slot in the Google ad unit. People have mentioned blocking MFA sites as a way to increase revenue. But, isnt the fact that Google puts this in the #1 spot an indicator that it will bring me the highest price per click? Or is that wrong? If I block it, and Google shows the #2 ad, will that pay less?
Any thoughts?

Thanks
Aaron

 

Hobbs




msg:1334508
 3:34 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

John, the bigger your site, and at the high end of traffic, visitors and even page impressions are painfully constant, so let's not generalize about the whole internet, I do not see the point of arguing this further, earnings is my measure, eCPM tells me how well I am doing compared to the traffic I had, EPC tells me how well I am doing in my niche, measure what you want the way you like it, that's how it is.

John Carpenter




msg:1334509
 3:45 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

John, the bigger your site, and at the high end of traffic, visitors and even page impressions are painfully constant, so let's not generalize about the whole internet, I do not see the point of arguing this further, earnings is my measure, eCPM tells me how well I am doing compared to the traffic I had

There will always be strong variations in numbers of visitors on every site, determined by geographical, behavioural (weekends, holidays), political, meteorological, technical (ad servers down, broken connections), and other factors. Even the biggest sites, like google.com, can't have constant traffic. "Constant traffic" is an obvious nonsense.

EPC tells me how well I am doing in my niche

This does not tell you anything. If we were in the same niche and you got EPC of $60 and I got EPC of $0.0001, then I could still earn more (even if both of us got the same amount of traffic).

21_blue




msg:1334510
 3:55 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

John Carpenter wrote:
First you wrote: "the evidence suggests not ". Now you say you can't prove it. There needs to be some consistency.

John, some of your statements seem irrational and illogical to me, none more so than the above. To say 'the evidence suggests something but I can't prove it' is perfectly consistent.

John Carpenter




msg:1334511
 3:57 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

John, some of your statements seem irrational and illogical to me, none more so than the above. To say 'the evidence suggests something but I can't prove it' is perfectly consistent.

Evidence = proof. If you have evidence, you can prove something. You mentioned "evidence", but when I asked you about it, you said you could not prove it. That's the inconsistency.

21_blue




msg:1334512
 4:01 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

hobbs wrote:
EPC tells me how well I am doing in my niche

Hobbs, fwiw, I think you have a really good point, here. There's a lot of useful info that can be gleaned about pages from EPC, especially in the context of Adwords rates.

21_blue




msg:1334513
 4:05 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

John Carpenter wrote:
Evidence = proof

John, now you are just showing your ignorance. Do a Google search on 'proof and evidence' and you'll find lots of articles explaining the difference.

Hobbs




msg:1334514
 4:22 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

There will always be strong variations in numbers of visitors .. "Constant traffic" is an obvious nonsense

John, you need to own a site that serves 6 figures or more in visitors per month to know what I am talking about, in that scale, the fluctuations can be negligible, at least that's what I see in front of me, other's experiences can be diffrent.

Xcuse me for not considering server down time and meteorological considerations .. probably you have a good point there somewhere.

Jane_Doe




msg:1334515
 4:24 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

You have to factor in your time to monitor and block ads, when calculating whether or not blocking ads makes more money. All of the time spent blocking ads and testing is time not spent on tasks that are usually almost guaranteed to make extra income, like making new content, promoting your sites, etc. Plus, it is also difficult to do any kind of controlled testing unless the results are really dramatic, since for most people Adsense income varies by a certain percent each day anyway.

I have thousands of different advertisers on my sites each day, and they change a lot over time, so for me I think blocking specific ads would be a fool's game. I just block anything I happen to notice that is really spammy looking, way off topic, or directly incongruent to the content of my aticles.

So to answer the original question, unless something is causing an unusual drop in income, like off topic site wide ads, I tend to lean towards not blocking.

Nitrous




msg:1334516
 6:02 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

The result IS "really dramatic".

If you have enough sites and income then figures are very stable. Its extremely easy to see!

An hour blocking the mfa and other crap, as well as off target ads every week adds 800 plus dollars to my monyhly total.

AND gives my visitors a better experience AND makes life poorer for the scummy MFAs AND helps keep adsense credibility and future clicks AND allows more repeat visitors in future.

NOT blocking them is rediculous.

Jane_Doe




msg:1334517
 6:19 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

The result IS "really dramatic".

I played around with blocking ads at one time and with my set of sites I did not see anything dramatic. There are many variables between sites which makes it difficult to develop general rules based on anecdotal reports for some publishers. What is true for one site may not work at all for other sites. If blocking ads works for you, that is great. I have not said it is ridiculous not to do so. But that doesn't mean what you do will work for all sites.

Nitrous




msg:1334518
 7:34 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Even if your income DROPS a little its still rediculous not to block them. Because the day will come when the users will see YOUR ads and just click back. Because they are sick of pages of links going to more pages of links. And the advertisers budget is finite. Why would you want to share that with some scam/scraper/fake search engine/mfa site with no content?

You should be sharing the advertisers income with google. Thats the partnership. NOT with some extra "layer" of useless sites that exist only to make money from YOUR content.

Jane_Doe




msg:1334519
 7:54 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Even if your income DROPS a little its still rediculous not to block them.

Okay, well that's your opinion and if that works for you then I'm glad you found a good use of your time. I'd rather spend my time writing new pages for my sites. It makes more money and it is more enjoyable.

Finding and blocking MFA sites is like playing whack-a-mole - block some and other just pop up endlessly anyways. It gets to be a fool's game.

Nitrous




msg:1334520
 8:05 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

But you are providing content for these scavengers to use to make money! And YOU are sharing your advertisers revenue with them because you "have no time" to stop them...

Who is the fool!

An hour once a week, thats all it takes to deny these scavengers an income off the back of your hard work. And you will not lose income. In the long term you stand to gain much more as well.. You will gain money, but also offer your visitors a better experience. They will return.

The opposite is also true. The epc you get will fall as more and more ad space (on mfa sites) continues to grow.

rkhare




msg:1334521
 8:11 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

If they dont sell a service or a product DIRECTLY then no matter how pro they look they are sharing the advertisers revenue. Dump them all!

is it anywhere written that only those sites are good or can use adsense/adwords that sells product or services?

It all depends on business model you choose. I have a stock market site, where I put my personal analysis of various stocks and markets. I update it almost daily, get just 100 visitors per day, still i run adsense. Started earning around $1.5 per day. and that will take care of my hosting bill. I know i can never reach $20+ per day.

analyzing stocks is my hobby and i am happy when my hobby is not costing me anything but some time.

I want more and more people to read my views, and i am going ahead with adwords plan, and will continue as long as my adsense > adwords + $1 per day.

If you want to dump me, dump

Khensu




msg:1334522
 8:19 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Day 5 of blocking MFAs

CTR 7% > 6% 1000 clicks Lost 100 clicks per day but gained 3 cents per click on the remaining 900 > more money.

For anyones info I am actually targeting the MFAs now

I got 500 clicks off of one yesterday in Adwords for $2(20% CTR), that that has to be KILLING their bottom line! (revenge is sweet)

I set up 4 levels of CPM, .25, .50, .75, 1.00 and move them around until they yeild the most 1 cent clicks I can get out of them. (that one went to $3 and I will get 1,000 clicks alone out of him today) Granted I can't get 500 out of every one but at least 50.

I have an ultra great give away that is totally real and the people suck it up.

If we all did this in our respective niches we could put them under and make money at the same time.

Hobbs




msg:1334523
 8:23 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you want to dump me, dump

The way you put it rkhare, I would want to donate money not dump you ;)

Jane_Doe




msg:1334524
 8:29 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Who is the fool!

I don't think you are looking at things from the perspective of someone who may have a different number of sites and/or advertisers to check than you do.

Nitrous




msg:1334525
 8:44 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have only 15 sites.

But you only need check a few pages on each site/subject because there are similar ads on every page in each site/niche

So even if you have a hundred sites its still shortsighted NOT to spend an hour a week blocking the mfa sites.

Plus...
Each mfa often has many hundreds of subdomains like blue.widget.com
green.widget.com etc and appears on all of your sites!

So when you nlock widget.com you get the lot in one go.

And as the previous poster said revenge is sweet. And you improve adsense for your / every other user in the long term.

If we all did this regularly they couldnt exist and will be driven out. It would cost them too per click, and be less targeted. They would not be viable. Better for all the good genuine publishers and the advertisers.

Do you realise quite how many advertisers see these junk sites and turn off the content network? That lowers bid prices / competition and income for everyone!

DamonHD




msg:1334526
 8:54 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi Nitrous,

I am very grateful for your public experiment, but you now have the zeal of the reformed sinner!

Your generally excellent advice simply does not apply to all sites: for example I do not get many MFAs so I'd have nothing much to do for the last 55 minutes of the hour you suggest on blocking them. So I'm lucky, and prefer to add content and code instead, because I can. (Have a look at my shiny new 3D walkthrough using Java3D and Java Advanced Imaging, for example! B^>).

Horses for courses...

Rgds

Damon

Jane_Doe




msg:1334527
 9:03 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

But you only need check a few pages on each site/subject because there are similar ads on every page in each site/niche

Not true for me. Some of my site may have twenty or more subtopics within a general theme with different sets of ads for each topic. Plus as DamonHD stated, I just don't see that many MFA ads on my sites to make hunting for them worth it.

Again, you are looking at things from your own perspective and assuming everyone else is dealing with the same type and number of variables as you, which may not always be a valid assumption.

david_uk




msg:1334528
 6:50 am on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

I appreciate that if you have a very large site you can't chase every single MFA, but I would have thought removing the ones you like least would have been beneficial in that MFA's lessen site credibility. Like us, visitors can spot an MFA by the spammy look of the things, and associate your website with them. And that's without even clicking them.

It's been my experience that banning the worst of them has not meant another replaced it. I don't play whack-a-mole. My block list is about 50 url's and it's effective. If you don't naturally see that many MFA's, then surely blocking the ones you do makes sense?

After my recent test of removing the blocklist to test any improvements in targeting and the quality scores algo, I emailed google with a lot of detail as well as pointing them to the thread concerned. A few days later they sent back a very carefully worded email. I can't reveal the contents, but one of the things they did say was that in the future they may be able to offer expanded filtering options. Now I really don't know what they meant by this, and guesswork would be foolish. Now if this meant that Adsense provided the tools to effectively block the MFA's and / or maintain the blocklist easily would you be inclined to block?

danimal




msg:1334529
 8:02 am on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>>Some of my site may have twenty or more subtopics within a general theme with different sets of ads for each topic.<<<

mfa's target the pages with the lowest ctr's and lowest earnings, so that they don't have to pay much for their ads... so all you have to do is to monitor your worst pages.

i have both pages and sites with incredibly high ctr, so high that i've never seen an mfa there... yet the subject matter is the same as the "low" ctr pages that do show mfa's.

of course it would depend on the sector you are in, as was mentioned earlier... but you should be checking your adsense ads no matter what, because there are always a few off-topic ads showing up, even if they aren't mfa's.

mzanzig




msg:1334530
 8:27 am on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

My block list is about 50 url's and it's effective.

David,

wow, you are a lucky chap - I am tracking my blocking list with Excel now, what the sites are about, what I don't like about them, and who is behind the domain blocked.

Here is a small excerpt -

1) One guy blocked with 7 sites of identical layout, just PPC redirects. He does not want us to know who he is, so he used a private domain registration (I bet he knows why).

2) One guy from the UK (sorry, mate) with 5 sites, all useless from a users point of view. Just Affiliate links. He runs 30 sites, so I consider myself lucky to block just 5 so far.

3) One company from the UK (again!) with 18 (!) sites, all the same useless stuff, using different affiliate engines. I actually don't really want to know what other sites they run. Must be hundreds.

4) One Candian company runs a set of useless directories, all using the same layout. I am currently blocking 6 of them.

5) A US company from New York runs shopping directories, useless of course. I am blocking 4 right now.

6) And then there is this Irish bloke who runs actually useful content on his sites (go figure), but the Adsense is so cruelly blended in that I block his sites whenever I see them in the preview tool, currently 9.

So, that's just six advertisers, and I am blocking a whopping 49 sites from them... And only then come all the small fishes with their one or two MFA and Aff. sites.

ASA, if you read this, please talk to your product managers - we need bigger blocking lists!

Nitrous




msg:1334531
 8:41 am on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Seconded because I am almost up to the limit again after starting again!

PS It matters not if they have useful content or not. They dont sell anything they are just another moneygrabbing layer (your competition) draining the advertisers budget while living off YOUR content. And worse - feeding most of it straight back to google / yahoo etc. Which is why they like them!

Problem is worse still because advertisers see these "sites" and bid less or turn off the content network altogether. So we lose out even further.

Nitrous




msg:1334532
 9:03 am on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Best day by far today after deleting the full list a few days back and spending 4 hours checking every page on 15 sites and recrearting a new fresh 176 strong list.

A good 34 percent up on the highest figure for several months! My stats never normally vary more than 10 percent max due to average 600 or so clicks and many varied subjects. And fri/sat usually worst days! Obviously one day says nothing really but its a good indication. And for sure its not worse!

Click through lower. traffic same. ecpm up by big margin on all sites (15) and the same again so far today.

I have wanted to do this for 4 months due to new mfas everywhere and a full filter. But I couldnt face it! Very pleased I did!

All canada usa and uk sites that have any ads or aff on them are now binned. Even big directories like yell etc. If they dont sell anything bin them! It works. Its better for users, publishers, and adsense longevity. Its worse for the scavengers and the middle men (scrapwer/mfa/any site that does not sell)

John Carpenter




msg:1334533
 9:22 am on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

John, you need to own a site that serves 6 figures or more in visitors per month to know what I am talking about

Coincidentally, I do have a site that serves 6 figures in unique visitors per month. You can believe me that the fluctuations are not negligible. Weekends bring about 20% less traffic than working days.

John, now you are just showing your ignorance. Do a Google search on 'proof and evidence' and you'll find lots of articles explaining the difference.

Well, I think it depends on which meaning of the word you choose. The choice can cause misunderstanding. I looked it up in a dictionary, and here's what I found:

evidence (verb) to indicate clearly; exemplify or prove.

I chose the third meaning.

[edited by: John_Carpenter at 9:24 am (utc) on Mar. 25, 2006]

david_uk




msg:1334534
 9:23 am on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Mzanzig - I think your post goes to show that the facility we most want is the ability to ban all ads from a particular advertiser without having to look for them. That would take care of a lot of your MFA problem?

Nitrous - virtually all my MFA's are from the US. Maybe I'll just ban all yankee ads and yanks from my site - only 3% of the planet's population so no loss there then :)

Nitrous




msg:1334535
 9:55 am on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Err maybe not!

There seems to be a load if you look in the canada region though...

21_blue




msg:1334536
 10:58 am on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

John Carpenter wrote:
The choice can cause misunderstanding. I looked it up in a dictionary...evidence (verb) ...prove.

John, first you incorrectly accuse me of being inconsistent and now, instead of apologising, you incorrectly suggest that my word choice is the cause of misunderstanding.

Whilst there may indeed be times when I choose my words poorly and what I write is ambiguous, it is not so in this case. You are correct that the verb "to evidence" can mean "to prove". But in the expression "the evidence suggests" it is clearly used as a noun which has a different meaning; use as a noun and the context in the sentence make the meaning clear to anyone who has a modicum of understanding of the difference between the proof and evidence.

What is most illuminating, however, is that instead of recognising/acknowleding/learning from your own error, you are choosing to continue to misconstrue what is said and hand out even further criticism.

In the absence of any apology, I shall ignore your posts completely in the future.

Hobbs




msg:1334537
 11:30 am on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

I do have a site that serves 6 figures in unique visitors per month. You can believe me that the fluctuations are not negligible

That's why I said: "other's experiences can be diffrent"

If it's ok with you I will use earnings, EPC and eCPM to measure diffrents aspects of progress, let's just leave it at that and stay on topic.

John Carpenter




msg:1334538
 6:24 pm on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

you incorrectly suggest that my word choice is the cause of misunderstanding.

Sorry, you can't really read and/or interpret what people write. Could you quote the part where I said that your word choice was the cause of misunderstanding?

Besides, I did not talk about any word choice at all. You should read the post more carefully.

This 121 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 121 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 > >
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