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|To block or not to block?|
That is the question (MFAs)
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?
|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.
|If it's ok with you I will use earnings, EPC |
Obviously, you can use whatever you want. (If it's ok with you, I will have my opinion about the correctness of that.)
|NOT blocking them is rediculous. |
Nitrous, I intended to come back to this comment earlier, but I think Jane Doe's view is exactly right. She in effect supported you blocking on your site, but said each of us has to decide what is the best way to spend our own time. Not only is each site different, but time spent generating more traffic/content/functionality will, for some, be much more rewarding than trying to keep the site clean (of MFAs).
As for me, I have 2 MFA sites in my block list and I don't spend any time looking for them on my site.
Except in the long term, when people get sick of "those links just go to more pages of links" to quote my GF who now ignores sites with adsense.
The rest will follow. It ruins adsenses credibility, and your long term income. As well as giving some scrotum a living off of your back. You really want to share your / the advertisers budget with these lower life forms?
Plus the more advertisers see these sites the lower they will bid, and some already opt out of the content network because of them This is directly effecting every decent publisher of real content on real sites.
Make it hard for them and they wont make any money and will be forced to stop.
Of course google could sort out this rapidly growing menace but why would they. They give most of the advertisers revenue STRAIGHT BACK TO GOOGLE!
|Make it hard for them and they wont make any money and will be forced to stop. |
Nitrous, you raise valid concerns, but your remedy - that all webmasters ban MFAs - is pitched at the wrong level. If the credibility of Adsense as a whole is under threat then that is a matter for Google to act on.
Your approach is akin to saying the streets are dirty which depresses the value of houses, so as the council seem to be failing all householders should get out their brushes and clean the streets, irrespective of how dirty their street actually is. Many householders have better things to do with their time, and to clean the streets would be to let the Council off the hook.
The other point I was making about Jane Doe's posts was that she showed understanding and respect for the decisions you come to on your site, even though she has come to a different decision herself. But you seem to want to impose your view on others.
You can clean the street outside your house if you want to, but don't try to make other householders do it - respect their right to spend their time as they see fit. A better approach is to campaign for the council to take action (~Google). That means getting a petition and objective, statistically-sound data to support your claims.
>>>Nitrous, you raise valid concerns, but your remedy - that all webmasters ban MFAs - is pitched at the wrong level.<<<
no, it's not, because it's people like you and jane doe that are contributing to the problem... in particular, she claims to be doing a pretty high volume of mfa business.
as near as i can see, neither one of you has made much of an effort to really evaluate the impact of mfa's on your websites, so i think that we'll take your opinions on this issue with a grain of salt ;-)
>>>Not only is each site different, but time spent generating more traffic/content/functionality will, for some, be much more rewarding than trying to keep the site clean (of MFAs).<<<
once again, 21_blue, you don't have any personal data or experience to base that claim on, so it remains a totally unqualified opinion.
per jane doe: "I have thousands of different advertisers on my sites each day"... holy cow, the magnitude of that boggles the mind... i would imagine that volume of adsense traffic would allow you to have your own adsense rep; have you had any mfa discussions with him/her? have they given you increased limits on your competitive ad filter?
|as near as i can see, neither one of you has made much of an effort to really evaluate the impact of mfa's on your websites, |
Your 'insight' is wrong, in my case at least. So it's not worth responding to your points as they are based on a false premise.
All sounds like bull#*$! to me. Having a (content free - user pisser off) middle man to suck up more advertizer money can only be bad for real publishers.
Anyone that thinks differently is a bit hard of thinking! And that ignores any long term damage to adsenses credibility.
I suspect 21_blue is running a mfa and scared his income is threatened!
|I suspect 21_blue is running a mfa and scared his income is threatened! |
Your 'insight' is wrong as well.
And if my 'thinking' is deficient, well, it has increased my income 5-fold in the last 16 months, so I guess I'll stick with the deficient thinking.
dam=nimal wrote -
|in particular, she claims to be doing a pretty high volume of mfa business. |
No, I actually wrote that I didn't see many MFA ads on my sites at all.
I think this is getting a bit too personal - chill out dudes and dudesses. blocking MFA's isn't some sort of religion, so we don't need to indulge in some sort of crusade / holy war! It's simply a technique that may well increase adsense earnings. But at the same time, we have to accept that it isn't necessarily going to work for everybody.
If it works depends on a few factors.
1) If you aren't seeing any or many MFA's then blocking them isn't necessarily going to make much of a difference. I saw a few, but not as many as some here have reported. My block list is quite small in comparison to others. If you see a lot, then it may well make a difference. I do understand that those who don't see many of them aren't particularly inclined to spend a lot of time on it.
2) Even if you are seeing a lot of MFA's if you are operating in a sector that is over-populated with sites on that topic, then it may be that normal bid price for that sector is low anyway, and financially blocking MFA's may not show a difference.
3) The block list has to be managed. By this I mean you have to go through it on a regular basis to weed out sites that aren't serving ads any longer, aren't online now. Also weed out sites you may have blocked that were put there as the result of some abberation of targeting, or you felt like blocking at the time. I addition, you should have a set of rules for what you put there in the first place. My rules are:- 1) persistant MFA-s that show up over the course of a day or so - not blocked the first time I see it. Many ads you never see twice anyway. I don't block badly targeted ads unless they are REALLY badly off, and I don't block competitors.
My site is in a niche, and does very well in the serps. Therefore I probably do very well out of genuine advertisers as compared to MFA's. In my case, blocking MFA's is essential, and has proved financially beneficial in the long term. I've been blocking for 7 months now.
Now if I was a lot lower in the serps, I may see the genuine ads smartpriced to the level of MFA's. Therefore blocking ads would make diddly-squat difference and wouldn't be worth the time.
On that point, of those who block ads, how high in the serps are you, and how big a difference does blocking make?
So if blocking makes no difference financially, is it worth doing anyway?
Maybe the answer to that is quite legitimately no. However, there are other considerations to this even if blocking doesn't work for you.
Impression visitors get of your site. People nowadays regard adsense ads as mostly spam and don't click them. I believe visitors can spot MFA's as well as we can just by looking at them, and don't click them. Showing ads that are genuine enhances your site.
Repeat visitors. using a tracker, I've found that visitors that click out on ads very often click back to the site. You have to ask yourself if they would have clicked back if they had left by an MFA? especially one with the back button disabled.
Timed out whilst in the shower :(
I should have said that rule number 1 is that I have to physically see an ad on my site before I block it - I don't trust the preview tool.
Also, I wanted to make the point that if your genuine ads are being smartpriced down to the level of the MFA's, then recovery isn't instant - don't expect immediate results. If you are seeing no improvement by blocking, but no financial disadvantage either, it's worth sticking with as you will probably see a difference in how smartpricing views your site over the coming weeks.
Just looking at my graphical data, it took three months to get to the pre-MFA epc level again. Prior to blocking the number of cents per click was bout the legal age to drink in the UK. Now I feel cheated if my average EPC is less than my age plus some. To give a clue here, if three score years and ten is the alotted life span, my use by date is only a couple of months away now. I'd like you all to turn up for the funeral, and I want Meatloaf to sing:)
Excellent post, David.
I agree with all except the tool!
Its extremely useful and works as advertized!
How can you see what ads canada, us etc see without it?
And in the uk you only see on your pages ads that are targeted to your region. The too shows ads targeted to the whole country or area. So its more efficient.
Admitedly it may not show all possibilities but it shows more than your own pages from your own connection. And all the CORRECT urls blocked stay blocked. If you see the same site again then its a different url.
excellent post, and I agree with it - almost. I don't know what problems you have with the preview tool. It works (pretty much) like advertized. I am in Germany. Once switching the target region to Germany, I see on my site a subset of the ads that show up in the preview tool. As I have no way of knowing what really displays in other countries, I assume that the preview tool works OK.
Also, blocked ads disappear from the preview tool for me. As Nitrous says, if an ad still shows up, the landing page is probably different from the advertised URL (have seen that quite often).
My problem with the tool is as follows:-
1. It doesn't show the ads that I can physically see on my site. I'm looking at the UK page right now, and the tool is set to UK. Two out of the four ads I can see aren't in the tool. One of them showing is clearly an MFA I've never seen on the site once.
2. I have seen ads in the tool that have been blocked long since. OK - not every time, but enough to make me not trust the thing.
I can see the US via a proxy, ad the same happens there. Ads I can see on the screen don't appear in the tool.
If I can't trust it to show ads I can currently see in the UK, and I can't trust it to know what ads I've blocked, how can I trust it to show ads in other countries?
As I've never seen the MFA shown in the tool in the UK, I'm not going to clutter up my list with it.
Don't forget that Google only says it's a sample set of ads based on standard targeting - they don't claim it shows what ads are seen in other countries. With that and the above in mind, I'm not going to use it to add sites that may probably never appear on my site to the limited blocklist. Now if it was greatly expanded, I might be inclined to add it because there was space to do it.
|It doesn't show the ads that I can physically see on my site. |
I've experienced this, so have limited faith in the tool as well. Having said that, the few MFAs I have banned appeared in both. Even if the tool worked 100%, checking each page for each country on a diverse site is dead time. Banning is a negative strategy (stems losses rather than creates income).
A positive and rewarding strategy, imho, though not always possible, is to optimise the site and page designs to try and get average EPC relatively high in each niche (Adwords rates provide a benchmark). That way, MFAs get priced off the site and you increase your income. And it is a generic solution across all territories. This strategy may not work for everyone but I think it is a contributory reason to why I have relatively little problem with MFAs and other junk ads.
I personally feel that both strategies have their merits. I'm very high in the serps not because of blocking, but because of site content. I also think that logically this position should attract high paying ads, pricing MFA's out - or at least that's how it should work.
My recent experiment was not to do with money, but to test if MFA's appeared if I released the block list. Despite being in the top few (uk=1 google.com=4) on my primary keyword, and prime real estate, the genuine advertisers got bumped in favour of MFA's. Therefore as well as working on quailty site content, MFA's need to be kept in check.
The other point I'd like to make about the preview too is that it shows (or is supposed to show) ads that appear in other countries. If it works or not is a matter of debate. I would make the point that whilst advertisers of products and services will usually target their campaigns to certain markets, does the same apply to MFA's?
The business of the MFA is to scam anyone anywhere. Is there any reason they would bother with geotargeting? Therefore it may be that if MFA's are targeted worldwide, then if you see one on your site in the UK, it's likely that it's shown elsewhere too. My personal approach is to principally look at MFA's I see on site here in the UK. OK, I do look at the US via a proxy occasionally, but blocking the ones I see here seems to mostly resolve the problem.
It does not always show the ones YOU SEE on your page ftom your location but a selection of the ones statistically most likely to be shown on average all over the uk or whatever country you choose.
You would be better trusting it than blocking just the ones you see! You can of course block these too. It only shows the top x ads that are likely to be shown everyhere in the uk.
Ad targeting depends on more facrors than just page content and country. Like where you came from as well as the exact area you are from. The tool will find you the most and the best mfas to kill. And in the case of ones with hundreds or thousands of sub.domains.com you get the lot in one go. So they dont then appear on any of your sites.
And dont get the url from the site you land on! tick the box and get it from the tool directly!
>>>No, I actually wrote that I didn't see many MFA ads on my sites at all.<<<
sorry about that, i was wrong... i guess that i'm just skeptical that a publisher can have thousands of advertisers and only a few mfa'ers :-/
>>>I have 2 MFA sites in my block list and I don't spend any time looking for them on my site.<<<
21_blue, we can only go on what you post... if you had ever actually made an effort to see how mfa's affected your income, i sure didn't see it in this thread.
the fact that your income has gone up lately could be due to any number of things that you failed to quantify, and is therefore not relevant to what your potential earnings could be, if you cleaned up the mfa's.
>>>On that point, of those who block ads, how high in the serps are you, and how big a difference does blocking make?<<<
i'm on the front page of google serps for a bunch of terms, and the traffic i get is pretty targeted... i have banned mfa's from day one, but the new mfa's push out a few valid advertisers, and the income goes up when the new mfa's are blocked.
there is too much we don't know; for instance, how does google rate a "conversion" for an mfa?
Nitrous - I'm not on a crusade about the darned preview tool.
All I wish to do is to point out that as we have only 200 url's maximum to block, if the tool is not reliable in letting us know what ads are being shown, then clogging up our meagre allowance with ads that more than likely have never been shown, or ever will be is a waste of the limit. If the limit is increased, my view will change.
For the record, the arch-blocker does know how to effectively block MFA's and really doesn't need to be educated how:)
eggs, granmother, suck, teach, to, can't - arrange to make sentence.
|21_blue, we can only go on what you post...i sure didn't see it in this thread. |
So, because you can't see my data in this thread you assume it's not there? Other list members who have seen what I write elsewhere come to the opposite conclusion, eg (bottom of 1st post):
In fact, I've tried to tell you before how we managed to keep the quality of our ads high without blocking:
In that thread, I found your approach even more patronising and offensive than yesterday.
I gave up using the filter a while back but have tried it again after reading all this. I added some sites, MFA or not, that have no business being on my site. The result after three days is that my CTR is up a percentage point and the CPM is up as well. Both are at their highest levels in months. So thus far, it looks like updating the filter list makes a difference.
Good man! The more thorough you search each page in the three us, uk, canada regions the better it gets!
|The more thorough you search each page in the three us, uk, canada regions the better it gets! |
Before anyone starts weeding out, I recommend to take a good look at your site statistics, especially where the traffic is coming from. Have a clear view on this, and then use the preview tool to see what your users are seeing. And only then start blocking.
It makes little sense to look at US, UK, and Canada regions, when 80% of your visitors are from France, Germany, and Hungary. :-)
Having said that, on my sites, the traffic comes indeed from US, UK, and Canada. Which is, interestingly enough, where 67% of the sites I block reside.
|Except in the long term, when people get sick of "those links just go to more pages of links" to quote my GF who now ignores sites with adsense. |
This is probably the most compelling reason--from those I've read so far--why one might want to block MFA ads. In my opinion, it's also the same reason why Google's Program Policies do not allow MFA sites to serve Google ads. I just hope that Google will start enforcing their Program Policies more strictly, as I find it infeasible for webmasters of big sites to search for and block MFA ads.
my hopes are rather low re. Google enforcing the quality guidelines. I think it only gets worse every day. This morning I saw an Adsense ad (!) for "Adsense ready web sites". It's bad enough to have such garbage clogging up the web, but that Google allow Adwords to be used as marketing platform for this, this is way too much for me.
The thing that you forget is that the only actual BIG winner of these MFA sites advertising on googles network is Google!
Normal Arangment is advertiser gets a click from a content page and google gets a slice.
With MFA pages they get about 90 percent of the money straight back in again as advertising revenue. So google are not likely to get rid of these things anytime soon.
The only losers are the real publishers. They will lose future revenue as the advertisers get sick of the content networks "crap" sites.
The advertisers will bid less due to the larger adspace inventory and less competition, meaning lowering of epc again.
We lose again because we share the revenue with these MFA "sites".
And your visitors get turned off your pages for offereng crappy links, as well as avoiding the ads in the future.
Plus the sheer amount of these MFAs is growing at about the same rate the scrapers did... They have sometimes hundreds of thousands of "pages" covering the dictionary.
They bid as low as possible because they dont care about volume traffic on any specific keyword, and use thousands of different and often unrelated ones instead. They lie in the ad copy. Ads for coffee machines go to pages on loans and mortgages. They are plain bad for all of our future adsense income.
ANY site that exists on ads or affiliates and that isnt selling a product or service directly is your direct competition for advertisers budget! And to work they have to pay you less per click than they get themselves AFTER adsense has had its share from them twice!
|The only losers are the real publishers. |
I disagree. If Google stopped taking care of (the quality of) the whole AdWords/AdSense system, then people would no longer be interested in clicking on Google ads (considering them spam), and all three parties would be harmed. Publishers, advertisers, and Google. However, Google would in fact be the biggest loser of the three parties, as advertisers and publishers would sooner or later switch to alternatives -- Google's (future) competition (YPN, MS, etc).
It is in Google's best interest to ban MFA sites (and other kinds of spam). I am positive that they are aware of it.
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