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Are MFA's changing tactics?
Switching to "search" landing pages
farmboy




msg:1446150
 3:33 am on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

About the last dozen or so MFA's I've jumped and killed have had what appeared to be a search engine page as their landing page. Of course any search using the "search engine" takes you to pages of ads.

Some of these have the appearance of a generic search engine and some have the appearance of a niche search engine, i.e. "Search Medical Sites Here"

Are other people observing this? Is there a reason more "search" landing pages are being used?

FarmBoy

 

Scurramunga




msg:1446151
 4:01 am on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have being seeing bogus search engine type MFA's for a while now, so I haven't notice a change in that regard. I must say however, I have observerd a drop in scraper type MFA's of the last three months only to see them re-emerge over the last couple of weeks.

jatar_k




msg:1446152
 4:21 am on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

they've been there forever and always will be

youfoundjake




msg:1446153
 4:22 am on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

I too have seen these as well and reported them to adwords support since my ads are showing up on them. when i do a google search for my site, i'm seeing alot of stuff hosted under "here are your heroic search results". with my ad being displayed and of course instead of seeing ads by goooogle, im seeing sponsered sites.

farmboy




msg:1446154
 4:51 am on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

And I'm noticing the same registar again and again - with a Florida address.

FarmBoy

koncept




msg:1446155
 5:46 am on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

What is the point of going to a search engine looking for information, and then when you click on an ad you get what appears to be another search engine.

Google must love these sites because they are getting users to click on the initial adwords ad, and then on another adwords ad on the MFA site.

Sometimes I think Google is ruining the internet.

jatar_k




msg:1446156
 5:53 am on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

these types of sites existed before adsense

ap_Rhys




msg:1446157
 5:58 am on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

The sheer number of these sites is incredible.

I did a search for an obscure keyword and my domain name this week. I was trying to track down an article I wrote a couple of years ago. I found it, plus about 20 mentions of the keyword on the site and about the same number of backlinks from .edu sites.

The other 1,280 sites (!) that Google indexed for my domain name and the keyword were virtually all pseudo-search sites.

farmboy




msg:1446158
 3:07 pm on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

What is the point of going to a search engine looking for information, and then when you click on an ad you get what appears to be another search engine.

Google must love these sites because they are getting users to click on the initial adwords ad, and then on another adwords ad on the MFA site.

It's not really a search engine - it's a front. From a user's perspective, there is no point. And that's my primary complaint against these ads (even though others have other complaints) - my visitors who click end up frustrated.

I fail to see how that frustration can lead to anything other than a hesitancy to click on ads - or even text links in general - in the future. And the more it happens, the more the hesitancy grows.

And the more of these ads that Google allows, the more it's going to happen.

FarmBoy

trillianjedi




msg:1446159
 3:14 pm on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

What is the point of going to a search engine looking for information, and then when you click on an ad you get what appears to be another search engine.

As jatar_k mentioned, these types of sites have been around for years and will most likely continue to be.

In fact, I remember seeing these for the first time back in around 1997.

I fail to see how that frustration can lead to anything other than a hesitancy to click on ads - or even text links in general - in the future. And the more it happens, the more the hesitancy grows.

It didn't stop me - as a user I just got better at discerning which sites it would probably be OK to click on a link from, and what was obvious low quality garbage and required use of the back button ;)

TJ

farmboy




msg:1446160
 3:44 pm on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

...as a user I just got better at discerning which sites it would probably be OK to click on a link from

I think you just reinforced my point. I provide a good site for my users, including some relevant ads. Google brings in some "bad links" via AdSense and my site may end up being one of those that visitors decide it's probably not "OK to click on a link from."

FarmBoy

trillianjedi




msg:1446161
 4:02 pm on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

OK, yes I see your train of thought here a bit better now farmboy.

I'm not sure that I agree with you though. If yours is, to my mind, a "good quality" site then I feel, as a user, that instills a large element of trust.

I trust you not to link me to junk. That means that you need to control who can and who can't advertise on your site. That's your value add to me, your user.

I wouldn't tarnish you with the bad brush simply because some other site with AdSense has rubbish links/ads etc on it.

That situation hasn't changed since AdSense was introduced - that's the point that jatar_k is making.

TJ

toomer




msg:1446162
 4:24 pm on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm noticing several of these as well. Landed on one a few days ago that claimed to be an "automotive" specialty search engine. Keying in an automobile manufacturer's name would bring up a bunch of Ad links - not real search results. However, what was really funny was that typing in keywords like "pizza" and "sex" had the same results - bringing up a selection of targeted ads for that topic (maybe I had both of those on my mind at the moment?) proving to me that it's just a generic ad-rendering engine they've built, and they slap different faceplates onto it and then get related domain names.

Scurramunga




msg:1446163
 11:25 pm on Jun 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Woke up today to discover that earnings were about 75% below down. Checked my site and found it riddled with NEW MFA's! In some cases entire ad blocks are showing nothing but MFA's

youfoundjake




msg:1446164
 12:45 am on Jun 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm not quite sure of this so bear with me. I see these sites that are nothing but ads, and a search box that only seems to yield results of more ad's. I have seen my adwords ads on these sites, and to think that if I'm paying a premium price to show these ad's and they're on these sites, the MFA's are geting paid for showing my ads and the conversion is low. This is what I'm thinking about:
Since these MFA's are showing my ads, why note just set up a site target for each of the MFA's, pay 25 cent per 1000 impressions. This way, my adwords ad that is displayed in the content network at a premium price doesn't get shown on these MFA sites since I already have a cheaper site tartget ad on the site. Next comes the interesting move. What if alot of webmasters started doing this to some pretty well-known MFA's that all of a sudden have lots of site targeted ads displayed on their site for really low cost. I would not mind at all paying them a quarter to have my ad shown 1000 times, thats pretty cheap advertising IMO. Then we get to hear them complain about the 200 site limit for blocking ads since all these ads are only paying sqwat that they get overwhelmed with cheap ads, and have to change their whole layout to a site that actually has content and purpose other then displaying ads.
Just a random thought....I'm not going to do it, but just thought I would throw that out there as a theory.

rbacal




msg:1446165
 2:51 am on Jun 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Since these MFA's are showing my ads, why note just set up a site target for each of the MFA's, pay 25 cent per 1000 impressions. This way, my adwords ad that is displayed in the content network at a premium price doesn't get shown on these MFA sites since I already have a cheaper site tartget ad on the site. Next comes the interesting move. What if alot of webmasters started doing this to some pretty well-known MFA's that all of a sudden have lots of site targeted ads displayed on their site for really low cost. I would not mind at all paying them a quarter to have my ad shown 1000 times, thats pretty cheap advertising IMO.

Already being done.

As a means of "influencing" MFA sites, it's probably a waste of time.

sjwinslow




msg:1446166
 6:11 am on Jun 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm fairly new to Adsense and ever since I've been reading about MFA's something has always been nagging me about their operation. My understanding is that a MFA purchases Adwords with the purpose of getting people to their site to click on Adsense ads that will pay more than the Adwords clicks they purchased.

Here's the part I don't understand. I've seen estimates that Google only pays as much as 80% of the revenue received for an Adword to an Adsense publisher. Since the MFA site must participate in the same auction as a seller of real products for any Adwords, why doesn't the product seller just purchase the words that the MFA would normally purchase? I find it hard to believe that anyone selling legitimate products wouldn't want to reduce their ad costs and broaden their base of words that would bring buyers to their site. This would reduce the margins to the point MFA's couldn't exist.

Something must be wrong with my logic as MFA's obviously do exist and do it on the margin between what they pay for words and that real sellers pay for the same subject area words minus what Google takes out. And this is assuming they have a 100% CTR.

Are the sellers of real products throwing that much money away by paying too much for too few Adwords? Are the sellers of real products the real cause of the proliferation of MFA's?

incrediBILL




msg:1446167
 6:20 am on Jun 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

FarmBoy, this is nothing new.

They've been doing this for a LONG time, and there are a lot worse than that.

I got bored with the MFA's as there's an endless supply.

The only way to bear them is to pay attention to your own backyard and build it up to the point you have critical mass and keep them so far down in the search engine they don't see the light of day unless they pay for the electricity.

The best way to keep the MFA's out of sight is to keep them out of the the link neighborhood as once they get a foothold there it's all lost.

Scurramunga




msg:1446168
 7:43 am on Jun 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

further to my earler post:

It is now the close of the day and my ecpm has actually risen since I embarged on my MFA killing spree.

maxgoldie




msg:1446169
 5:38 pm on Jun 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

These MFAs are domain parkers. There is an endless stream of them.

incrediBILL




msg:1446170
 8:02 pm on Jun 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Domain parks are a different beast and completely condoned by Google hence the domain park program in AdSense.

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