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Google AdSense Forum

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Seeing my Competitors Ads in Adsense
why i don't like adsense
webdevsf




msg:1338688
 5:57 pm on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

As a publisher, adsense posts ads for "similar" websites. It should be posting ads for "complimentary" but different websites. Else we are all stuck seeing our competitors ads on our sites.

Ie, if I am a site that has info on classic automobiles, the ads that run should NOT be for sites that also have info on classic automobiles, but instead, should be on sites that people who are interested in classic automobiles would like, but in a different category.

For instance, it would show ads for parts for your classic automobiles, or a classic auto fair, etc.

Google's solution to this is that you can block certain domains. This is really bad because your competition will have a million domains (if its a particularly competitve field) and it will take forever to block those domains.

Further, your user base may not know that these other sites even exist. So even if you do block, you may lose loyal and lucrative users once they discover that there are other sites who do the exact same thing you do.

So the "after-the-fact" blocking is unsatisfactory to me, which is why I won't use adsense on my site.

 

ssjxxx




msg:1338718
 4:27 pm on Jul 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you have a good product, competition never harms you. It makes you improve your own product and keeps you ahead of the game.

In my realtor example, the problem is often that the consumer can detect little or no difference from one realtor to the next. Typically, they simply know that they need to buy or sell a house, know that they need a realtor to make it happen, and don't care who takes care of it for them. The "product" is exactly the same from one realtor to the next, as it's merely a service. One cannot know how good the service of a realtor is without either dealing directly with that realtor or talking to others about that realtor. All would agree that a good realtor is a good product, but this doesn't necessarily mean that a good realtor will not be harmed by competition.

Advertising for your competition is certainly not something that makes such a business succeed. And a real estate sale pays out much better than AdSense on a low-traffic realtor site. So advertising for the competition doesn't make too much sense here. Especially in a market where the consumer has very few options for distinguishing one product from the next.

europeforvisitors




msg:1338719
 5:49 pm on Jul 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Advertising for your competition is certainly not something that makes such a business succeed. And a real estate sale pays out much better than AdSense on a low-traffic realtor site. So advertising for the competition doesn't make too much sense here. Especially in a market where the consumer has very few options for distinguishing one product from the next.

AdSense was designed for Web publishers (i.e., content or information sites), not for e-commerce and affiliate sites. If seeing competitors' ads on your site is a problem, you're probably better off with a solution that gives you total control, such as direct advertising sales or affiliate programs.

Even for publishers, AdSense isn't always a good idea. I don't use it on my freelance writers' site because most writer-related ads are for vanity presses, scam poetry contests, and other questionable businesses that I'd never allow to advertise on my site. I'd probably be reluctant to use AdSense if I had a medical site, too, because of ads for phony cancer cures, ****-enlargement pills, and other rip-offs. (For a company whose motto is "do no evil," Google is a little too willing to let evildoers buy ads.)

EDITED: Only in America would a certain word starting with "p" be treated as an obscenity (and converted to asterisks) by forum software!

cramalot




msg:1338720
 7:41 pm on Jul 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Again I have to agree with europeforvisitors. Adsense is designed for publishers as myself. No doubt about that.

ssjxxx - I just want to hint on one of your statements you made which really need to be looked at again. I know that this will pull us off subject, but I think a little more needs to be investigated here.

ssjxxx - "In my realtor example, the problem is often that the consumer can detect little or no difference from one realtor to the next."

This type of thinking is the downfall of many businesses. If a potential customer can't detect a difference in realitors, why would they do any kind of business with you. Especially with the kind of money that is on the line. If you do not seperate and distinguish yourself from other realitors, then how can you gain market share or even keep the market share you do have?

ssjxxx - "The "product" is exactly the same from one realtor to the next, as it's merely a service."

Realitors don't buy/sell/manage property, they sell service of buy/sell/manage property.

Is the service the same? No! Examples:

Joe Blow Reality - We are a bunch of grumpy old realitors who in 35 years sold 3 properties and put 1 family in a new home!

The Real Realitors: We will put you into the home that you want at the price you want. If we can't we will help you find a realitor who can!

Which one would you go to? Which would be of greater value to a cutomer?

ssjxxx - "Advertising for your competition is certainly not something that makes such a business succeed."

Hence the example above.

ssjxxx - "And a real estate sale pays out much better than AdSense on a low-traffic realtor site."

Again, If you are a business who sells a service or product on the internet (other than advertising) Adsense is not for you. We as publishers are in the business of advertising. You are not. Adsense dosen't suck, you just didn't read the overview.

P.S. I make more than realitors from internet advertising!

Fairla




msg:1338721
 11:39 pm on Jul 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Have you ever gone into Burger King and seen a giant poster advertising McDonald's? Have you ever bought a Coke and seen a Pepsi ad on its label?

No, and you never will, and there is a reason for that. It has nothing to do with "fear of competition" or trying to keep customers from knowing that the competition exists. It has to do with good business practice and plain common sense.

On the other hand, Burger King and Pepsi may partner up because they are complementary, not competitors. Again, good business practice and simple common sense.

If you're not experiencing a certain problem, it's natural to think that it isn't really a problem. It's also short-sighted. My problem today could be your problem tomorrow.

AdSense needs to make it possible for publishers to block certain categories of ads, and it should be able to find complementary ads to display instead. And the Google people are smart, so this will probably happen. Till then, AdSense won't have a big place on my site because most of the ads I'm getting are all wrong. There are many other types of ads that would work wonderfully, and on some pages I am seeing beautiful targetting, but this is clearly luck. Relying on luck is not necessary in this high-tech age.

Google will probably find a way to kick "luck" out of the equation and create a program that works for everyone. Because that would be good business practice and simple common sense.

kpaul




msg:1338722
 11:58 pm on Jul 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Have you ever gone into Burger King and seen a giant poster advertising McDonald's?

Yes, looking out the window from one or the other to the competition right across the street.

Have you ever bought a Coke and seen a Pepsi ad on its label?

No, but every store I go to supplies both (and more) for my selection.

Maybe I'm looking at it from a macro standpoint, though, while you're looking at it in the micro sense.

People know there are other sites out there. Make your widgets better, more timely, and easier to use.

europeforvisitors




msg:1338723
 11:59 pm on Jul 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Have you ever gone into Burger King and seen a giant poster advertising McDonald's? Have you ever bought a Coke and seen a Pepsi ad on its label?

The analogy doesn't work, because AdSense wasn't designed for businesses like Burger King or McDonald's, or for e-commerce sites. It was designed for publishers.

[edited by: europeforvisitors at 12:00 am (utc) on Aug. 1, 2003]

kpaul




msg:1338724
 12:00 am on Aug 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

AdSense needs to make it possible for publishers to block certain categories of ads, and it should be able to find complementary ads to display instead. And the Google people are smart, so this will probably happen.

I agree with you here.

Till then, AdSense won't have a big place on my site because most of the ads I'm getting are all wrong. There are many other types of ads that would work wonderfully, and on some pages I am seeing beautiful targetting, but this is clearly luck. Relying on luck is not necessary in this high-tech age.

Cool. It isn't working for you. It works for others, though, even in this primitive state it may be in at the moment.

Google will probably find a way to kick "luck" out of the equation and create a program that works for everyone. Because that would be good business practice and simple common sense.

Yes, they will. Doesn't mean the product sucks for everyone now, though. ;)

Thanks for sharin' your thoughts on the matter.

Visi




msg:1338725
 12:04 am on Aug 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

europeforvisitors...seems to be a finer point that is lost on many here. Adsense was for content sites...not commercial. Probably biggest mistake google made coming out of the blocks was enforcing their own position in regards to this. Have to wonder if that is some of the emails we are hearing about now? Just wondering....

Fairla




msg:1338726
 12:10 am on Aug 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

KPaul, I'm really delighted it's working so well for so many people. It's about time webmasters got paid fairly for their hard work. I am sorry to be left out of this trend for now, but I think this bodes very well for webmasters in general in the future -- perhaps even for me.

(Btw, I do have a content site.)

chiyo




msg:1338727
 12:13 am on Aug 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Have you ever gone into Burger King and seen a giant poster advertising McDonald's? Have you ever bought a Coke and seen a Pepsi ad on its label? <<

Nope, but ive seen both a burger king AND a McDonalds ad in my daily newspaper and a Coke AND a Pespsi ad in my weekly entertainment magazine.

I also see ads for all on one day on one channel on television.

novice




msg:1338728
 12:16 am on Aug 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

europeforvisitors and visi are right Adsense is not for sites like McDonalds or Burger King. It is more targeted for a site that does reviews for fast food restaurants which would certainly want ads for Burger King, McDonalds Coke and Pepsi. Although I wouldn't put it past Google to have a program more suited for e-commerce and commercial sites in the works.

Fairla




msg:1338729
 12:20 am on Aug 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, as I said, it's not about trying to keep people from being aware of competitors. Few people buy a Coke without knowing that Pepsi also exists.

Then why doesn't Coke advertise for Pepsi? Because there are smarter uses for that space. (And also because it blurs the distinction between Coke and Pepsi, but when it comes to websites, the "smarter use" argument is more relevant.)

A personal aside -- it was pretty nice posting my message and seeing responses right away. Intelligent and civil responses, too! If only all the Internet were like Webmaster World.

Visi




msg:1338730
 12:58 am on Aug 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Intelligent and civil responses?.....must be slipping in my old age:)

cornwall




msg:1338731
 9:38 am on Aug 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Nope, but ive seen both a burger king AND a McDonalds ad in my daily newspaper and a Coke AND a Pespsi ad in my weekly entertainment magazine.

That is the core of the arguement.

If you are a true content provider then you can take anyone's advertising (within Google's rules anyway). Newspaper, TV station, content web site...

If you are almost exclusively selling a product, then by and large you do not distract from the product with advertising. Coke, McDonalds, selling web site.

Sometimes, but not often the pure product can make a little on the side with adverts. McDonalds deal with a soft drink manufacturer, a web site selling cruises, taking adverts for sun oil.

I agree with those others that have hammered in the point that AdSense was designed for content sites. The selling sites will have so many problems with it, and instead that they should consider not taking AdSense, and doing deals with synergistic products.

After all if you are selling cruises, why put on an ad for an unrelated product like cooking oil. By the very nature of targeted ads, AdSense will be trying to put on your site ads that are synergistic and therefore ads that you would consider competitive.

It strikes me that those who ask for non competing ads, are actually asking for non targeted ads, which is not what Google set out to do.

"Intelligent and civil responses?....." its a good point, by and large they are, and its all achieved without the presence of a moderator, just shows it can be done

ssjxxx




msg:1338732
 8:50 pm on Aug 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

It strikes me that those who ask for non competing ads, are actually asking for non targeted ads ...

I disagree. While I don't want competing ads, I still want targeted ads. But I have the desire for these ads to me complementary instead of competing.

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