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This 81 message thread spans 3 pages: 81 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
Adsense and low quality "sewer" sites
Inspired by a few threads below.
gethan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 9:21 am on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

A <low quality "sewer"> site had the URL posted here about a week ago; since snipped (rightly). Now I reported this site to see what would happen, as I imagine many others did too.

Now:

- adsense still runs on the front page (before on every page)
- the "content" pages now run redirects to other sites - mostly gambling.
- the content is still just a huge pile of computer generated/stolen crap.

I'm very surprised that the front page still has ad's, no response from google to my complaint. I had also hoped that some kind of minimum quality of the site as a whole, would be required from google in order to be part of the adsense program - *sigh* - this doesn't appear to be the case.

I think one fundemental problem with adsense is the use of publisher id's rather than accepting and reviewing domains individually, OK so they avoid the problem of millions of domains to review - but the quality of sites that run adsense now is sometimes so low it's truely unbelievable.

Additionally - this type of site does impact revenue for the better quality sites in the program. The budgets of advertisers are used up on the sewer sites, leading to less money available for the quality sites. How can this be a good thing?

We all have different opinions as to what constitutes quality, some advertisers claim that it doesn't matter in any way except cost per conversion. But adsense on sewer sites will damage the programs longterm reputation - quality sites will move away from adsense to either the competition or to other forms of advertising. Adsense and it's format will become ubiquitous with low quality dross - this will mean lowered returns for those in the program - and so on. Hopefully the long term success of the adsnse program is important to google and they will start to operate more rigorous quality control on the sites in the program now.

Opinions?

[edited by: Jenstar at 5:17 pm (utc) on June 15, 2004]
[edit reason] corrected keyword [/edit]

 

gethan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 1:02 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just want to state that the Widget snipped word was a descriptive term used in other threads to designate a low quality site.

richmondsteve

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 1:08 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

gethan wrote:
I think one fundemental problem with adsense is the use of publisher id's rather than accepting and reviewing domains individually, OK so they avoid the problem of millions of domains to review - but the quality of sites that run adsense now is sometimes so low it's truely unbelievable.

I agree and I've said the same here from time to time.

I'm very surprised that the front page still has ad's

<speculation>
It's possible that the publisher is no longer receiving income from clicks and that advertisers are not being charged for clicks using that publisher's sites (based on past posts to this forum). If that's the case it's possible the ads are there due to publisher oversight or because the publisher thinks users will consider the inclusion of Google Ads as an endorsement of the quality of the site.
</speculation>

gethan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 9:03 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

this type of site does impact revenue for the better quality sites in the program. The budgets of advertisers are used up on the sewer sites, leading to less money available for the quality sites. How can this be a good thing?

Does anyone have opinions/experiences with this statement?

mquarles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 9:38 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've actually traced stuff back and find that my conversion is no worse as an advertiser from "sewer sites."

It is sometimes better, because they are less likely to go back to where they just came from. A really good content site draws my paid clickers back to them instead of into my site where they can buy stuff from me, so it is a potential negative.

I would say that the ones harmed by these sites are those who have good content sites, not the advertisers. Google's image may be harmed as well, but I'm not sure it really hurts Google much either.

MQ

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 10:01 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Additionally - this type of site does impact revenue for the better quality sites in the program. The budgets of advertisers are used up on the sewer sites, leading to less money available for the quality sites.

That probably doesn't matter to Google. A bigger issue, from Google's point of view, may be whether the presence of "Ads by Google" on such sites will make content ads less acceptable to advertisers--many of whom are already skeptical of content ads, and some of whom (corporate advertisers ad ad agencies) wouldn't dream of having their ads run just anywhere in the "real world."

ChrisKud5

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 10:23 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I reported a certain site that took search results from google, but inserted its own adsenss ads. I got a reply stating thanks we forewarded your message to the proper people.

Have not heard back anything, adsense is still up and running on the site with targeted ads.

I am starting to think that these sites, no matter how scummy they are, give a lot of business to google, and google has a vested interest in allowing them to go on.

oldskool79

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 2:54 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

For an advertiser, the only thing that they care about is the effectiveness of their ads. They couldn't care less if the ads were stapled to a dead fish if they convert visitors into customers.

And advertisers are what drives Adsense -- without the advertisers than Adsense is worthless to us and Google. If these so called "sewer" sites are sending targeted traffic to the advertisers than what good would it do google to stop them?

The only people who seem to be upset with these sites are the other adsense publishers who are competing with them.

jomaxx

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 3:25 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Many (most?) advertisers are very concerned about where their ads run. Even though a click from a crappy site can theoretically convert as well as one from a quality website, a lot of advertisers don't want to be associated with the worst ones, resent paying them money, and have a suspicion they're being ripped off.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 3:29 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

For an advertiser, the only thing that they care about is the effectiveness of their ads. They couldn't care less if the ads were stapled to a dead fish if they convert visitors into customers.

Like most sweeping generalities, that statement is true in some cases and not in others. (The guy who's selling Viagra from an affiliate site is likely to have a different attitude from the media buyer at a top 100 advertising agency.)

Your statement is also based on a false assumption: that mainstream advertisers and media buyers will ever find out whether those "ads stapled to a dead fish" convert visitors into customers. In reality, such advertisers and media buyers aren't likely to experiment with dead fish--or with other media that have an unpleasant smell.

sandor

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 3:49 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

some of the ugliest sites in the world might get some best (and most honest) conversions. who says surfers always want to see sharp graphics, nice padding, spiffy fonts etc.

maybe what gets some people is some nice hideous times new roman, some graphics created in powerpoint etc. etc.

and if its getting genuine clicks and conversions and working for google's advertisers, unless they're doing something illegal or contrary to the terms, i don't see why google would opt to kick them

beauty is in the eyes of the beholder .. my wife has looked at some of the most hideous sites and thought they're impressive. she's the 'typical' surfer or end-user and i actually watch what she does and how she goes about it because i can learn from her and get into the 'mind' of a person who doesn't know how html, doesn't know how to use photoshop etc.

oldskool79

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 4:14 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Like most sweeping generalities, that statement is true in some cases and not in others. (The guy who's selling Viagra from an affiliate site is likely to have a different attitude from the media buyer at a top 100 advertising agency.)

Of course there will always be a few advertisers who are concerned about where their advertisements run (those selling to kids, for example) but the majority really don't care where their ads are, so long as they are working.

Your statement is also based on a false assumption: that mainstream advertisers and media buyers will ever find out whether those "ads stapled to a dead fish" convert visitors into customers. In reality, such advertisers and media buyers aren't likely to experiment with dead fish--or with other media that have an unpleasant smell.

My statement isn't based on any false assumption. I said "they only care about the effectiveness of their ads". By definition this would mean they were measuring their conversion rate.

It's very interesting to me that there are several threads filled with complaints about these so called "sewer" sites going on in the adsense forum, but there are no threads in the AdWords forum where the advertisers are complaining about them. That should tell you alot about who is really being affected here.

FromRocky

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 4:38 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

There are mainly two types of crappy, sewer or ugliest sites. The first type is from the new comers and the second one is from the experienced and smart marketers. The latter is designed on purpose.

If AdSense accepts these sites especially the second one, it may have some data to indicate that these sites give some positive results. If not, why Google has to associate with? Who know these sites are the sites that produce the highest CTR and conversion rate.

Is this what the AdSense advertisers want?

yoyo8

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 4:54 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Is this what the AdSense advertisers want?

If this is permitted by Adsense, I would be more than happy to generate a few million pages of auto-generated keyword optimized informational directory pages.

I hope that Adsense adds this information to the tos soon, so it can be known either way whether it's acceptable or not.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 5:51 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's very interesting to me that there are several threads filled with complaints about these so called "sewer" sites going on in the adsense forum, but there are no threads in the AdWords forum where the advertisers are complaining about them.

Why should they complain? They can just opt out of content ads (as many have done, to judge from past threads on that forum).

As for Google, it's too early to know if it sees a problem or how it chooses to deal with the issue of "sitescrapers" and "content spam." But off the cuff, I'd guess that Google is giving careful thought to the issue, if only because the company must have learned a few lessons from playing whack-a-mole with affiliate and e-commerce spam.

gethan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 7:30 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

If this is permitted by Adsense, I would be more than happy to generate a few million pages of auto-generated keyword optimized informational directory pages.

Exactly! - I'm almost thinking the same - no maintainance, no users, no real updates - I could even take scraped sites content and mix it around so much that the copyright holders could never find it...

3 days work, a throw away domain, I could even make it "look" high quality. All I need to do is buy a link from a PR7 domain...

This can't be what google intended to encourage regardless of how well the resulting clicks convert.

dhatz

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 8:52 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's very interesting to me that there are several threads filled with complaints about these so called "sewer" sites going on in the adsense forum, but there are no threads in the AdWords forum where the advertisers are complaining about them. That should tell you alot about who is really being affected here.

There've been several threads in Adwords forum, about advertisers opting out of Adsense CONTENT, simply because of these sites.

It's not just the content and aesthetics issues for such "sewer" sites, in all cases I've come across, these "sewer sites" do Adsense ads positioning in a way that is deceiving the visitor.

The ads are displayed in the centre of the page, as if they were the main content (I usually focus on the main "frame") surrounded by navigation links, or intermingled with nav links.

Read more:

[webmasterworld.com...]

You can't excpect someone who rips off other people's content to play fair and show the ads in a way that it's clear they're ads.

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 9:01 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>>...but there are no threads in the AdWords forum where the advertisers are complaining about them.

I agitated for more control over where my ad was shown when AdSense first came out.

Since I didn't receive control, I asserted it wherever I could. I shut down unproductive adsense ads. I also split AdWords campaigns into Search, and into AdSense campaigns. The AdSense campaigns are dialed down to five cents per click.

Max ROI

yump

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 12:30 pm on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Won't 'smart' pricing come in here somewhere? If clicks are just random, regardless of the publisher site quality, relevance etc. what was the point of going to the trouble of smart pricing.

So if a site is actually no use to visitors, one would hope they wouldn't click and that the assessment of the site for smart pricing leaves it well down the list for revenue per click.

Plus, as time passes, people using the net will get used to what is a useless site and what is valuable, so perhaps the sites that steal or replicate content will just ultimately grind to a halt and get a motley collection of random surfers clicking for a pittance per click.

(...in an ideal world of course...)

mquarles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 1:11 pm on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think the best answer to this still lies in giving the advertiser more control. Give them better data for those too lazy to find it out themselves, and let them have a block list for the domains they don't want to be on.

MQ

yoyo8

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 1:40 pm on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Exactly! - I'm almost thinking the same - no maintainance, no users, no real updates - I could even take scraped sites content and mix it around so much that the copyright holders could never find it...

I don't think DMCA is even an issue here. I would only take small snippets from many sites for the keyword value, not any kind of informational value.

I recently saw a page where they took the page and ran some statistics in order to display the 'most frequently' used keywords, in addition to a couple of snippets from that page.

There is almost no informational value there. I reported this to Adsense and they forwarded it on, but no action has been taken. This site has millions of such pages. If this is OK with Adsense, then I might as well get in on the action as well. We can all clutter up the web some more with these worthless pages.

gethan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 3:00 pm on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't think DMCA is even an issue here. I would only take small snippets from many sites for the keyword value

I think these wouldn't do so well in the SERPs hence including some padding text - other peoples content shuffled about...

My hunch is that these sites actually convert well - probably better than an average true site. This is what is really concerning me - if it is the case and google and advertisers are happy to have this type of site in the program - then we'll all forget producing our own content, highly optimised, highly dubious, random content sites are the profitable way forward.

gethan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 3:12 pm on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Won't 'smart' pricing come in here somewhere? If clicks are just random, regardless of the publisher site quality, relevance etc. what was the point of going to the trouble of smart pricing.

The problem is this:

1) Searcher searches for "blue widgets".
2) Sewer site with "blue widgets" scraped content ranks highly in the SERPS - any SE.
3) User goes to sewer site - junk surounding "blue widget" adsense links.
4) User clicks adsense as there is no real other content.
5) User buys "blue widget" from "blue widget" advertiser - CTR and Conversion Rate increase thus the sewer site makes good revenue - EPC goes up.
6) The average CR is increased across that particular part of the ad/network - legitimate sites with normal conversion rates get their EPC reduced, also the budget for the "blue widget" keyword is reduced.

So the advertiser is happy. The sewer site is happy. Possibly the purchaser is happy. Is google happy? well they get a share.

The only ones to lose are legitimate sites with real content/services using the adsense program, who would have got a higher EPC due to the lower conversion rate and greater budget across the network on clicks within their site.

2 solutions: Drop sewer sites from the SERPs or Drop sewer sites from the progam - both in todays internet are in google's hands.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 4:01 pm on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

My hunch is that these sites actually convert well - probably better than an average true site.

Maybe, maybe not. I think it depends on:

1) The product and its target audience;

2) What kind of "true site" (or "true page") you're talking about;

3) How the user reached the page (e.g., through search or through casual browsing).

If a user got to the sitescraper directory page while searching for "Widgetco WX-1" with the intention of buying, the sitescraper's ad may convert well. If, on the other hand, the user is interested in a $10,000 Platinum Cruise of the Adriatic and is looking for reviews and other information, the ad click may go to waste if (as is likely) the ad is for a travel agency rather than for Platinum Cruises.

I'd assume that "smart pricing" is designed to account for such differences, but it probably doesn't work very well unless conversion data is available for the specific advertiser and the site/page where the ad is appearing. Presumably it will get better over time.

This is what is really concerning me - if it is the case and google and advertisers are happy to have this type of site in the program - then we'll all forget producing our own content, highly optimised, highly dubious, random content sites are the profitable way forward.

Google isn't a company that's known for hiring stupid people, and it's unlikely that it would get sucked into that kind of short-term thinking. Over the long haul, Google's core product--the search engine--is useful only if users can find the information they're looking for. If Google allows its search engine to be taken over by sitescrapers and other "content spammers," users will migrate to better search engines--and AdSense ads on those "highly optimised, highly dubious, random content sites" will no longer be profitable for Google simply because users won't find them.

dhatz

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 4:37 pm on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think the best answer to this still lies in giving the advertiser more control. Give them better data for those too lazy to find it out themselves, and let them have a block list for the domains they don't want to be on.

I'm sure it's technically doable, but is it realistic?

It'd be great to give advertisers the ability to block URLs.

I mean, Adsense PUBLISHERS have a big trouble trying to block certain mis-targeted URLs on a handful of pages on their OWN SITE which they know inside-out and monitor all the time.

The Adsense content network comprises of many millions of pages, e.g. just a couple of days ago I read "asinah" saying he uploaded "90.000 pages of fresh content".

Only an algo can take care of this problem. And the situation is 100% in Google's hands.

HughMungus

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 5:02 pm on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Opinions?

A sale is a sale.

Imagine two stores. They both Widgets. One is a nice store with friendly clerks. The other is a terribly run down store with rude clerks. Do you think Widgets, Inc. cares at which store the widget was sold?

HughMungus

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 5:17 pm on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

We can all clutter up the web some more with these worthless pages.

Even "legitimate" sites do that.

loanuniverse

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 5:22 pm on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Putting short-term profits ahead of other things such as:

-Quality
-Reputation
-Longevity of business plan
-Values

is short-sighted to say the least.

HughMungus

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 5:24 pm on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Putting short-term profits ahead of other things is short-sighted to say the least.

How it affect an advertiser negatively if one of their ads appears on a "sewer site"?

loanuniverse

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2802 posted 5:35 pm on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Mr. Mungus:

The question should be how does it affect Adsense and its publishing partners?

One can take several strategies to building a business. The most successful companies are those that can differentiate themselves from the other ones.

Some of those advertisers will be gone in a few months, you want to build a business that will last enough to be the cornerstone of your company.

This 81 message thread spans 3 pages: 81 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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