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Related Searches on AdSense Ads
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Visit Thailand

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:24 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Has anyone noticed the Related searches on the AdSense Ads? Just below the ads are two links to a Google Related Search.

I for one do not like that as people may click on that rather than the ad.

ADD IN

In fact I have now just seen one add that had no ads but just a whole bunch of links for related searches.

 

woop01

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 1:27 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Guys, I think Google is a great company, but they are in this to make a profit so don't expect them to act like Mother Theresa.

Don't talk down at us for complaining when a company starts runnings ads for their site on ours without paying for them. Sure, I don't expect Google to be Mother Theresa, but I don't expect them to be Gator either.

loanuniverse

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 1:33 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Don't talk down at us for complaining when a company starts runnings ads for their site on ours without paying for them. Sure, I don't expect Google to be Mother Theresa, but I don't expect them to be Gator either.

Please, I am not talking down to anyone. But you should read what you agree to more closely.
From the TOS:
Payment.You shall receive a payment related to the number of clicks on Ads displayed in connection with your Site(s) as specified in the FAQ. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Google shall not be liable for any payment based on............. (d) Google advertisements for its own products and/or services.

bether2

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 1:36 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

When I first saw the "This empty space brought to you by google" thingie on someone else's site, I thought that the site had been booted out of google and was turning it into a joke! Some joke, eh?

I feel compelled to add my 2 cents and say that I don't like the Related Search feature at all. I'm not removing the AdSense ads yet - going to wait and see. But my plan to continue adding them to more pages just went in the trash. Well, put on hold anyway.

Beth

woop01

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 1:38 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Loanuniverse, your previous post is almost a text book example of talking down to somebody and you're doing it again. I'm not stupid, I read the TOS and realized they could do this. If you think we're ignorant enough not to realize they have the right to do what they're doing you won't respect anything we have to say. There's no reason to continue.

Visit Thailand

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 1:42 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

loanuniverse - every contract can hold surprises, but some things are just not expected and I think that the number of messages in this and the other threads clearly show how unliked it is.

I was happy with the advertising, was happy with the Ads by Google as both of these are useful for all three parties but Related Searches when my viewers weren't even searching for something is in my view completely out of order.

I regard it as something like you want to leave this **** site but you aren't interested in our ads then try our search results and find something better. I find it insulting to my site and viewers.

worker

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 1:46 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

This might end up helping all of us.

While I'm still reviewing the impact of this change on the behavior of the people that are already on my site, this could be a very good thing for those of us with good Google placement within the SERPS.

Here's why I think everything could balance out.

Scenario:

1. Googler does a search on 'widgets' and your site does not come up in the first page of search results due to the competitive nature of the generic search.

2. Googler visits a site that does come up on the first page of results

3. Googler sees the related search 'free widgets online' and clicks.

4. Your site comes up high in the new search results.

5. Googler clicks through to your site.

While this doesn't help the webmaster the Googler initially found, it does help the second one.

Since more people don't find me on their first search than do, this may end up putting me in front of A LOT more people.

Comments?

JasonHamilton

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 1:52 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

worker, Some sites rank highly on a handful of key terms at most -- you can't rank well on every related term. With that said, most sites do not rank well at all. Your described scenario seems to be grasping at straws looking for the silver lining :)

No offense intended.

loanuniverse

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 1:53 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Woop01: It is not my intention to insult anyone. However, I think that some people are wrong and being that this is a place to discuss webmaster related questions, I will also express my opinions and will point out that I think they are wrong.

So far, I see three camps in this issue:

A vocal camp that thinks they are being lied, deceived, and cheated by the addition of the “related searches” I think those people’s observations are wrong, and I truly believe a lot of them have not read the TOS.

A smaller and shrinking camp that thinks that Google did not do this to gain an extra benefit from the relationship at the expense of the publisher. Once again, I think they are wrong.

A pragmatic camp that understands how business operates and will keep the relationship as long as the benefits are higher than the costs. I think I belong to this camp.

When you come out and make a statement that you expect to get paid for ads that promote google, I think it was ok for me to mention that according to the TOS, they are not paid.

I also agree that I did take a condescending tone on my second post, and for that I apologize.

swerve

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 1:58 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

FAQ states:
The related searches feature is intended solely to enhance the user experience and serve as a valuable information resource.

This part is especially disturbing:

1) This is advertising - not a tool to "enhance user experience".

2) They are my users - who is Google to decide what will enhance their experience?

I have no problem with this on free BlogSpot sites, in which Google (Blogger) pays for the hosting. For AdSense sites, this should be opt-in (not opt-out) and they should pay a few cents per click. The claim they don't make any money from these links is insulting to webmasters - everyone knows that links = traffic = money.

worker

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:00 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

No offense taken.

I'm not looking for something good or bad out of this. I'm just going through the full excercise in what might happen.

The first reaction from everyone seemed to be to focus on the behavior and impact to people already on a webmaster's site.

While that makes sense, there is a much bigger picture here.

I think that this could open up the opportunity for people to be found more often by someone searching within their niche.

I may be biased though because I have some large sites that are found for a wide variety of searches. The position of my site within the SERPS varies greatly with the smallest change of the keyword phrase.

I think that this may end up giving me much more visibility among people searching within my niche because if they are already on another site, they've already not found me.

I can't lose by having them look again by clicking on the related search link...when they are on another site.

Since more people are on other sites than on my sites (despite how great my sites are <g>), I think I may benefit.

Again, this is basically an intellectual excercise since the impact of this change is yet to be determined.

Counterpoint? <g>

saoi_jp

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:08 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I had some pages that only attract 1 or 2 ads. They looked pretty cool. Two that kept showing up were great matches.

In short: very restricted terms gave high-focus ads. Now, they give those same ads, plus many "more search" options.

I don't always do well in the 1-term search clicks. One site has one term coming up alot; I rank #16. I doubt people will click it ("widgets") when they most likely found the site by searching "widgets Widgetor" (I hope "Widgetor" is understood as a stand-in word for a country name, the capitol of which is "Widgetoria.")

If you could pay to have searchLinks removed, would you? Would you pay an up-front subscription rate? Or for instance would you give up 5% (for example) of revenue to have no ads? I would.

edited to add:
swerve expressed the opposite -- links should be opt-in, to earn a few cents per click. My scenario is opt-out, for a fee. Swerve's idea makes more sense. The 'opt-out for a %' casts us as investors; 'opt-in for cents' casts Google as an advertiser on our sites.

[edited by: saoi_jp at 2:19 pm (utc) on Aug. 7, 2003]

scumm_bar



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:10 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I hope, for Google's sake, these related searches disappear within a day or so.

I thought that Google had very intelligent employees, and that they knew what they were doing. It's why in all previous Google frenzies I could sit back and continue making a better website. Now I'm not so sure. The whole "blank ads brought to you by Google", for one thing, is shocking. It's as though one of the employee's 8 yr old son has been let lose in the GooglePlex.

I agree partly. The related searches might be a good thing in the long-term. But try to dictate that to me, and we're going to have problems.

I read the TOS. I knew something like this might happen. Does that make it right that it has?

JasonHamilton

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:11 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

worker, my point is, adsense is not a universal "thing" that all websites have, nor can you automatically assume that all incoming traffic came from google.

I've chosen to no longer partake in adsense due to the recent changes.

Meanwhile, because you are running adsense with related ads, a user who goes to your site may click out and go to google then visit me. That same user isn't likely to click back to your site since he's already been there (unless he found something memorable on your site that gets him looking for you again).

So in effect, you up google's page views, you bring google users who may not have used google to begin with. You LOSE visitors, and give them alternatives to your site and your site's content.

Who benefits? I still maintain that adsense publishers do not. If you look hard enough, I'm sure you can find a few things that the 'related searches' are good for, but clearly it is not something that comes naturally. I also strongly stress that related searches are NOT good for ALL websites. For some websites, I think it makes a great addition. For most, I think it only serves to hurt them.

[edited by: JasonHamilton at 2:20 pm (utc) on Aug. 7, 2003]

Visit Thailand

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:11 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

SoapJ that is a very good question whether sites would pay to have the Related Searches removed.

I think I would, I do not want them there but want to keep AdSense so yes I would definitely pay to have the removed.

loanuniverse

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:14 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I thought that Google had very intelligent employees, and that they knew what they were doing. It's why in all previous Google frenzies I could sit back and continue making a better website. Now I'm not so sure. The whole "blank ads brought to you by Google", for one thing, is shocking. It's as though one of the employee's 8 yr old son has been let lose in the GooglePlex.

I do think that is a little silly. The ability to use defaults would be the best solution, next to that a blank space would be great. I have been lucky enough that they always seem to have ads for my site.... Hmmmm, This reminds me, there might be some pages I have not seen in a month, I will have to check them all and make sure.

woop01

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:14 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

A pragmatic camp that understands how business operates and will keep the relationship as long as the benefits are higher than the costs. I think I belong to this camp.

Well move over because I'm right there too. Even with these changes, Adsense is paying triple what I was getting with other ad networks. Add that to virtually up to the second reporting and payments within a month and it's still an easy win for Adsense.

shrirch

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:15 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)


The related searches feature is intended solely to enhance the user experience and serve as a valuable information resource.

As long as google does not use the related searches and blank boxes on their own website for searches, I'd prefer they don't optimise my users experience.

Some semi random thoughts...

I really do think it would be worth watching

-- Revenue patterns for the next week
-- What the related terms are (they sound a lot like the related searches one sees in the adwords tool) and how you're ranked for those
-- Your average page view per user where the related searches shows up
-- DO you have paid adwords for some of the related searches? This could result in people leaving your site and returning and you paying for it.

Once we start seeing numbers, we have good reason to complain. Do it loud enough and I bet Overture will get a couple of news reporters to start looking @ these forums ;)

Right now the complaining is a bit emotional (even though it is extremely justified. Google should have sent out a mail blast and asked webmasters to copy alternative "enhanced code" onto their websites if they wanted to participate in the experiment.

They could well have thrown in a few dollars worth of adwords credits (funny money) for participation. Infact they could have eased this by throwing in adwords credits for any of the related ads content while the impact was studied.

Oh well... we all make mistakes and this is just the second one (from my perspective) that google has made. The first GeoTargetting blunder was fixed extremely quickly.

pixel_juice

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:22 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

A couple of comments about this from a user point of view (I don't use AdSense, although i've been following its progress with interest).

>>This is advertising - not a tool to "enhance user experience".

I wholeheartedly agree and i'm pretty disappointed that Google would even attempt to say anything to the contrary. They are using this to drive traffic to their own site, to strengthen their brand, and to get more visitors to other adwords.

How much would a webmasterworld member pay for 2 links to their own site from all Adsense users? The figure doesn't even bear contemplation, and so I completely fail to understand the suggestion that Google don't stand to profit from this.

Finally, to me it seems that Google are treating the adsense space as a kind of window to Google.com (like an iframe) which they feel they can put content of their choosing into. I can think of few webmasters who would give ANYONE this level of control over any space on their site, however small. Especially in the light of the momentarily humourous but undoubtedly damaging "this blank space..." message.

Saying that this is there to 'enhance the user experience' is indefensible IMO. It should read 'click here for more Google ads'.

The only 'good' thing I see coming from this is that Google have attempted to brand other people's sites even more strongly and instead they have succeeded in damaging their brand at a time when there practices have never been under closer scrutiny by webmasters.

Way to shoot yourself in the foot google! Here's one user whose opinion of your search engine as a whole has just been unenhanced.

ideavirus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:26 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google obviously trying to Overdo things here with this move in the name of some benign issue. Sad but true!

Was there a need for Google to do this? Obviously no.

If I look at it from the other point of View : since google sends free traffic to our sites, they feel with this inclusion they have every right to take away traffic from us.
Well most of us are not liking this unpleasant surprise!

Hopefully they step back with this!

Good luck to all of us.

Now, looking at all of these new happenings, i suspect, what else is in store for adsense publishers in the near future? Any guesses?.

[edited by: ideavirus at 2:29 pm (utc) on Aug. 7, 2003]

PolishGuy



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:29 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)


The positive thing that can come out of this is the fact that more people will notice the ADs now because of the related search keywords present there.

there is not even one positive thing that came out of this. stop talking nonsense, man.

shrirch

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:30 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)


Any guesses?

I'm betting they replace the related searches with a small "Search google" box.

Would that be fair?

buckworks

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:30 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

<<the box is in fact their leased space on your site where they can do what they like within>>

If they were in fact leasing the space there would be a lot fewer problems in this.

It has been pointed out several times that the Adsense terms allow them to do what they like and our choice is basically "take it or leave it".

That's valid logic up to a point. But the wording of the terms clearly indicates that public service ads or ads for Google products or services might be displayed if they did not have enough targeted ad inventory to fill the display we had chosen. So far no problem, the clear understanding being that Google would deliver "real" ads whenever it could and unpaid ads would be a fallback.

Adding multiple unpaid exit points even when there is a full complement of paying ads is substantively different from the original offering, and the change was made without anything I would consider fair disclosure.

PolishGuy



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:31 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)


Now, looking at all of these new happenings, i suspect, what else is in store for adsense publishers in the near future? Any guesses?.

After people will digest this cruel joke called "Related Search" then Google will introduce pop-ups. No, I am not joking.

RobbieD

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:33 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

That's valid logic up to a point. But the wording of the terms clearly indicates that public service ads or ads for Google products or services might be displayed if they did not have enough targeted ad inventory to fill the display we had chosen. So far no problem, the clear understanding being that Google would deliver "real" ads whenever it could and unpaid ads would be a fallback.

This is very true. We might have them on this.

RobbieD

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:34 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

After people will digest this cruel joke called "Related Search" then Google will introduce pop-ups. No, I am not joking.

Then we can start serving Ads on Pop Ups. They could never serve pop ups on our sites. Will not happen.

pixel_juice

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:39 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>This is very true. We might have them on this.

As part of the AdSense program, Google may suggest up to two relevant search queries below the AdWords ads on your website. These queries are labeled as 'Related searches.' If we do not yet have relevant ad inventory or have not yet crawled your web pages for content, related searches may appear in place of ads.

https://www.google.com/adsense/faq#basics12

saoi_jp

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:41 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Instead of the blank space ads, I'm hoping they show Dilbert comics. :)

Visit Thailand

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:43 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

pixel I believe (but of course am not sure) that that clause was added about the same time as the Related Ads themselves.

shrirch

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:43 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Not just two queries. They're showing many more (specially on blogspot and other fast changing forum / blog sites).

ideavirus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:43 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm betting they replace the related searches with a small "Search google" box.

Well that would be the second step towards the "Beginning of the End"

After people will digest this cruel joke called "Related Search" then Google will introduce pop-ups. No, I am not joking.

Atleast, i have the Toolbar version 2 beta. ;)

At this rate Google's much awaited IPO could rather take a Big Beating .. Okay, i may have overreacted a bit! ( No offense meant )

[edited by: ideavirus at 2:58 pm (utc) on Aug. 7, 2003]

buckworks

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 309 posted 2:52 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

<<If we do not yet have relevant ad inventory or have not yet crawled your web pages for content, related searches may appear in place of ads. >>

PixelJuice, I haven't checked yet today, but they were doing something quite different from that last night. Some of my pages had as many as four related searches even though the tower was filled with real ads.

This 240 message thread spans 8 pages: < < 240 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 > >
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