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|"Made for AdSense" sites|
In another thread, a member posted the URL (since removed) of what might be termed a classic "Made for AdSense" site. For the benefit of newcomers who haven't seen such sites, let me describe what this one is:
The overall topic is "widget ------ling." The site's home page consists of links to pages optimized for keyphrases such as "widget ------ling in Springfield," "widget ------ling in Shelbyville," "Christian widget ------ling," and so on. The site has several hundred pages in all.
If you go to the page on "widget ------ling in Elbonia," you'll find a block of standard text that has been modified via a script or search-and-replace program to read something like:
"This page is about widget ------ling in Elbonia. If you're interested in widget ------ling in Elbonia, you can read our information on widget ------ling in Elbonia or chat about widget ------ling in Elbonia to learn all about widget ------ling in Elbonia."
The left column consists of AdSense ads disguised as a navigation bar. (Colors have been modified to eliminate ad borders and make the the "Ads by Google" hard to see.)
Clearly, this site violates the Google TOS, which state that an AdSense publisher's pages can't be created "for the purpose of displaying ads" even if the content is on target. (One might also think that the borderless ads disguised as a navigation bar would violate the TOS, but they don't, because Google made the mistake of listening to publishers who insisted that control over ad colors was necessary for "site aesthetics.")
I'd like to think that, when Google discovers sites like this, it takes action. Such sites are bad for users, bad for advertisers, bad for Google Search, and bad for the credibility of Google's "content network" among current and future advertisers. The question is, what can Google to do to discourage the creation of such sites? Here are some ideas for discussion:
1) Require that publishers obtain Google's approval for each site or subdomain where the AdSense code is to be used. Better yet, use technical means to ensure that code isn't displayed on non-approved domains or subdomains.
2) "Sandbox" revenues of new accounts and new sites under existing accounts for a reasonable period--say, 60 to 90 days--or until the AdSense QC team has done a couple of spot-checks to make sure that the site is legitimate.
3) Perform regular spot checks of any account that has revenues above a certain figure.
4) Tighten up the color and layout requirements for AdSense ads: e.g., require that the ads have borders and don't allow them to be used in lieu of navigation bars.
5) Work more closely with the Google Search team, so that any site banned by Google Search is also banned by AdSense and vice versa.
These steps might not eliminate the problem of "Made for AdSense" sites that threaten the viability of contextual advertising and clutter Google's search results, but they'd be be a step in the right direction.
My high traffic web sites get visited by a google rep every few days. Sites with next to no traffic and little income get next to no visits. Chances are if you have a made for adsense site and it gets a lot of traffic you will get in trouble.
marcus: I saw many corp.google visits a couple months ago, too - but no more 'visits' anymore since then... can you see them in your log files as "corp.google" or how do you recognize them?
I think they do their best to control the quality of ads served and money charges to advertisers. Quality COntrol and Quality Assurance is always important to all business.
|If it were that simple, the AdSense network wouldn't have any standards at all, and Google wouldn't bother to fight spam in its search results. |
AdSense is, in part, wagging the dog. Google SERP spam is growing at an accelerated rate partially because Google has made it profitable via AdSense. It's becoming a question of whether Google's efforts to identify and eliminate SERP and AsSense spam can keep up with those who seek to take advantage of Google's goodwill toward niche publishers.
|Google SERP spam is growing at an accelerated rate partially because Google has made it profitable via AdSense. |
Absolutely. I'm sure there are plenty of people on the Google search team who aren't happy with the way AdSense was conceived and launched. Now, in addition to affiliate and e-commerce spam, they've got AdSense spam to deal with.
lars, that is a good point. Google is making it lucrative for some webmasters to pollute the SERPs- that's a bit perverse, since they then need to spend money to identify those and remove them from the index (or banish them far into the SERPs).
I don't think Google will like having to visit sites themselves, as this is far too expensive. My guess is they will look to automate it... ways to track which sites convert could let them value different clicks for the same ad differently, hopefully removing the incentive to produce spammy pages.
On a positive note, the presence of such spam is an indication that there is a market, and the SERPs might reward a focused content site. I'll let Google figure out how to deal with the weeds... meanwhile they're an indication of fertile soil :)
I just saw an instance of "WebCopier v3.6" go through one one my web sites...so I guess yet a new Made for Adsense web site will probably be popping up in the near future.
I find this topic quite funny if you ask me. Yes you heard me I did say funny.
I see examples from both sides of the isle which make good points each. But much of these are points and not fact. Perspective if you will.
I have seen no real explanation of what exactly a "made for adsense" is. Not by your definition but google's.
Take any publisher trying to make a buck. How do they make money? They try to make their money from advertising and affiliates. Some generate revenue from their own products. Those publishers who generate revenue from advertising and affiliates optimize their pages for the best return.
How is this done? Layout and best ad placement. Capturing dedicated users and pull them into high dollar or high interest topics. OPTIMIZING pages to ATTRACT new visitors that are looking for that EXACT information and/or products that are RELATED to that information. This is best done through search engines and raising rankings providing growth in traffic and growth in revenue. What publisher dosen't want to do that.
How feasable would it be for ALL publishers to throw out many hundreds of thousands of dollars in television, radio, magazine, newspaper advertising to get the targeted traffic they need to every page to generate enough revenue to stay afloat. Hence the banner advertising crash. Isn't it much more feasable to work with search engines to do the same? Think about it.
How many here have moved a google ad around to find the "sweet spot" where CTR increased dramatically? Who here has changed colors to increase CTR? Who here optimized their pages to get the best relevant ads? Who here tries to target extra free search engine traffic to those pages to increase revenue and traffic?
I bet most of us, if not all of us have. Are we considered "made for adsense"?
So what is considered "made for adsense"? A site that is designed specifically to genereate revenue from adsense? Well I guess we should all should throw in the towel now and look for other sources of income because that is our market as publishers. We attract visitors and generate our revenue from them. Again, how is this done? From advertising, our bread and butter. We too, just like any website who sells a product or service, want to maximize our ROI. Our time, energy, resources and creativity that we put into our websites. How do we maximize our ROI? Think about it.
Is it about useful content? What is considered useful? A genreal article on the subject or a complete ebook outlining every detail of the subject? A page that provides links to outside resources? Is it the amount of content such as a 4000 word topic, multiple pages, or just a simple paragraph? What is considered useful? That isn't for anyone to decide but the visitor.
Is it SEO or SPAM? Someone has to be #1. Those who are in the top of the rankings must in some way be better optimized for those search term regardless if they were aware or not of being optimized. Enough said.
I also seen comments that PPC is not for branding. If this is the case then the advertiser would more than likely be better off advertising on SEO'd websites that generate consistant targeted NEW traffic each and every day.
I myself am more interested in WHY people are complaining about this topic. What is it that you fear? What is your purpose behind this discussion?
I lost interest in that post when I saw how long it was. No offense.
|Is it about useful content? What is considered useful? A genreal article on the subject or a complete ebook outlining every detail of the subject? A page that provides links to outside resources? Is it the amount of content such as a 4000 word topic, multiple pages, or just a simple paragraph? What is considered useful? That isn't for anyone to decide but the visitor. |
Arubicus, you are wrong.
I can with confidence say that there are some pages out there that are not useful. Wait there are really very few absolutes, so I will say that there are pages that are useless to most people except the guy that made it, google for taking a cut, and the one advertiser in a million that might get a conversion from the clicks.
To make it clear, I am talking about pages with nothing but "filler" sentences between keywords such as "This page is about" "We hope to bring you all the information on", "A lot of people have come looking for" etc.
By the way, I just checked and found some of my content lifted by a "publisher" that had created a page of about 1,000 words where 600 of them were "widget". And yes, he was running adsense. IMHO, this page has no content as it was nothing but gibberish nonsense with "widget" every other word. Of course 400 of these widget words connected to the other 400 similar pages he created.
The issue is not black and white, but some sites are clearly out of the grey area.
I lose my patience with people that like to stay in the gray area on topics like this. Sometimes, you have to take a stand. YOu have to let it be known what side you are on and stand up for what you believe instead of being wishy washy. And sometimes, you have to pass judgement. Sitting here trying to argue semantics on what is good and what is bad is such philosophical garbage.
If it's a filler crap site and you know it, report it. Pass judgement on it. Make a decision and stand by it. And then commit yourself to making the world a better place by getting rid of it. Report it and if Google agrees that it's a crud site, they'll follow up on it. If not, you were wrong. But at least you did something you believed in instead of sat on the fence discusing the existentialism of it all.
And Rocky, don't tell me how to do my job. I work on my sites and improve them all the time. But if I want to take down a useless site that is polluting the reputation of AdSense, I'll do it. Especially if it was a bait and switch site that I fell into researching one topic or another that offered ZIP.
|I myself am more interested in WHY people are complaining about this topic. What is it that you fear? What is your purpose behind this discussion? |
And what's your purpose in trying to quash this discussion? :-)
Freedom - I am sorry you let yourself loose your patience with people but the topic is gray. For the most part it is individual perspective based on whatever it is they believe. It will remain gray until Goodle defines what they consider what is or isn't harmful to their program.
Even if you take a stand which way or another, this dosen't clear up any gray area. The area still remains gray. You just define what it is you believe in. With this definition you control how you conduct yourself. On the flip side you try to influence or even force others to abide by YOUR rules and beliefs. If they don't agree or won't be influenced then you loose your patience. (This isn't freedom)
"Why? Because I will be d------d to h--l before I let some moron jeopardize the program for me and the money that helps support my family." - Freedom
I see what it is you fear and why you believe the way you do. You are out to protect your interests based on YOUR NEED for adsense money. As long as your interests are protected, regardless if it is in the interests of others or who may be harmed, you are providing a good service to "everyone".
Even if you get rid of all the "spammers" you wouldn't change the fact that YOU LET yourself RELY on adsense. The fear of loosing the program will not change. It will still be there.
Leavin we "techies" aside, I witnessed a friend of mine navigate to an item he was bidding on in eBay recently - a relative newbie to the web.
This is exactly how he did it: He tapped in the search-term in G, clicked on the first result, then clicked from a directory-type listing to eventually arrive on the page at eBay itself.
The directory-type page was the exact sort that we "techies" are complaining about here. Interestingly, he assumed that this page was eBay (it looked nothin like it even) and appeared to be genuinely suspicious of my assertion that someone was makin money from his click.
This was how he'd arrived at that same page several times before I intervened... sorry to the webmaster concerned ;¬)
Point is, a service was rendered. Sometimes we "techies" know too much and live in insular worlds, which places like this breed.
The same people you complain about are supporting their familes as well. You don't know that they are doing anything to hurt the system. I have pages that you think are ruining the system that G has personaly sighned off on. Like it or not there are a ton of WW members that make money doing what you people consider to be bad.
EPV - My piont is that this is a moral issue. Morals are based on beliefs. Like the belief that since big companies have the huge financial edge and brand edge makes it "unfair" to the little guy. It is subjective.
This is Google's program. Not ours. They decide what kind of sites they want to be included in the program. They make up the rules for this program. We just work within them. If Google wants to make up GENERAL rules like "made for adsense" it isn't the lame spam sits that are the problem, it is Google for not DEFINING their rules and ENFORCING them properly.
Google is not a democracy. We don't vote. We can complain all we want and never see a change. It dosen't matter if you need to support your family or not with adsense income. It is all up to Google what direction they want to take Adsense.
Again, tell me where in google's TOS does it define what EXACTLY is considered a "made for adsense" site.
Now my questions:
What is it that you fear? What is your purpose behind this discussion?
My purpose is to be sure of people's intent on the subject. Everybody seems to believe they do things according to logic. This is far from the truth. They do things because of feelings. To understand how they think and why they think the way they do is to understand what PERSONAL FEELINGS/BELIEFS are involved.
|I have pages that you think are ruining the system that G has personaly sighned off on. |
We'd be able to make a better judgment about whether your pages are "ruining in the system" if you'd include a URL in your profile. :-)
Trust me there is no argument on the uslessness of my sites except to send visiotrs to AF and AS advertisers.
You are making my point. It is based on the individual. If an individual believes in every way that spamming is fair (hence all is fair in love and war) then so be it they will feel as if what they do is not wrong.
Those who don't think it is fair and will not change their belief nor break their OWN rules regarding the subject will try to change or dictate the OTHER person's beliefs to align with their own.
Now which one is right or wrong? Which is fair or unfair?
Again, how many here have moved a google ad around to find the "sweet spot" where CTR increased dramatically? Who here has changed colors to increase CTR? Who here optimized their pages to get the best relevant ads? Who here tries to target extra free search engine traffic to those pages to increase revenue and traffic?
To put spam sites under the label "made for adsense" you also are putting yourself under the same label. The difference between you and them are you own personal rules for you own conduct. Since yours limit the way you want to do business then you consider what they are doing is unfair.
Based on this argument a person that jaywalks is the same as somebody commiting mass murder. There is such a thing as "community standards". Do not call black -> gray
How is spamming like mass murder?
Even at that the person who commits mass murder, his intent would be considered positive.
The same as a jay walker.
The same as a chiristian.
The same as a publisher.
Look at what I started! Back on topic now.
Besides. What you see as black is actually grey. Black is only obtained by the absense of light. Ask a blind person from birth what black and white looks like. I bet you get a different answer than yours.
I don't have one populer term on those sites. 99% of the terms used to come to my site have less than 10K results most don't even have 2K results. The stuff below me is even more worthless than my site. If site owners would get on the ball and even just added some titles my sites would just dissapear. It's like I have added ads underneith a bus seat. It's not my fault people look under bus seats.
|There is such a thing as "community standards". |
And how exactly are you going to apply your personal version of 'community standards'? It would seem that many Adsense publishers do not feel that they are part of your community, nor do they seem to share your standards. Perhaps you are in the wrong community?
|Do not call black -> gray |
No - you stop calling grey -> black.
The Internet covers the world, not just your cosy little neck of the moral woods.
What gives you the right to decide on what is black and what is right? Your version of Moral absolutism is never going to be accepted by the more open minded majority no matter how many times you try to thrust it down our throats.
What? What?!?! Some of this discussion is lost on me.
I'm an Adsense newbie, but I think I understand what negative connotations might be derived from a pure "Made for Adsense" site. I would imagine that such a site would be put together with one goal, and that would be clicks. Any aim to connect with the visitor or user would take the back seat to the almighty click. Such a site, I would imagine, would be pretty obvious—it wouldn't offer anything unique from the web publisher, just empty keyword-rich phrases and so forth. Such a site would drive the visitor quickly away—onto one of the advertiser's links (which was the whole point to begin with!).
Even I, as a newbie, think I understand the concept, and I think I can understand why Google would reserve the right to boot such sites.
Surely, nobody who came up with an idea for a site, with an interest in the subject matter of that site, and with a sincere goal of sharing information, would produce a pure "Made for Adsense" site. At least this is the impression I'm getting.
My sites have been online for a couple of years, long before I decided to put ads on them. They are what they are, and apparently they are useful to visitors. The ads are bringing me in some money and that's great, but the sites would exist whether or not I had Adsense ads on them.
When I create new pages and new content, I will be thinking of Adsense, but I won't be just thinking of that, because that would be too boring. I always create sites about things that interest me. But make no mistake about it—the placement of ads will be on my mind. But that doesn't make my site a pure "Made for Adsense" site.
|Even I, as a newbie, think I understand the concept, and I think I can understand why Google would reserve the right to boot such sites. |
"But that doesn't make my site a pure "Made for Adsense" site. " - yosemite
So what is a pure "made for adsense" site? Would it be one where the webmaster is concerned about the click to keep his head his family's head, his employee's head out of the water? I am in BUSINESS. That is what a business is there to do, to make money. Although I have ethics about giving my visitor what they want or a way to get what they want and to gain their respect as well as credibility for my site, but the point of all of this is to make money. That is all it is. It is attracting visitors and converting them into money. Just like any magazine, newspaper, TV network or station. They don't create content just because. They do it for the sole point of attracting, retaining, and converting an audience.
Now if money isn't what you are after why would you care or give a rats behind if adsense or SPAM sites do with adsense?
This thread is only talking about the most obvious site that everyone would agree that it was made for the only purpose of people clicking on AS ads. It is not about gray areas.
Does'nt google allow adsense on parked domains (big players only).
Lots of content there.
These discussions just show that internet marketing is still in the 'wild west' phase.
What I am saying is that most here would agree that we are in it for the money. I don't care if it is affiliates or whatever. The purpose of our sites are to get clicks and make money. Many people are commenting on ethics and what not. I am calling them on it. They hide behind their statment of having "useful" content that they consider ethical even though their purpose is the same and most spam sites. To make money. How many of them have I seen complain on WebmasterWorld that their CTR was down or their EPC is going to s**t. If your sole purpose is to provide useful content then what are you worried about.
Even if your site came before Adsense, you are still no doubt in it for the money. If not then why have it on your site. Don't give me the crap about well I thought I would give it a try. You did it to make money. To make clicks. That is all.
Who here can say that they make all of their content the best converting content for advertisers. Traffic from search engines. Do you target the best keywords for your content and advertisers to gain clicks and vistiors. I bet you do. How are you any different. Oh I see your "purpose" is to provide content right? Why? Just because it makes you feel good or to profit from it. Hmmmmm. Again why are you using adsense if all you need to do is feel good?
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