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Google AdSense Forum

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Google Adsense Spam
rfontaine




msg:1317212
 8:35 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

It seems like the internet is overun with websites that have little or no real content - rather, the entire intention of these sites is obviously to have google ads displayed.

These crap sites pervade every subject and its getting really out of hand. Many sites use decieving methods to get people to click on the ads. People often think the ads are part of the regular navigation. I have seen alot of entire directories built around adsense with no honest content, even sites that look and feel like ecommerce sites selling large inventories of products but actually only have google ads for income.

I don't know about you, but if I were a google advertiser I wouldn't want my good name attached with this rubbish, not to mention the quality of the clicks from many of these sites must be poor. In fact, I bet alot the clicks origonate from the website owners themselves.

What do you guys think about this google adsense spam junk which is overunning the internet?

 

Buzliteyear




msg:1317213
 8:41 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Besides being a publisher, I am also an AdWords advertiser. I am not so concerned with Spam, at least for the type of site I have.

If an advertisement for my site on.... fire trucks shows up on a page about fire trucks which would be viewed by people interested in fire trucks, I do not mind, and I don't care if it is a spam site.

Bottom line, if it brings interested, relevant traffic, I am happy.

europeforvisitors




msg:1317214
 9:18 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

If an advertisement for my site on.... fire trucks shows up on a page about fire trucks which would be viewed by people interested in fire trucks, I do not mind, and I don't care if it is a spam site.

But what if it brings in people who:

1) are searching for information on fire trucks but have no intention of buying a fire truck; and...

2) clicked on your ad only because they got trapped on a page with no obvious way out except for ads disguised as navigation links.

Do those people represent hot, warm, or even lukewarm leads? I suspect not.

walrus




msg:1317215
 9:18 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I read one post a long time ago that was kind of humorous,

"i dont care if the ads stapled to a dead fish as long as theres a decent roi"

You're right though, it is a real concern.
I think the change in the terms that requires publishers to adhere to the Google webmaster guidlines is meant to minimize this behaviour.

ownerrim




msg:1317216
 9:35 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

And, usually, these sites have an awful look to them, like mismatched parts from a secondhand erector set that have been quickly slapped together. I think we've all seen them. They're often just a collection of links to other sites and the adsense ads sit on top, to the side, and on the bottom of these links. The aim of the webcretins who put these things together is that the user will mistake adsense for a link. And, of course, when that happens, there's little chance of conversion for the advertiser. In the end, it hurts all legitimate publishers and it really does make adsense look bad. I guess google can make this stuff float for quite a long time because they anticipate more than doubling their advertiser base. And, also, being the number one SE, advertisers will, to some extent, continue to put up with it. But that won't last forever. And then, there's the issue of user dissatisfaction: if this crap starts showing up too much at the top of serps, google might as well consider changing its name to altavista at some point.

Never_again




msg:1317217
 12:33 am on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

if this [stuff] starts showing up too much at the top of serps, google might as well consider changing its name to altavista at some point.

Right on ownerrim. The only reason these sites exist is to generate income from AdSense and the only way they can do that is to have a reasonable level of traffic. Drop them from the SERP's and their traffic/income will also drop which, IMHO, will cause many to disappear.

But Google also needs to attack this issue from the AdSense side and enforce the TOS since it is obvious to all that these spam sits have been developed just for AdSense.

Finally, there has been a number of posts on WW from developers of these spam website and they flatly tell you that the worse their “content” is the better CTR they get, so don’t expect them to ever “improve” these miserable excuses for content sites.

[edited by: Never_again at 12:59 am (utc) on Dec. 16, 2004]

nzmatt




msg:1317218
 12:51 am on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

For one site I have a reasonable advertising budget per day for Awords - because the site is sandboxed.

It sells luxury items and the cost per click is around 2 USD. Every time we put up an ad for the first time the click through per impression starts out at about 20-50%!

This is obviously either/both:

a) Competitors clicking on our adds

b) Spammy little #*$!s clicking our ads on their spammy little sites.

I’ve got to say I'm getting completely feed up with Google! If they didn't control the f******* market I would only use their competition.

The internet feels like a monopoly!

I had a nightmare last night where I was being chased around by a giant Google with long creepy arms cornering and trying to catch me.

This isn't how the internet was supposed to be!

europeforvisitors




msg:1317219
 3:27 am on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

If such click fraud is happening consistently, there's an easy way to learn whether dishonest publishers may (or may not) be at fault: Simply opt out of the content network for a while and see if the artificially high clickthrough rate continues.

annej




msg:1317220
 3:46 am on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think sites like this have contributed a lot to adsense blindness. A lot of people just don't see the ads anymore.

gmac17




msg:1317221
 5:17 am on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't mind sites that are created for adsense as long as the clicks are legit. The problem is there is too much of an incentive for publishers to create fraud.

What google should really do is create a second bidding sytem for adwords and adsense, that way you could bid $10 on adwords and $1 on adsense sites.

europeforvisitors




msg:1317222
 5:40 am on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think sites like this have contributed a lot to adsense blindness. A lot of people just don't see the ads anymore.

That probably depends on the site and the topic. On a portal or newspaper site, AdSense ads may well fade into the background, because the person who's reading about a battle in Iraq or a football game isn't necessarily interested in buying anything. However, a person who's reading a comparison test of vacuum cleaners, a review of a cruise or hotel, or an article on mail-order underwear is far more likely to be interested in relevant ads.

For what it's worth, I've been in the AdSense program for a year and a half now, and I haven't seen any indication of "AdSense fatigue" on my site. But then, I have a travel-planning site, so most of my readers looking for ways to spend their money.

What google should really do is create a second bidding sytem for adwords and adsense, that way you could bid $10 on adwords and $1 on adsense sites.

It isn't that simple, because there may be a wider disparity in conversion rates between different parts of the "content network" than there is between AdWords and AdSense.

Google's "smart pricing" adjusts for differences between different types of content and search, using the bid only as a baseline for calculating what the advertiser actually pays. If advertisers don't think that's good enough, then the smart ones won't be happy with "search" vs. "content" bidding--they'll want the ability to cherry-pick higher-quality sites or certain types of content instead of taking potluck (as they do now) when they choose the content network.

Certainly Google would be foolish to do anything that might lead to downward pressure on AdSense bids, because publishers in high-profit categories would dump their AdSense ads if their effective CPM dropped too low. For many such publishers, AdSense is just one--and not necessarily the biggest--revenue stream.

rfontaine




msg:1317223
 1:19 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yeah, thats all good stuff but what about the problem of cretins filling the internet with crap content. Fully half the searches I do lately pull up totally useless sites in the top 10 made specifically for google ads. It makes google look pretty bad when the results they serve include so many sites that google itself has had a hand in creating.

europeforvisitors




msg:1317224
 3:39 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

It makes google look pretty bad when the results they serve include so many sites that google itself has had a hand in creating.

Yes, and I'll bet a lot of Google Search employees wish AdSense had never been invented.

AdSense was (and is) a great concept, but the implementation obviously needs work.

loanuniverse




msg:1317225
 6:55 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Besides being a publisher, I am also an AdWords advertiser. I am not so concerned with Spam, at least for the type of site I have.

I wouldn't have a problem as a publisher if all of the advertisers though like you, but they do not.

I would not have a problem as a search engine user if I did not find an inordinate amount of sites like those cluttering the SERPS, but they do.

rfontaine




msg:1317226
 9:45 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

It seems to me these google-ad-spam sites are doubling about ever 3-months. At this rate within a few years there will be more fake sites designed only for google ads than the real thing!

I might create a new search engine that only includes web pages that do not contain google ads. I bet there is a greater chance for relevant search results! In fact, having a google ad should induce a search engine penalty as potential spamming.

europeforvisitors




msg:1317227
 11:54 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I might create a new search engine that only includes web pages that do not contain google ads.

Well, I guess I won't be able to look for WASHINGTON POST or NEW YORK TIMES stories in your search engine. :-)

newads




msg:1317228
 1:08 am on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just think of a HOARDINGs, BILL BOARDS hang on to the street..

WHY they are still conider as good advertisement techniques.
Even think of PAmplets, or TV ADS or RADIO ADS..

No Body will try to buy a thing by going to TV BOX ,RADIO or search for a vendor around the HOARDING.

They will create INTREST....Thats what google ads also..

Don't worry about the Internet is burdened..Search ENgines will take care....(may be i may not express thsi correctly...)

oldskool79




msg:1317229
 2:13 am on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

But Google also needs to attack this issue from the AdSense side and enforce the TOS since it is obvious to all that these spam sits have been developed just for AdSense.

I think that is the dilema Google is in. They earn a hefty chunk of their revenue from these sites. I've seen the Adsense data on a few keyword sites and the numbers are crazy. I'm talking consistent double digit CTR for mid 6 digit impressions.

They are stuck between a rock and a hard place. If they stop these sites they lose a big chunk of revenue. But by keeping them they devalue their search engine.

rfontaine




msg:1317230
 2:05 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree OldSchool79 - google is making alot of money but also they have caused a tidal wave of crap sites to be invented for the sole purpose of google ads.

It's like they let a mutant virus go into the wild and it's replicating and morphing into something ugly.

When I see google ads on websites now I often start laughing - it's getting so that:

google ads on a site = suspsect credibility

adfree




msg:1317231
 2:26 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think sites like this have contributed a lot to adsense blindness. A lot of people just don't see the ads anymore.

Which on the other hand will allow a market regulation in itself. If Adsense ads are offered in an accompanying, complimenting manner (e.g. I have made great experience by marking the units SPONSORED LINKS for my users to know what they're up to), users gladly take on the opportunity to some healthy degree (CTR).

The same goes for messy layout (back button) and tricking users into activity traps due to lack of options (no returning visitors, no bookmarking).

I believe we all have to (and Google certainly does) allow a certain sense of market regulation too. Although some of the fraud needs to be stopped NOW. This on the other hand I trust Google enough to detect and stop themselves as the one party here with the highest stakes.

europeforvisitors




msg:1317232
 4:32 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

When I see google ads on websites now I often start laughing - it's getting so that:

google ads on a site = suspsect credibility

If that were true, why did USA TODAY plug my site in a story yesterday? :-)

I don't think too many users judge a site on its ads, unless the ads are really scummy. If they did, the WASHINGTON POST wouldn't be running skyscraper ads for dating services.

walrus




msg:1317233
 5:07 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nice EFV, what an endorsment!

This spammy site stuff isnt unique to Adsense, millions of sites have been designed around all the other affiliate programs as well.

adfree




msg:1317234
 5:16 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Millions of guys try sticking their paper flyers behind your wind shield.
Millions of phone marketers try to get to your money as well.
Millions of people try talking you into anything at any fair or show.
Happens all the time, why should online be different?
So...?

europeforvisitors




msg:1317235
 5:48 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Millions of phone marketers try to get to your money as well.

They seem to have given up lately, at least on my phone line. Maybe they've all switched to e-mail spam.

One thing I'll say for telemarketers: At least they don't call up to sell me Viagra, adult photos, or dates with lonely housewives. :-)

photonstudios




msg:1317236
 10:11 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yeah, thats all good stuff but what about the problem of cretins filling the internet with crap content.

Ummm...you're offending a lot of people here by saying by calling them "cretins".

cagey1




msg:1317237
 10:19 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I won't deny that this is a problem, but we need to keep it in perspective. People have been complaining about a flood of spammy websites since the Internet was born - long before Adsense came strolling along.

walrus




msg:1317238
 5:14 am on Dec 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

So... like cagey1 said, just keep it in perspective.
Adsense is constantly tightening the reigns and trying to create a better program all the time so if spammers dont clean up their act eventually they may face account termination.

memnon




msg:1317239
 6:50 pm on Dec 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

that is a sad analysis. the simple fact is that u should not fault another mans earnings or what he does.
its his life, his rent and so on. if google thinks its tacky they will suspend account. all these people that want to ban so many adsense sites need to stop. i dont even think i can call you a fellow american thinking like such. which calls to mind what charles lindburgh said when he left the us for uk. "americans dont have respect for each other"

I hope this sinks in. Adsense is a good program. it lets everyone make money. it seems all u want is a communist internet. where u type in a subject and u only get 1 site for 30 google pages. under every topic imaginable. Look at television advertising when someone makes a cheap commercial selling a product. then when the corporate commercial for that product comes out then u see that the other guy was a dealer and that this is the real companys commercial. but the company does not care cause they are bringing the company money.

Im just sick and tired of people whinign over google spam sites. Its a really neat way for people to make money but all u seem to do is want to take away that priveledge to make money. i think its pathetic. why dont u worry about you. and mind your busiess and leave it up to google.

reminds me of the movie patriot with mel gibson. "why would i trade 1 tyrant 3000 miles away for 3000 tyrants 1 mile away"
get the picture

europeforvisitors




msg:1317240
 7:36 pm on Dec 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Its a really neat way for people to make money but all u seem to do is want to take away that priveledge to make money.

And you're in favor of letting people make money at the expense of advertisers? Even if you subscribe to the theory that it's okay to rip off big corporations (which I don't), have you given any thought to the fact that many advertisers are small-business owners who are just trying to eke out a living?

gmac17




msg:1317241
 9:29 pm on Dec 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

if you don't want to advertise then don't do it - it's that simple. If it's not converting for you, don't place the ads. This isn't Utopia where google owes anyone anything.

If you think this is bad, wait till pay per call catches up and everyone is trying to optimize their own sites for the local plumber.

This 40 message thread spans 2 pages: 40 ( [1] 2 > >
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