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Adsense on directories all over the net
zeus




msg:1375751
 7:57 pm on Dec 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I realy getting sick off all those directories or link sites on Google and Yahoo, which get there profits from adwords - the sites just includ links and nothing else all over the site.

Many of those directories/linksites with adsense are also sites that hurt many other real sites with redirectings and hijacking - I dont get it, I thought Google hat to aprove every publisher or dont they care anymore.

Many of you may also have seen all those linksites

 

bumpski




msg:1375781
 12:21 am on Dec 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am tired of competing with myself! My own snippet or worse a verbatim copy of my Title and description. I implicitly give Google permission to publish a "snippet" from the content of my website. I don't give "Scraper Scum" the same permission to infringe upon my copyrights.
I've taken action.
A site that has a PR of 9, because it provides "hit count" services, has also published verbatim copies of my website's highly ranked snippet, a snippet generated by a Yahoo search. This PR 9 site has now infringed on Yahoo's copyright as well as mine. So I wrote a nice letter to:
(These email addresses are clearly published by each provider and are readily available to anyone)
Daniel Dougherty
Copyright Agent
c/o Yahoo! Inc.
701 First Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
By phone: (408) 349-5080
By fax: (408) 349-7821
By email: copyright@yahoo-inc.com

Dear Yahoo Representative

Is Yahoo aware of the following potential copyright infringement upon Yahoo itself, and or, does Yahoo consider this an infringement? ........


I never heard back from Yahoo, BUT, the PR 9 Scraper Scum site started using snippets from MSN a week or so later, I wonder why? So I wrote another letter:
To: 'jkweston@microsoft.com'
Dear MSN Representative

Is MSN aware of the following potential copyright infringement upon MSN itself, and or, does MSN consider this an infringement?
Some sample links to the potential infringement:
.........


Of course now this "Scraper Scum" is simply copying my Title and description directly from my site. So again I'm competing against my own page in the SERPS(and the best of your pages too!)
What's worse?
This PR 9 site is found first by a unsuspecting searcher. (Come on Google rank my site higher than my site's snippet copied to another site). The searcher clicks on the Scraper Scum's Adsense ad. Okay now the innocent searcher finally clicks on the link to my site from the Scraper Scum's site. But now the searcher sees the same Adsense ad on my site; why would the searcher click on it again.

I call them "Useless Directories" and they are stealing yours and my revenue, revenue we worked hard for by generating unique, original content, and they're just copying it and making a good income. THATS COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT! It's illegal, it's not OK.

Now I've gotten emails asking me to link to a Scraper Scum site because it will help me get hits!

Sorry sometimes I get angry.

Happy Holidays!

HughMungus




msg:1375782
 12:26 am on Dec 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

a tiered program that would let advertisers choose between the current potluck approach and a subset of hand-vetted sites

Such advertising systems/companies already exist. Besides, that would require WAY too much human interaction from Google (not their interest nor their forte, it seems).

HughMungus




msg:1375783
 12:30 am on Dec 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

the fact that advertisers disagree so strongly on the value of scraper sites and other "index filler" just supports what some of us have been saying all along

I guess we'll just have to disagree on this.

europeforvisitors




msg:1375784
 1:38 am on Dec 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Such advertising systems/companies already exist.

So what? PPC existed before AdWords came along, too. For that matter, search engines existed before Google joined the party.

IMHO, it's inevitable that we'll see product extensions within Google's "content network," because if Google doesn't offer them, a competitor will.

Besides, that would require WAY too much human interaction from Google (not their interest nor their forte, it seems).

How so? They already use humans to review publisher applications, and they're using human reviews for quality control in both AdSense and Google search. For that matter, AdWords/AdSense ads are subject to editorial review and, in some cases, editing by Google personnel--a process that's far more labor-intensive than a "review once up front, then spot-check now and then" vetting of publisher sites.

Google may have been a company that was founded on algorithms, but on the advertising side especially, "human interaction" is very much a part of the company's day-to-day business.

zeus




msg:1375785
 2:07 am on Dec 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I see I hit a spot here, so its not just me.

johnpinochet




msg:1375786
 8:33 am on Dec 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

zeus,

Like anything in life it appears to be 50:50.

Per my previous post, I like seeing directory results. I've never found that one directory result took me to another. I've always found that clicking on a single directory result in a Google SERP, actually enhanced my search experience by helping me to think of other keywords to use in my search, as well as allowing me to see how other sites are related to my search within the directory.

By the way, no one has answered the question of what exactly constitutes one of these sites that is upsetting so many people here at webmasterworld.com.

My personal opinion is that the things that are upsetting here to webmasters are not the same things that are upsetting to the average google user.

Macro




msg:1375787
 10:36 am on Dec 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>it appears to be 50:50.

LOL. And you got the number from where? This thread?

>>no one has answered the question of what exactly constitutes one of these sites that is upsetting so many people here

No, it's not the fact that there isn't a definition that's annoying people. It's the fact that these sites exist, they steal content, they don't honest robots.txt, they provide no useful service to the end user and they rank well in Google. I've sent you one example. It's not necessarily the best but there are several clues through this thread if you read it carefully. We are not talking DMOZ clones.

Macro




msg:1375788
 11:40 am on Dec 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

<correction: they don't honour robots.txt>

bumpski




msg:1375789
 5:48 pm on Dec 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I truly don't mind directories that are created by voluntary submissions, fine, the owner of the copyrighted material has clearly given permission. Even the example I sited had sent an email to me requesting permission to proceed with his copyright infringement. The copy, of course, had already been made and posted.

AND oh by the way, if I link back to the "scraper scum" site my listing will be moved near the top. So the listings aren't organised in any useful manner they are just there to get inbound links, and from a site that promises it will have PR 3 in a few weeks, which we all know is now impossible. Hmm.

Is that method of organizing the listings useful to someone doing a search? I don't think so Tim. The goal of the sites in question is to get Adsense ad income. Income that should have been to the site that produced the original snippet content. This type of directory is stealing your income.

If the directories had some meaningful organization great, that might be useful, but ordered by inbound linkers? Hmm.

By the way I wrote back to this directory owner suggesting, in a polite manner, I'd prefer he remove my listing.
No, he moved it near the bottom of the listings. Is that a useful prioritization scheme for someone doing a search?

Of course now I can have some fun pursuing a blatant copyright infringement in Canada. Sounds like fun!

What is copyright?
[copyright.gov...]

Snippets are derivative works! Even Google infringes, but that's OK with me, Google helps put food on the table, "scraper scum" directories don't.

Ho, Ho, Ho!
Happy Holidays

europeforvisitors




msg:1375790
 6:13 pm on Dec 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Snippets are derivative works!

I imagine they're protected by the "fair use" doctrine, which permits limited excerpting in reviews, for news purposes, etc. For that matter, scraper sites may be protected if they're merely scraping page titles and descriptions.

I think the real problem with scraper sites isn't that they're violating copyright, but that they're cluttering up search results and decreasing the value of search engines for users. This is an issue that Google will have to deal with soon--if only to protect the integrity and market share of the company's core product: Google search.

Webwork




msg:1375791
 6:26 pm on Dec 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

As regards the snippet approach I suspect some day that model will be challenged in court and, if it's a close call (close call is the best case scenario IMHO) the snippet approach will lose.

Why?

It's difficult to see snippet scrapers as an attempt to 'add value', especially if they fail to imbed a link to the source like a true directory. Adding value isn't a test of fair use but a modern court would likely see that as an indicator of fair use. Snippet sites are on their face, when they lack a link back, nothing more than a search engine exploit that uses someone else's creative works to profit the snippet site operator. Perhaps what we will see is a court interpretation of fair use that simply acknowledges what this is. I don't think this will be a 'new law' so much as a rationale attempt to uphold the intent of the fair use doctrine. That the only/material 'value gained' by the alleged fairuse is the profit of the snippet user is likely to be central to the analysis that the use is, in fact, not fair.

Snippet sites are one off from a search engine, and even with search engines some argue copyright infringement is a close call. What is it that gets a search engine around the argument? Does 'the weight' of that argument insulating bona fide search engines apply with equal force to snippet sites or is there a distinction? Probably. Anyone see any distinctions between search engine SERPs and snippet servers? Care to list the distinguishing characteristics? (I'm certain a judge will some day see such a list.)

I won't labor to argue the point until I'm the one filing the lawsuit, but I do find the subject of discerning distinctions upon which a fair judgment can be rendered a fascinating process. Somewhat like surgery or exploring the cosmos.

Interesting times.

bumpski




msg:1375792
 6:51 pm on Dec 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think the real problem with scraper sites isn't that they're violating copyright, but that they're cluttering up search results and decreasing the value of search engines for users. This is an issue that Google will have to deal with soon--if only to protect the integrity and market share of the company's core product: Google search.

I agree entirely with EuropeForVisitors, but I do believe copyright is a legitimate means of correcting the situation. I think Google should aggresively attack the quality issue, searchers have to search twice, not once, to find the information they are looking for, this is poor quality.

Regarding fair use:
[copyright.gov...]
107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use38
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

The "useless directories" are not meeting this criteria of fair use. ( In my opinion ). There is no educational value, no comment, no news reporting, teaching, etc, etc.

The criteria is value to society other than profit to the infringer.

What good is all this? I feel justified in pursuing, sites that are not contributing services to my (potential) customer/ visitor. I hope Google has the same quality incentive.

Frankly I'm not sure it's there.

bumpski




msg:1375793
 10:09 pm on Dec 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

To descriminate between search engines and scrapers?

I actually did submit my site to Google and several other reputable search engines. (Actually not to Yahoo though, they wanted me to pay, Hmm!). Google will also remove my site if asked. I'm not sure how reliable this is though, unless I take an affimative action, (robots.txt).

All Google has to do to be differentiated is to not index a site until it is submitted, preferably by the site owner. An automated email would handle authenticating the owner. I actually don't think Google would lose many sites from their index.

I imagine most sites would submit to Google if it meant being indexed, but would they submit to hundreds of "useless directories" who are simply scavenging their adsense revenue, I don't think so.

Google is not infringing because I gave them permission by submitting my site. Google could contractualize this submission process to cover their posterior.

What's for dinner?
Happy Holidays

johnpinochet




msg:1375794
 10:06 am on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Macro,

RE: 50:50, my point being that some people are bothered by it, and for that we can pat ourselves on the back and cheer, BUT, probably an equal number of people are not bothered by it.

No factual evidence to support the claim. Just making an off the cuff statement. In any event, the people most likely to post to this topic are people ticked off by the practice. Hardly an unbiased group to poll.

On a side note, I received the "bad site" example url you sent me earlier, and visited the site.

A couple of observations:

1) The site is well-designed, and pleasing to the eye.
2) The site is very fast.
3) The site is human readable, and the directory paths are made for humans.
4) 100% of the links are sponsored, not counting the adsense links.

While the site is not my cup of tea, I personally don't find anything wrong with it. I was expecting something more along the lines of those strange 250 word pages that read like someone with minimal English skills from some far off country wrote it.

In this case the guy has provided a well designed, easy to navigate directory. It is 100% sponsored links, so I personally would probably never use it. However, I could see how someone looking for a business related product on google, and finding a page in the above directory in the SERPS, might find that page useful.

Shouldn't we be utilizing the blatantly obvious sites first to best illustrate our example?

The example I visited kind of confirms a suspicion of mine that pretty much any site is up for grabs for the title of "adsense scum scraper".

Taking a hypothetical respected webmasterworld member (who can do no wrong) what if they saw a pattern to visitors on their site looking for information on a specific high paying keyword topic. What if they created a page on their site to take advantage of this? Assuming that the page is well written and provides excellent content, at a minimum similar to a Google Answers 25 dollar post, would that fall under the label of "made for adsense"?

saoi_jp




msg:1375795
 2:35 pm on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't know if a lot of these "sponsored links" are actually sponsored, or if they just say that to look legit. I've seen linked as well as non-link snippets for my sites on such pages, and I know I've never paid to be there. (Some sites even claim that a click on the link to my site would cost me $x.)

europeforvisitors




msg:1375796
 5:30 pm on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Taking a hypothetical respected webmasterworld member (who can do no wrong) what if they saw a pattern to visitors on their site looking for information on a specific high paying keyword topic. What if they created a page on their site to take advantage of this? Assuming that the page is well written and provides excellent content, at a minimum similar to a Google Answers 25 dollar post, would that fall under the label of "made for adsense"?

The question is academic, because Google has no way of determining the publisher's motive in such cases. Nor is Google likely to care what the publisher's motive is, if the page is delivering worthwhile content to the reader and isn't detracting from the quality of Google's search results.

In determining what constitutes a "made for AdSense" site or page, the Google QC team probably observes the maxim that "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck."

birdstuff




msg:1375797
 6:05 pm on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have a rather large general purpose directory site that ranks very well on Google, and yes, I have AdSense on the category pages (directory above the regular listings) which does very well.

I charge a relatively high submission fee to include sites in this directory and I receive anywhere from 4 to 7 URL submissions per day. Apparently webmasters believe that a listing in the directory is beneficial to their sites or they wouldn't pay $40 a pop to get in.

Interestingly, most of the sites that are submitted display AdSense themselves so the webmasters apparently aren't concerned about my site "competing" with them.

When I first built the site about a year ago I "seeded" the category pages by carefully hand-selecting a few quality sites to include in each category. The rest is history.

I see nothing wrong with this approach and I have never had even one webmaster complain or ask me to remove his/her listing.

In short, why is my directory of any less value to the Internet community than DMOZ or any other directory simply because I earn money from AdSense?

ken_b




msg:1375798
 8:22 pm on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Taking a hypothetical respected webmasterworld member (who can do no wrong) ...

Hypothetical seems to be a good choice of words here.... :)

... what if they saw a pattern to visitors on their site looking for information on a specific high paying keyword topic. What if they created a page on their site to take advantage of this? Assuming that the page is well written and provides excellent content, at a minimum similar to a Google Answers 25 dollar post, would that fall under the label of "made for adsense"?

It would be pretty hard to assign motive to that page. Would the webmaster have built it if adsense wasn't a part of the equation? Does it matter if they put adsense on the page if they would have built it anyhow?

johnpinochet




msg:1375799
 11:03 am on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

birdstuff,

Keep up the good work and disregard the complainers. To be honest, my best ideas, best programming, best income has come from avoiding webmaster forums and focusing solely on what I do best. I come here for ideas, and then leave for awhile.

ken_b,

My sentiments exactly.

efv,

Good point.

zeus




msg:1375800
 4:10 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

As I started this post, I was disapointed with Google adsense alow all those spam directories (pure link), and hijacker sites, now I have also found a site which by the way has been indexed as long I can think off, but I got adsense and it has text with same color text as background.

Seroius why dont they get those SE beginner mistakes fixed, instead of all those experiments with the algo which only destroys good content or picture site which dont have that much text.

They realy have to filter all those spam sites

HughMungus




msg:1375801
 7:55 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

efv, I guess we'll just have to disagree. I think they're trying to use machines to do everything they think they can get away with. That must be OK for most consumers of their products or they wouldn't be making money.

HughMungus




msg:1375802
 7:58 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

bump, applying the law to scraper sites would mean you'd have to also apply the law to search sites like Google, et. al. Both are making a profit by using copyrighted text.

europeforvisitors




msg:1375803
 8:55 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think they're trying to use machines to do everything they think they can get away with. That must be OK for most consumers of their products or they wouldn't be making money.

Well, their Advertising Aperations department is recruiting human Quality Evaluators in the U.S., Ireland, and India:

[google.com...]

And while it's true that they're making money, one would have to be very naive to assume that they won't offer product extensions in the future to reach a larger market and keep one step ahead of the competition (just as they did when they launched AdSense as a product extension of AdWords).

annej




msg:1375804
 4:00 am on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work

This might be the best possibility. If a site is copying from your site and then ranking above you therefore getting visitors you would otherwise have it seems to me it would fit in this catagory.

Or how about when people copy my articles to their ebay pages and perhaps even sell phoney antiques based on my writing? That would lower the value of my article by associating my work with shady dealings.

I suppose there is no hope that anything would come of it though.

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