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AdSense Spammers

Changing my mind on reporting them

     
5:56 am on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Until recently, I had the opinion of "live and let live" when it comes to sites that offer zero content surrounded by AdSense ads.

However, it seems that these sites are popping up more and more each day.

I break my but trying to develop useful content while battling ads that sometimes go off target and smart pricing.

I'm starting to think that we should be reporting these sites. Clearly, they hurt legitimate publishers and bloggers who use AdSense.

AdWords users (of which I am one) set limits on having their ads shown, and if these guys are eating up the inventory, it hurts the good guys.

Am I wrong?

10:24 am on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You are right.

I put avery seen garbage ad in the URL filter.
Had a great effect on CTR.
Not only on the content pages, but also
on the search result pages.

We should also try to keep the szene clean.

For example I found by a typing mistake

Logo without link

2 Ads 300x250

Below the fold: A stream of sensless content looking like a software tries to fool search engines, that there is content

All the content without any link.

10:46 am on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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So how do you report them and will Google do anything about it?
11:53 am on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Tip #1:

Wrong: "Dear Google, I am an Adsense publisher and www.spamsite.com is earning more than me"

Better: "Dear Google, I am an Adwords customer and I have seen my ads on www.spamsite.com. This site is crap and I want my money back"

As many of us are both on Adsense and Adwords

12:31 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It would be good if we could have a united front on this issue. Like if we had 100 or 500 signatures from us concerning a list of sites. Maybe develop an Adsense spam-watch group that would periodically submit the list to Adsense/Adwords.
1:29 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I've been reporting sites I find for quite some time. I usually bookmark the site and not long after the canned reply from Adsense... the problem is usually fixed. I believe that Google does contact these people.
2:01 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have always held that if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
2:21 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I've had mixed success reporting sites to Google but I would highly recommend that we do our part to reduce spam.

I reported one site that had no content whatsoever, just an empty but appealing design and a large arrow pointing to the Adsense ads to be clicked upon. Within days, the site was banned from Google.

Within days, the site was back but under a different domain. Weeks after I reported that site, it still is running. I also reported a few other sites run by the same sleazy outfit. One of their sites, for example, had auto-generated content around a series of keywords. The pages were all the same - something to the effect of "It is important to take when choosing a [KEYWORDS HERE]. It can be a difficult choice. etc." - with the only difference being the keywords. Weeks later, that site is still up.

However, I have seen a few other sites I reported get canned for TOS violations. So it's a mixed bag. Unless we all report the violations and start demanding more quality of Google, we can't expect it.

2:53 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Spam sites are eating up our revenues - Right.

BUT... consider this.

Adsense program is based on adwords program which needs to give maximum sale to the advertiser.

When an end user ends up in a scraper / spamsite, all the end user sees is NOTHING useful.... and clicks on the (Ads by Gooooogle) advert to find the useful information.

This actually profits the advertiser.

The case of content rich ( not crap content, but genuine knowledgeable content ), the end user may get satisfied with the content and do not click on an advert.

I have a site about education articles (college education / admissions ) which gets a good amount of adverts from adsense, and has a huge traffic. In spite of high traffic ( as compared to my other sites ) , the revenue is low. Most people come there to read and refer articles and just do not click on ads.. ( not that i am complaining .. feeling good )

Just a thought, which may not appeal to we with adsense, but would surely appeal to adwords advertisers.

What do you think?

3:41 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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i agree. sites that offer no content other than adsense links are not that bad for advertisers. the person clicking the ad is obviously interested in the subject. once the person is at the landing page of the advertiser, it is up to them to convert. It isn't up to the publisher running adsense to convert.

This is what some advertisers on adwords don't understand, they are simply paying for "targeted traffic". Which they are getting from adsense only sites.

Obviously google agrees, other wise they would not have adsense for domains. Domains place holder sites have ZERO content yet, adsense is made available to them.

Another thing is when you search for things in google, you always get those "directory sites" which are basically adsense ads. These are ranked pretty high in the google search, so it's not like google doesn't know they exist.

Basically, google supports non-content sites. They won't admit it, but they do.. cause it makes them $$$$. and lots of it.

3:42 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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When an end user ends up in a scraper / spamsite, all the end user sees is NOTHING useful.... and clicks on the (Ads by Gooooogle) advert to find the useful information. This actually profits the advertiser.

No, it doesn't, because advertisers profit from conversions, not from clickthroughs.

Most advertisers aren't looking for just any traffic; they're looking for qualified leads.

3:57 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It would be good if we could have a united front on this issue.

It will never happen because there are many who disagree on what constitues a spam site.

Most advertisers aren't looking for just any traffic; they're looking for qualified leads.

If the advertiser does his job right virtually ALL leads are qualified leads.

4:12 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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For what it's worth, I think most people who are not spammers have a pretty coherent idea of what a spam site is.
4:12 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Long live the spammers! Let's sing their praises morning and night!
4:28 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm also reporting Google about spammers.

They tell me, theay will ask the publisher to change it, but 4 months later, there hasn't been changed anything at all.

It's about 1 site (they've expanded it with some new sites) with hundreds subdomains with 3 columns with Google Adsense.

4:38 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The only thing I have reported was a click scheme I ran actross on a board I moderate at.

The guy actually posted his site and said they had about 100 other people and they all take turns clicking on each others ads .

That is clear fraud to the advertisors and potentially could mean the lose of advertisors to the program.

I see other stuff that bothers me the scapersites ,spam etc.. but those are judgemnet calls that I'll let Google handle.

I have come to terms that those are sites that irk me because they rank above me using cheesy tactics.

But I have more important concerns then chasing chessy ranked sites all day ; like building one more page

5:15 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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How about a "wall of shame" site?

A site will all the "bad" Adsense sites/links on it :-)

Noel

5:47 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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As long as the links don't pass PR ...

I think that's a great idea. Who wants to do it? I would love to contribute. And as I think about it, this might be the pressure we need on Google ...

7:33 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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why is it always assumed that clicks from "adsense only" sites are all "non qualified" or "not leads"? Is there anyone with ACTUAL data that they have tracked to justify this point?

Just because they are ranked higher than you or because they are not offering any content does not mean clicks from those sites are useless or not a lead.

the visitor made it to the advertisers site... it's up to the advertisers landing page to convert. Simple. That's how most marketing/advertising works.

and to the comment about "the people who know what a spam site is"... i am not arguing whether they are spam or not. just that they are not useless to advertisers.

7:52 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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No9t9,

I'm an adwords advertiser - several thousand $ per month. I don't want my ads appearing on numerous 'spam' sites I've seen and I don't care if they convert or not. I don't want my company name to be associated with these crappy, fake directory sites.

8:33 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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if users don't like the sites, they are bad. end of story.

doesn't matter whether anyone clicks through on ads on that site. often it just shows how desperate users are to leave it for anything else.

3:30 am on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Sounds to me that, by that definition, ANY publisher site from which a visitor clicks on an adsense link is BAD, since there was obviously SOMETHING lacking to cause the reader to click and go elsewhere.
3:58 am on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The world is full of grays, but that doesn't mean that one should not draw a black or white line somewhere and say that going beyond the line is taking a step too far.

In this world, spam appears to be the last refuge of scoundrels. And to these scoundrels - count yourself among them if the shoes fit - grays are everywhere.

4:43 am on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Sounds to me that, by that definition, ANY publisher site from which a visitor clicks on an adsense link is BAD, since there was obviously SOMETHING lacking to cause the reader to click and go elsewhere.

Most people are just curious, others might want to check out something for sale through the ad, loads don't know that the ad opens on the same page, in fact looking at the logs many do come back within a few seconds,oh, and not all publishers run an ebiz site.

5:07 am on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If the advertiser does his job right virtually ALL leads are qualified leads.

That statement is wrong on so many levels. I can tell you don't do any advertising yourself if that's what you really believe.

If Adwords offered Adsense sites that were only doorway pages, I think we would be interested in advertising just on those. They are usually much better suited to conversion than content sites in my view.

5:40 am on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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come on guys, when you signed up did you expect your ads to appear on only respectable sites full of rich content? if you did I'd be surprise. If you wanted you can always turn the content ads off and just show your ads on the SEPRS. or use a different method of advertising.

the real issue here is that spam sites are being listed higher in Google then true content sites.
That is something we don't really have much control over and is an issue for Google. Sure you can report
them and Google 'might' do something, but I'm sure Google are looking to bump the spam sites down the SERP rather then deal with individual accounts.

advertising is advertising, if you took out a radio, TV, newspaper, magazine advert you don't get a say in what establishment that ad ends up in.

5:44 am on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You're are exactly right about turning off content if advertisers don't like it. I believe that is exactly what has been happening judging by the low revenues posted from Adsense publishers on this forum.

The one thing you didn't point out about the difference between radio, tv and newspaper advertising is that Google is pushing conversion ratio as much as the advertisers and on those other media you don't have a location that can make extra bucks off the advertiser by cheating the system by clicking on their own ads.

5:46 am on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm an adwords advertiser - several thousand $ per month. I don't want my ads appearing on numerous 'spam' sites I've seen and I don't care if they convert or not. I don't want my company name to be associated with these crappy, fake directory sites.

Wow, I can't believe you don't care if they convert... I don't know how much of your business is generated from those spam sites. But, looking at a "what if" scenario... what if you made 20% of your income from spam sites. and what if that number went to zero? I'll bet you care then..

Next, I'll bet you run in circles with webmasters and internet saavy people. Many, many, many, many people on the net do not know they are on a spam site!

I have a friend who is on the net quite a bit. I told him about my google ads and he had ABSOLUTELY no idea which ones were the ads even though it had ADS BY GOOGLE written all over it.

The only reason you don't like spam sites is because you PERCIEVE them as bad! And you THINK it COULD hurt your business image. Well, unless your website business caters to the more internet saavy people, like those who are webmasters, it doesn't matter if your ads are on spam sites ESPECIALLY if they are converting.

6:08 am on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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advertising is advertising, if you took out a radio, TV, newspaper, magazine advert you don't get a say in what establishment that ad ends up in.

Yes, you do.

Wow, I can't believe you don't care if they convert...

Welcome to the real world of advertising, where businesses care about the company they keep.

6:18 am on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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EFV,

You are trying to promote ethical business behavior. Shame on you!

Spammers rule!

This 36 message thread spans 2 pages: 36