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Why does Google AdSense sponsor "scraper" spam sites
zeus




msg:1367916
 11:17 pm on Mar 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I remember when I signed up for google adsense I was a little nervous how professionel a site must be to be accepted, but I did not have any troubles.

I hope we agree on that site full of links/google search results is a pure spam site, if so, WHY does google adsense sponsor such sites, there are 10000 sites like that which a sponsored by adsense, dont they want good search results any more, be cause the more they support those site, more there will be in the serps.

I refuse to beleive that its just because of the money.

 

marcuscent




msg:1367917
 11:24 pm on Mar 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Of course it's money-related! Google are a business, and large-scale directory sites make plenty of money for both Google and the publisher for little effort. Google's only dilemma is balancing the revenue gain from such sites with the negative effect on the search results.

security56




msg:1367918
 11:47 pm on Mar 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

zeus, that's the question I always have, and marcus has the only answer I could think of, MONEY, that's all they care about. The funny thing, I notice more and more sites of that type and if google doesnt care, then you will see more and more. Funny thing I don't know if its in my niche but when I do research on yahoo I don't see those site get high ranking, then again it my be just the niche I am in.

So yahoo must be doing soemthing to stop them from getting high ranking.

zeus




msg:1367919
 12:01 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well the scraper sites has hurt there search results BI TIME allready, but still I think I remember they had some kind of law at google, something the two brains have thought of from the begining, about it must never be about money.

security - I have a few in a category I seach much, they rule the serps with a scraper all 20000 pages are identical, just the seach results on the page is different, he realy got good rankings, sad.

[edited by: zeus at 12:03 am (utc) on Mar. 23, 2005]

incrediBILL




msg:1367920
 12:03 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google's mantra is "do no evil" and MONEY is the root of all evil, draw your own conclusions.

lammert




msg:1367921
 12:21 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Looking from an Adsense user point of view, scraper directory sites can be considered as spam sites because they use cheap methods to collect advertisers money.

But looking from an Adwords user point of view, they can as well be sources for highly targeted potential customers. Pages on scraper directory sites are all optimized for a specific keyword or set of keywords. This causes them to bubble up in the SERPs for those keywords. This optimisation for specific keywords causes also the Adsense ads to be on topic.

Because of this, adwords advertisers might not be too unhappy with traffic generated by these sites. Visitors from these sites are mostly comming from search engines and the search words used there will match the advertisers keywords in many situations.

So where you as an Adsense publisher define these spam sites--because they collect money thay could have been in your pocket--an Adwords advertiser might see them as a legitimate source of traffic. As Google's main interest is to keep the advertisers happy that might be the reason for them to keep these sites alive.

zeus




msg:1367922
 12:59 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I look at it as spam on search engines, because there is no real content and thats why I dont understand that google sponsor those.

I tried to make such a site it took me 10 min., so if nothing changes in the serps and google want such pages, I will make those.

security56




msg:1367923
 1:10 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I tried to make such a site it took me 10 min., so if nothing changes in the serps and google want such pages, I will make those.

lol Zeus, exactly what I was think why spend 2 hours a day fixing your site, when you can create a site in less then 10 minutes and get better ranking :)

kpaul




msg:1367924
 1:12 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

the love of money is the root of all evil ;)

kpaul




msg:1367925
 1:15 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

lammert: even so, though, wouldn't that mean by leaving them in (because of clicks, because of money) Goog is encouraging that type of garbage? seriously, high clicks aside, what USE do those sites have? they're against goog's webmaster rules, aren't they? ie. being valuable to surfers, not the engines...

spaceylacie




msg:1367926
 3:21 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Internet hubs, links, make up the Internet. Just because Google is on top right now does not mean that they own the hubs. I run a directory site and it's not spam at all. I make good money from affiliates(pay a percentage of sale in most cases) and private advertisers as well. By the time people go through the directory, and click on a link, they are ready to buy something. My advertisers are very happy with the results, they get highly targeted visitors.

spaceylacie




msg:1367927
 3:26 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sorry, I realized you are talking about scaper sites, not legit directories, but still, advertisers are willing to pay for clicks from these directories, it means that they've gotten a targeted visitor, the visitor had to click at least twice, the new google ad links prove this point further.

Atticus




msg:1367928
 4:31 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

There's something in the Adsense TOS that says you can't put the ads on a site created solely to display ads. As these scraper sites have no value except as click brokers, it seems to me that they violate this admittedly vague rule.

Personally, I'm repulsed by the number of garbage sites using snippets of my content, often including my domain name and even my copyright notice on them.

The fact that G subsidizes these sites feels like a slap in the face.

lammert




msg:1367929
 7:18 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

First of all, I do not make scraper sites, neither promote them, but I have some common business sense.

When looking at my niches, a lot of scraper sites are present with Adsense advertisements on them, but only very few are at the top SERPs. There have been reports here on WW that when people report those sites to Google, they will disappear from the SERPs or become supplemental results, but the AdSense advertisments stay there.

This is where Google wears two hats. On one hand they have to try to keep the SERPs clean for the searcher, but on the other hand they cannot punish such a site as an publishers site because these are legitimate advertising sources.

Advertising is the largest source of income for Google. They will hurt themselves enormously if they ban too many sites from their advertisers network. Advertising on the SERPs gives them until now the most revenue, but when searchers massively go to other search engines--as happened a few times in the past--Google's biggest source of income will dry up in just a few months. AdSense is a way for them to diversify their income sources, even if their search engine becomes less popular. Just from a survival point of view they cannot ban too many publishers sites from the AdSense network without reason. These sites may be their only income in the near future.

<added>
If Google plays the game right, they tune their search engine algoritm in such a way that most scraper sites do not appear in their own SERPs, but they promote scraper sites enough--by allowing AdSense on them--that other search engines like Yahoo and MSN are poluted with them. In that way they earn the money generated by traffic to these scraper sites from Yahoo and MSN and they also stay to be the most popular search engine because they have the cleanest SERPs.

This is a dangerous business model IMHO, but if they really think they are the smartest in searching technology, it might be another valid reason for them to not punish scraper directory sites with AdSense on them.
</added>

HughMungus




msg:1367930
 8:07 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

There's something in the Adsense TOS that says you can't put the ads on a site created solely to display ads. As these scraper sites have no value except as click brokers, it seems to me that they violate this admittedly vague rule.

It's not vague at all if you think about it the right way.

The rule (from the policies) is: "No Google ad may be placed on pages published specifically for the purpose of showing ads, whether or not the page content is relevant."

Note that it says PAGES not WEBSITES. I'm pointing that out because what I think that means is that you can't have a popup page or other page that has ONLY Adsense ads on it (without any other content). Some will argue this, but, I think that's what that means because there is no way that anyone can determine if a website is being published "specifically for the purpose of showing ads".

lammert




msg:1367931
 8:36 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think that's what that means because there is no way that anyone can determine if a website is being published "specifically for the purpose of showing ads".

Agreed. In fact I have added new content pages to my hobby site after I started using Adsense for the simple reason that I liked the income from Adsense and it motivated me to add more content to my hobby site. So, although the "page content is relevant", these pages would not have been there if Adsense had not motivated me to become interested in my hobby site again and so they were "published specifically for the purpose of showing ads".

I am sure that Google doesn't interpret the policies in this way, because if so, anyone adding content pages to a sleeping site with Adsense on it is in violation of the policies.

Therefore I agree with HughMunges interpretation.

Furthermore, Google allows affiliates to join the Adwords program. They are also "click brokers" with the only intention to grab traffic and send it to a paying site as soon as possible. Since recent changes in the adwords policy, affiliates no longer have to use "aff" in their advertisements, so for the average Joe Surfer they look like genuine advertising companies.

You could see scraper directories as Google affiliates. It would be difficult for Google to allow "click brokers" (affiliates) in the adwords program but to ban them (scraper directories) in adsense.

Just because scraper directories are sucking money from the same source as adsense publishers with content sites doesn't make them illegal. It is just business. I am a programmer, just as Bill Gates was. His bank account is a little bit larger than mine. So am I jealous? Yes, but do I judge his actions as illegal, No.

zeus




msg:1367932
 1:21 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I just made a wide spread search in different categories, on ALL I found a few scraper sites sponsored by google, just links sites. It must be possible to filter those out, most of them uses a script to get those search results and many got more then 100 links which google also dont like or do they?

I still wont believe this is a money issue.

robsynnott




msg:1367933
 1:47 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Heh, "Do no evil" went out the window the day they started tolerating the cretins who run those sites. It's pure greed (tho I don't think it's sensible of them; ultimately it will surely do damage to their image, as the company that keeps these sites who's sole purpose is to annoy people for money in business)

europeforvisitors




msg:1367934
 2:58 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think that's what that means because there is no way that anyone can determine if a website is being published "specifically for the purpose of showing ads".

Google isn't a court of law, and rules of evidence don't apply. "Specifically for the purpose of showing ads" is like "invalid clicks": Google doesn't need to prove anything to anyone before invoking it as a reason for closing an account.

jimbeetle




msg:1367935
 3:52 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Does the graphic on Google's Adense for Domains [google.com] page look familiar?

It sure looks like what many of us call a scraper site, but is in fact an example of a legitimate, approved publisher.

How fine is the line between that and a true made-for-Adsense scraper site? It's sometimes very hard to tell.

Leosghost




msg:1367936
 3:57 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have now seen "scrapers" ( as meant by Zeus) in very minor areas ( under 50,000 results on serps ) in at least 10 languages ..and filling the first 5 pages or so of serps at least ..they have zero content and are just "endless interconnected" loops designed to make one click on the adsense presented in the middle as "serps" or "we have found" ..or "resources " ..
They have been there since at least 4 years ..they mutate and come and go eventually touching all categories ..

The beneficiaries " site owners" are usually behind anonymous who is ( service offered also by "g*ndi" and others not just god*ddi) ..

Who makes the money?..Google and the site owners!..for Google this is not and has never been a problem ..it is a revenue stream ..possibly bigger than the "legit" adsense sites revenue stream ..cos it's not tens of thousands of sites that are doing this its possibly hundreds of thousands or more and tens of millions of page views per day ...

Which is why it is not in the interests of Google do do anything at all to change this ...you can either build scrapers or buy adwords/adsense ..most small and medium site webmasters are not capable of building scrapers...

Even if Joe Six pack is becoming inrceasingly frustrated with this search /serps model?..Google do not care ..!

In making "content sites" you are providing the bread to the "spam sandwich" that Google is happy to serve ..

Maybe it was "do no evil" in the early days ..but when they saw the figures and worked out that they could even get most folks to beleive that it was not their fault and that they do not condone this ..

They just laughed all the way to the IPO ..and are still doing so ..

The model of the others Yahoo and M$ etc will probably go this route eventually( they would be financially dumb not to ..do the math ..forget the self proclaimed ethics! ).. ( even if for now they are trying to get market share by filtering out this stuff ) when they have enough eyes on screens expect them to follow suite.

You are noticing more of these sites as more people learn how to do it ..

Logical...and for what it's worth i consider it to be ( upon long reflection ) as much SEO as any other technique..just exploiting the algo ..like any other technique ..a few steps up from keyword stuffing ..and for now the future of the serps ..

HughMungus




msg:1367937
 4:06 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google isn't a court of law, and rules of evidence don't apply. "Specifically for the purpose of showing ads" is like "invalid clicks": Google doesn't need to prove anything to anyone before invoking it as a reason for closing an account.

I agree. Anyone can refuse to do business with anyone else; it's a basic concept of business. But I don't ever remember hearing someone here say, "Google kicked me out of Adsense because they think I built my site just to display adsense ads." Hence, the word, "page" not "website".

HughMungus




msg:1367938
 4:12 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

jake, I'm looking at your list. One of those sites, in particular, looks really useful and has a ton of categorized links and other information, other ads and even links to buy books. In fact, the Adsense ads take-up about 10% of the total page space. How do you figure its pages are "pages published specifically for the purpose of showing ads"?

hyperkik




msg:1367939
 4:16 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Note that it says PAGES not WEBSITES. I'm pointing that out because what I think that means is that you can't have a popup page or other page that has ONLY Adsense ads on it (without any other content). Some will argue this, but, I think that's what that means because there is no way that anyone can determine if a website is being published "specifically for the purpose of showing ads".

The rule you quote states "No Google ad may be placed on pages published specifically for the purpose of showing ads, whether or not the page content is relevant."

Obviously the rule applies to pages with content.

bakedjake




msg:1367940
 4:18 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

How do you figure its pages are "pages published specifically for the purpose of showing ads"?

The sites that I listed were sites that I've personally found or verified to be breaking that rule via PPC tracking, or duplicate content detection, or something similar.

There's a reason they're up there.

The Contractor




msg:1367941
 4:45 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Anyone else contact any of these scraper sites owners and ask that your snippet and link be removed?

I have contacted some that were taking a snippet or even whole paragraph(s) of text from my sites and asked them to remove it within 24 hours. So far every one of them complied.

Many have stooped even lower and added rel="nofollow" links on all scraped sites links. I found some of them through logs. I figure if they didn't comply I would take it further.

Wonder what Google would do if people started filing DMCA complaints against these scraper sites for taking your content/snippets without your permission? Same with AdSense? I would think they would have to comply...

tallguy




msg:1367942
 5:11 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Do Scraper sites pass PR if they link to our pages?

The Contractor




msg:1367943
 5:13 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Do Scraper sites pass PR if they link to our pages?

Haven't seen one that has any. If they give you a straight link they would...if they had any to give.

europeforvisitors




msg:1367944
 5:28 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

But I don't ever remember hearing someone here say, "Google kicked me out of Adsense because they think I built my site just to display adsense ads." Hence, the word, "page" not "website".

Google would probably just use the all-purpose "invalid clicks" explanation.

lammert




msg:1367945
 5:58 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wonder what Google would do if people started filing DMCA complaints against these scraper sites for taking your content/snippets without your permission?

Google will probably do nothing. They are themselves a scraper site taking snippets and caching your complete site without first asking you. Scraper directories are not better or worse than Google. The only difference is that scraper directories have static result lists based on predetermined keywords and the Google SERPs are dynamic based on user input.

This 352 message thread spans 12 pages: 352 ( [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 12 > >
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