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This 352 message thread spans 12 pages: < < 352 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 12 > >     
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.

 

AhmedF




msg:1367976
 3:44 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Last time I checked, stealing someone's written work and claiming it as yours [effectively what a scraper is] is not exactly legal.

Nevertheless, my point was that people suddenly clamor about 'oh Im in it for the money, obviously you are not'. No doubt I am here to make money too, but underhanded tactics just arent my strong points.

HughMungus




msg:1367977
 3:45 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you don't like the word "review," try one of the others that are mentioned in the U.S. Copyright Office's description of Fair Use.

Or substitute "editorial opinion," the term that a federal court used to describe Google's search results.

Got a link? Was it a fair use case?

HughMungus




msg:1367978
 3:50 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you do NOT put restrictions in place, the SEs have every right to crawl your site and post the traditional title-description-URL as part of THEIR site's content.

Do you have a link to the court case that determined this?

HughMungus




msg:1367979
 3:56 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Last time I checked, stealing someone's written work and claiming it as yours [effectively what a scraper is] is not exactly legal.

Now I'm confused. How is it legal for a search engine to do it but not a scraper site? Both are using your content to make money. Note that I said *LEGAL* not right, wrong, or ethical.

scraperrob




msg:1367980
 4:02 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well said Teeceo. Advertisers LOVE sites like thisdue to the fact they probably convert considerably more than your widget info site. My users click after already searching for the keyword in question. The ones that are turned off hit back and look at other results.. the ones that are exteremely interested to the point that they click again. I also have affiliates on my site which have converted at extremely high rates.

In addition to advertisers, google should love us due to the fact we expand the adsense reach to other search engines... My sites are number one in all three search engines for major keywords... Google is making money off of all three search engines because of us.

As far as you all crying about us stealing your content, the last time I checked that unless you ban me via robots.txt then I can take snippets. The bot I happen to use is googlebot. If you don't want sites like mine to not take the "fair use" content then please go ahead and dissallow "googlebot". That is always an option for you guys. Disallow the search engines then you shouldn't have any of your sites scraped.

And as far as us using nofollow tag, you better believe I do this. If you guys would rather us use 302 redirect, please post that here. Bottom line is I will not pass any pagerank to any pages on my site that don't directly make me money.

teeceo




msg:1367981
 4:13 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Like it or not "we" are here to stay and I for one will keepscraping intil something bigger and better comes along. And once again, for all you player haters, don't hate the players, hate the game;).

thegreatpretender




msg:1367982
 5:26 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Deleted due to redundant post. sorry!

Atticus




msg:1367983
 6:03 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

A note to scraper posters,

I don't understand the logic that says, "I'll make scaper sites to make a lot of money even though I'll get banned and make no money." Whatever works for you, I guess.

Funny how you all talk tough and then cry about real publishers being cry babies!

Also, if advertisers love your sites so much, then why in the world wouldn't they make dozens of their own scraper sites and stop paying for Adwords? Could it be that self destruction isn't an acceptable business model?

Your financial future would be more robust if you had the brains and integrity to create your own content. I do, and I make significantly more money before I get out of bed in the afternoon than I ever made at any 'real' job in my life. That's true even with the penalties scraper crap is inflicting on my sites.

In conclusion, I'd just like to say, "Go scrape yourselves."

teeceo




msg:1367984
 6:56 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Atticus" the "cring like babies" is for those who can't/don't do what others are willing to do to make the money they make...

I think its great for content writers like yourself to be able to quit your day job and make some good money from adsence or whatever you are doing. I think you are confusing "me" with the player haters out there that don't want anyone to have more then them or to rank higher then them.

If you don't file out "spam reports" all the damd time then I ain't talking about you as being a cry baby. As for me "going to scrape myself" well, that YHO and thats fine. Also, i never said that out of all the time i have been making scraper sites that all that money was lost due to getting banned;)...

Teeceo.

lammert




msg:1367985
 6:58 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just got out of my bed and saw that some scraper boys had the courage to jump into the discussion. Until now we have learned two things of their posts: They make much money, and they also get banned, so Google doesn't like them in all situations.

Now all parties that are dividing the Adsense advertising money are here and we have heard their opinions, but I would also like to here the opinion of one or more Adwords advertisers. Afterall it is their money that is taken by both content sites and scraper sites.

I would be very pleased to here from one of them if they find that scraper sites are unethical and if they really are just sucking money from their budget or that scraper sites are just another form of delivering traffic to their site with decent conversion rates?

lammert




msg:1367986
 7:20 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

All the talks about the DMCA is of course interesting, but only applies to the US and a few other countries. If I decide my scraper site to be in a country like China chances are very small that I will ever being sued for taking snippets from other sites for my static directory scrapers.

Therefore I think the DMCA discussion is theoretical and ethical correct, but not a real solution for the practical problem of scraper sites on the internet at this moment. I have never heard of a court case against a scraper site, but please correct me if I am wrong.

To get rid of scraper directories effectively, forces that are now present on the internet have to make them unprofitable. In that way scraper builders will automatically find a new way to earn quick money. The forces I can see that have the power to stop scraper sites from making money are mainly search engines, advertisers and ISP's.

Search engines can reduce traffic to these sites by applying strong filters in the SERPs. A good filter will without doubt have collateral damage and some genuine content sites will also be filtered.

Advertisers can stop advertising on this kind of sites, but they will only do this if conversion rates are bad. Until now no advertiser has given any information about conversion rates in this thread, but my guess is that these are not so bad. Afterall, a scraper directory is comparable to the new Adlinks feature of Adsense. With a given set of keywords, a list of advertisments is presented that match that keyword.

ISP's are now using email filter techniques based on central maintained IP lists. If a computer is known to send email spam, its IP will be listed and this can trigger an email router to block a message rather than forward them to a mailbox.

You could think of a comparable system with spam sites. It is not difficult to make a central list of all the domain names that are associated with scraper sites. Then the ISP has to do nothing more than block requests of their users to these domain names. We know this kind of filters exist because they are used for adult content, why not apply them for other site types?

teeceo




msg:1367987
 7:29 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I hear what you are saying "lammert" but, what you are talking about really is stopping people from "1" type of seo'ing. What you have to understand is that this same chat has now been going on for a good 6-7 years about seo's who do "x" (it changes from year to year) bottom line is that its to damd profiteable for people to stop so no matter what filtors are whatever is put up, people will always find a way to seo around it (its thee american way:).....

teeceo.
USA

Atticus




msg:1367988
 8:11 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

teeceo,

In this thread you have stated that Adsense has banned you from their program. Isn't this an example of a filter you will have some difficulty overcoming?

In another thread you said that since Adsense kicked you out, you are waiting for Yahoo to launch a similar program so that you can have the 'last laugh,' or some such thing.

How in the world can that be more profitable than building sites that last for years and developing a mutually profitable history with reputable ad networks and ad buyers?

Sounds to me like you are just fooling yourself. It seems that you don't realize how easy it is to create unique content and profit from it once you get the hang of it.

Why in the world do you insist on stealing cookies from the jar, when if you just bothered to ask nicely, Grandma would be happy to bring you a plate of macaroons and a big glass of milk?

kwngian




msg:1367989
 9:04 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)


I started an Adword account recently to drive traffic to a site that is dropped from google because of hugh downtime.

The scrapper sites are causing so much garbage clicks that I have to filter them other by disabling content network. Why? Because the clicks that are coming from these junk sites never get pass the entry page.

Do a log analysis, merchants and you will see that those clicks that never get anywhere near checkout are from scrapper directories.

Unfair statement? Perhaps you guys should start a Adword account and see for yourself.

blend27




msg:1367990
 9:45 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I personally stopped advertising on AdWords only due to Sites like "teeceo" describes as a great source of income. I am responsible for getting, from what I know, 16 of such websites banned from using Adsence to generate money from that.

For the doing the 'holla' thingy folks, like teeceo.

If I see you, I will report it, - why? - YOU stilling from me, that's why. I don't like that. Strong a bit, but just as good as a glass of milk.

In any event, we have a small niche that was hit hard by such sites a few times, getting them of SERPS is a piece of cake. Get Content, Rewrite Addsence Code(remove) republish on free hosting account somewhere, post a link from a high PR Page, 3-4 days and its tanked by G and gone forever.

teeceo no hard feelings, its business life - cycled.

Kwngian - Do a log analysis, merchants and you will see that those clicks that never get anywhere near checkout -

You absolutely right about that, FROD is Evil

lammert




msg:1367991
 10:12 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

blend27 and kwngian thanks for your input.

According to your experience it seems that my assumptions earlier this thread that scraper sites generate good converting input were not right.

tictoc




msg:1367992
 10:13 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google might think twice about letting these scraper/redirect sites rank so highly once MSN and Yahoo come out with their own version of Adsense... but then again I have even seen overture results on one horrible advertising only directory site LISTED IN GOOGLE (ranked above sites with better content)

Leosghost




msg:1367993
 11:03 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

teeceo and scraperrob ..you know tha one about "leading horses to water" ....( least you tried ) ...agreed guys ..it's SEO like any other..all is fair til you get caught ..and it is sssssoo close to Googles own model ..

HughMungus ..precisely ..isn't fair use etc never was ..

When I began at this with a "personal" followed by a "my own business" site I was "moral" and "ethical" and followed the rules supposedly laid down by G ..then I went through "outrage" at the scrapers who did'nt ..then I realised that there are no rules ( G certainly doesn't obey even bot text if they don't feel like it ) and they ( the scrapers ) are just the fastest thinkers on the block ...just a little behind "G" ..

Atticus ..do the math ..by the time your "content site" has made you any thing like real money these guys will be retired and moored in the Bahamas making their change from the Nasdaq ..why should they be interested in long term ..there is always another game ..

Name one time when the "meek" did "actually inherit the earth"..

My only regret now is that it took me so long to get "wise" ..
Scraping is SEO like any other flavour ...

tonygore




msg:1367994
 12:40 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Does anyone know where I can find an example of a scraper site in Google?

Please provide a search term and listing number that would lead me to the enemy...

Tigrou




msg:1367995
 2:05 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Morals are still morals guys'n'lasses. I get off on the fact I am contributing to the greater good. Maybe that's "for losers" but I sleep well at night. Still, I respect your technical ability.

In traditional sales there are the farmers and the hunters. Farmers like to build long term relationships and hunters like to constantly go for new kill. (insert Adrenal-driven/extreme sport/risk takers if those terms work for you)

Assume there are some white hat/black hat parallels here.

One thing that is for sure, there will be a big increase in WebmasterWorld folk downloading scraper software for "evaulation purposes"
(not directed at you tonygore, you're just looking for results not the generator).

hyperkik




msg:1367996
 3:30 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Now I'm confused. How is it legal for a search engine to do it but not a scraper site? Both are using your content to make money. Note that I said *LEGAL* not right, wrong, or ethical.

First, a typical scraper operates in a very different manner than a search engine. That is, the scraper typically produces static pages which are served to users, whereas a search engine produces pages from a database in response to a specific user inquiry.

Beyond that, the question is of whether the use by the search engine or scraper is "fair use". See, e.g., Kelly v Arriba, 366 F.3d 811, 822 (9th Cir. 2002) (Discussing whether, under "Fair Use doctrine" a photograph search engine may present thumbnails of images owned by others). Compare EF Cultural Travel BV v. Explorica, Inc., 274 F.3d 577 (1st Cir., 2001) (Suggesting that a "scraper" designed to collect specific pricing information from a target website for the purpose of creating a competing price structure was unlawful).

A scraper in the sense under discussion here has a very weak argument for fair use. Under the four elements of fair use, as discussed in Kelly, those factors which weigh in favor of the search engine weigh against the scraper. All four factors must be applied to any infringing use claiming to be "fair use". Here's a preliminary analysis, limited in scope by my available time:

1. Purpose and character of the use.

In Kelly, it was noted that the use of the copyrighted material was incidental, and thus weighed only slightly against fair use. ("Arriba was neither using Kelly's images to directly promote its web site nor trying to profit by selling Kelly's images. Instead, Kelly's images were among thousands of images in Arriba's search engine database.")

The same does not hold true of scraper sites, which use the excerpts gleaned from other sites in order to promote their sites in bona fide search engines. While scrapers don't seek to then profit through the sale of the copyrighted material, they do seek to profit indirectly through their use by diverting the Internet user to ad ad or affiliate link instead of to the copyright holder.

The question posed in Arriba of whether or not the infringing use is transformative depends upon the scraper site, the manner in which copyrighted work is reproduced, and the amount reproduced. However, as the scraper seeks to supersede the copyright owner's use by diverting traffic to the scraper site, with the result "that people could use both types of transmissions for the same purpose", and given that the scraper is most certainly not about "improving access to information on the internet" by leading surfers to the original content, the scraper's case for transformative use is also very weak.

2. Nature of the copyrighted work.

The fact that the copyrighted material at issue is already published on the Internet will weigh "slightly in favor" of a fair use argument. (Materials not yet published are given a bit more protection under "fair use doctrine", as publication of excerpts can substantially effect their future market value.)

3. Amount and substantiality of portion used.

The implications of this factor will vary depending upon the nature of the original work, and the purpose of the reproduction. In Arriba, a thumbnail of the entire original work was deemed proper, because a search engine of pictures has little value if its users cannot identify linked content from the thumbnails.

The amount of material varies depending upon the scraper site, but the harder test for scrapers to pass is substantiality. The fact that scrapers attempt to glean out those portions of a page which are of the greatest value, whether in terms of attracting Internet users or generating advertising revenue, as opposed to those passages most conducive to directing Internet traffic to the copyright holder's site, would weigh against them. Consider, e.g., Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enterprises 471 U.S. 539 (1985) (Holding that the publisher's use of the most valuable portions of a work weighed against its claim of "fair use".)

4. Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

As the Kelly decision explains, this "factor requires courts to consider 'not only the extent of market harm caused by the particular actions of the alleged infringer, but also 'whether unrestricted and wide-spread conduct of the sort engaged in by the defendant . . . would result in a substantially adverse impact on the potential market for the original.''"

The Kelly court found that this factor weighed in favor of fair use, because the images search engine would ultimately guide Internet users to the original work, and the infringing use would not substitute for the original. It also noted that the search engine was not in financial competition with the copyright owner, for example, by selling licenses to the original work.

This factor seems to weigh heavily against scraper sites. The scraper seeks to divert traffic from the original copyright holder to the scraper's own site. Widespread use of scraper sites will significantly impair the market for the original in a variety of ways, including making it more difficult for potential users to find the original, and possibly by triggering "duplicate content" penalties in search engines. The scraper is often in competition with the copyright holder, and seeks to divert Internet users to its own advertisers instead of any products or advertisements which might be offered by the copyright holder. Scrapers do not wish their users to find the original copyright holder, and many design their content, omit key information, and set up link structures which make it difficult for surfers to actually get to the original material.

-----

The implied threat posted above, to maliciously employ 302 redirects against webmasters who object to scraper sites, along with a representation that the scraper only wants to benefit his own money-making pages, would well-serve a plaintiff who wished to demonstrate that the scraper at issue was running a venal, self-serving, quasi-criminal operations. The representation that the scraper his disguising his activities as being by Google via Googlebot, and representing that he won't leave a site alone unless it blocks Googlebot, is suggestive of fraudulent intent.

Does anyone know where I can find an example of a scraper site in Google?

For an example of a scraper site that appears to be operating within the confines of fair use? Try Google's own news service.

The Contractor




msg:1367997
 4:29 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

All the talks about the DMCA is of course interesting, but only applies to the US and a few other countries. If I decide my scraper site to be in a country like China chances are very small that I will ever being sued for taking snippets from other sites for my static directory scrapers.

Therefore I think the DMCA discussion is theoretical and ethical correct, but not a real solution for the practical problem of scraper sites on the internet at this moment. I have never heard of a court case against a scraper site, but please correct me if I am wrong.

It's called taking away their incentive. If the SE's drop them and AdSense drops them over DMCA complaints - they get no traffic and lose their revenue source. You don't need to go to court for anything.

Atticus




msg:1367998
 5:38 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Leosghost,

Yeah, you're right. I don't make 'real money' with my content sites. I bought my two houses with Monopoly money and some Candyland tokens. What will the real estate agents say when they find out?

Leosghost




msg:1367999
 6:23 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

didnt say you didn't as in you personally ..lighten up

<well actually maybe it did look that way ..sorry Atticus ..must be more clear when being rhetorical :)>

principle holds though ..faster and way less effort to make "scrapers" that can be thrown away ..than spend ten years building content sites..I imagine more money can be made repeating the "scraper" business model in a ten year period than by making "straight" sites ...

even if they throw you out ..you can reg another domain and do it again and again and again ....

< 3 edits ..must get me an English keyboard for here >

europeforvisitors




msg:1368000
 7:22 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

principle holds though ..faster and way less effort to make "scrapers" that can be thrown away ..than spend ten years building content sites..I imagine more money can be made repeating the "scraper" business model in a ten year period than by making "straight" sites ...

Advantages of a content site:

1) If the content is "evergreen," the site and its revenues will grow steadily over time.

2) You can have multiple revenue streams: AdSense, affiliate sales, sponsorships, or whatever's right for your topic and audience. (Some of us earn more from other revenue streams than we do from AdSense, and we won't find ourselves left out in the cold if we lose our AdSense accounts or if the bottom falls out of the PPC ad market.)

Caveat: The skills required to build and maintain a successful content site are much different from those needed to build an SEO-driven scraper site, and vice versa. Most of us will gravitate toward what we're able to do best.

freeflight2




msg:1368001
 7:31 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Advantages of a content site:
3.) you are actually investing your time on building a (potentially very valuable) asset
Tigrou




msg:1368002
 7:35 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Advantages of a content site:

3.) you are actually building an asset

Until an SE changes the rules of the game and you are out in the cold for weeks, months or forever. As said many times Google owes you nothing etc, etc.

As teeco says other approach is black-hat-de-jour and that's flexible.

hunderdown




msg:1368003
 7:45 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Tigrou, your point is only valid if you are dependent on a particular search engine for traffic. My site--and I don't think this is ususual for content sites in niche areas--gets more repeat visitors (people using bookmarks or typing in the URL) than it does visitors from Google. And it gets visitors from literally hundreds of sites which collectively equal or surpass visitors from Google.

Don't put down the content approach just because it's not the one you take.

Atticus




msg:1368004
 7:49 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Another advantage of building content sites is the possibility of tax write-offs. For example (since we already know what his site is about), EFV can probably travel to all the marvelous places he writes about and then write off the expenses on his taxes. That's like geting a 30% discount on travel.

There's lots of other fun things you can persue which will enable you to create great, profitable content and get you a nice write off at the same time.

Of course, the scraper folks may be a little bit challenged by this train of thought. I read in another thread that teeco suddenly realized several months after 2004 tax time the he actually has to pay taxes on money earned online.

wattsnew




msg:1368005
 7:52 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

WhoHa!

<<In addition to advertisers, google should love us due to the fact we expand the adsense reach to other search engines... ... Google is making money off of all three search engines because of us.>><<AdSense is a way for them to diversify their income sources, even if their search engine becomes less popular>>

Interesting points, since AdSense scrapers will certainly make Google less popular... but Google's love may be short lived as the other engines do adsense programs.

<<My sites are number one in all three search engines for major keywords>>

which pushes my content site down to where?

<<I do, however, see a benefit to scraper sites in one particular instance: if there are no sites that are exactly relevant .... a scraper site shows up that has AdSense on it....will be very relevant to the query.>>

Nonsense. If there are no sites exactly relevant - there are no sites. There is nowhere for the scraper to send the visitor - and the scraper's description will be intentionally bait and switch.

<<I would also like to here the opinion of one or more Adwords advertisers. After all it is their money>>

That's me! I'm paying you (sic) because you get between me and my customer - who should have found me directly. And clicks on natural SERPs are what - 8 times more likely, and much better conversions. Ride the rustlers outta town!

<<Advertisers can stop advertising on this kind of sites,>>
Tell me how!

Honestly, I have no problem with good directories, particularly if they are niche targeted and offer a complete indexing - which is rather close to what a search result page should do, but sorted differently. Effective sorting is the real benefit, something I've not seen scrapers do. They have to assist the surfer more effectively than the search engine for the specific search - and that's possible. A lot of work to build it, though. Not the AdSense philosophy demonstrated here thus far...

Tigrou




msg:1368006
 7:56 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

hunderdown, I do use the content approach for some sites. Not dissing the business model, just that it has an obvious threat that is controlled by other forces.

Cool that your marketing mix isn't 100% devoted to free SE traffic, but even losing 25% (or whatever) would put a big ol' dent on your bottom line. Or at least it would on mine.

I thought it went without saying that since is an SE-focused forum most non-sandboxed sites have a lot of "free" traffic...or want it.

This 352 message thread spans 12 pages: < < 352 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 12 > >
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