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A reason not to report by site
europeforvisitors




msg:1328640
 3:42 am on Jul 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

A number of Webmasters have suggested that Google should report AdSense statistics by domain or site instead of by account. I can think of one good reason why Google might not want to do that: to discourage the "content Web" from turning into a cluttered landscape of opportunistic commerce-driven sites that are "content sites" in name only.

Assume, for the moment, that John Doe can get a different AdSense report for each of his domains. He cranks out a dozen second-rate sites about digital cameras, cars, resort destinations, etc., padding the pages with just enough text to provide fodder for Googlebot and the AdSense bot. As his AdSense reports trickle in, he sees that digital cameras are doing okay but cars aren't, so he dumps the car site (or lets it become stagnant) while cranking out some more digital-camera pages or maybe building yet another quickie site on a related topic such as video camcorders. Like people who create affiliate sites with little or no interest in the products they're selling, John is creating content sites with little or no interest in the topics he's providing information on. He's just trying to make bucks with the help of Google, and his sites aren't contributing anything useful to the Web.

There's nothing illegal or immoral in creating "content sites of opportunity," of course. But do Google's founders want to encourage or facilitate content publishing that's driven by e-commerce rather than by editorial concerns? My guess is that they don't, and they'd rather see publishers focus on content than on making a quick buck by cranking out the "information Web's" equivalents of affiliate sites.

 

keeper




msg:1328641
 3:56 am on Jul 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good point. The thought of creating a content site specifically to cash in on Adsense traffic (in a suitably expensive vertical) is nagging at me while I type this.

However - overdoing it would certainly reduce AdSense's appeal for advertisers, especially if it led to lower conversion rates.

(And I can't imagine a case where it would increase quality if you create content sites in such a "sausage factory" way)

Google will be wanting to prove, without a doubt, that Adsense delivers the same value as search driven clicks. They need street cred as quickly as possible for a new product like this, and will be limiting the threats to that goal with all their might.

(Hence - statistics by account rather than statistics by throw away domain)

europeforvisitors




msg:1328642
 2:15 pm on Jul 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

One more thought: As time goes by, I wouldn't be surprised to see Google require that Webmasters get approval before placing their AdSense links on other sites.

loanuniverse




msg:1328643
 3:35 pm on Jul 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

The only way to assure the quality of the network is with human editors getting involved in the initial review and ongoing QA work. There should also be some guidelines, not neccesarily public guidelines as to the type of sites. A site could even get graded by the different characteristics that it exhibits. It would help if the editors are somewhat knowledgeable in the topics they are editing.

Off the top of my head, lets say a site needs a 8 to get in, and an 6 to remain or be added as a secondary site by the publisher. You could:

1- Give a point for every PR point.
2- Classify the content as fair, good or excellent and give it points of 1,2 and 3.
3- Amount of ads and clutter {excessive, fair, minimal} -1,0,1
4- Content to link ratio {80%+,50%+,less than 50%} 1.5,1,0
5- Fit of the site with available inventory 0,1,2

You can even outsource this in an effort similar to DMOZ editors, once the process is established. The offsite editors would have to submit a report with every review. Then another google employee could double check or there could be a process that raises a flag when two editor's reports differ by more than 2 points.

This could be automated easily if it isn't already. The first thing that Google should do is keep the network two notches above everything else out there.

Camster




msg:1328644
 1:20 pm on Jul 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

A very simple thing they could do to is add a relevancy requirement, same as they do with Adwords: if your site doesn't generate a good Adsense clickthrough rate, it gets dropped from the program.

europeforvisitors




msg:1328645
 3:24 pm on Jul 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

A very simple thing they could do to is add a relevancy requirement, same as they do with Adwords: if your site doesn't generate a good Adsense clickthrough rate, it gets dropped from the program.

I suspect that Google's CTR minimum for AdWords has less to do with relevancy or revenue than with preventing advertisers from getting free "branding" ads. Without a minimum CTR, it would be all too easy for advertisers to abuse AdWords (as they do CPC display ads) by creating ads that conveyed a message without generating clickthroughs: e.g., "Fly KLM to China" instead of "Fly to China for $999."

As far as content sites go, if Google were concerned about low-CTR ads being less profitable than higher-CTR ads, it could simply take a site's overall ratio of server overhead to revenue into account when calculating the individual site's revenue share.

ThatAdamGuy




msg:1328646
 9:48 am on Jul 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't worry so much about the possibility of people creating, well, "targeted" sites with flimsy content just to attract high-paying-AdSense ads.

Why?

Because people are smart. If a site is pretty much a shell, a joke, an empty 'content' play, then few if any folks are going to link to it. No or few links = lousy page rank. Lousy page rank = few visitors. Few visitors = few impressions = little AdSense money.

There are enough people out there who ARE making outstanding content sites. Maybe I'm naive, but I believe that -- as Google even more fine-tunes its search algorithms -- the cream WILL rise to the top, and AdSense revenues will go where they're deserved.

europeforvisitors




msg:1328647
 6:52 pm on Jul 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Because people are smart. If a site is pretty much a shell, a joke, an empty 'content' play, then few if any folks are going to link to it. No or few links = lousy page rank. Lousy page rank = few visitors. Few visitors = few impressions = little AdSense money.

Maybe. But PageRank is only one of the factors that determine whether (and where) a site appears in Google's SERPs. Also, if content sites become sufficiently profitable, we'll see content sites (good or bad) using many of the questionable SEO techniques that are currently being used for affiliate and other e-commerce sites.

springnet




msg:1328648
 9:00 am on Jul 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm not clear on this, if you have multiple websites it's ok to put the adsense code on all of them?

You don't have to apply individually for each website?

Does anyone know the definitive answer?

chiyo




msg:1328649
 9:27 am on Jul 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

springnet, once you apply, the control panel directions seem to suggest you can use the same code on other sites owned by you. (that's from memory - don't take that as official!)

It seems a bit curious and suggests that Adsense reviewers are not considering type of site when approving them, but more so the "quality" of ownership over all domains owned by that owner perhaps based on whois records, or other data.

killroy




msg:1328650
 9:34 am on Jul 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, according to AdSense TOS.

SN

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