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Are Sites Ranking Poorly With Adsense?
Could Adsense be hurting your rankings?
cyberprofit

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 8:00 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am just wondering if anyone is noticing that sites displaying Adsense are not ranking as well in the Google. I have been tracking many different sets of keyword phrases naturally considered extremely low in competition, and over the past two months or so, it seems that the sites which usually ranked well for those keywords are now gone.

More and more product sites/pages are now appearing for those keywords. Interestingly, content sites are with Adsense codes are ranking very low in the results. I know that some will respond by saying that they have Adsense on their pages and are ranking well. But when you look at Google as a whole, far less sites with Adsense are appearing on the first page of the results.

This could Google way of combating the traffic generated pages (whose sole purpose is to make money on Adsense) But, if there is a filter, it’s wiping out great content sites at the same time. Why would Google filter out sites with their own product? Simply because they know that Yahoo and MSN will continue to allow machine generated pages within their results.

Once the former tow figures out a way to filter the same, then I think you will see more Adsense sites appearing at the top within Google. Just want your thoughts. Has anyone else observed this?

 

sailorjwd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 8:15 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

the only way adsense hurts your ranking is from so many pages being created to cashin on adsense. Some of these pages are bound to hit the magic combination of keyword density, etc and push your site down in the listings.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 8:27 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

There is no "AdSense filter." Pages with AdSense ads are still ranking high in Google's SERPs.

Google Search is making an effort to purge its SERPs of scraper sites, ODP clones, and other directory sites that don't add value for the user. Such sites typically run AdSense ads, but that doesn't mean Google is filtering pages with AdSense ads--it just means Google is filtering junk sites that may or may not be (but often are) using AdSense.

cornwall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 9:02 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

But when you look at Google as a whole, far less sites with Adsense are appearing on the first page of the results.

I think there was a certain problem that Google ran into with the Bourbon update. It is difficult to determine cause and effect, but there was an appearance in serps that you elude to. That is fewer Adsense sites.

Having said that, they have sorted out most of the problems that caused by rejigging their algo a few weeks ago.

It effected not just some of my sites, but also other AdSense sites on those keywords

It is obviously difficult dealing with the Black Box that is Google to be certain why things happen.

EFV writes

it just means Google is filtering junk sites that may or may not be (but often are) using AdSense.

If I remember correctly his site was so filtered at one stage. He put it down to duplicate copy, canonical pages, 302, etc. The fact that his site returned to grace could have been down to him zapping 302s, or using hta acess to link non www sites to root, to Googleguys intervention, or...who knows, it might just have been coincidence.

It is unlikely (unbelieveable) that Google would directly discriminate against AdSense, but algo changes may have caused that effect, and for all I know may still be effecting some sites.

bumpski

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 9:17 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google, in evaluating it's hundreds of criteria for SERP positioning, might factor in page load time. Something simple like this could affect your SERPs position. I've taken steps to make sure Adsense in no way affects page "content" load time on my sites.

Google might have a subtle page complexity factor. Adsense definitely adds script complexity to a page, could be a very slight negative. I've seen some very old, very simple, pages rank extremely well for competitive phrases.

But as mentioned I definitely have some pages that rank very well, are competitive in their search terms, and they have Adsense.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 9:37 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

If I remember correctly his site was so filtered at one stage. He put it down to duplicate copy, canonical pages, 302, etc. The fact that his site returned to grace could have been down to him zapping 302s, or using hta acess to link non www sites to root, to Googleguys intervention, or...who knows, it might just have been coincidence.

Just for the record, the site wasn't filtered. Google referrals dropped by 70-75% over a two-month period (and by 90-95% during the first weekend of Bourbon), but I still had extremely high rankings for some of my most important keyphrases. The drop in referrals occurred mostly on secondary keyphrases (of which I have thousands in my referrer logs on any given day). I didn't speculate on the reasons, although the possibility of a "canonical issue" was mentioned by several WW members (notably lammert and dazzlindona) and I did correct any www vs. non-www confusion is .htaccess as a result.

In any case, it's extremely unlikely that AdSense ads played a role in my Google drought, because I have AdSense leaderboards on nearly all of my 4,500 or so pages. If AdSense had been a factor, it's unlikely that I would have continued to rank in the top 10 (or the top 5, or the top 1) for some keyphrases while dropping to page two, three, or four of the SERPs for others.

There's no evidence to suggest that Google Search has an "AdSense filter" (which wouldn't make sense economically or in terms of search results), though it's certainly possible that an algorithm could use AdSense ads as a "profiling factor" in looking for scrapers and other ersatz content sites.

harbs

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 9:39 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I like to think of this from an advertiser's conversion perspective. I'm willing to bet that if we see a higher % of Adsense clicks converting, you will consequently see more AS sites ranking higher in SERPs.

You must admit that as long as there is traffic to a site, even though the site is utter rubbish from a content point of view, you are going to get clicks. What should be one of the top worries for Adsense publishers is whether these clicks convert or not for the advertiser.

Just my opinion, of course...

NoLimits

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 9:50 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

As greedy as Google is proving to be in current days - I HIGHLY DOUBT that they would do anything to hurt the rankings of sites hosting AdSense adverts.

I really wouldn't be surprised if they get a bump - but nobody would ever admit it if they did, but I wouldn't put it past them.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 9:54 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I like to think of this from an advertiser's conversion perspective. I'm willing to bet that if we see a higher % of Adsense clicks converting, you will consequently see more AS sites ranking higher in SERPs.

You'd lose the bet. Anyone who thinks AdSense and Google Search are working in cahoots hasn't been paying attention. (AdSense has been the biggest headache for Google Search since the invention of affiliate sites.)

You must admit that as long as there is traffic to a site, even though the site is utter rubbish from a content point of view, you are going to get clicks. What should be one of the top worries for Adsense publishers is whether these clicks convert or not for the advertiser.

Sure, but that's because low conversion rates are likely to translate into bigger "smart pricing" discounts for advertisers (resulting in lower EPCs for publishers with poorly converting clicks), not because low conversion rates will affect a site's rankings in Google SERPs.

wyweb



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 10:07 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm willing to bet that if we see a higher % of Adsense clicks converting, you will consequently see more AS sites ranking higher in SERPs.

Then basically you're saying there is a direct relationship between sites that display adsense and their respective rankings in google serps.... I haven't seen this at all and have heard nothing that would even suggest it's true...

harbs

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 10:24 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

Then basically you're saying there is a direct relationship between sites that display adsense and their respective rankings in google serps

I'm not saying for a fact that there is such a relationship, but I am willing to stick my head out and say that it is possible for G to do this. What kind of signs do you need when we have no access to the advertiser's conversion rate?

I do however have access to my CJ click & conversion rates & when they go up, I see higher than usual interest from G on that page (remember the part in the patent document G put out about affiliate link performance).

SEO_Report

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 3:40 am on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I like to think of this from an advertiser's conversion perspective. I'm willing to bet that if we see a higher % of Adsense clicks converting, you will consequently see more AS sites ranking higher in SERPs.

Promoting AdSense websites means that search quality will suffer on the long term (remember: search quality, and NOT adsense, is Google's most important asset)

I don't think I'll see Google doing this anytime soon.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 5:23 am on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm not saying for a fact that there is such a relationship, but I am willing to stick my head out and say that it is possible for G to do this.

Yes, and I'm not saying for a fact that there's a relationship between George Bush and Condi Rice, but I'm willing to stick my neck out and say that it's possible--which isn't to say that it's real, likely, or even remotely supported by any evidence.

harbs

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 8:10 am on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

EFV, please provide evidence that this is not true.

jenkers

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 9:20 am on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

<< I'm willing to bet that if we see a higher % of Adsense clicks converting, you will consequently see more AS sites ranking higher in SERPs >>.

don't believe this for a second - G does not have access to (much - bearing in mind the scope of adsense) conversion data.

Conversion rate / CTR / success of ads / CPM ads - new sites and advertisers dipping in and out of the network, pausing and refining campaigns, click fraud, short-term traffic spikes - how could you practically combine this into the SERPS? And that's only the factors off the top of my head (that I ca think of - there are bound to be lots more that others here could list).

On what basis, on what frequency, its all just too fluid.
It takes G months to re-index its index - I really do not think it is practical - maybe not even possible.

harbs

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 12:16 pm on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

G does not have access to (much - bearing in mind the scope of adsense) conversion data

You can't be serious! Of course G has access to conversion data provided by many AdWords advertisers. Not 100% but I'm pretty sure enough to extrapolate how advertisers in certain sectors/keywords are faring.

Add to that, I'm sure G engineers are smart enough to program in "calculated conclusions" to replace the lack of hard conversion data when lets say, a higher number of advertisers drop-out or huge numbers of advertisers raise their bids.

jenkers

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 12:59 pm on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

edited post as I was sounding far too pompous (more so than usual). We'll have to agree to disagree until some proof comes along...

AdSenseAdvisor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 2:28 pm on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi there –

AdSense does not affect – either positively or negatively – your site traffic or its ranking in the Google search results.

The following page will give you a bit more information about how sites are ranked in the Google search index:

[google.com...]

As mentioned on a previous thread, this page also explains how PageRank is designed to maintain Google search results as:

a source of objective information untainted by paid placement.


Hope this helps,

-ASA

harbs

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 3:18 pm on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

ASA, thanks for the clarification. Its good to hear it direct from the source.

cornwall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 6:18 pm on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

With respect ASA, not everything in Google info pages is correct. For example

Fiction:
A competitor can ruin a site's ranking somehow or have another site removed from Google's index.
Fact:
There's almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. Your rank and your inclusion are dependent on factors under your control as a webmaster, including content choices and site design.

I can tell you from personal experience that a competitor can harm my ranking with 302s, and that I can remove their page (not mine) from the Google index. The simple operation that does this has been widely debated at WebmasterWorld and elsewhere, but Google have never updated their FAQ on it.

As I said in an earlier post, it is inconceivable the Google is dropping AdSense sites down the serps deliberately, but I am suggesting that one of the early effects of Bourbon was (probably) to cause Adsense sites to drop (for whatever reason). And that a later tweek to Bourbon caused AdSense sites to rise (again as a by-product of having AdSense, not as a direct cause).

It could be that (for example) that dupicate copy from scraper sites stealing copy, is more likely on an AdSense site. Hence a "original copy" site is likely to get confused on the algo with a scraper site, and get downed in the serps.

Most professional webmasters would accept that Google's duplicate copy algo is, shall we say, "flawed", and this may have had something to do with causing the effect that the OP here elludes to.

wyweb



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 3:58 pm on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I can tell you from personal experience that a competitor can harm my ranking with 302s

And again with all due respect to ASA but I've seen this happen - not to me directly but just recently (2 months ago) to 2 major players in my niche market. Both were removed entirely from google serps because of 302 redirects from other sites and although both were eventually restored, it took several weeks and I can only guess at the revenue lost as a result.

cornwall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8551 posted 6:18 pm on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

wyweb

I sort of expected that ASA would duck the issue here.

The fact that the duplicate filter algo is "broke" is proabably what has brought about the "AdSense" effect that we have seen here.

On forums around the web you will see that there is a fundimental split within Google itself as to how to fix /solve it. Check out stuff on SES and Matt Cutts.

Until it is "fixed" I think we can continue to see odd effects within serps as the occasional "good guy" gets zapped, and the occasional "bad guy" gets promoted.

How "occasional" is occasional is depends on your point of view!

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