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This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33 ( [1] 2 > >     
Adsense TOS terms don't apply if you are also an advertiser!
david_uk




msg:1413066
 8:33 am on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

OK - this is a rant. Sorry in advance.

About a month ago I saw a site that most deffinitely contravenes the adsense TOS - seriously in my belief.

Above the fold we have the following:- an adlinks unit in the left column that is clearly intended to trick users that it's site navigation, and an adsense unit in the right column that is clearly intended to be the "content".

Below the fold - WAAAAAY below in fact, in the left column there is a site navigation unit, and in the right hand column guess what - another adsense block.
The site contains NO CONTENT, apart from a couple of links to identical pages on the site, and a site map that is curiously on another site.

Now pardon me for being wrong here, but Google have asked people to report this type of site so they can weed them out of the program. I don't usually bother, but this one I felt was really taking the p**s, so decided to report it and see what happened. I used the ads by goooogle form, emailed adsense support and adsense abuse.

What do you think happened? Nothing - just automated notification of the email.

I know it takes a while to plod through the emails they get and then act on it. Therefore I left it a couple of weeks, and seeing that the site hasn't been made to comply with the tos, or ceased serving ads emailed them again.

What do you think happened? Nothing - just automated notification of the email.

So I emailed them again after another week or so asking if the reason they hadn't made them comply with the tos or been blocked was that they happened to be an adwords advertiser?

What do you think happened? Nothing - just automated notification of the email.

So the message Google are sending out here is very loud, and very clear. As long as you are an adwords advertiser you have CARTE BLANCHE to dissobey all of Google adsense TOS as they clearly have no intention whatsoever of losing a single adwords account - no matter how many rules you break.

ASA, I'll sticky you the url if you are interested in inpursuing this. However, as adsense support AND adsense abuse clearly have no interest I wouldn't hold out too much hope.

 

Critters




msg:1413067
 10:03 am on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

People on AdWords and AdSense do get banned, I know of 1 member on another forum who was.. I think it's just that G has not reviewed this site. They will check it out, just don't get wound up about it ;-)

jchampliaud




msg:1413068
 11:02 am on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

ASA, I'll sticky you the url ...

I'd be interested in the URL also. Please stick me if you can.

I share your anger. It doesn’t seem right. Let’s hope it’s just a matter of Google having a bad month.

kwngian




msg:1413069
 11:11 am on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I guess they don't really bother if the site in question is an Adword advertiser, completely removed from their own Google search results, getting only traffic from Yahoo & MSN.

I've seen such sites still advertising on Adword but completely removed from Google's main index. If these sites still get traffic from Yahoo or MSN, it is beyond their control & they're still making money from it.

david_uk




msg:1413070
 12:40 pm on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I guess I'm slightly hacked off, but I'd say that surprise is my main emotion. There are a couple of other factors involved here.

1. I do know that adsense care about the integrity of the program, and are keen to work with publishers to achieve this. About 3 months back I emailed them a list of about 15 "Click on the Google ads" sites. In less than two weeks all but one complied with the TOS and were still serving ads. The one that didn't posted the warning email from adsense on the site after he'd been banned.

Therefore I'm surprised that a month and several emails later the site is still there unchanged. This is part of why I say that the wrong messages are coming out loud and clear.

2. I only know about the site because it (and 3 others in similar vein) featured on my site for about 80% of the time. I obeyed the adsense advice about not blocking sites unless they were a direct competitor. They had clearly selected these sites on the basis of ctr and not cpc and relevance. My income had slumped to an all time low of 11c per click. Since blocking these sites my average epc this month is 47c per click, and bottom line earnings are considerably increased because I'm now seeing advertisers that have products/services they want to sell to my visitors - as opposed to these garbage sites.

It's impossible to estimate how much better of I would be if Google hadn't placed these crappy ads, and / or I'd blocked them earlier!

I'd be interested in the URL also. Please stick me if you can.

I'll do that!

suzyvirtual




msg:1413071
 1:00 pm on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't assume it has anything to do with them being an adwords advertiser.
The "made for adsense" part of the TOS is one of the most vauge and open for interpretation of the publisher or adsense team.
They may have a million other greedy or totally angelic reasons that this site is okay with them. For instance, in all its ugliness, it might actually produce conversions for the advertisers that appear on it.

david_uk




msg:1413072
 3:32 pm on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

in all its ugliness, it might actually produce conversions for the advertisers that appear on it.

I know this is the standard opinion, but I rather suspect its not true, and the real problem is Google's targetting.

My visitors come from the UK/UK in the main. On google uk my site is #1 on the main keywords and at #3 on google.com. However, the sites at 1 and 2 on google.com don't carry adsense (boy, are they missing something;). In fact, on relevant searches the site is unavoidable. It's a tight niche, and my site is tightly focussed on it, with a pretty specific demographic of age and sex (middle aged family men) and clearly plenty of advertisers targetting the niche willing to pay for quality leads.

So what does the targetting bot do? ignores these advertisers and puts up crappy sites that have nothing to sell, and aren't even relevant to the site they are placed on. It isn't rocket science to work out that they aren't going to convert. I won't go into the spate of acne cream ads they placed.

After about 6 weeks of showing quality adverts the target bot has FINALLY wised up to the fact that advertisers with real products will convert on my site, and is at last targetting a lot better. Also, smartpricing seems to have cottoned on to the same fact.

europeforvisitors




msg:1413073
 3:41 pm on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

You can't legitimately assume that they're getting a pass because they're an advertiser. It's more likely that:

1) The AdSense TOS enforcers are having trouble keeping up with the growing flood of junk sites;

2) The AdSense TOS enforcers are placing more emphasis on identifying and punishing click fraud at the moment; or...

3) The AdSense TOS enforcers are leaving the site in place (at least temporarily) for testing of "junk site" detection algorithms. (This would be similar to what the Google Search team sometimes does with known spam pages.)

jchampliaud




msg:1413074
 3:42 pm on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

David,
Thanks for the URL. It’s hard to believe that Google is letting that ‘site’ run AdSense. It’s nothing more than a click trap for users.

They may have a million other greedy or totally angelic reasons that this site is okay with them. For instance, in all its ugliness, it might actually produce conversions for the advertisers that appear on it.

Conversions are one thing but taking someone’s users and sending them to a site where 90% of the links are AdSense is something else. If I understand right, David was losing money to this ‘site’. I wouldn’t mind if the clickthroughts from my site went to a scraper site and then they converted. That’s fair enough. But I would mind if an AdWord advertiser took my visitors sent them to a site where about the only thing to click on was AdSense, to me that’s stealing.

I could also see this possibly hurling David in terms of smart pricing. After all David was losing the conversions (should there have been any) to another ‘publisher’.

aeiouy




msg:1413075
 4:03 pm on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

This doesn't prove that the TOS doesn't apply if you are an advertiser.

There are lots of sites in violation and they don't get taken down quickly.

All this tells me is it is extremely difficult to get kicked out adsense, so if you manage it you probably had to do something pretty serious.

Heartlander




msg:1413076
 5:40 pm on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I notified regarding a site that breaks every rule in the book, and it's still humming along with ads.
Wouldn't have known about it if the guy hadn't come here showing it off before the url got taken out by the mods.
We discussed the site for a number of pages here, as a matter of fact...LOL

Here is what I'm wondering-
When it comes time to get a check, don't you suppose G is taking a closer look?

david_uk




msg:1413077
 6:53 pm on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ok all - I *know* that it's not proof that being an adwords advertiser makes you exempt from obeying the adsense TOS - it's the message that comes across though.

EFV:-

I am aware that the enforcers may well have a huge backlog - I would have thought they might have done something within a month though.

Maybe they are concentrating on click fraud this month - who knows. BUT it would be nice if they'd just reply to emails occasionally.

The AdSense TOS enforcers are leaving the site in place (at least temporarily) for testing of "junk site" detection algorithms. (This would be similar to what the Google Search team sometimes does with known spam pages.)

Fine - no problem with this. I'd even let the site stay as an advertiser IF they'd communicate with me and assure me that smartpricing wouldn't penalise me.

What really p*ss*s me off is the lack of communication from Google, and the messages they send out by their actions.

My site rates so highly because of content. I've spent a LOT of time on it over the last few years. The article I'm currently working on has taken quite a long time to research, will be quite short by the time it's put online, and probably won't have an adsense banner! But it will benefit the site as a whole and is worthwhile doing.

The message Google are sending out is "Don't bother" Just make a click trap and use adwords to get visitors - there's no way we will boot you out!

Jenstar




msg:1413078
 7:00 pm on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Adwords advertisers have been warned and suspended for terms/policy violations, so this is definitely not the case.

david_uk




msg:1413079
 7:42 pm on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Jenstar - I've stickied you the URL out of interest. I think you'll agree it doesn't comply with TOS

dutch_dude




msg:1413080
 1:53 am on Aug 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't see anything mentioned that is against the program policies? As for the content a few links and pictures (standard scraper site) would be sufficient.

I don't like it either but that is how Google (or at least the Adsense team) sees it IMHO.

david_uk




msg:1413081
 7:32 am on Aug 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I can only suggest that you haven't seen the site in question.

From adsense TOS:-

* No Google ad may be placed on any non-content-based pages.

No content is on the page. An adlinks unit in the left, and adsense unit in the right and an adsense unit at the bottom.

* No Google ad may be placed on pages published specifically for the purpose of showing ads, whether or not the page content is relevant.

No content - you are MEANT to click the ads. It's a click trap.

* Web pages may not include incentives of any kind for users to click on ads. This includes encouraging users to click on the ads or to visit the advertisers' sites as well as drawing any undue attention to the ads.

You could argue that having ONLY adsense ads on the page that there is an inducement to click. There isn't anything else TO do!

* Site may not include:
Excessive advertising

You could argue that having ONLY adsense ads on a page counts as excessive.

I know that being against the spirit of adsense isn't going to get you banned alone, but this site is certainly against the spirit of adsense.

As I said in an earlier post in this thread, there were about 4 sites that I saw most of the time. The others were scrapers and did at least have SOME content. I didn't bother to report these, though it would be nice to see them zapped.

The point is less about this particular site, and more about the message Google is sending out by it's failure to remove this site after a month of emails. Google's failure to remove a two-bit site that can't be particularly profitable for them in order to have integrity of the Adsense program is bad. It brings into question just how serious they are about fraud. This affects all of us.

Adsense need to be seen to be enforcing compliance. This doesn't mean twiddling algorythms to bury sites where people won't find them in search. They need to be seen to publicly eject fraudsters so the message gets through to advertiser that they are working on the problem.

OddDog




msg:1413082
 7:38 am on Aug 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

as an adsense publisher i just block these sites, and get on to other things.

dutch_dude




msg:1413083
 7:51 am on Aug 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

If there really is no content other than the ads they should be kicked. When you disable javascript and the ads won't show and you still see some stuff like links to "related information" I don't think Adsense sees it as a problem, as spammy and useless as the site may be.

I reported some sites for a while which I found to be pretty bad, but as long as there was the faintest resemblance to "content" they weren't kicked.

An example of a site that didn't show ads a while later and I assume was kicked out was one that only had pages with a title tag to spam the search engines.

david_uk




msg:1413084
 7:53 am on Aug 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

So do I - I spend a lot of time on content as I said above, hence my site rates top on relevant searches. I very rarely contact adsense, and even then it's just to see how they react out of interest more than anything.

However, this site is so far outside the TOS, and google's lack of action and courtesy contact has annoyed me, so I'm a man on a mission. I'm going to send them a howler later (HP fans will know what I mean:)) and will see how they react.

Alioc




msg:1413085
 10:12 am on Aug 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Being an AdWords user is a plus. That's true. It shows that you're for real, you're spending money. However, it can't be the single reason which keeps your AdSense account in good-standing for sure.

Google keeps in mind that the overall advantage/disadvantage ratio of a member is an important factor when deciding banning or keeping people in the program. Just as any businessman would do. For example, they can't ban someone just because of a webpage like the one you're rightfully complaining about IF it's only one of the other hundreds of MONEY MAKING websites. Same rule for dumb pages in a website with hundreds of thousands of pages.

While not being a Google policy fan, I totally agree to how they play this game.(Well, except their lack of providing security to publishers against invalid click attacks)

trillianjedi




msg:1413086
 10:30 am on Aug 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

However, as adsense support AND adsense abuse clearly have no interest I wouldn't hold out too much hope.

Maybe it's converting really well for the advertisers.

TJ

david_uk




msg:1413087
 1:59 pm on Aug 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't think there is much more that can be said in this thread, so I'm going to leave it here. I've emailed google giving them a piece of my mind (I know -there isn't any to spare :)) and I'll report back when/if anything happens.

Final (general) thoughts:-

This thread has been illuminating as well as interesting. I know the site in question is hardly a major site, and that Google should be prioritizing bigger fish. However, after a month I would have expected to have seen something done.

Those that have seen the site agree that it should be booted without question. Those that haven't seem to be very keen to justify Google's inaction, and the site in questions right to remain in the program with the usual replies we always see in this forum.

It rather scares me that so many here are very keen to rush to Google and the offending site's defence (without seeing it), and as always happens in this forum to criticise people that report offenders to Google.

Google NEEDS quality publishers in order to survive - That should be a no brainer, but clearly it isn't. Google cannot survive if all it has to offer advertisers is scrapers, click traps and MFA sites with no content.

Therefore, quality publishers should be encouraged by Google and people here. Neither seems to do that.

europeforvisitors




msg:1413088
 2:27 pm on Aug 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yesterday a colleague e-mailed me a list of a dozen or more sites (all with the same owner) that have no content except a few keywords, AdSense ads, and an AdSense search box. There's no question that the sites should be banned from Google search and the owner banned from the AdSense program. The sites are an embarrassment to AdSense and illustrate why some advertisers think twice (and rightfully so) before buying ads on the content network.

In Google's defense, the sites may be new and probably get minimal traffic (to judge from their "no data" traffic ranking in Alexa). It'll be interesting to see if they're still up--and still displaying AdSense code--a month from now.

GuitarZan




msg:1413089
 3:56 pm on Aug 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hey,

1.) There is no way to know whether or not people going through the ads on this particular site are converting or not.

2.) Quit whining and worry about improving your own income.

C.K.

googster




msg:1413090
 4:04 pm on Aug 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

If this site has no content, how does google bring traffic to it in the first place? This particular site is probably not making a dime...well maybe a dime but not a quarter!

Rodney




msg:1413091
 5:59 pm on Aug 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Maybe they are concentrating on click fraud this month - who knows. BUT it would be nice if they'd just reply to emails occasionally.

They aren't going to reply to emails about decisions they make about another publishers site.

They'll let you know they received the report, but they aren't going to go into details about what they plan to do, how they plan to filter it, or if they plan to ban the publisher in 5 days or 50 days.

I think ASA confirmed that in another thread. They just don't give out information like that.

linuxguy




msg:1413092
 6:21 pm on Aug 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well, some one copied my whole website, and of course added their own adsense code and a text that invites the visitor to click the adds. Already told AdSense-support about this. Still no news from them, I sent the mail last week.

ADA can I pm you the the website address of this person? He forgot to remove some meta tags that were included by the software used to copy the site! He is editing and getting rid of this but it Will take him some time as is doing it one by one. Hopefully some one at Google can take a look before this proof disappears.

kwngian




msg:1413093
 6:48 pm on Aug 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

If this site has no content, how does google bring traffic to it in the first place?

By cloaking scraper style to googlebot and mediabot, but shows visitors nothing other than ads. I've seen such sites. Cache view will show scraper like directory, actual visit - all ads. They can even go further by disabling cache and you'll not even be able view what Google sees.

Those that got banned by Adsense just jump ship to search feed or others.

kwngian




msg:1413094
 6:50 pm on Aug 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

He is editing and getting rid of this but it Will take him some time as is doing it one by one.

You are probably dealing with a 'small timer'. Those that does this big time are fully automated and have so many sites with so many adsense accounts, I think Google will have a hard time finding them all.

linuxguy




msg:1413095
 6:57 pm on Aug 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

At least we could get rig of one them. Hopefully I´ll get some help from ASA.

This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33 ( [1] 2 > >
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