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Guess the website
The hints are some of its violations
elfred




msg:3036231
 2:43 pm on Aug 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Please, don't give answers to this trivia. I think it's forbidden to write URLs on the forum.
These are some of the most interesting features from one of the worst website I found. It is:
  • (1) using a page with no content as the landing page for AdWords
  • (2) using a page with no content to show AdSense
  • (3) repeating 9 times in a row the same keywords
  • (3) showing AdSense without writing anywhere "Ads by Google"
  • (4) embedding AdSense ads in the page
  • (5) masquerading AdSense URLs to avoid automatic blocking.
If you're a long time AdSenser I'm sure you will clearly understand how powerful points (4) and (5) are. It means that it is requesting AdSense ads using JS server side. The resulting page contains the ads as if they were actual content. This means that the next time that Google will scan it to define the best ads to show, it will be self-feeded. The URLs that will go to the final advertiser are modified using a redirector.
It all means:
  • no need for the end user to have JS to see AdSense
  • even destination URLs won't be blocked by any tool
  • starting from a single keyword selection it ends up with a page where AdSense ads are fully relevant.

Not too bad, isn't it? From some easy speculation I think this website is earning way more than a million $$$ per month.
That's all folks. Follow the rules.

 

jomaxx




msg:3038279
 8:37 am on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Umm, are you talking about MySpace? Are you joking?

elfred




msg:3038284
 8:47 am on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

No, I'm not talking about MySpace. But if I saw all these violations on MySpace I would be talking about it, of course. It's not the size that changes my question. If we don't want to see my question from a publisher's perspective, we might do it from an advertiser's one. Yet, from my both publisher and advertiser perspective, I'm quite worried.

elfred




msg:3038427
 11:51 am on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

While it looks like that we're all waiting for the answer from AdSense, I would like to hear from you :-)
Therefore, I will add a new question: if a website is allowed to break so many (almost every?) rules and advertisers are happy, why shouldn't we all be allowed to do the same things? That website has about 17 times my uniques in a month (I know this is not 100% reliable, but it's a good starting point, and it gives the order of magnitude). We can pool together and create an entity with far more uniques than that site.

celgins




msg:3038476
 12:57 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, I'm not quite sure which site you're referring to, but no one wants to see businesses get ahead by breaking the rules. One of the biggest complaints from Adsensers is MFA's that supposedly break the rules.

With all of the violations you listed for this site, it is apparent that some clear Adsense rules are being broken. And like you mentioned... if one, two, or fifty can get away with it - why can't we all do it?

Now, let's see if Google will do anything about this particular site.

europeforvisitors




msg:3038579
 2:17 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

$525 million?

That's a whole lotta "Shop for car travel at Target" ads!

elfred




msg:3038625
 2:48 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

A lot of people argued it was a sheer folly amount of money. And I agree. It's slightly too much for a single page that needs no database, that can be coded in a couple of hours and where the money is spent using a credit card. This means that AdSense will pay your month before your bank account will be debted for what you owe to AdWords. You don't even need the cash in advance :-)

Play_Bach




msg:3038668
 3:10 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

OK - maybe I'm not seeing it in the code, but it appears to me that this is not an AdSense site. I do see the Google "Sponsored Links" with the mile long encrypted string in the code but I don't see the AdSense connection. How did you determine this is an AdSense site and not some other arrangement with Google?

elfred




msg:3038681
 3:17 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Play_Bach, there is no doubt it is using AdWords' pool of advertisers. I can easily use JS to gather AdSense ads and create exactly the same page generated by that website. I know too well the ads in my niche not to identify them all.

elfred




msg:3038690
 3:22 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Play_Bach, THANK YOU! You inspired me to do a further test! I searched that web site for some keywords I use on AdWords. My ad is set up NOT to appear on the content network. Well... guess what? My ad IS appearing on that website! My ad is on no other network but AdWords. This confirms that it is fishing (phishing? :-)) from AdWords and that it does it from the search network.
As an advertiser I don't want to appear on such a junk site, but how could I know? I was expecting my ad to appear only on standard searches on Google!.

europeforvisitors




msg:3038729
 3:58 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

This confirms that it is fishing (phishing? :-)) from AdWords and that it does it from the search network.

That makes sense, given that the site in question is more of a search site than a content site. (It doesn't have any original "content" as far as I can see.)

Have you mentioned this in the AdWords forum? It might be an eye-opener for advertisers who think they're safe from junk sites when they opt out of the "content network."

elfred




msg:3038750
 4:07 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

EFV, I just discovered it. As far as I can see, I discover new oddities, to say the least, about that site every day. One question might be: why shouldn't we all be allowed to create our own custom result page for Google Search on our website? Wouldn't we all be more a search page in that case? Google could even enforce no rules at all. I can hardly imagine somebody that can cheat better than what's done there :-)
That site is only traffic. It has absolutely no quality. Why should it be rewarded? Why should it be better than us?

WolfLover




msg:3038885
 5:30 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, I'm still guessing! lol I would really like to look at this site though and I know you cannot tell us on here who it is, but when doing a search for $525 million dollar website sale in 2005 I came up with one site but they have many pages and I did not see any adsense ads or any ads on it, it's a shopping product review type site and it sold for that amount of money last year.

Any more clues for those of us who have not guessed?

elfred




msg:3038899
 5:44 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Did you try to search for any keywords on that site? :-)
Wait! Don't do it right now: open the Overture preview tool and look at suggested related queries for your keywords, then write on a page 9 times your keywords followed by the words suggested by the tool. Then visit any website talking about your keywords that has AdSense on it. Hardcode the ads, prepend your website name to the destination URL for Google, highlight the keywords contained in the ads from Google, and serve warm.
Then do that search on that site and... you will have exactly the page you just created :-)

europeforvisitors




msg:3038943
 6:13 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

What I really like about this is the fact that, because it's nominally a shopping-comparison engine, it's on the search network, not the content network. The next time an advertiser disses the quality of the content network, just point 'em to this "search network" site. :-)

WolfLover




msg:3038996
 6:36 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ok, went back to that shopping comparison site. When I put in my keywords, I find that it comes up with 10 links with my keyword in it, then on the left side a list of 10 "sponsored links", which I recognize many as the same ads that appear on my site with AdSense.

I view this as the old saying "the rich get richer, the poor get poorer" type of thing. I really have no doubt that G knows about this. It is impossible for a site this big, this famous, and who is obviously a premium publisher, for G not to know how their ads are displayed and that the ads are displayed on pages with no content just links.

IMHO, since this site sold for 525 million dollars, there was obviously a reason as in huge revenue coming in every year? I think this is just an example of what those bringing in huge money can get away with (or are allowed to do) where those of us with average mom and pop type sites cannot.

I also do not think that G will do anything about this site because as many here can advise, most of us have probably reported sites that are obviously breaking TOS but they are still out there running AdSense on their sites anyway.

I also think that G should let us have a little more freedom and other options to display our ads. I do not want to be sneaky, but since I know my visitors better than G or anyone else, I would change the way the ads are displayed to appeal to my visitors more. However, I am not a premium publisher and do not have that ability.

I do look forward to seeing what G says about this though. Please keep us posted.

danimal




msg:3039037
 6:56 pm on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>>My ad is set up NOT to appear on the content network. Well... guess what? My ad IS appearing on that website!<<<

if that site is as bad as everyone claims it is, why didn't it get hit with the new google quality algo?

elfred




msg:3039880
 1:30 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

if that site is as bad as everyone claims it is, why didn't it get hit with the new google quality algo?

That website is a Premium Publisher. I think that the term "Premium Publisher" is still not enough to describe what that site is offering and what that site is allowed to do. Anyway: I don't think that any premium publisher would be hit by any generic algo.
I'm still wondering if you publishers are happy to see up to which extent rules can be... "changed".

Play_Bach




msg:3039887
 1:40 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

> My ad is set up NOT to appear on the content network.
> Well... guess what? My ad IS appearing on that website!
> My ad is on no other network but AdWords.
> This confirms that it is fishing (phishing? :-)) from AdWords and that it does it from the search network.

Your ad probably appears on that site because (maybe?) it's part of the Google search network and not the Content network. If so, then it would also appear that everything is legit as far as Google is concerned (sorry...).
https://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=6119&topic=82

[edited by: Play_Bach at 1:51 pm (utc) on Aug. 9, 2006]

elfred




msg:3039944
 2:30 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Play_Bach, I'm not so willing to accept all sort of things. As a publisers and as an AdWords user I have to follow the rules. The landing page for AdWords is basically the same as the one you can find for any search on that site. If THAT landing page is a valid one for an AdWord ad, then I can use it too. Is this true?
Naming that publisher a Premium one doesn't change a thing to me. I want to be aware of how many forbidden things can be forgiven, or allowed, to a so called premium publisher. And... is a premium publisher allowed to break AdWords rules? At the very least, I want to use the very same landing page they use for their AdWords campaign. I can pay as much as they do. I have a credit card like they do.

Play_Bach




msg:3039954
 2:37 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

> Play_Bach, I'm not so willing to accept all sort of things.

I hear ya! Unfortunately, I'm not sure really what your options are here if indeed this site is part of the Google set of partner sites. When I didn't see the typical AdSense code in the site's html I questioned whether or not it was even part of the program. Maybe the thing to do is flat out ask Google if the site is one of their partners and see what they say?

[edited by: Play_Bach at 2:39 pm (utc) on Aug. 9, 2006]

europeforvisitors




msg:3039961
 2:40 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I hate to sound pedantic, but we aren't talking about a "premium publisher" here, we're talking about a Google search partner. (Or so it would appear, based on earlier advertiser comments in this thread.)

Play_Bach




msg:3040054
 3:38 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just looked at the html for Shopping.com (one of Google's listed partners) and the ad URL is the same format as the one in question:

For example, both URL's contain the following string:
[google.com...]

This seems evidence enough to me that this is a partner site. As for what you can do about it, does Google offer advertisers the ability to only show their ads on Google.com and NOT partner sites? Can an advertiser exclude by domain partner sites from their campaigns? If so, perhaps that's a route you could take?

rbacal




msg:3040060
 3:45 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I want to use the very same landing page they use for their AdWords campaign. I can pay as much as they do. I have a credit card like they do.

And, I'd like to be at the top of the search engine results for every keyword combination on the planet. After all, I have words too.

I detect a sense of entitlement in here, and perhaps a mistaken belief that advertisers need to be treated IDENTICALLY.

Anyway, the solution is simple. Build a site that has sufficient visitors to qualify as a premium publisher. Ok. Not likely?

BTW, I don't believe premium publishers should have licence to display ads in ways that cost the advertiser more money, or result in less quality traffic.

netmeg




msg:3040085
 4:06 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Can an advertiser exclude by domain partner sites from their campaigns? If so, perhaps that's a route you could take?

An advertiser can opt out of the Search Network, but cannot pick and choose which sites he would like to advertise on, as he can on the Content Network. It's all or nuttin'.

elfred




msg:3040177
 5:19 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Anyway, the solution is simple. Build a site that has sufficient visitors to qualify as a premium publisher. Ok. Not likely?

Are you sure I'm not a premium publisher?

Anyway: I really appreciate your posts to this thread. All of them helped me to build a better picture of AdSense and of AdWords. I just tried to point out that some rules seem to be ok if broken. Why not change them, then?

Thank you once again.

rbacal




msg:3040211
 5:37 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just tried to point out that some rules seem to be ok if broken. Why not change them, then?

Most companies have different rules and conditions for different suppliers, particularly based on volume/bulk.

Same for customers. My own little company handles different customers differently. If you are corporate, there's one set of procedures and issues, and if you aren't there's another.

If the rules are to be changed, make them more stringent and enforce them, don't make everyone able to game the system.

celgins




msg:3040231
 6:02 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Can an advertiser exclude by domain partner sites from their campaigns?

An advertiser can opt out of the Search Network, but cannot pick and choose which sites he would like to advertise on, as he can on the Content Network. It's all or nuttin'.

Advertisers can choose to show their ads on Google Search only, or on Google Search and Google's Search partner sites.

NormK




msg:3040308
 7:04 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Still not sure are we talking about that web site: [webmasterworld.com...] if so they obviously got some “special deals” with G. As some of us may see in this forum a moment ago another post (which seemed to be removed right now) about site with “Skyscraper” with 20 units in it. Also “special deals”.

And anyway elfred mentioned:
“when a premium publisher uses JS, the ads are queried client side. It is the user's computer that asks for the ads. This means that, if JS is not enabled, the user won't see the ads. The website I'm talking about is putting the ads directly in the HTML. For example: if I open my own website in a text based linux window I won't see the ads. If I open THE website, I see them, because they are in the HTML. Not only the ads are shown to ALL users, including those with blocks, firewalls, no JS and the likes, but the ads might have been hand picked by any kind of script. Since the landing URL is redirected through a website's link they know which ads are clicked the most. They can show always the most clicked ones, or do anything else”

But how would you get advertisers URLs form G in a format so you can play with. On a page request I assume Google JS should “grab” KW than G should return related ads (even if special “adsense crawler” indexed it already for certain ads). If you would run JS on server side what ads you will get (SS no content?). And most important how would you get that G “Ad feed” it into “normal” format so you can play with it?

rbacal




msg:3040316
 7:10 pm on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

But how would you get advertisers URLs form G in a format so you can play with. On a page request I assume Google JS should “grab” KW than G should return related ads (even if special “adsense crawler” indexed it already for certain ads). If you would run JS on server side what ads you will get (SS no content?). And most important how would you get that G “Ad feed” it into “normal” format so you can play with it?

I don't imagine it's hard technologicall speaking. All you need to do is have some way of calling the actual ads from google, render them into html, and serve them. Everything would work the same except the actual material that is served up. There's just some intermediate steps to do it that way.

It's fairly common for some premium partner sites to actually NOT have the actual google code on their pages, but to call the google code via some javascript which in turn accesses the google code, or accesses a database system used to serve the ads.

For all I know, google may actually provide such facilities and options.

Hemanth




msg:3041101
 12:09 pm on Aug 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

They're one of the biggest players in their niche. As they are premier publishers, google mayhave special deals with them. The links like "*.com/rd?http://www.google.com/url?sa=" are comoan in domain parking publishers. They're not content based ads, but keyword or may be even site specific ads.

Hemanth




msg:3041102
 12:11 pm on Aug 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hoo.. Just seen the (Sponsored Links) text there. But the ratings besides the ads are confusing.

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