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Just what will it take for Google to get rid of MFAs?
... we're waiting
frakilk

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 2:58 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ok we are all sick to the back teeth of talking about the scurge of MFAs, obviously Google aren't going to get rid of them anytime soon. If they wanted to they would have done so already. MFAs are part of their business model and that's fact.

But still I find it hard to believe the MFAs can stay around indefinitely. Something's gotta give. So what will it be? :
- new/existng competitor with better advertiser quality filtering processes and higher payouts (improbable)
- mass exodus of publishers (improbable unless the above scenario occurs , so a double improbablilty then)
- news publications / public gets wind of the issue in a language or scenario they can readily digest and Google attempts to appease shareholders (probable but I can't see it happening anytime soon)
- we publishers get more functionality from the backend to filter them out ourselves (probable but again I don't see any evidence or hint that this is going to happen anytime soon)
- MFA site owners have a sudden pang of guilt and take the first flight off AdSense island (pigs will surf)

Predictions anyone?

 

greedy player



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 3:13 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

we should get a list of our advertisers ads in the google adsense panel showing us the average value we could make from each advertiser.. and more information about the advertiser for instance How many quality clicks it produces, if it is worthy to us for our members or not.

:) make sense? then tick and disable the ones we don't like.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 3:33 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

MFAs are part of their business model and that's fact.

It would be more accurate to say that Google is part of the MFAs' business model.

Green_Grass

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 3:44 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

"It would be more accurate to say that Google is part of the MFAs' business model. "

Why? Because google policies and secretive system of working leaves open an arbitrage window. So we have to learn to live with it.

I am fine with it. Some cliks pay 1 cent, some USD 0.50 ..as long as the average is acceptable, I guess , I am more than happy. I do my best filtering them etc, but after a while , I just watch the figures.

DamonHD

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 3:44 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi GP,

Probably wouldn't fly because G would not want to tell us our advertisers, but the following statistical selections/filters might be more acceptable to G:

1) Don't show anything with CPC less than USDX.

2) Don't show anything in the bottom Y% of available CPC for my ad slots over the last week.

3) Don't show anything from advertisers appearing my more than Z% of AS users' filters (eg potentially "bad"/unpopular/MFA advertisers).

4) Don't show any ad with a CTR [optionally "on sites like mine"] of less than A% over the last day/week/month.

5) Don't show any ad from a publisher of less than B days' good standing (to reduce cut-and-run campaigns).

6) Don't show any keyword-template ad (to try to avoid "new and used dead popes" ads).

This way G does not have to disclose anything, and we each get to choose how much of the long tail we are prepared to snip/loose to improve ad quality on our site, and it is all automatable.

Personally I prefer to have a few PSAs back to improve ad quality.

Howabout it ASA?

Rgds

Damon

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 4:15 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Because google policies and secretive system of working leaves open an arbitrage window.

There's going to be an "arbitrage window" no matter what, unless Google really clamps down by refusing to show ads on any page that receives traffic from AdWords.

Even that wouldn't be a panacea, because the arbitrageurs could receive their inbound traffic from other PPC networks (indeed, some arbitrageurs have been doing that all along).

Plus, would it be right for Google to tell AdSense publishers that they can't use AdWords/AdSense to get traffic? I occasionally see AdSense ads for NewYorkTimes.com, and I don't think anyone would accuse THE NEW YORK TIMES of being an MFA site. And what if I started buying cheap ads for "Elbonian kayak cruises" and "inner-tube cruises in Elbonia" to promote readership of my Elbonian cruising pages, and some users clicked on higher-paying ads for "Elbonian cruises" after they got to my site? Would that make me an MFA publisher? If not, how would Google know that my motives were pure?

Google's CEO and VP/product development have spoken out against click arbitrageurs and "low-quality" ads. It's obviously in Google's interests to protect the AdSense network's reputation and increase the reach of AdSense among mainstream advertisers who already use "content advertising" in offline media and who buy display ads on "content sites." But getting from Point A (what we have now) to Point B (a minimal number of low-quality advertisers) isn't as simple as wanting to get from Point A to Point B. Setting goals is easy; achieving those goals requires time and hard work.

howiejs

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 4:19 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

I can only control / worry about MY sites . . .
I don't worry about other publishers / MFA

I only worry about what I have control over

ronburk

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 4:21 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Predictions anyone?

Seems hard for them to exist in force unless there is arbitrage money to be made. I predict smart publishers will begin to notice and start taking that arbitrage money for themselves, by filtering out people likely to click on the MFAs before they ever see any AdSense ads and driving them to their own pages targetted at the end-products the MFAs profit from.

(I also predict smart publishers will always be the minority :-).

exmoorbeast

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 4:23 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

All it would take is Google to apply the QS algo to content. They have tried it successfully on search and I imagine they have also considered rolling it out to content.

danimal



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 4:25 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

google is doing whatever makes the most money for google... so we can only assume that giving publishers more control over the ads would result in less profit for google.

perhaps the only hope is to look for the new qs on landing pages to be implemented for the content side of the fence... but don't hold your breath on that one.

rogerd

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 4:31 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Some arbitrage is always going to be possible, but I don't think anyone is worried if someone goes to NYTimes.com via an ad and then exits on an Adsense ad.

It's really a site quality issue. If a site has high quality, unique content it's either not an MFA site or it's well made enough that nobody - neither the surfer nor the advertiser - will see a problem.

If a site is of poor quality - content ranges from garbage to fair, the ads are too dominant in the layout, etc. - then perhaps Google should take a second look and not send ads to that publisher.

On the other hand, MFAs may serve Google in one important way. Hypothetically, if Google could maintain its own search quality (and that's a big hypothetical) and display only "good" sites in its results and not MFAs, the search experience of Google users would be undiminished by MFAs. If these MFAs clogged up the SERPs of other search engines, so much the better - Google siphons away some ad revenue from the competition; and, if the user's not happy with the search results, he should have used Google. :)

rbacal



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 4:32 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Why wait for google when there are things one can do with one's sites to reduce or even eliminate the appearance of ads for these MFA sites.

(err..provided you aren't the publisher of MFA sites, or sites of dubious quality due to lack of content)

Humor note: I have seen one or two MFA bogus directory pages where the ad blocks are 100% ads for OTHER MFA bogus directory sites!

Junk, apparently, attracts junk.

(Could that be a hint to webmasters about how to address the problems on their own?)

[edited by: jatar_k at 9:30 pm (utc) on Aug. 30, 2006]

Green_Grass

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 4:46 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Google to apply the QS algo to content. They have tried it successfully on search "

Oh My God! We gonna have ebay ads for all topics under the sun on 'content'...

and Who says they have done it successfully on 'Search'?. I just see fewer ads.. mostly ebay , a couple of genuine ones.. and a couple of MFA on every other topic I search on... Many 'genuine' 'low quality' guys have been knocked off.. I DONOT want that on 'Content,' atleast not on my sites.

Green_Grass

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 4:48 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Junk, apparently, attracts junk. "

This is the soloution to the MFA mess. and I hope to see Google working towards this solution.. many MFA sites , I visit have also MFA's on them.

danimal



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 5:17 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

google makes big $$$ off of their mfa webites... don't expect them to "fix" something that isn't broke.

google serves up nearly a dozen advertisers per page in it's own search results... it's hard to imagine that content pages will be penalized with mfa's for serving up the same number of ads that google does.

what you need is enough advertisers in your sector, who will pay more for better placement than the mfa'ers will.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 5:43 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

All it would take is Google to apply the QS algo to content.

We know Google is already doing that with smart pricing, which is about quality of clicks.

But for all we know, Google may be using an algorithm to judge the intrinsic value of content, too--or, if Google isn't already doing that, it could begin applying such a QS algorithm at any time to assign ads and/or adjust net compensation to publishers. Consider:

1) The payout percentage isn't fixed or guaranteed. If Google wants to, it can pay X% to mother-teresas-life-and-works.com and y% to mother-teresa-ornaments-ad-arbitrage.com.

2) Google has already shown its willingness to use financial incentives or penalties, as opposed to expulsion, on the AdWords search side. The new AdWords landing-page Quality Score algorithm doesn't keep advertisers with poor-quality landing pages from advertising--it just sets the minimum price so high that advertisers will choose between improving their landing pages or spending their money somewhere else.

On the content side, we've seen some publishers complaining of steady and dramatic declines in their EPC, eCPM, and revenues, while other publishers are doing just fine. Isn't it possible that Google is already putting pressure on MFAs, scrapers, etc. by allocating ads and/or adjusting payouts with a quality-scoring mechanism? That scenario would give Google the best of both worlds:

- The publisher population would evolve in the direction that Google would like to see (more quality content and quality audiences, which are prized by advertisers).

- Google would still make money from bottom-feeding MFA sites who stick around, while driving unhappy MFA publishers to its competitors.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 5:47 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Here's something else to consider:

Yahoo's and MSN's contextual ad networks are still in beta. If Google were to purge questionable publishers or take some other dramatic action, wouldn't it make sense to steal thunder from its competitors after those networks are formally up and running?

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 6:07 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

So what if Google kills MFAs, as there will just be others springing up taking it's place using other PPC programs, affiliate programs, etc.

The problem is ALL advertising programs have to banish those sites and the rest of them aren't billionaires so it'll keep going as long as there's low hanging fruit on the vine for bottom feeders to harvest.

Why would Google even care?

It's in their best interest to just clean the spam from Google and earn MFA money with these sites littering and cluttering up Yahoo, MSN, Ask, etc.

Back to doing something productive as worrying about MFA's isn't worth the time of day as these cockroach websites will just resurface with a new way to get paid.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 6:35 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

So what if Google kills MFAs, as there will just be others springing up taking it's place using other PPC programs, affiliate programs, etc.

You've got a point. Even in respectable offline media, there's no shortage of ads for vanity presses, quack diets, get-rich-quick seminars, work-at-home scams, etc.

I also think that, if your site is awash in MFA ads, the reason could be one or both of the following:

1. Your sector has a higher-than-average ratio of questionable advertisers to legitimate advertisers.

2. There's something about your site that's making Google allocate more low-quality ads to your pages.

swa66

WebmasterWorld Senior Member swa66 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 10:17 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

To kill the MFA type that runs the loop on advertising on our sites using adwords to sell the clicks off to Google at a higher paying rate on adsense:

If a site gets an incoming click on adwords, their best paying outgoing click on adsense is reduced in earning to half of the amount they paid on adwords.

That effectively stops them from scamming money off of the adwords/adsense tricks.

It would make them try to redirect the user from one site to another, but I'm sure Google is smart enough to track that without giving themselves away.

There are ways to track other advertising income for a MFA site, but honestly I don't care at all about sites scamming other networks in giving them clicks. I care about the crappy ads Google serves me though adsense.

To kill the scammers offering new and used popes, ebay ads for stuff that cannot be owned, obvious scams and whatnot:
Allow us to set a minimum payout!
Google, please be a marketplace, we do not want to sell clicks for $ 0.01 . We much rather would show alernate ads than those.

Add much more resources to check landing page quality, e.g. require a site to be known for a while, use the stopbadware involvement, use siteadvisor, ... to stop anything suspicous from being advertised for....

GoldenHammer

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 11:52 pm on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

[.... MFAs are part of their business model and that's fact.
It would be more accurate to say that Google is part of the MFAs' business model. ...]

******
I intended to say, both are true. Google seems not able to shoot this "issue", or they select to just "ignore" it, for whatever reason, if MFAs does exist, it is part of the AW/AS business model.

[edited by: GoldenHammer at 11:54 pm (utc) on Aug. 29, 2006]

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 12:41 am on Aug 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I intended to say, both are true. Google seems not able to shoot this "issue", or they select to just "ignore" it, for whatever reason, if MFAs does exist, it is part of the AW/AS business model.

That's a curious logic--it's like saying that, if a store has shoplifters, shoplifting is part of the business model.

I think the real problem is that some AdSense publishers want instant gratification. And, in some cases, they have unrealistic expectations: They don't realize that they're doomed to junk ads because of their topics.

Example: I just searched Google for a two-word keyphrase that's related to the "male health support" topic that has been driving one of our members nuts with MFA ads, and most of the ads on page 1 of the search results look pretty shady. There's one Consumer Reports ad that looks legit, and there's one doctor/author ad that appears to be borderline legit, but the rest all look like junk ads. If Google Search has trouble attracting quality ads for that major "male health"-related keyphrase, why would an AdSense publisher expect to have better luck?

I've mentioned before that I won't run AdSense on a freelance writing site because, when I tried it, nearly all of the ads were for vanity presses, phony poetry contests, and other scams or questionable services for aspiring writers. Google is only partly at fault for serving such ads; the bigger problem is that nearly all ads targeted to aspiring writers are junk ads--whether they're in writers' magazines, on writing-related Web sites, or in newspaper book-review supplements. Some topics attract low-quality advertisers. Period. That's just the way things are.

Visi

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 1:06 am on Aug 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google has made their bed...advertising has to grow or stocks will drop...their economics 101. I have said before Google has more than enough "grey" in their TOS to eliminate MFA's if they wanted to. It has been their decision not to do this.

So as long as they accept this business model (interesting how close it is to their own) then if you want to use Google as your ad supplier get used to the lower priced clicks appearing. I still accept that Google is showing ads to maximize their revenue and at the same time mine. I say let them do the job. I personnaly do not think that a few MFA ads being displayed will ruin my site. Having made my decision many years ago to "turn to the darkside" and advertise on my site that I am now going to step back and worry about my visitors reactions to a few text ads.

My website stopped being a hobby long ago...it is now a source of revenue of which Google is a portion. As long as they continue to outperform the competators for space they will be my partner.

As far as the original posters question...why would they want to get rid of MFA's? They are a source of revenue to google and they can squeeze the market for a maximum return since they understand and have access to all the data. Gotta love their position.

Khensu

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 1:52 am on Aug 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

"fleas the size of rats sucked on rats the size of cats"

"Diamond Dogs"

-David Bowie

Scurramunga

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 4:51 am on Aug 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

They don't realize that they're doomed to junk ads because of their topics.

Not entirely true. MFA's can be a problem for anyone. My topic is far from the typical sought after type of topic and is in a fairly respectable niche, to cap it off my site sells products and would convert well for Adsense. I know that because my ecpm is extremely high and some clicks pay quite well at times.

Yet, if I had to take a rough stab, I would estimate that in most cases the ratio of MF's and scammers v's quality advertisers would be 50/50. I know that is an unscientific estimate but in the absence of any substantial data it would be a fair approximation.

The problem is when I clean my filter MFA's always creep in. When I do filter i see genuine advertisers coming back. My niche isn't a junk niche and as i've said my site is a product site and coverts very well.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 5:14 am on Aug 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not entirely true. MFA's can be a problem for anyone.

Sure. I'm simply saying that MFAs and other junk advertising are likely to be more of an ongoing problem for some topics than for others ("male health" and freelance writing being just two examples).

danimal



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 5:36 am on Aug 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

the % of junk vs. "quality" advertisers would be important if they all paid the same for the ads... but is that a good niche to be in?

can we all agree that mfa'ers work with cheap ads only? so you would want a sector where the quality advertisers are willing to pay more for ad placement than the mfa'ers will pay.

look at the efv travel sector we were talking about... 80 quality ads in the google hotel search query, a substantial but unknown number of which are bidding for only 4 ad slots per page on his content site.

so how many advertisers are showing up in the google search engine, for your sector?

Scurramunga

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 5:38 am on Aug 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think that the MFA'ers have covered almost every topic imaginable. I have landed on quite a few where the LHS or RHS menue consists of anchor text made up of just about every keyword and keyword phrase known to man. Each link takes you to a page with a title and ad blocks for that topic.

I don't think that many niches would be exempt from MFA's, however understand that it could be argued that some niches are devoid of real advertisers. In such cases MFA's would fill the void.

GoldenHammer

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 5:52 am on Aug 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

[...That's a curious logic--it's like saying that, if a store has shoplifters, shoplifting is part of the business model.]

******
Definitely. If the store to "accept", "ignore" or whatever reason unable to resolve that, then it is part of its business.

Another important consideration - how can we so sure if Google (perhaps Advertisers and Publishers?) treats MFAs as shoplifters? Do you think MFAs has certain "contribution" to the overall revenues on the AW/AS system though they do negative to both Advertisers and Publishers?

[edited by: GoldenHammer at 6:00 am (utc) on Aug. 30, 2006]

GoldenHammer

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3064420 posted 6:10 am on Aug 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

[I think the real problem is that some AdSense publishers want instant gratification. And, in some cases, they have unrealistic expectations: They don't realize that they're doomed to junk ads because of their topics. ]

******
I do think the real problem is why MFAs still exists and why MFAs does growth over time.

It doesn't matter the design and contents of a web site, poor design and contents should ** NOT ** necessarily result in MFAs, but PSA or wrongly-targetted ads (not equivalent to MFAs), this is a realistic expectation .... :P

[edited by: GoldenHammer at 6:34 am (utc) on Aug. 30, 2006]

This 69 message thread spans 3 pages: 69 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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