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AdSense Disabling Arbitrage Accounts by June 1st
Freddy81




msg:3342642
 3:37 am on May 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

They told me my account will be disabled at 1st June, and also added that I'll receive payment for all outstanding earnings in accordance with the standard AdSense payment schedule.

For this day (17 May), does it mean that they will pay for April 1-30 earnings, or for May (1-18) also?

 

justageek




msg:3349050
 8:08 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

That's about as plausible as saying that they turn a blind eye to click fraud because it "makes them money

OK. I'll say it. They do that as well. Every month it is a battle with them to get credits for click fraud. But that's for another thread.

I'm glad they are doing what they are doing now but on the other hand I don't really care that they made a profit for so long before this. It's just business. Sure it's a pain fighting with them for refunds on the click fraud but then again...it's just part of doing business with them.

JAG

need2bdiscreet




msg:3349052
 8:15 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hey FarmBoy,

I agree Hate is a strong word – I was using the term in a new school kinda way – you know all you haters ;-) that’s what kids say at school these day.

In any event I hear what you are saying pure junk is not fair and not what is right for the system. I guess what kinda makes me wonder is how many people running AdSense on their site are not in some way doing it for the cash. Getting paid is an incentive to continue to produce and so the idea that a site should not be created for the sole purpose of moving advertisements I feel that it is a bit tongue and cheek. Does anyone think that the New York Post would still pump out a newspaper online or in print if it were not for the Advertising. AdSense is about making money – some get greedy (I did and it took me off course from what I originally wanted to do) – some stay on course.

By the sounds of it FarmBoy you are staying the course and for that I applaud you – that is what Google should be encouraging. The problem with Arbitrage was that they were not discouraging it – if you could not do it in the first place for the past few years – nobody would be doing it.

Also your point about misleading Ads – I can tell you that when you put ads on your site and if they are misleading you will hear from the AdWords people. Sure some ads may slip through the cracks but Ads get reviewed and you will get a warning if you are doing the wrong thing.

Ahh well – it’s all good – I think Google is cleaning up the Internet the best way they can – I don’t like being banned but at the same time I am all for a content rich Internet.

DamonHD




msg:3349069
 8:30 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

N2BD: AS *is* an incentive to grow a site, eg I've been able to put up mirrors of my main site around the world to be closer to the users, with the hosting pretty much exactly paid by the AS money.

But in that case I'm using AS to grow the site, not make a profit. It's the difference between "work to live" and "live to work".

I've also set up a couple of microsites very recently, for domains that I've been sitting on since dot-com days, in the hope that they *may* bring a few dollars per month to make maintaining them a reasonable exchange and not just letting the domains and ideas rot. It doesn't compare with my hundreds-per-day chargeout rate, but anyone who believes that they're worth what they charge (in either direction) has an ego problem!

I can understand that many arbs may not understand the "I'd like to do this anyway, and well, and AS can help" worldview. I consult in London in the financial markets, and have for well over a decade, and sometimes I feel that I'm one of the few people that really puts technical/job satisfaction above the money (nearly!) every time (eg I have no wish to trade). Some people just tick like that.

Others are driven by money first.

It's useful for all people involved in this discussion to try to avoid projecting their own motives on to others. AS publishers are are very broad church.

Rgds

Damon

zett




msg:3349100
 8:58 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

need2bdiscreet:

where do you think your revenue on your website came from? People came to our sites from yours and the only way they came to our sites is by us paying you money.

Sure. We've heard that before. Problem is: when blocking MFAs increases EPC and revenue, then something is wrong. I guess it's because MFAs optimized their ad placements to catch cheap clicks and sell them at a higher price (after all, that's arbitraging).

I am one of those smaller publishers, and all I care about is user experience. Nothing else. In fact, I don't care whether the ads pay well. User experience is king, because I want them to return. Tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. If they click on one, two MFA ads, they will (in part) link that to my site. Will they return? Will they tell their friends? Will they recommend my site?

if not then maybe just maybe you will not have as much inventory to show on your site.

If only I could block more sites, I would do so. There is a seemingless unlimited supply for my niche with legit advertisers. Businesses of all sizes, ranging from Mom and Pop sites to large corporations. The only annoying advertisers in my ad mix are (have been) the MFAs.

I predict you are going to see a dip in your revenues

Too many variables to make any prediction.

[OT] BTW, there are no "predictions" in real life. In real life, you are just guessing the outcome of an event that happens in the future. When was the last weather forecast that could exactly tell you the weather in one months time? [/OT]

we all paid you money to have people click on our ads

Again, if you'd read this forum carefully, you'd see that this money was not appreciated by all the members here. There were at least some members who would have rather rejected your money (in return for seeing less crap on their sites). And yes, I was one of them. :-)

need2bdiscreet




msg:3349110
 9:17 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi zett,

You make great points – it was not fair of me to paint the entire industry with a wide brush – users come first and I thought that the reason people blocked out arbitragers was because we did not pay as well not because of the user experience. It’s like those e-bay ads – I have always thought they were crap – but they are e-bay and everyone likes e-bay – so I thought maybe I was just thinking wrong.

As for predictions – yes you are right – it is a huge market and this cleanup will probably have no negative effect on publishers. In the long run what it will have is a positive effect on users as they will feel that the chances of clicking on a AdSense Ad and getting crap is less likely and that is good for everyone.

I have said all along – what Google is doing is a good thing – Good luck with your site.

inactivist




msg:3349116
 9:27 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

and everyone likes e-bay

Now that's funny! :D

europeforvisitors




msg:3349118
 9:29 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

What's the big difference between an MFA site and AdLinks results pages?

There's one very obvious difference: When a user clicks on Google AdLinks, it's clear that he's going to an advertising page.

need2bdiscreet




msg:3349120
 9:35 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)


"There's one very obvious difference: When a user clicks on Google AdLinks, it's clear that he's going to an advertising page."

How do you know that? AdLinks to me seemed pretty sneaky - who wants a page of Ads? I thought that reason they made them look like menu items was to trick people. If they wanted to give people a link to Ads why did they not just make a button that said - click here for a page of Ads?

That is not to say that it is inherently sneaky and using them is - I just thought it was sneaky.

europeforvisitors




msg:3349128
 9:48 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

AdLinks to me seemed pretty sneaky - who wants a page of Ads?

That's easy: The people who click when they see a stack of AdLinks with Ads by Google in boldface type at the top.

justageek




msg:3349156
 10:31 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

need2bdiscreet - There is no visual clue that AdLinks is different than a MFA. As EFV was kind enough to point out AdLinks says the same thing as normal AdSense so only people who actually know what an AdLink is will know what what happens when they click.

The real difference though is that the publishers who decide to use them also decide to absorb the cost of the first click, by agreeing not to be paid, whereas the arbi is/was willing to pay for the first click. Either way the end result from a user experience point of view is they end up on a page full of ads with no content.

I think Google should delete this user experience while they are cleaning house.

JAG

DamonHD




msg:3349167
 10:50 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

JAG,

That 'first click' doesn't cost me anything as the publisher. And if the user backs out it doesn't cost any advertiser anything either.

As a publisher, AdLinks is fantastically valuable real-estate for me. "New and used dead popes" and "5-top-bottomburps.biz" never were.

Rgds

Damon

europeforvisitors




msg:3349172
 10:55 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't use AdLinks myself (and I don't especially like them), but equating them with MFAs/click arbitrageurs is just plain silly. It's also a distraction from the serious questions of:

1) What will MFAs/click arbitrageurs do after June 1, and...

2) How will Google's purge of MFAs/click arbitrageurs affect earnings for the publishers who remain in the network?

If you're really bothered by AdLinks, why not start a thread on that topic? Who knows--maybe Brett would make it a "Featured Front-Page Discussion."

RonS




msg:3349181
 11:02 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

So therefore, the part about arb's business model isn't a fit with AdSense must have nothing to do with "user experience". So it MUST be something else, unless G is being evil in not eliminating AdLinks.

This is a sad line of reasoning for me as AdLinks are a substantial portion of my AdSense income.

It can't be that they aren't converting because they could just be smartpriced out of existence.

What else could it be?

AdSense Publisher's complaints? Maybe.

Advertisers complains about site quality? I doubt that well-converting pages would be frowned upon.

Google revenue enhancement? Could be, but math models I've built suggest that G earns more with the arb model than without it.

A look towards the future? With what goal? A reputation for quality? I like this idea.

So there you have my rationalization for keeping AdLinks on my site. There's nothing wrong with the user experience, Google just wants nicer sites in its ad space inventory.

:) :) :) :) :)

sailorjwd




msg:3349182
 11:02 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wow.

Fox news (shepard smith) is talking about google removing sites in a few minutes 7pm eastern

RonS




msg:3349184
 11:03 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

EFV it's all about using a virtually identical scenario to try to tease out Google's intent, and therefore what type of sites may be at risk in the future.

[edited by: RonS at 11:04 pm (utc) on May 24, 2007]

justageek




msg:3349186
 11:09 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

That 'first click' doesn't cost me anything as the publisher

Right. But as I said you also didn't get paid where you would have been paid by the arbi for that click...but not having that arbi text is definitely a bonus!

JAG

justageek




msg:3349187
 11:10 pm on May 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

EFV it's all about using a virtually identical scenario to try to tease out Google's intent

Exactly.

JAG

need2bdiscreet




msg:3349253
 12:36 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Europeforvisitors:

Those are two good questions

First what are MFA/click arbitrageurs going to do after June 1 – well there are a few scenarios – A) take the earnings and get into creating content rich websites and practice some good old traditional SEO and SEM B) go into the traffic cleaning/scrubbing business C) buy existing sites and grow them.

Second the affect of arbitrageurs leaving the space might be that regular advertisers will lower their minimum bid price. As an arbitrageur you bid as low as you can so you fill the bottom end and regular advertiser pay a premium to rank higher and get more impressions. Now that the bottom end is gone I would think that advertisers are going to bid less and get just as much traffic. The net result of publishers – probably not that much – better ads per se. If I was the big G I would roll back on some of the smart pricing for a bit so that my existing publishers feel good as the market adjusts. However I do think the CTR on publishers sites will go down somewhat because arbitrageurs try really hard to entice clicks and get possibly a bit broader traffic than other advertisers do – that is just a hypothesis. I only base that on the fact that if I was selling Gucci Shoes I would probably not do a lot of long tail PPC because I don’t think that the long end of the tail converts as well.

At the end of the day arbitrageurs are going to get into another game and Google is going to try and keep their network of publishers happy.

My 2 cents.

moTi




msg:3349254
 12:38 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

[offtopic]
sorry, but adlinks is certainly the same rubbish as mfa arbi sites. i have not implemented them, because:

a) they (luckily) don't work on my sites, the payout is too low
b) i don't want to send my users to a wall of ads and i don't buy that the user knows where he is linked to
c) the supposably negative user experience backfires to the reputation of my websites

if google is consequent on quality, they should kick this product out along with the other crap.
just my thoughts on that.
[/offtopic]

@ need2bdiscreet:

i appreciate that you've changed your mind within the remarkably short time of three posts. you've got a steep learning curve ;)

but still i have to remark a few words:

So the question you need to ask yourself is where are you on the Ad supply food chain? Are you About.com or the New York Times?

and the fact that we are not pumping effectively millions of dollars

just like i am not about.com or the new york times, you are not the one having pumped millions into the system, right? you can't compare one publisher to the arbitrage advertisers as a whole.

Does anyone think that the New York Post would still pump out a newspaper online or in print if it were not for the Advertising.

i smell some basic marketing deficiencies here. if you're only in it for the money (advertising), you can't get any pleased visitors for your products - just like you did annoy your visitors and see where it ends now.. user satisfaction and loyalty is the key to success. on that you can base your income generation, not the other way around.

by the way, did anyone notice that the arbi folks popping up here are mostly far below 100 posts, some are below 10. some of them have joined this forum years ago. it backs up my thoughts concerning their character and social behavior. only take, not give anything back to the community. maybe it's the right time now ;) *scnr*

[edited by: moTi at 12:51 am (utc) on May 25, 2007]

martinibuster




msg:3349265
 1:12 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>>by the way, did anyone notice that the arbi folks popping up here are mostly far below 100 posts...

  • Why are you speculating about the personal characters of people you don't know?
  • Do you make it a habit to malign the characters of strangers you have never met, seen, heard, or had a conversation with?
  • Do you seriously believe you can deduce the entirety of someone's character based on how often they post on a web forum?
  • How does your mass generalization about certain members fit in with the topic of this discussion?

Secondly, do you seriously consider that a long time member would discuss their business to people who are going to dismiss them and be as rude to them as they can get away with? Seriously, do you really believe a long time member would do that? Can you perceive how there is no reason to do that?

That's one reason your generalization doesn't hold water.

In general most members of forums are lurkers. I meet a lot of lurkers at pubcon, in fact. And that's another reason I think you're generalization doesn't hold water.

[edited by: martinibuster at 1:20 am (utc) on May 25, 2007]

europeforvisitors




msg:3349268
 1:15 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)


[offtopic]
sorry, but adlinks is certainly the same rubbish as mfa arbi sites.

AdLinks may or may not be rubbish (I'm not a fan of them myself), but they aren't "the same rubbish" as mfa arbitrage sites. Why? Because users don't click on AdLinks in the expectation of finding real Web sites--or, if they do, they learn immediately that the AdLinks format leads to a page of ads, and they don't make the mistake of clicking on a list of AdLinks again.

Arbitrageurs' ads are something different: They're indistinguishable from legitimate ads that lead to real Web sites. The one thing they have in common with AdLinks is that they may educate users to ignore an ad format that results in dissatisfaction--which, in the case of AdSense ads (not AdLinks), has the potential to reduce clickthrough rates and earnings for the network as a whole.

callivert




msg:3349290
 1:41 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

sorry, but adlinks is certainly the same rubbish as mfa arbi sites

nope. (and I too don't use adlinks).
For those of you trying to "tease out Google's intent", there are critical differences with AdLinks:

1) Adlinks are optional, or to put it another way, they are opt-in, whereas MFA appeared regardless of the publishers intent. In fact, many arbitrage players deliberately created more websites than there were slots in the competitive ad filter;
2) they are a way of connecting publishers to relevant advertisers when there's no obvious match;
3) they do not introduce a new player that wants a cut. It's still just between the original parties: Google, the publisher, the advertiser. Nobody else. How those three parties cut up the pie is sorted out between those three parties.

Therefore, Google's intent becomes clear. It is to remove the fourth party that intrudes into the transaction via a fake website.
(actually "dummy website" would probably be a better term, because it really exists, but it exists merely as an instrument to divert funds).
This siphoning of funds was draining the internet economy by inflating advertiser costs, reducing publisher costs, and diverting visitors away from topics they were interested in and toward high-revenue topics, regardless of the user's interest or intent to buy.

[edited by: callivert at 1:46 am (utc) on May 25, 2007]

farmboy




msg:3349294
 1:44 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

So therefore, the part about arb's business model isn't a fit with AdSense must have nothing to do with "user experience". So it MUST be something else, unless G is being evil in not eliminating AdLinks.

I think it has a lot to do with user experience.

But I agree with EFV that the topic is for another thread, not this one - especially considering the current length of this thread.

Start a new thread and I'll explain if you're interested.

FarmBoy

need2bdiscreet




msg:3349304
 1:57 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Europeforvisitors

I think you hit the nail right on the head – once a user sees that AdLinks are what they are they will choose to go there or not. Regular AdWords though it is a crapshoot if you get sent to a MFA site or another kind of site. Arbitrage MFA was diluting the Google brand and that was not good for Google.

As for a pure MFA arbitrage site it has been really hard to do for the past few months and still keep your margins healthy – smart pricing and AdWords landing page quality scores really made it tough. What it forced arbitragers to do was improve the content a lot so that they could pay less on the Adwords side. However you could have a lower quality MFA page and still get good returns but only via organic traffic. For example I had some old pages that were costing 12 bucks a click (so of course I never used them) however on the organic side they were very profitable because they were older and the search engine and the MediaPartners bot liked them. When the AdWords quality page assessment tool moves over to the Mediaparteners bot and rolls through the rest of the organic sites I think the next wave that will come is the lower quality sites are going to see a whole new smart pricing come around. Because it was easy for an arbitrageur to see what Google thought of your content – they have that figured out – now they are going to apply the same logic to regular Publishers – if you have less quality content then you don’t get paid much – good quality content then you do get paid well. Some people may not try as hard to rank well organically for a site if at the end of the day you are smart priced so much that you don’t make any money.

Google is doing a house cleaning and it will work really well. Google needs to protect the Google brand name first and foremost and when they do that they are also helping to clean up the Internet.

Actually that is a cool strategy – let a bunch of publishers in – grow that side of the house really big and then clean house and get rid of the lower quality sites. Still lots of properties for advertisers to advertise on and Google cannot be blamed or associated with lower quality websites. Kind of like panning for Internet gold – dump in a ton of aggregate and in the end you get more gold then if you only threw in a shovel. Now they have a lot of publishers so they can let the poor performing ones or the low quality ones leave now – hence the nice hug goodbye for us arbitragers – hmmm.

I think it is going to be an interesting summer.

[edited by: need2bdiscreet at 2:20 am (utc) on May 25, 2007]

spaceylacie




msg:3349311
 2:14 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

zett, I think your last comment was great. If everyone kept this mentality there would be a lot less publishers worried about permanently losing their account.

zett said:
all I care about is user experience. User experience is king, because I want them to return. Tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. If they click on one, two MFA ads, they will (in part) link that to my site. Will they return? Will they tell their friends? Will they recommend my site?

Again, if you'd read this forum carefully, you'd see that this money was not appreciated by all the members here. There were at least some members who would have rather rejected your money (in return for seeing less crap on their sites). And yes, I was one of them. :-)

About 8 months ago I got rid of adlinks on a newer sub-site of mine because the visitors to that area were a lot less web savvy than visitors to my other sites. The site was suddenly getting many newbie visitors---new to the Internet, only visiting because of an article they read offline--- because it was featured in a popular off-line magazine in my niche(non-tech related). I felt that these particular visitors would be confused by adlinks so I discontinued them. I lost 100s of dollars a month initially by doing this. But, in the long run it was worth it, in my opinion. My point is, it isn't always about the money you can make immediately.

Sorry, sailorjwd, about my "holier than thou" preaching. ;-). And, thank you for the compliment.

justageek




msg:3349330
 2:57 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm with spaceylacie...I don't want a user to get smacked, not even once, with a bad experience.

It doesn't really much matter to me if an nth party person creates a page of ads or Google themselves do it. Either way I personally see it as a bad user experience and I'd rather not say one or the other is OK because the user will learn the difference eventually.

Keep going Google and rid us of all the pure ad pages (a.k.a. paps).

JAG

farmboy




msg:3349336
 3:04 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

You know, there could be an added benefit to this June 1st thing.

If the crack down also gets rid of some of the article pages with "borrowed" and/or "reworked" content, maybe there will be less borrowing of content in the future.

Hey...one can hope. :)

FarmBoy

cmendla




msg:3349354
 3:21 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Farmboy

If the crack down also gets rid of some of the article pages with "borrowed" and/or "reworked" content, maybe there will be less borrowing of content in the future.

I quoted from a 'learn how to make MFA's' website about 20 pages back. Right there, the author said that he grabs content and doesn't care about duplication. (He magnanimously sometimes provides a link to the original author).. My guess is that a lot of the original content publishers will see their sites doing better once the MFAs start to wither and die.

A lot of smaller publishers (including myself) never really had the time or expertise to track down all of the 'borrowed' content. I did notice that a lot of the links pointing to my sites in the Google webmaster tools were pointing to scraped snippets on MFA pages... Nice to think I was helping someone make 70 grand a month!

I think this will have a positive effect for the orignial publishers but (1) the mfa's have to really die and (2) it will take a couple of google updates to start seeing the results.

cg

lammert




msg:3349371
 4:14 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Second the affect of arbitrageurs leaving the space might be that regular advertisers will lower their minimum bid price. As an arbitrageur you bid as low as you can so you fill the bottom end and regular advertiser pay a premium to rank higher and get more impressions. Now that the bottom end is gone I would think that advertisers are going to bid less and get just as much traffic.

And that is exactly what is happening at my AdWords account since May 17. as I mentioned already some posts earlier. I am now able to advertise in the content network of my niche again at a few cents per click, which I wasn't able to do for about six months. My ads are very specific to the advertised site, and not optimized for getting clicks as the arbitrage ads were, and therefore CTR is considerable lower than MFA ads. The nett effect is that the AdSense sites my ads appear on since May 17. have ads with roughly the same EPC as before, but a much lower CTR, effecting in a lower CPM.

We shouldn't forget--independent what we think about the arbitrage model--that people involved in the arbitrage business were a) specialists in getting great CTR from their AdWords campaigns, and b) specialists in getting great CTR from the AdWords blocks on their landing pages, causing a lot of money to flow around in the content network.

When the arbitrageurs are gone by June 1. the regular publishers will be stuck with their less optimized sites with less optimized ads, causing a lower general CTR network wide, and hence less money from the advertizers flowing into the content network.

spaceylacie




msg:3349386
 4:33 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

advertisers are going to bid less and get just as much traffic

Maybe this should be said this way:
LEGIT advertisers are going to bid less and get just as much traffic

Sounds great to me. I was happy with prices legit advertisers were willing to pay before all the nonsense scam artists decided to rear their ugly heads.

blend27




msg:3349388
 4:37 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I watch Ads alot(i don't click), there are more people, well actualy big companies, "advertizing" for broad search as of yesterday

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