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This 513 message thread spans 18 pages: < < 513 ( 1 ... 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 [17] 18 > >     
AdSense Disabling Arbitrage Accounts by June 1st

 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?



 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


 4:49 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

There are also big companies that keyword target your niche and have nothing relevant to offer. Shopping sites and in particular, a large ebag company are getting into the ebay model of advertising these days.


 6:08 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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.

I think (hope, pray) that game is coming to an end, and soon. I've noticed that one major site that 'pirates' (copies, verbatim) entire articles including direct links to graphics from my site and presents them surrounded by their own AdSense, has removed the copied content lately. I wonder if they've received a warning recently?

One can only hope...


 6:40 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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.

To tackle MFAs, Google needs some kind of sandbox. It can't assume new sites are going to be non-MFAs. I suspect one of the problems is either the low bar to enter, and/or MFA webmasters building one good non-MFA to get an Adsense account; then flooding their account with many MFAs.

Google's policy of one-approval-then-do-whatever doesn't cut it. It could have some kind of special watch algo on all newly added domains to an account to nip them in the bud if they act like MFAs. They've been asleep at the switch for years and still are. Why shouldn't Google require review of each new website added to an account? If it's not smart enough to program a way to catch MFAs, it has no other choice to avoid brand dilution.

Good, useful websites take time to build. You can't crank them out one a day. So the algo that monitors Adsense accounts should focus on the rate new sites are added, and the number of pages in each site. High rate and/or high page count will be obvious red flags, triggering a manual review.



 7:00 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just been catching up on this thread.

need2bdiscreet, there's no need to finish your postings with 'my 2 cents'. I know your 2 cents. You've been paying me that per click for years. No need to rub it in.

Seriously, what we have not seen so far is a discussion of what role there is for 'good' arbitrage in Adsense. So someone clicking on a link on 'new and used dead popes' gets taken to relevant links for e.g. used copies of Alexander Pope's works.

Can yesterday's 'parasites' become upstanding netizens of tomorrow - and will G let them be so?


 7:21 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Turning arbi low quality content churning machines into good Internet citizens is possible, but not likely unless they really learn their lessons and a big hug and kiss goodbye may not do that so well. I also have faith in the concept that anyone willing to put in the hours for their ideas with no monetary gain in mind are almost always going to have better ideas then those who do it for money. However, I live in the real world with the rest of you where motives are almost always a hybrid, just mix your motives up a little so that user experience is first and monetary gain is secondary at best.

[edited by: jeffgroovy at 7:59 am (utc) on May 25, 2007]


 7:24 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have to laugh every time I see a reference to "buy new and used dead popes" it personifies the core of what this arbitrage thread is about. Bad user experience = no good for anyone in the long term (even the big money MFA arbi site owners who thought it was good from themselves regardless of user experience are finding out they were even wrong about that) no need to throw salt in their wounds, but to address the question of the role of "good" arbitrage is what the adsense team has preached all along. Have a site for a reason and then, Oh it turns out I can put some ads on there and make a little extra cash. It's all good to buy traffic to your site in that scenario because you are buying it for the purpose of the site, not for clicks on ads. That concept takes care of the problems that come with getting traffic for the purpose of clicking on ads as opposed to getting traffic for the purpose of your site.


 8:56 am on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

causing a lot of money to flow around in the content network.

Exactly. I would say MFAs were inflating the Adsense revenues (as well as TAC). Basically they were nurturing a bubble. This bubble will burst now.

It's hard to predict which genuine revenues will remain once the bubble has burst. I started to check the sites in my filter, and as of yesterday, they were still serving Adsense ads. If these guys are not gone June 1st, btw, then something has gone seriously wrong.

Also, the timing is interesting: June 1st sees 2/3 of the quarter already in, with 1/3 still to go. So Google can report in their Q2 earnings still 2/3 of the bubble revenues and needs to start to catch up with things only in Q3 (because the bubble revenues and TAC will be missing). It will be interesting to see Adsense revenues and TAC for their Q3 earnings report.

I see a good pontential that they crank up the EPC (minimum bid) during Q3 to make up for the loss of bubble profit.


 2:06 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

in this sticky, need2bdiscreet gave me the explicit permission to post this on the board. herewith i will do that, because i think it's a very valuable contribution to this thread as it is an insight of the perspective of someone who got into the arbitrage business. at the same time, it puts the focus on google who were so reluctant to supervise the whole game.

here's some good food for thought:

Hi Moti,

You are right I for one did not pump in millions doing Arbitrage – however I have a colleague who did – he spent over a million a year. As for the lurking part of the post – you are also correct – it was safer to hang back and listen then it was to exchange with others. My previous experiences were that as soon as you posted something that asked about doing stuff that was close to the edge you got super flamed – and that is never fun. It is not unlike questioning Google and their intent on the forum – this recent thing about AdLinks is a good example – for some Google can do no wrong and for others it is useful to be open to the idea that they could do some shady stuff.

The bottom line is that if you are user focused and think of them first you will rise to the top. That is where I started when I got into this – but I dabbled in arbitrage and instead of earning 10-20 dollars a day you make a few hundred and it climbs rapidly from there. Google knew what we were doing and they were turning a blind eye – others are doing it and you justify it to yourself. It would have been as simple as two lines of code in the JavaScript code – if referrer = googlesyndication then smart price these guys. It does not feel like online pharmacies or porn or extortion – you can show your wife what you are doing and she can say it looks nice. It is a trap for sure – the money is easier and it is easy to give into your greed – especially when you have a mortgage to pay ;-).

You can post this on the board if you want – but I thought it would be better if I told my side of the story to you directly. I don’t want a flame war and I get the sense that this is a topic that perhaps might frustrate you.

my fullest respect goes to you.

cheers, moti


 2:07 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Can yesterday's 'parasites' become upstanding netizens of tomorrow - and will G let them be so?

I'm repeating myself from prior posts in this thread but I think it's worth repeating. If a MFA type site is good for the advertisers, then advertisers will line up to get their ads on those pages to replace the disappearing AdSense ads.



 2:15 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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.

I remember reading that information.

Sadly, you don't need to go to a different website to find that attitude. There are people right here on these forums who eagerly "borrow" content and then twist themselves into pretzels in their attempts to rationalize and justify the practice.



 2:18 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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.

Two other possible benefits:

1. There may be some used domains back on the market

2. I might be able to advertise via AdWords Site Match without the concern of my content being stolen



 2:22 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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.


I joined AdSense in the second month of its existence and over the months/years I watched my EPC decline as I saw more MFA type sites appear on the scene.

I can't say with certainty there is a coorelation, but I'm certainly willing to find out.



 2:42 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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.

I don't think it's that simple. In the short run, there may be some loss of revenue (especially by publishers who have been subsisting on MFA ads), but in the long run, the June 1 change should boost advertiser confidence and make the "content network" more attractive, resulting in greater competition and higher bids for ads.

Other factors will come into play in the next few months:

- Advertisers will have better statistics from Google, making it easier for them to add non-converting publisher sites to their domain filters.

- Advertisers will be able to bid on site-targeted contextual ads, not just site-targeted CPM (run-of-site) ads.

These changes may lead to further shakeouts and a greater spread between the haves and have-nots, but that isn't a bad thing if it means that pricing is brought into line with value.


 3:34 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don’t want to stir the pot but…

I think a bigger issue is what is Google doing about MFA? So the arbitragers are kicked out but what about MFA sites that have organic traffic? Also I have heard that there is a solid plan for Arbi-2.0 – I don’t know the game yet and I don’t want to know, but from what I have heard it is going to be a lot harder to stop.

I for one am getting out of the game because it is an unhealthy place to be – but from what I hear the game is on come this summer.

The bottom line is the key to stamping out unwanted behaviour is to stamp out MFA and until they do that I think this may just be a blip on the landscape.


 3:57 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

MFA with organc traffic is someone else's problem, the search dept. will get them sooner or later.

Let me guess:
Minimum content
Buying cheap traffic from elsewhere

but what are they going to do to get a new account, change their names?


 4:18 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

So MFA will die because the search engines will figure it out – sure I guess so – has not happened yet but I am sure it will. I always thought it was easier than that – Smart Price them and they die.

As for traffic sources I don’t know.

As for changing their names – who uses their name? If you are playing this game you are running it through a corp that you can shut down without any hassles.


 4:19 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

> but what are they going to do to get a new account, change their names?

That's what I'm wondering too, Hobbs. Seems to me there's nothing even close to what they had with Google.


 4:25 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

A true MFA will NOT have any organic traffic. If a arbi site has traffic and incoming links then it must be providing some value. Not all sites get listed in first page of G search results. That is why many sites pay for traffic.

Or is that too radical to consider? Seeing that any site that pays for traffic must be BAD?


 4:26 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Remember that G has a dedicated WebSPAM team headed by Matt Cutts, and surely one of their top priorities is kicking out the MFAs, scrapers, etc, with the result being to deny them organic traffic from G.

That doesn't mean that there are not other sources of traffic, even non-SE traffic. For example, my traffic switched from about 90% from G to 90% from one link on a big site. I still barely believe it, but if an MFAer was in that position then maybe they could live on that footfall with a CPM ad network.




 4:32 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'd like to look more closely at the idea expressed by a poster a while back that arbitragers have been 'pumping a lot of money into the network' and what another arb mentioned about his site paying for clicks on a publisher's website.

As I see it, arbitragers are taking a lot more money out of the system than they are putting into it, since otherwise what would be in it for them?

If the system in adsense is that publishers provide a service, and the advertisers pay for that, then either the arbitragers are in some way adding value for the money that they extract from the system, or their presence is less then benign.

So ask, firstly, where is the money that the arbitrageurs are making coming from? Secondly would bona fide advertisers be putting in more or less money if arbitrageurs were not operating?

From those answers it might become clearer whether arbs are 'pumping money into the network' or draining it out, and whether Adsense publishers (and advertisers) will do better or worse with them gone.


 4:58 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

>running it through a corp that you can shut down without any hassles

Don't know, what do they do for taxes? Don't they fill tax forms with social security numbers?


 5:09 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Corporations have Federal ID numbers, which serve the same function as a social security number.


 5:25 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

You can always, always use a corporation to start over.


 5:28 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

The arbitrage sites were not pumping a lot of money into the network directly, rather sucking a lot of money from the advertisers and pumping part of that money back to other AdSense publishers.

After June 1st, the advertisers will only be left with 'ordinary' publishers with in general a lower CTR. This can lead to many effects:

  • Advertisers will fill the arbitrage ad slots for low bids (causing lower EPC)
  • Bids from advertisers who use a monthly budget and automatic bid optimization will see an increase in the bidprice due to less ad slots available (causing higher EPC)
  • Advertisers whose daily budget was reached early in the day will advertise for more hours per day before their budget is reached, causing a higher EPC, especially at the end of the day
  • Advertisers will get more confidence in the content network and either return to the content network, or increase their bids (causing higher EPC)

My prediction is that the first effect will be that current advertisers will fill the low bid ad slots and CPM will decrease. But maybe my prediction is wrong and the other effects compensate enough to create healthier CPMs. And hopefully as EFV some posts earlier mentioned creates the current disabling round, together with extra functionality on the AdWords side to give advertisers more information about good and bad performing publisher sites, enough confidence with AdWords advertisers to see the content network as a proper advertising place again.


 5:37 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

It may not be "arb sites" that are the main focus. I think maybe it is "thin content".

A message board I started in December of last year shows one adsense ad on any page with more then two replies.

I buy adwords to build the community and get traffic.

Surely some folks arriving via adwords click the adsense. This *is* click arb, even though it is inadvertent.

No ban letter, in fact just last week adwords folks called me on the phone and offered to help me optimize my ads.

The thing is, imo, the latest crack down is focused to improve the quality of the web itself, not attack ALL arbs. Sites that are a waste of time, MFA, Arb or other, are the targets. If adsense is involved on the page, and the page offers neither a useful product, or useful information, it got the axe.

Even a page with thin adsense, but heavy affiliate connections will get the boot imo, if my theory is correct.

Arb sites that offer content still exist. Since the public, you and I, search for answers on the web, we hate being lead astray, or "tricked". If I click your ad to find a boat spotlight, I *expect* *YOU* to be selling boat spotlights. If I wanted to look on amazon or ebay, I would have went there, not to google search.

The web audience does not ask a lot. All they ask is to get what they clicked for.

I wonder how many arb sites threw you into an endless loop? Click an ad for widgets, got to a widget landing page, click another ad for widgets, end up on another landing page... on and on..

The arb guys might get all warm and cozy at this scenario, but do *you* as a surfer find this "helpful to your search?"

But lets look at it another way. Suppose you clicked an ad for widgets, and the landing page was *thoughtfully* built with lots of VERY useful stuff about widgets. *AND* the site SOLD widgets at a reasonable price. On the page are *also* optimized adsense widget sales.

Now, even if you had break-even prices on the widgets, your goal is arb, you accomplish a few unique things:

1. Your surfer found what they were looking for, and more, not just the product, but info on the product.
2. Found a great price.
3. Found many "links" (ads) to even more places to buy.

These types of arb sites exist, and are NOT being banned.

It all boils down to your focus. Are you focused on simply "flipping clicks" or are you focused on making the web a better place while profiting from it with a business model that will stand the test of time?

Since it is likely that G is not *just* focused on arb, but on basically a web "clean up", we might also be seeing bans from business models using affiliates in an awkward manner (Find Dead Kittens on Ebay).

I suspect the clean up is just now starting. The next leg of this journey will be to prune out the affiliate schemes.

Just my theory on the whole situation, not trying to put-down anyone here. After reading this whole thread that's the conclusions that I have arrived at.


 5:51 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

No one reads 500+ posts
but 10% are by farmboy, so perhaps some do :-)


 5:57 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

MThiessen's commentary is too good to be buried on page 17 of this tired thread. I sense that this whole issue could be just the first step in an AS improvement scheme that will be much wider that just the arbitragers.

Much of this thread has become circular and repetitive, as often happens after so many posts. Could we start something new on the broader subject of what AdSense changes might come next?


 6:15 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yeah Hobbs, I rarely ever read a thread this long, but it is a subject effecting a mutual friend of ours, so I took the time. And yes much of what I said is covered here and there, but I wanted to formulate it into one logic post.

Thank you Dibbern2, yeah maybe a new thread is in order.


 6:54 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Turning arbi low quality content churning machines into good Internet citizens is possible, but not likely unless they really learn their lessons and a big hug and kiss goodbye may not do that so well.

You have more faith than I do - I've heard from a couple of arb-types in this thread and elsewhere bragging about how they did it because it required hardly any time and effort to do, while mocking those of us who have put a lot of time into our "hobbyist" sites.

I'm thinking if they were drawn to arb-type/MFA sites to begin with, they would rather find some other easy way rather than put the time and effort into building real sites.


 7:04 pm on May 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hobbs - I know around 30 Seo/SEM's reading this tread since the 400th post. I've personally skype-them about it, never have a free minute after that :) .

If the admin is able to post how many impressions this tread has - I bet the number is 6 digits.

This 513 message thread spans 18 pages: < < 513 ( 1 ... 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 [17] 18 > >
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