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This 513 message thread spans 18 pages: < < 513 ( 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ... 18 > >     
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?

 

malachite




msg:3344161
 7:49 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

wonder why they wouldn't just ban the sites and not the whole account.

Precisely because Adsense is by account not by site.

If they just banned the sites, what's to stop the publisher putting up a whole load more?

sonny




msg:3344162
 7:50 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

How many adsensers are getting carpal tunnel from checking their email so much?

Play_Bach




msg:3344163
 7:51 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hobbs - yesterday was my highest earning since mid March! If this is somehow related to the policy change, then I say the "pudding" is looking very good indeed!

[edited by: Play_Bach at 7:51 pm (utc) on May 19, 2007]

sonny




msg:3344166
 7:52 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

If they just banned the sites, what's to stop the publisher putting up a whole load more?

Obviously with an email stating their stance on mfa sites

inbound




msg:3344174
 8:03 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

In late January I posted the following, only to change my mind and delete it. I think it's worth posting now with the additional notes at the bottom:


The last 8 months have been turbulent for many, and we can be sure that Google is going after the middleman (Affiliates, Arbitragers, Drop-Shippers, MFA's, Lead Generators and anyone mistakenly identified as such).

Having been hit badly by QS changes on some of our AdWords campaigns and algo changes on some of our organic campaigns I have had several conversations with Google representatives in the US and UK. We also have great evidence from the different ways in which Google treated our own/client sites (some are better than others; Google consistently favoured the better sites and penalised the poorer ones - from a user perspective) Here are my conclusions:

* Google sees middlemen as a threat to the quality of its SERP's (and hence user loyalty).

* Google are prepared to put up with collateral damage to innocent sites; after all it's usually only the site owner that complains.

* The monetary implications of algo changes do not appear to be the first consideration, user experience is still their top priority. They are thinking long-term.

* You are in danger of being labelled a middleman if 'the majority' of your content can be found elsewhere on the web (especially if it is from a single source). Think of XML feeds here.

* If you are seen as a middleman then be prepared to see your Google traffic/AdSense earnings wiped out. This means diversification, which can't be a bad thing anyway.

So what should we be doing?

I suppose the most obvious thing is to take a good hard look at what value your site has for a visitor. Google seems to be getting better at spotting sites that are more concerned with SEO or clicks than users. Concentrating on adding unique & useful features/content seems a good ploy (as it always has been if you forget about search engines).

Do I have any proof?

Not 100% proof, but pretty clear indications from the mix of sites we own/work on.

Our sites that have been hit by AdWords/Organic Algo changes were poor in terms of user experience, we've changed that (having spent months on it) and Google seems to be favouring the sites again.

Our sites that have seen increased Google traffic are advert-free and concentrate on adding real value. They all have content which is of true value to the user (and hence take much longer to create). They all tend to have picked up good industry links due to their content, these links have probably helped shield the sites form damage as such links are not handed out to all and sundry. These sites have tended to be client sites or our own sites which we use to test theories on. Finding alternative monetisation methods than PPC is in, big time.

The long-term outlook for us is good, which in itself indicates a change in our emphasis. We are now looking at the medium-long term rather than the short-medium term. Our sites are better for visitors, we have diversified our traffic base and we have learned a hard lesson; fast.

I'm sure many people will continue to fly too close to the Sun and get burned. Google prefer us to be on the beach with sun-block; we'll still get a tan, but it'll take longer.

Although the above talks about much more than Arbitrage or MFA's I think that we should take heed of this change and start looking more closely at what our sites offer. Since writing the above our ride has been quite smooth and predictable, create useful content and prosper. You can be sure that Google will target other 'nuisances' in the near future.

Google seems to be thinking long term on this; they can see a time when enough advertisers (that genuinely offer the service being searched for) exist to iron out the inneficiencies that are clear to see currently (an inneficient marketplace encourages arbitrage). This move seems to be an attempt to bring forward the time when Google has enough 'true advertisers' rather than middlemen.

I sincerely hope that Google remembers that most people just don't know how to search well; and hence middlemen can provide a valuable service.

DamonHD




msg:3344177
 8:15 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi


I sincerely hope that Google remembers that most people just don't know how to search well; and hence middlemen can provide a valuable service.

Yes, excellent and critical point.

I'm *not* doing arb, but I work with investment banks that do, and buy insurance from companies that are 'middlemen', and I sometimes buy from a convenience store rather than a supermarket and almost never direct from the farmer (etc).

The 'middle'/arb can be valuable if the users in practice can't (or are too idle to) look hard enough to find what they want or need.

If G can address this then middlemen have no place, and some money will no longer be drained from the market.

If G cannot address this then, much as I hate the MFA end of the arb spectrum, G may have done themselves and the users no good.

People can be quite lazy and ignorant, unfortunately, and the genuine arbitrageurs were probably bridging some otherwise-uncrossable gaps between user and their destination.

And removing arb from the market is unlikely (economically speaking) to make prices go down for advertisers or up for publishers or increase revenue/turnover, UNLESS G can somehow do a better job of bringing them together.

I'm sure that G realises this. G may have waited so long to act in the hope that the market would sort itself out acceptably and without continuing to hurt G's brand. G seems to have decided not.

Here's hoping that Google has it right.

Rgds

Damon

Januuski




msg:3344178
 8:16 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Glad to hear about some positive changes. The problem is that there is too many premium publishers with MFA websites. Are they getting banned too?

I would also like to see some AdWords accounts banned because other networks do allow MFA publishers. Any AdWords advertiser with ads pointing to a MFA page should be banned regardless of ad network.

Once all MFA are gone and Google will provide better tools to control what is displayed on my websites I may give AdSense another chance.

malachite




msg:3344182
 8:19 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)


If they just banned the sites, what's to stop the publisher putting up a whole load more?

Obviously with an email stating their stance on mfa sites

Right. And you don't think some of these publishers wouldn't be looking for the next way to game the system?

As someone already said, G don't have the resources or manpower to constantly keep tabs on all these guys just to make sure they're keeping their noses clean. It's easier just to cull them from the system.

buckworks




msg:3344187
 8:25 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

In fact, publishers who have been getting a lot of MFA ads may see a decline in earnings because of falling ad demand in the short run.

The flip side of that is that with MFAs taken out of the picture there will be less ad inventory available. Real advertisers will be competing for exposure on fewer sites. It will be interesting to watch the extent to which it evens out.

Re middlemen ... they come in two types:

Find two people who want to do business and bring them together.

Find two people who want to do business ... and get in the way.

DamonHD




msg:3344188
 8:26 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi,

I would seem likely that G has explicitly decided to stop trying to play whack-a-mole, and wipe out a whole class of troublesome players at once.

G is presumably going to be screening new AS applications as of 15th May *very* *very* carefully, to make end runs around this ban as hard as possible.

Rgds

Damon

[edited by: DamonHD at 8:27 pm (utc) on May 19, 2007]

Elsmarc




msg:3344199
 9:01 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

They'e been doing manual adsense bans for a long time for various infractions. MFA has been too big and widespread to stop via manual reporting and eyeballs. This seems to be a huge, automated sweep. Hats off to the engineers at Google that worked on this project. I hope they gave it a cool, secret-agent-style code name.

There is more personal (vs. automated) involvement in all this than one might think. Those of you have have gotten the 'Good' Google email will know what I mean.

Tropical Island




msg:3344200
 9:03 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

It all comes back to AdSense publishers needing to provide sites to Google BEFORE putting ads on them.

DamonHD




msg:3344203
 9:15 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

TI: that's not the whole story IMHO.

1) It would add unreasonable and possibly fatal delay and expense to getting new very small (low-traffic, low-revenue) sites set up. Eg I just put up a one-pager based on a domain name that I bought in dot-com times but never used. The revenue will never be worth a human spending time vetting the site, but it is a site/page/reference that I've really wanted.

2) Bait-and-switch: user X gets site Y approved and then 3 months later switches it to p0rn/MFA/politics or whatever poison we/G agree is bad.

I still would like the option to whitelist my own domains that my AS can run on to protect me on the AS side, and on the AW side to optionally ban traffic by entire advertiser ID. That is a little of what you want I think, but is not the same.

Rgds

Damon

Doug10




msg:3344206
 9:20 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't think arbitrage is the problem.

As recently as January Brian Axe, Google AdSense Product Manager said that Google was not against arbitrage and in fact they respect it as a business model. Brian clarified more by saying Google's main concern is the user's experience.

It's probably the landing pages more than the arbitrage that Google has targeted.

DamonHD




msg:3344208
 9:23 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well, the CxOs of G are reported to have been very anti-MFA or anti-arb: it would be good if someone could dig out their quotes on this.

At the moment it looks like an anti-arb drive to me since I know at least one good-but-thin arb site that's being sent down the tubes...

Rgds

Damon

elsewhen




msg:3344212
 9:38 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

i wonder if this is really an anti-arbitrage move. at a recent search engine conference in san jose, the director of adsense made it very clear that google is not against arbitrage.

if this is a move against thin or empty sites (pages with little other than ads), then that makes perfect sense.

it seems to me that arbitrage itself is not against adsense TOS, but vacuous sites clearly are. of course, most arbitrage sites are vacuous, so this might be the cause of the slightly inaccurate discussion on this matter.

can anyone that received the email from google verify if they mentioned anything about arbitrage?

BigDave




msg:3344214
 9:40 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

We have to remember that we don't have the whole story here.

Google may be banning some accounts where the majority of the clicks are on arbitrage sites, or possible even the majority of pages even if it isn't the majority of the clicks. They might be giving (or planning to give) some publishers warnings about some of their sites if they are borderline. In some cases they may be banning sites.

europeforvisitors




msg:3344259
 10:59 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Dunno if we're allowed to mention Webmaster World's competition, but a SearchEngine***** article quoted Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, as saying "We don't think it's healthy" in his remarks on click arbitrage. That was in 2006.

Schmidt was referring to pages that were described as "arbitrary agglomerations of ad links," which is a reasonable description of typical MFA landing pages.

My guess is that Google doesn't mind when owners of legitimate sites buy traffic with AdWords or AdSense ads and users then click ads on those pages. For example:

Let's say that NYTimes.com has an ad on your site's widgets page with the headline "Read our widget reviews." The reader clicks through to NYTimes.com's widget section, reads an article on blue widgets, and clicks an ad for Bluewidgetdealer.com. That may be "click arbitrage" in a very loose meaning of the term, but it's okay because THE NEW YORK TIMES isn't just flipping traffic--it's providing a legitimate (and useful) reader experience, and Bluewidgetdealer.com is paying for a genuine click, not for a click that was prompted by the need to escape an otherwise worthless page.

Dc71




msg:3344261
 11:07 pm on May 19, 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?

Honestly is google nothing more than a government front because they seem to have a problem keeping their word alot.

I don't understand how legally they could cancle anyone for "Search Arbitrage" what the @#$# does sedo.com and sedo.co.uk do? Every link on any parked page is nothing more than paid google links. But it seems these poor excuse for ad agencies continue and never get cancled.

Doesn't providing a page that displays with nothing more than google links go against like 3 of the Google Adsense TOS?

Help me make sense of this. Why are these ad host clients allowed to conduct business one way and their is a way of doing business for everyone elses adsense account?

Godaddy does the same thing.

How far will it go before the darlings of wallstreet take out their 23 million monday morning from google and 8 million from yahoo?

Are we seeing the end of a industry?

I guess all these tech stocks got to learn if you can't deal with a handshake and promises and can't deliver well your just not going to get money to parade a bunch of gullible teenagers around fronting your bs for free.

-Cheers I read every post but I particularly like this one.

sailorjwd




msg:3344265
 11:16 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I turned on my Yahoo ads a few hours ago to see what life would be like...

"No thanks honey, I'll just have a salad tonight."

I hope there are degrees of arbitrage that skip through since I've changed from 80% Adwords leads down to 9% - almost all of which is directly related to selling my services.

Hobbs




msg:3344267
 11:22 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Are we seeing the end of a industry?

Yes, MFA

davec




msg:3344278
 12:03 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't understand how legally they could cancle anyone for "Search Arbitrage" what the @#$# does sedo.com and sedo.co.uk do? Every link on any parked page is nothing more than paid google links. But it seems these poor excuse for ad agencies continue and never get cancled.

Doesn't providing a page that displays with nothing more than google links go against like 3 of the Google Adsense TOS?

DC71, I think you'll find that Google's domain ads product is covered by different terms to Adsense.

koan




msg:3344291
 12:46 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

However making people hate them seems to of worked for them so far just to spread the disease.

It was inevitable to see owners of MFA sites come and whine about Google here. Google is not hated, by far. You have a grudge against them and need to vent? Fine... not that it'll help you improve your situation, though. "Google should do this, Google should do that..." come on, they run *their* company just the way they like it, and the majority of clients and users also agree with their politics. If you don't, find something else.

Sorry but no one will make me feel pity for MFA owners. They portray themselves as useful middlemen, etc (everybody likes to think they do something worthwhile, even thieves rationalize that they unburden suckers from their money), but building sites where the only way to literally navigate out of it is to click an ad disguised as normal content... well... that's not healthy and ethical business, that's a form of info-pollution.

I agree that one page domains (a la SEDO) with Adsense isn't that much better, however, most of their traffic is typed-in, so it doesn't really pollutes the google search results or google ads of other publishers that much.

walkman




msg:3344298
 1:09 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

this is about quality of pages (search) and advertisers getting antsy over tricks that mfa people use to get people to click. If this didn't make search worst (by giving people an incentive to design bad sites) why would google care that someone is making 5 cents more from a click?

After all, this is business they never had and advertisers do not know the deal or don't care--unless the pages suck and people click to get out of the page.

heyday




msg:3344308
 1:38 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

So it would be great if Google came out with a CLEAR policy on what the heck is happening.....

I'm frieked out now.....I have REAL sites that are NOT MFAs....they sell products and I sell advertising space...and I have adsense on the pages..... Adsense is not the main focus but yes I make some good money....

AND I drive traffic with adwords to many of the pages...

So It seams now that I'm real publisher who has a chance of getting canned with all this stuff going on....

We need a little clarification here....

heyday

PowerUp




msg:3344313
 1:47 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi all,

Don't you guys think this will hurt the genuine publishers even more in terms of SERP?

1. I assume that MFAs and arbitrage websites know how to SEO and get high ranking in the SERP. That's how they've been making money all the time by optimizing their sites and exploiting loopholes. They are expert in this field, I assume.

2. Now, if Goog ban their accounts because of thin content, then I can only assume that their logical next move will be as follow.

3. Salvage the current Adsense account. If fail, then register a new account with another family member or friend.

4. SCRAPE sites with genuine content and SEO. This will ensure they rise above the publisher with the original content.

5. I've read somewhere that most of the content on the internet is not copyright. The Scrapper could scrape the content and register the copyright first. Filing DMCA is no use now. The scraper can bite you back and demand that you pull down your content since they are holding the copyright. It's only a small cost to them if they content can pull in tens of thousands of dollars in $$ every month.

This is what I'd think these people will do. Because the temptation of the Adsense money is to strong to give up.

Rehan




msg:3344321
 1:59 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

heyday, I don't think you'll have to worry. If you read the Inside AdSense blog by Google, there was a post back in March titled "AdWords and AdSense: a perfect pair". Driving AdWords traffic to a site with AdSense is not necessarily a problem... If your site is not MFA and does provide a good user experience, that's the stuff Google seems to like.

But you're right, clarity and an official word on the issue would be the best thing to have right now.

Dc71




msg:3344335
 2:12 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

basically their just going to pick and choose the top arbitrage sites and work their way down cancling as fast as they can " 2 weeks max process " systematically destroying the livelyhood of these MFA that been getting a free ride.

Sorry but this is just the way it is.

Its no surprise googles weapon in this process is always hiring the right people, keep them like mushrooms and pay them to be pretty much yes men to just collecting whatever pitance they pay.

[edited by: jatar_k at 3:33 am (utc) on May 20, 2007]

Quadrille




msg:3344339
 2:15 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Its no surprise googles weapon in this process is always hiring the right people, keep them like mushrooms and pay them to be pretty much yes men to just collecting whatever pitance they pay.
.

Where did you get that notion?

Didn't you know that google wins awards for it's 'people management' on a weekly basis?

Try a google search, you'll see ;)

europeforvisitors




msg:3344341
 2:17 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I assume that MFAs and arbitrage websites know how to SEO and get high ranking in the SERP. That's how they've been making money all the time by optimizing their sites and exploiting loopholes.

No, they've been making money by buying cheap clicks and getting users to click on more expensive ads. If they were able to get high rankings in organic SERPs, they wouldn't need to spend money on click arbitrage.

europeforvisitors




msg:3344347
 2:31 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

basically their just going to pick and choose the top arbitrage sites and work their way down cancling as fast as they can " 2 weeks max process " systematically destroying the livelyhood of these MFA that been getting a free ride.

Is it Google's fault that some AdSense publishers have been foolish enough to base their livelihoods on a flawed business model with a limited lifespan?

"The next get-rich-quick scheme" usually turns out to be "the last get-rich-quick scheme" in the end.

This 513 message thread spans 18 pages: < < 513 ( 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ... 18 > >
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