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Google AdSense Forum

This 513 message thread spans 18 pages: < < 513 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 ... 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?



 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.


 3:42 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've read somewhere that most of the content on the internet is not copyright

A bit off-topic, but what you've read is incorrect.


 3:45 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I just read through all 13 pages of this thread and although I know it sounds cynical, my comment is this:

If one month from now I can randomly pick URL's from my filter, go to the URL and find AdSense no longer on the pages and/or find a quality site at the URL, I'll believe something is really happening.

Otherwise, this is just another in a line of "Google is doing something about MFA's" threads.



 3:59 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

...Otherwise, this is just another in a line of "Google is doing something about MFA's" threads.

Best comment within this thread so far.

[edited by: Scurramunga at 3:59 am (utc) on May 20, 2007]


 4:56 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Looks like google is doing some "effort".. but I am sure these MFA people will find another way soon. You can not wipe them off completely.

I know it, because I keep getting clients who has always some weird ideas to make money from adsense, and they keep seeking programmers who can do these kind of programming for them.

It can never be "stopped" completely, because "I crossed $500 a day" thread encourages more MFA's rather than genuine publishers.


 5:03 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't run any MFA sites - but at first I thought "what's the difference?". If the advertiser and the MFA are both making money then it should be ok. Then over the last year, I started to notice - as a purchaser of adwords ads - that most of my content network ads were no longer converting. So I stopped using the content network all together. And I would imagine that there were many adwords accounts that have done the same thing over the last year or two.

Google is starting to notice that these MFA sites are costing them more money than they are making. Because of the large adwords accounts opting out of the content network.


 5:05 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I will be the first to admit that I have been running substantial arbitrage and MAF sites.

...Please AdSense team. Please give honest (at least non-breaching) webmasters a chance to straighten things up and stay in the program.

Employers perform background checks on potential employees because past behavior is often a predictor of future behavior. But a period of years with good behavior can show a person has matured, had a change of heart, etc.

Lenders conduct credit checks because past behavior is often a predictor of future behavior. But a period of years of good credit practices can show a person has matured, accepted more responsibility, etc.

If Google is actually in the process of taking widespread action against arbitrage/MFA sites, I think it's reasonable for Google to assume that those who have been operating such sites will try to find a shortcut, game the system or whatever you want to call it, in the future.

But if a person were to operate truly good useful content sites without AdSense for a period of years, I think it would be reasonable for Google to give them another look in about 2010.



 5:48 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've read somewhere that most of the content on the internet is not copyright[ed].

Big myth. Copyright Law 101: All content is copyrighted by default. Text, photos, etc. This is a smart and fair law. You don't have to file anything to apply for copyrights. Every original thing you write you have a right to as soon as you write it. It's automatic.

Then there's fair use law.



 6:17 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

> Big myth. Copyright Law 101: All content is copyrighted by default. Text, photos, etc. This is a smart and fair law. You don't have to file anything to apply for copyrights. Every original thing you write you have a right to as soon as you write it. It's automatic.

Correct...unless someone copies your content and then files for a copyright protection BEFORE you do. Then it becomes one big hassle on "who created the content first." Why it's a good reason to always file for copyright...it avoids these "whose content is it really?" problems from cropping up.


 6:20 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I for one appreciate the MFA publishers' contribution to this thread. You can bash the MFA model, but I don't think it's fair to bash these people on a personal level.

Some very respectable publishers have dabbled with MFA's (no, I didn't). It does not make them "bad" or "immoral". They were just working a business and worked with the loopholes generously supplied by AS. It was there for all to use and as the recent act shows, Google could have cracked down on this model before and didn't, in effect saying this was legitimate. We're talking about huge accounts, UPS club checks, and I am positive that AS editors had a look at the sites and were fully aware of their business model. It was their choice to work with those sites or not. Up until now, they did. They don't even cut them off without notice and keeping the money. The message seems pretty clear to me: For Google this was a legitimate business model. It worked well for them before and no longer does.


 6:38 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

> It worked well for them before and no longer does.

I think for many of us, it's the accumulated frustration of how long it took for this to happen. Watching the errosion of the AdSense brand, the exodus of advertisers from the content network and the plummeting price per click since joining AdSense in 2004 hasn't helped my blood pressure any.


 9:10 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

The fact is that a big cleanup is on the way. The question is what will happen with "hybrid" AdSense accounts, the guys who work with both regular and MFA sites using one and the same account?

However, I think regular publisher would profit from this cleanup and CPM could rise significantly after this.


 9:21 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Actually, i quit arbitration model in November 2006. I took this decision when the "no picture next to ads" rule was enforced. one of my top site was banned from adsense. I had some gut feeling that google will catch up with this nonsense sooner or later and I quit the model and lost a lot of revenue, ofcource. I havent got any 'u r fired' emails till today. I believe I wont.

The point I learned is :

Dont treat adsense as your primary earning source. It may become the primary source, but you dont treat it that way.

cheap domain name : $1.99
Scrapped content : few minutes
cheap adwords campaign : $0.03/click
getting banned from adsense: priceless

or is it? when u made enough already (like $70,000 p.m. for a year or so.)?


 11:17 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think regular publisher[s] would profit from this cleanup and CPM could rise significantly after this.

Maybe, maybe not. I predict the changes could be radically different from one site to another. Some sites will do much better; others will do far worse; while others won't see any appreciable difference.

Why? Once again it's inventory. Depending on your industry, market, and niche, if any, as well as traffic, Google may or may not be able to fill the void left by the departing arbit. inventory.

We don't know how many total arbit. accounts are being banned, and whether the remaining accounts will collectively have budgets high enough to run ads which fill the available ad space every day.

The sites which had tons of arbit. folks could see a huge drop in earnings, assuming the reason why the arbit webmasters dominated is because there were so few other honest businesses on the Content Network. The Adsensers will feel the rug pulled out from under them.

I personally don't see Advertisers rushing back to the Content Network. I don't think the main reason they left is because of other advertisers; I think it's because the publishers couldn't format their sites in a way that brought them conversions.

Furthermore, the loss of competition from arbit. webmasters has to lower the bidding, leading to lower earnings. Maybe not a lot less, but expect a drop, nevertheless.

I'm interested to see how or if this new development affects smart pricing. Based on the idea that Google's sp algo could assume few real conversions took place if many clicks are made on one ad unit. Obviously arbit sites led to multiple clicks (different ads) from the same ad unit or webpage, when the visitors realized a site was junk, hit the back button, and proceeded to try another Adsense ad link.

Remove all those bogus ads, then, by this new purge, and you could climb out of being under the smart pricing cloud. In the past I think arbiters have been partially responsible for getting us smart priced and earning less revenue.

A little spring cleaning could be a very good thing for everyone who wants to make an honest buck. And I guess if it doesn't go as Google planned, it can always go back and revert... doubt the old arbiters will hesitate to join the program again later... the 70K/mo boys and all. :-P



 11:30 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

The timing will leave a full month to go before the end of 2nd quarter. It'll be interesting to see how that will affect or show up for 2nd QTR earnings figures.


 12:24 pm on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just in time for the full release of the cpa product.


 12:30 pm on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

It would be interesting to discuss some data from Google Analytics from banned accounts vs publishers using AdWords and are not banned.

I am sure, there is something different viewable in the Google Analytics data.

This differences could be in

page views per visitors
visit length
pattern of repeated visitors

Let's discuss a hypothesis

page vies per visitor < 1.5
visit lenght < 30 seconds
repeated visitors < 2%

could be critical parameters


 12:57 pm on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't see how the account cancellations could cause this (yet) but I'm seeing an unprecedented change in advertisers on my pages.


 1:02 pm on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Great job on getting rid of all those nasty MFA's. Nothing but a pile of crap full of advertising. They only thing worse than that stuff are those domain landing pages run by companies like...oh, I dunno, GOOGLE.

(I'm being cynical btw. 'Clean up' MFA's while still running domain landing pages? How hypocritical is that? FWIW, I've got a friend who loves MFA's. His customers call him and tell him they see his ads everywhere - great for branding. I disagree, but that's free market.)


 1:14 pm on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is a different issue from traditional MFA's. Google seemed to view MFA's as primarily a spam issue. Its focus was on eliminating their natural traffic, as opposed to revoking AdSense accounts. Arbitrage puts "spammy" sites right back onto Google's front page. Gentler efforts to take the money out of arbitrage (e.g., smart pricing, landing page quality) apparently weren't sufficiently successful, so now the hammer drops.

I suspect that there are three (or more) reasons why Google waited as long as it did to take this action.

First, MFA's and arbitrage have helped it maintain a sufficient population of publishers to distribute its ad inventory. I think it is likely that they have "done the math" and find that they have enough publishers in the program to distribute that inventory even after the arbitrage sites are excluded.

Second, I suspect that successful arbitrage sites have provided Google with a wealth of information for both AdSense and AdWords, about which keywords work for advertisers and about effective contextual matching for publishers. With sites using AdWords to drive AdSense, they know what ad led to an arbitrage page, they know what ad was clicked on the arbitrage page, and to some degree (depending on how the term is defined) they know which of those ads "converted". This helps them better suggest keywords and phrases to other advertisers, and helps them better match ads to websites ("This is what our algorithm thought matched; but as it turns out, this other ad from the arbitrage site was what the user actually wanted.") Whatever else people may think of arbitrage sites, this would be very valuable data.

Third, it is reasonable to infer that Google sees arbitrage as having a negative effect on its future revenues through AdWords and AdSense. Even if you accept that an arbitrage site's ad converts well, there is no reason why the same ad wouldn't perform just as well if it were presented in the SERPs or on the site which presented the arbitrager's ads. Whatever happens with publishers, and I supsect most will benefit from this change, this will take some money out of Google's own pocket for a while unless it expands its pool of advertisers or restores sufficient confidence that bids go up significantly.


 1:43 pm on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Good. The MFAers, who got banned, you were nothing but parasites, adding no value to the surfer or the authentic advertisers. The only pockets you were lining are yours and G's. Take the $70K a month you were making and go on a 3 year vacation or something. Or get into "domain tasting" or something. Leave us alone. Stop squeezing the already tight PPC margins even further.


 1:43 pm on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

> this will take some money out of Google's own pocket for a while

Since they're worth 143+ billion dollars, maybe they can afford it for awhile. I would argue that Google stands to make a lot more money once the dust settles and their ads regain the respect and interest they had with the general public when they launched the program. The MFA crowd hurt the trustworthiness of the ads with their deceptions. I'm sure there are thousands of people who see the ads but no longer click out of apprehension of what junk may lie at the end. That wasn't the case in 2004.


 2:02 pm on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

....or Google will make a lot more money having people use their search results directly?

Elimination of Adsense competition and forcing users to their site increases their profits. The potential use of banning competition in this area does fit Google's longterm goals.

Another conspiracy theory from under the rocks:)


 2:06 pm on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

> The potential use of banning competition in this area does fit Google's longterm goals.

Are you suggesting that Google would eliminate the content network? If so, that seems highly unlikely as they would simply be giving that very lucrative market to Yahoo! or MSN. Right?


 2:12 pm on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

The following is just some speculation and random thoughts.

impacts on Google I don't think there will be a tremendous negative on Gs bottom line on June 1. Unless I'm wrong, what G really made from the MFA/Arb sites was their cut of the low priced clicks. The higher priced clicks from the real advertiser should still be there, just they will shift to publishers instead of MFA/arbs.

Who were the MFAer's? Were they professional schemers/anglers/gamers or were they people who bought an e-book on "how to make millions on the internet"? The first group will probably be back shortly with the next 'great thing'. The second group will probably be going to seminars and ebooks on real estate, gold buying, driveway resealing or whatever....

When/If Google will tout this to advertisors I think a lot of the adwords users are small business owners selling products/services who are not primarily interenet businesses. I know of a couple of businesses with adwords campaigns to drive business to their websites. None of these are advertisining on their sites. There sites are there to sell thier goods/services . My point is that these are not people who follow webmasterworld or other forums. Unless someone tells them, they will be unaware of the changes in the content network..

Scraping I wonder if this will have any impact on scraping..? If the majority of the people who run MFAs are professional gamers/anglers/schemers, then the problem will resurface or continue.

Benchmarks - It will be really interesting to see what happens to all the MFA/Arbitrage sites/domains after june 1. I only added a handful of sites to my filters. However, some of the folks here have filters full of MFAs. It would be interesting to check some things now and near the end of june - ie. Whois info, ads on the site etc.

Impacts on small publishers I can only look at this from a small publisher perspective. My sites are small with mostly unique content. I've added more sites and some (I think) decent content but my earnings have been decreasing over the last year after going up constantly from the inception of adsense. A lot of that was drops in traffic. Some of the serp/traffic drop was due to mistakes I made (Lousy titles/descriptions etc). However, I think a lot of it was the proliferation of MFAs in the serps.

I'm hoping that June 1 will give things a boost for us. (1) will the removals of MFAs/ARBS reduce the .03 clicks and move the real ads onto our pages? (2) Will the MFA/ARBS be culled from the serps? (3) Will there be less scraping/301 hijacking and other nonsense?. (4) in the longer term, will people start clicking more on the ads if they don't have to worry about ending up on a page full of adsense with no way out../

Anyway, If I'm up at 12:01 on 6/1/07 I'm going to drink a toast.. I think this is good news overall.



 2:21 pm on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Good no one is feeding the trolls.

Here are the third day observations (Thrs. to Sat.)

- Ad Targeting: Never better
- Metrics (EPC, CTR, eCPM & Earnings): On the rise
slight fluctuation within normal, but the trend is noticeably rising.
I'm not just being optimistic, there is a difference.

I wonder if this will have any impact on scraping

That's exactly what I was thinking of too.


 2:29 pm on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

What concerns me is that there really doesn't seem to be the number of people in here contributing to this thread - who have had their account affected. So is this really as widespread as is being made out? There can't be more than half a cozen bods who have owned up to being turned off.

Also there seems to be a total loss of any of these bods posting in here since the first couple of pages. They haven't really provided any more information on their particular sites - where their traffic came from - whether they had unique content etc or not.

So al lot of the conversation in here - whilst interesting - is in the main purely speculative.

For this to be a meaningful thread - we should encourage those that were removed from adsense to share more information about their sites. Once we are in possession of a few more facts, conclusions can be drawn up as to the overall impact that this is likely to make.

No-One has confirmed/denied whether this is purely adsense ban - or adsense and adwords. Also it is unclear as to whether any of these publishers may be allowed back in if they create better, conforming sites. All we are doing is speculating that this is not the case.


 2:33 pm on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Somebody is having a good laugh right now :)


 2:35 pm on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

> Also it is unclear as to whether any of these publishers may be allowed back in if they create better, conforming sites.

It's my understanding that the ban is permanent. As to why those affected are less vocal here, it could be that it's still early on. Maybe around June 1st, we'll see more of them here.


 2:38 pm on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

"It's my understanding that the ban is permanent. "

But this isn't like the normal ban - its not for invalid clicks etc. Their payments are being sent. They can still participate for the next two weeks. Are we all assuming this is the case, when in actual fact it isn't? Just a thought.

I'm also curious as to the number of people talking about increased profits at the moment - when this isn't/shouldn't really show any difference until the 1st of June.


 2:46 pm on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Removal of content network?....no Google doesn't want to eliminate this, but shifting search term sites to their site results in direct profits. This has been the shift that Google has been showing in previous quarters with a higher percentage of revenue being allocated to direct search terms. This move has the potential to elimminate some of these competitors to Googles business model.

We have staed previously that many of these type of sites are a direct copy of Googles business model and I see this as a move by google to reduce competition from te market. They created it by mistake and now are eliminating it.<not trolling....just thinking outside the box a bit>

This 513 message thread spans 18 pages: < < 513 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 ... 18 > >
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