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This 513 message thread spans 18 pages: < < 513 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 [9] 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 ... 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?

 

europeforvisitors




msg:3345504
 4:13 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

On the other hand, the automation attempts weren't able to keep out MFA's, misleading ads, etc..

Apparently they've been good enough to identify targets for the current purge.

gendude




msg:3345506
 4:15 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Perhaps too many adwords folks are blocking your (crummy) site and therefore you get all the low bidders :)

I don't get low bidders, based on my earnings per click, but I've seen plenty of people who do here and elsewhere. My sites would hardly be considered "crummy" either, lol.

I do occasionally get arbitrage/MFAers slipping through, and promptly block them. I couldn't say if they were low bidders since the other ads with them are definitely not, and if it happens too much, I reduce the number of ads. My sites are such that 90% of the AdSense ads are ads by the manufacturers of the widgets I write about. The rest are resellers.

When MFAers start slipping through, then either they are bidding high, or targeting is off, or there are reasons why the main advertisers are not bumping them out (end of month, time of year, etc.).

I'm lucky (or unlucky depending on your view, in regards to diversity of ads) that I have a couple of AdSense advertisers who spend the money to remain the top ad or two on every page. I'm not going to say names, but they are top five in their industry, and they apparently consider AS an important enough advertising outlet to pay the money to stay up there.

I'm glad Google is doing this and kicking people out, but I learned long ago that if you are getting lots of Arbitrage/MFAers, drop an AdSense spot or two and replace them with other ad networks or affiliate programs.

gendude




msg:3345507
 4:18 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think Google has been trying to automate this process for a long time, to suck the profits out of arbitrage through smart pricing and landing page quality algorithms. The current action suggests that those methods have not been successful, which suggests to me that arbitrage may well continue by directing AdWords traffic to other advertising networks.

If that happens (arbitrage continuing) then they'll probably give AdSense users more tools to deal with the arbitrage sites. What those tools will be, hard to say, or they could change the terms of AW (doubtful).

netmeg




msg:3345557
 5:01 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

On the other hand, the automation attempts weren't able to keep out MFA's, misleading ads, etc..

No, and they never will, but as I said, they seem to be continuing to refine it.

No matter what algorithm they come up with to identify such, someone else will eventually come up with some way to get around it. It is ever thus.

netchicken1




msg:3345696
 7:06 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Won't this change just encourage scraper sites?

If its automated, then scraper sites, pretending to have content, may slip through the net.

DamonHD




msg:3345702
 7:10 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Tackling scrapers may indeed require a different algorithm from detecting general MFAs. I suspect that G has the computing power to run more than one algorithm! B^>

Given Matt Cutts' apparent distaste for 'search results in search results' which is what bad scrapers look like, I suspect that G will just deal with scraping as WebSPAM and don't need to shut any accounts. If so then the scrapers will get neither natural traffic nor bought traffic (or will show up on G's radar if they try to monetise any bought traffic), and 'poof' as we say here in France...

Rgds

Damon

[edited by: DamonHD at 7:11 pm (utc) on May 21, 2007]

Paris




msg:3345707
 7:18 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I won't miss the arbs, but how sure are we that it's the arbs being targeted and not the wider net of all sites with high conversion rates (many which just happen to buy traffic through AdWords)?

In defense of the arbs:
-- The biggest advertiser concern in the content network has never been the quality of the site that their ads were on, rather the potential for clickfraud on that site. If someone has a substantial monetary investment in arbitrage marketing, one would think that they would be squeaky clean so they wouldn't be out their AdSense money yet still have to pay the AdWords tab.
-- Even though one arb mentioned running a $20k a month site, someone else referred to that as a profit. Obviously that's not the case, as I'm guessing it would take between $15k to $18k in AdWords overhead to keep it going (unless the profit margins are much fatter than that).

Rather than cast stones, there are lessons to be learned here.

Avo19




msg:3345719
 7:30 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

-- Even though one arb mentioned running a $20k a month site, someone else referred to that as a profit. Obviously that's not the case, as I'm guessing it would take between $15k to $18k in AdWords overhead to keep it going (unless the profit margins are much fatter than that).

I made the statement in regards to income. I ran (run) on a spread of between 1:3.5 - 1:5 depending on the day. So in percentage terms average Adwords spend is 25% of gross.

[edited by: Avo19 at 7:30 pm (utc) on May 21, 2007]

newsecular




msg:3345724
 7:33 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ok, so I am preparing my response to the AdSense team about this.

The more I read, the less I think this is about me and my sites and more about a huge general June 1. crackdown.

The more I read and think about it I also quite frankly think this is done unfairly perhaps even evil.

Before I begin; I love Google.

I would love to get some philosophers on board to talk about the application of "Don't be evil.", but as a layman I believe that one deserves a "trial" and that a "fair trial" is one that looks at YOU not a huge bundling up of suspects based on new arbitrary arbitrage (excuse pun) interpretations and a canned cold message.

The email from Google does not even address me by name; it just opens "Hello," sent to my email address (that is unique for my AdSense account so I believe it's genuine). It does however claim to be based on “a thorough review of my account by our specialists”. I have asked myself how thorough this review really has been when they did not even find the time to address me by name.

I quite frankly hold Google to a higher standard. And they do so themselves as well (giving the 2 weeks and the cash indicates this), perhaps the AdSense team is just overwhelmed so they turn to drastic measures. I will accept that as a fair answer as I too struggle with these issues as a publisher. I also think the AdSense team did not really think through how hard this would strike at each webmaster.

If this was Microsoft I would expect just this kind of treatment, but from Google I expect a higher standard, that's why I love them, that's why I have invested so much with them. That is why we have all helped Google become the Supreme #1 it has become.

"Don't be evil" applies to all parts of Google, also AdSense – not? Becoming inevitable for webmasters to deal with I believe Google by this the will need to approach the thoroughness and balance of the legal system in its dealings with partners like us.

As webmasters we are totally dependent on fair treatment. I ask each and every one to make up their mind on this issue (from the imperfect information out there) and if this is how they want the system to be. You could be next, for one arbitrary reason or the other – you just won’t know until the email hits you. Sleep tight.

The proper solution to this should be that AdSense came out with much more specific guidelines. Then a specific warning system.

The proper good way to deal with this situation right now I say would be to quickly send a new email and give a statement giving these webmasters some way to clean up their act (give until July 1. can 30 extra days possibly make a huge difference to everyone?). As we speak, right this moment, many webmasters are tearing down years worth of work in desperate measures to save the situation and get to an appeal process with AdSense.

Give us a chance to clean up. Then we can all move forward and build a better system. Thanks.

Anyway, today it's each webmaster for himself. (I can't believe I would ever have to write that line just like that.)

For the record in case I seem a bit harsh: I love you guys at Google, I am among your most loyal evangelists, rain or shine.

Avo19




msg:3345730
 7:39 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I just received a reply from the Adsense team that relates to the disabling of my account and where to from there. The response was quite positive and while I cannot divulge the contents, this is a new stance (I think) on Googles part towards publishers whose accounts have been disabled.

[edited by: Avo19 at 7:40 pm (utc) on May 21, 2007]

sailorjwd




msg:3345742
 7:49 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Avo19,

Are you trying to say that you still have hope?

Like, perhaps making some changes and getting a reprive?

gendude




msg:3345746
 7:50 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

The more I read and think about it I also quite frankly think this is done unfairly perhaps even evil.

Considering that arbitrage sites are geared towards throwing out cheap ads to get people to come to their site so they can click more expensive ads, I think what Google is doing is not only good, but is overdue.

I consider such a business model to go against what Google wants, because it's not natural as far as Google is concerned. It harms the system, it harms legitimate AW and AS customers.

These people are gaming the system. Either they are lazy or they don't want to spend the time studying SEO (which I guess is also lazy), or they don't want to spend the time writing content that would draw traffic (again, lazy) and so rather than build legitimate traffic, they'd rather just buy traffic.

perhaps the AdSense team is just overwhelmed so they turn to drastic measures.

Considering that many have been complaining about arbitrage sites for a long time, I would say this wasn't very drastic.

Avo19




msg:3345748
 7:57 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

These people are gaming the system. Either they are lazy or they don't want to spend the time studying SEO (which I guess is also lazy), or they don't want to spend the time writing content that would draw traffic (again, lazy) and so rather than build legitimate traffic, they'd rather just buy traffic.

I'm here to make money, and lots of it. You can play with your hobby sites and think you're doing OK & saving the world. I prefer to work 2hrs a day & pursue the things in life that are (for me) far more important than anything that involves the 'net.

Are you trying to say that you still have hope?

:)

[edited by: martinibuster at 8:02 pm (utc) on May 21, 2007]
[edit reason] TOS 4 & 19. [/edit]

newsecular




msg:3345761
 8:00 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Again - I very much appreciate the constructive comments that have been offered in this thread. This information has really helped me deal with this.

I try to read once and just pass on the critical rant, in a rather detached manner.

Thanks.

sailorjwd




msg:3345776
 8:09 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've had to get so far detached that I'm using a long stick to get to my keyboard.

gendude




msg:3345778
 8:13 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm here to make money, and lots of it. You can play with your hobby sites and think you're doing OK & saving the world. I prefer to work 2hrs a day & pursue the things in life that are (for me) far more important than anything that involves the 'net.
err, I hit the wrong button.

Anyways, the majority of arbitrage sites I've seen, were MFAers, something that Google definitely does not want, per their TOS and what Matt and other Googlers have said. Most of us block and report them, which Google encourages.

You say you spend 2 hours a day working and the rest doing other stuff, and that's great for you, if it makes you happy.

There is a certain pleasure in creating something that people will not only find naturally, but that they will come back to, as well as refer their friends to (and even link from their own sites, if they have them). We may not make as much money as MFA sites, but Google definitely likes these types of sites - such that we don't have to buy traffic.

It's a different business model than arbitrage, and like I said, we may not make as much money as arbitrage/MFA sites, but we aren't in here complaining that Google is cutting us off like the arbitragers are doing.

[edited by: gendude at 8:15 pm (utc) on May 21, 2007]

[edited by: martinibuster at 8:18 pm (utc) on May 21, 2007]
[edit reason] Removed previously edited comment. [/edit]

koan




msg:3345779
 8:14 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I know we're supposed to keep cool and let the MFA site owners who were banned to tell their side of the story, and I do agree to certain degree, but if Google employees were to read this thread to get a feel of the community's reactions, I would hate to think they get bad feedback from this, while most of the honest publishers actually rejoice at the news.

So no, banning MFA sites owners is not "evil" or "harsh", letting them thrive for so long was. Thanks Google for trying to protect Adsense's reputation for the long term instead of taking arbitrageurs money in the short term. That takes some vision.

gendude




msg:3345787
 8:25 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

So no, banning MFA sites owners is not "evil" or "harsh", letting them thrive for so long was. Thanks Google for trying to protect Adsense's reputation for the long term instead of taking arbitrageurs money in the short term. That takes some vision.

Not only does it take vision, it takes guts to give up the arbitrage/AS money in the short term. Google should be applauded for that. A lot of companies would have looked the other way, especially when given Google's lead in the advertising arena.

Of course, Google knows that, as you pointed out with your comment about having some vision, ditching the arbitrage/MFA sites is a good long-term move. It helps with their reputation not just with AW/AS customers, but overall - there are plenty of other advertising networks, and while they maybe far behind Google, if Google did nothing, that lead could diminish over the years.

martinibuster




msg:3345788
 8:26 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks Google for trying to protect Adsense's reputation for the long term instead of taking arbitrageurs money in the short term. That takes some vision.

I think it has less to do with protecting AdWords/AdSense's reputation for the long term. If that were the case then those sites wouldn't have been allowed for so long. If Google felt they were breaking their TOS they'd be saying goodbye with a boot in the butt. Instead, Google is sending them off with a hug and a kiss. What do you think that means?

I don't think it's accurate to describe that kind of parting as having to do with protecting their long term interests, especially in light of their history of tolerating those sites for so long. As someone else mentioned in this thread, it likely has very much to do with the rumoured rollout in AdWords to allow advertisers to see where their clicks are coming from, and the impact it may have on advertiser perception on the quality of the content network.

Avo19




msg:3345792
 8:30 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've had to get so far detached that I'm using a long stick to get to my keyboard.

This is the main reason that I don't participate much in these type of forums.
Strange as it may sound, I can understand the frustration felt by people who devote a lot of time to their sites and believe they're not seeing the returns they should in relation to their effort. I know, I was once there myself.

But in the end, it all comes down to what you really want to do in life. And what's the fastest way from point A to B.

Hence I decided to take the course I did. And it paid off handsomely and has given me a life style that once I only dreamed about.

And for those that think arbitrage is a walk in the park, think again. Profitable niches don't just jump out at you, writing good copy is a skill that has to be learned, optimization of templates etc all takes a *lot* of time.

And all along the way I was risking my own cash. Cash that was coming from my own pocket. For those that feel disgruntled towards people such as myself, are you willing to risk a few $1000 in start up costs with no guarantee you will succeed?

I make no apologies for any success I achieved. I feel it was earned.

europeforvisitors




msg:3345802
 8:34 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

as a layman I believe that one deserves a "trial" and that a "fair trial" is one that looks at YOU not a huge bundling up of suspects based on new arbitrary arbitrage (excuse pun) interpretations and a canned cold message.

Google isn't a court of law, and the question isn't guilt or innocence: It's whether Google wants to continue doing business with publishers whose business models aren't compatible with Google's own objectives. The AdSense agreement lets either party quit at any time, so Google isn't doing anything "evil"; it's just exercising its right to terminate the agreement, as more than a few publishers have done.

gendude




msg:3345815
 8:44 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't think it's accurate to describe that kind of parting as having to do with protecting their long term interests, especially in light of their history of tolerating those sites for so long. As someone else mentioned in this thread, it likely has very much to do with the rumoured rollout in AdWords to allow advertisers to see where their clicks are coming from, and the impact it may have on advertiser perception on the quality of the content network.

I wonder if this would have happened sooner, if Yahoo, etc., had their act together.

I would consider advertiser perception to be in their long-term interest, but you make a good point - if an advertiser sees that their clicks are coming from crummy MFA sites versus authoritative content-driven sites, then confidence in AW would be shaken.

You wouldn't want to waste your advertising budget on people who arrived at your site from such sites - you'd prefer them to arrive from authoritative sites (lots of reviews, in-depth information, etc.), because those types are much more likely to buy your product.

Makes me wonder about changes with parked domains and single-page sites..

Hobbs




msg:3345816
 8:46 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Avo19,
If you're looking for applause, you're in the wrong place.

To those waiting for the full MFA story, buy the eBook, it must be on discount nowadays.

Avo19




msg:3345821
 8:55 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Avo19,
If you're looking for applause, you're in the wrong place.

Far from it. Anyway, I'll leave you all to your verbal meanderings. I've said my piece, I've nothing more to add.
cheers

newsecular




msg:3345822
 8:58 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Europeforvisitors - That would be true for any normal company.

But Google is not a normal company and does not want to be taken as such. No other company I know of wants stakeholders to hold it to such a high standard as "Don't be evil." That's not a normal company.

This is also why we accept Google becoming a de facto monopoly, because it's held to a higher standard.

If Google is to behave like just any other normal company I say it has become to large, to strong already.

I for one am intimidated.

You have to go back to European Nobility to find Googles equal.

Noblesse Oblige!

Hobbs




msg:3345830
 9:02 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Nor are you the typical MFA owner newsecular.

I'd say if their letter to you stated that their objection is to the business model, then you must stand a chance if you can show them you can adapt to their idea of an acceptable business model.
Good luck

ken_b




msg:3345876
 9:44 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Significant changes and/or actions by Google often come with some nasty collateral damage.

Just a thought.

oneguy




msg:3345951
 11:04 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ok, so I am preparing my response to the AdSense team about this.
The more I read, the less I think this is about me and my sites and more about a huge general June 1. crackdown.

I was coming to the opposite conclusion, to some extent.

Hey Everyone! I have an idea. Let's drive everyone off who might be able to provide some insight as to why their account is being disabled. Obviously, it must be because Google has decided they're unethical. Since they're obviously bad people and there are definitely no metrics involved, it could never happen to you.

Ya know... I pay a lot of taxes, probably more than I have to every year. I'm still always interested to hear why people believe they're being audited. My accountant says everything is fine. It could still happen to me. He also pays attention to the reasons why people get audited, and I expect him to do so. He doesn't tell me that they must have been bad people, and I have nothing to worry about because he thinks I'm a good person.

europeforvisitors




msg:3345969
 11:54 pm on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

He also pays attention to the reasons why people get audited, and I expect him to do so. He doesn't tell me that they must have been bad people...

Doesn't that depend on what was found in the audits? :-)

celgins




msg:3345984
 12:41 am on May 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hey Everyone! I have an idea. Let's drive everyone off who might be able to provide some insight as to why their account is being disabled...

While I agree that ARB and MFA bashing is getting a bit old, a lot of us don't require extra insight into something we already know is risky.

I'm still always interested to hear why people believe they're being audited.

Most people who push the limits do so because they desire a certain outcome. Meaning, the folks who were doing ARB knew it and did it for their own benefit. I'm not condemning them, but they had to know that Google would eventually stop that gravy train.

You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who participated in ARB and didn't know they were.

simey




msg:3345991
 12:51 am on May 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

A lot of people get audited,not because they are suspected of doing anything wrong, but because they fit in a higher risk category ...ex. (own business with lots of write-offs) or just for quality control reasons. )

This 513 message thread spans 18 pages: < < 513 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 [9] 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 ... 18 > >
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