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|AdSense Disabling Arbitrage Accounts by June 1st - Part 2|
Thread continued from: [webmasterworld.com...]
There seem to be several very solid, important topics that need exploring. Perhaps one of the moderators would like to establish a new thread for the purpose, but it can also be explored as a continuation this one.
Either way, it's starting to look like this isn't a mirage -- something real and important has happened, and thus it would be worthwhile to understand what's going on.
Here are some thoughts on the potential focus of a new thread, or future discussions in this thread.
Topic 1. What is the true scope of this change?
At the narrow end of the spectrum, perhaps Google is targeting a very narrowly defined business plan or a very specific type of arbitrage site -- with little or no real content, using Adwords to obtain traffic and using Adsense to generate revenue.
At wide end of the specturm, this might be an early sign that Google is going to stamp out any business plan that adversely affects public perceptions of its Adwords and Adsense brands.
To enhance and protect its Adsense brand, Google could stop running Adsense on scraper sites, little-to-no-content sites, sites with mostly nonsense text, etc.
To enhance and protect its Adwords brand, Google block these types of sites from running Adwords campaigns, even if they generate their revenues using affiliate programs, display ads, YPN, etc.
Topic 2: What will be the indirect effect of this change on other publishers and advertisers -- those who are not being kicked out of Adsense?
Topic 3: How should webmasters adjust their strategies and business plans, in response to the change and in anticipation of the indirect effects of the change?
There's been some discussion and speculation about all 3 of these topics already, but a more in-depth, thoughtful analysis could be developed if we pool our collective knowledge and insights.
Of course, these 3 topics are related, since future effects and future strategies will depend on what's really going on -- the true scope of this change.
The title of this thread should be:
AdSense Disabling MFA owner's Accounts .. not Arbitrage
The Google AdSense business model has by now intimidated most affected publishers, suppressing them into silence one way or the other. That is why these webmasters are no longer speaking out here. In this sense the standard Google AdSense tactic of closed and controlled communication is partly working, I therefore expect AdSense to continue this tactic. Unfortunately we can therefore expect less real information in this thread this coming week.
|suppressing them into silence one way or the other |
Well, well, this I do not see.
I guess that everything has been said by now. We had a 513 message thread originally, and then this 2nd thread, 92 messages, totaling 605 messages. - This is hardly "silence".
Also, I do not buy into the concept of "we can learn from MFA's". What could we learn from them? How to earn money on an old business model that now will be much harder to get to work (if at all)? How we could have made tons of money? How to not build a sustainable business? How to create thin-content sites? I doubt that many people here are interested in this.
I guess all players are now in the holding pattern for the next important step: June 1st. The questions to be answered then are - how well has Google performed? Do we see an EPC/CPM/revenue increase? Can we clean our filters now? Which (types of) sites do still exist? Why?
Again, I do not have the feeling of opinions being suppressed, neither by Google nor by anyone else.
Come June 1. there will be an outcry. But the true response will come at the end of June when the payments for the month of May have reached the affected webmasters, when the checks have cleared. They will wait until that to really show and tell about their cases.
Yes, July 1st could be interesting in terms of "sturm und drang", I agree.
And it's possible that G (and major commercial partners such as eBay) have another round of housecleaning due then too.
Shoemoney has spoken to a handful of journalists about this already. After June 1. there will be articles in the mainstream press. Somehow this thread resonates with people, it strikes a cord, and any good journalists will see that. I believe this is because at the bottom people see the epic elements of applying “Don’t Be Evil” of fairness and of justice between the relatively “little” individual Webmasters and Google all playing out. Google has been given a unique role to play. Yet it systematically intimidates their partners to silence. The fact that a single obviously savvy webmaster of this forum should be intimidated to need use a new nickname for discretion is quite frankly an insult and a threat to all of us.
Google aims to organize the world’s information; daily they step over bodies to do just that, but open sharing of information between partners about the workings of their own AdWords and AdSense they suppress with a hard hand. Anyone see the inconsistency here?
You may have a point in accusing Google of being a privacy concern. However, I simply do not see the relevance for THIS THREAD. Look here instead: [webmasterworld.com...]
Google has decided to terminate contracts with partners they no longer want to partner with. So what? Why does anyone have to change their nick for this? Sure, some might have changed their nicks because they are afraid of their competitors using unfair tactics, but because of Google? Come on...
Please do not be naive towards Google, as if Google could do no wrong. I do not know all underlying reasons, neither do you, you can however observe that webmasters are gone and webmasters are changing their nicks.
>webmasters are changing their nicks
If your theory about webmasters being intimidated by the big bad GooG is based on nicks changing, you're building on top of quick sand, anyone here can give you a bunch of other logical ad understandable reasons for this, and for their silence about being kicked out.
I entirely understand the reticence of anyone having their a/c closed by G, whatever I or they think of their business practices. So, using a new nickname to discuss the issue seems reasonable to me.
(Of course, that would not stop WW admins shopping people to G, given that they have all the IP addresses and some of the motivation, but I sincerely hope that that isn't going on. I can't imagine Brett standing for it for a start.)
While I don't agree with some of their sentiments expressed earlier, I am grateful to some of those who have let as know what's going on and their view of what they were doing and its rights and wrongs.
I have kept an eye on this thread and one of things that has struck me is nobody has said anything about another reason that G may have closed these accounts , and it just could be part of good business practice and measuring conversion data
I suspect these guys and galls would be the most unlikely partners of Google to provide conversion data back to Google and due to how many and how quick the growth had been it could well have been skewing Googles Overall Conversion data for other advertisers
just a thought
|My 2 cents: what about the parked domain sites and the type-in domains? Will they also be affected? Probably not. |
Why should parked-domain pages be affected by a crackdown on click arbitrageurs? They aren't buying clicks, are they?
I do agree with a previous post - this thread should be titled 'Adsense Disabling MFA accounts by June 1st'.
Reading the hundreds of posts (and between the lines) I feel the account disablement is more about removing the one page 'content' + 3 Adsense ads + adlinks + adsearch type of 'site' that has been taught in so many ebooks and 'plans'rather than anything to do with buying traffic at Adwords.
As well perhaps the software generated sites consisting primarily of thousands of pages all of which have scraped content.
|Reading the hundreds of posts (and between the lines) I feel the account disablement is more about removing the one page 'content' + 3 Adsense ads + adlinks + adsearch type of 'site' that has been taught in so many ebooks and 'plans'rather than anything to do with buying traffic at Adwords. |
People can quibble over terms, but I don't think any reasonable person would claim that using AdWords to generate traffic for a site that happens to run AdSense ads is "click arbitrage" per se. (See my NEW YORK TIMES example in previous posts.)
Speaking of terminology, the term "MFA" ("made for AdSense") is often used here to mean thin-content click-arbitrage sites, but strictly speaking, a site could be "made for AdSense" without relying on click arbitrage for traffic.
The real question is why are they doing this now? It has to result in at least a temporary drop in revenue for them.
It’s been going on for years so what’s their motivation to stop this all of a sudden?
The motivation is to clean up the content network before offering greater transparency to the advertisers.
or greater loss if they didn't..
|why are they doing this now? |
June 1st means that 2/3 of the inflated revenue (and inflated cost) can still be accounted into Q2 earnings. So the first report that will show the corrected revenues is the Q3 earnings report. They can mumble something about summer slump and hope that Q4 revenues will take up for christmas season.
|why are they doing this now? |
Maybe there were some upper management personnel changes at google..
I also tend to agree with the Q2 revenue statements theories.
It might also have been a change in the strategic plan. When I worked for the Navy, we had a matrix or dual management. Each division/branch/section had a military and civilian head as well as the overall organization. By and large the military's decisions were pretty much geared toward their next fitrep (Fitness report) and the civilian decisions took a longer term view. The MFA situation probably looked good to Google when looking at the short term. It's possible someone started looking at the longer term and realized the bubble could not be kept up.
Also, the "Why do it now" questions are a little amusing.. The whole business of Adsense and PPC is still pretty much in it's infancy. Every month that goes by provides the great GOOGLEBRAIN with an ever increasing amount of data, The external forces such as competition change, Consumer perspectives change, Politics changes, User demographics change, experience is built upon etc. etc etc ad nauseum.. They did it because the current situation as it applies to their current strategic plan warranted it.
|The real question is why are they doing this now? It has to result in at least a temporary drop in revenue for them. |
It’s been going on for years so what’s their motivation to stop this all of a sudden?
ASA's comments suggest they've been planning and debating this change for a long time.
Perhaps it's just a coincidence, but the timing might be related to the long-awaited roll out of MS Vista.
For years, we've all been speculating about how MS was going to shake things up by integrating it's search engine into the Windows operating system. The fact that MS has actually been losing market share might have created a perfect opportunity for Google to clean up the MFA problem with minimal damage on Wall Street.
"The motivation is to clean up the content network before offering greater transparency to the advertisers."
assuming this is true shouldn't google just offer the ability for advertisers to DE-SELECT or BANNING their ads appearing on "MFA" sites...unless this is resource intensive.
Also can i ask the experience webmasters here..Since January google have been making some corporate moves in Adsense area..
- Google now allows us to include 3rd party contextual ads on the same page as adsense.
- Google now has CPA ads [although in Beta stage]
- Google have Video ads plus more images sizes
- Google moved its LOGO to the bottom of the ads..
From a corporate prespective the above changes has implication in terms of Brand image, increase/decrease in revenue, strategic positioning in terms of competition, CTR etc,etc..
Are these changes PLUS the clean up [MFA] leading to something on 1st of June or its just a simple clean up?
Also bear in mind that there were changes on the adwords sections as well..
I just don't think its a simple clean up..Google is too smart for that...I mean these guys won't allow us to place 3rd party contextual ads with adsense before and suddenly this year they say its OK.
just a thought
|I also tend to agree with the Q2 revenue statements theories. |
More important, any collateral damage is less likely to be disruptive in summer than at busier times of year.
There's a precedent for this approach: Remember the old "Google dance"? Major Google Search updates often began on holiday weekends when traffic was relatively light.
I see this thread records the changing moods of the MFA'ers well.
From defiance (we are MFA's so what?) to rationalization (we didn't do anything wrong, why pick on us), to victimhood (we are an oppressed minority unfairly picked on by Google) and finally to paranoia (we have to change our nick as Google is out to get us).
I don't think the mantle of victimhood sits well on MFA'ers, who are well aware that they have been gaming the system for their own benefit for a long time and not cared about it.
Google is clearing out the trash, good on them.
|The Google AdSense business model has by now intimidated most affected publishers, suppressing them into silence one way or the other. That is why these webmasters are no longer speaking out here. In this sense the standard Google AdSense tactic of closed and controlled communication is partly working, I therefore expect AdSense to continue this tactic. Unfortunately we can therefore expect less real information in this thread this coming week. |
I actually had a link exchange request recently from a webmaster that pronounced my site to be an example of a good quality site. So I checkout what was on the other End.
After doing some research, I replied that since his QUALITY SITE DIRECTORY is hosted on the same IP with other 6000 sites and content on his pages is all over EzineArticles, it is a NO GO. His response was that I was rude and he will not recommend anyone to do business with me and he is removing my link from his directory.
Yes his QUALITY SITE DIRECTORY was MFA, and NO I was not rude, I told him like it is.
You know google could kick out 1/2 of the adsense sites, keep the better half, increase serps for those better half and keep the revenue the same. Think about that one for a minute. Plus it might increase advertisers going back to the content network because we see a positive change.
After all, its the advertisers who make the decision by paying in to the content network, if there has been a slow and long decrease in participation in the content network, google has to do something to build the confidence of people who spend money.
[edited by: trinorthlighting at 7:50 pm (utc) on May 29, 2007]
|From defiance (we are MFA's so what?) to rationalization (we didn't do anything wrong, why pick on us), to victimhood (we are an oppressed minority unfairly picked on by Google) and finally to paranoia (we have to change our nick as Google is out to get us). |
You forgot the stage where honest publishers were called "cute week end hobbyist" for providing a good user experience or "suckers" for making so little money.
That made the transition between rationalization and victimhood a bit harder to swallow.
For the record, my earnings have gone up since the announcement after being stagnant for a few months.
I do not think this comes straight from the top or is related to Q2. By the poor execution I believe this crackdown decision has been done at mid level by stressed mid level AdSense management who have been frustrated to see their AdWords/AdSense machine spin faster and faster out of their control. They have tried and tried to gain control of their roaring ad monster by the standard Google algorithm way, increasingly creative and secretive Smartpricing algorithms, playing cat and mouse with Webmasters for months as we have seen here on the forum. You can read this in between the lines of /this was a long time in the making/. They thought until very recently that the PhD Smartpricing algorithm approach would solve this but it could not. As they realised it could not, this might actually be /the decision/; pressed they felt they had to crack down hard manually to solve their problem. A list was made of the accounts they have been unable to strangle with the Smartpricing algorithm and a developer was just instructed to simply send out a canned banning email to all of them, a scalable solution. The June 1. crackdown is thus another side of the failure of the AdSense algorithm based Smartpricing approach.
Its also a good way to clean out the crap on the search side of the house as well. Less accounts, less server space, happy advertisers is a good way to cut some costs and gain back confidence. Plus a lean content network would enable google to focus in on the good accounts and help them grow.
Advice to ASA, send out an email to adwords customers stating your cleaning up the content side of the house and may be we will give it a try again. Especially to the adwords customers who are opting out.
[edited by: trinorthlighting at 8:10 pm (utc) on May 29, 2007]
Well I still wonder why exactly now. Their pretty smart people and I’m sure they saw a bit of an underbelly to Adsense for a long, long time now. Somehow they were able to live with it.
|if there has been a slow and long decrease in participation in the content network, google has to do something to build the confidence of people who spend money. |
Perhaps, I can only speak from experience in that we do a lot of pay per click advertising and for about a year now, always have the content network portion turned off. We just couldn’t make the conversion numbers work. In fact it bothers me that having the content network turned on is the default. If you establish a new campaign for Adwords, you should not have to turn the content network off. (forgotten to do it many times and always get bit that first few days) That very functionality tells me a lot right there; it’s not user friendly but Google does it any how. They are radically different advertising mediums, but they try and lump it all together. I have always wondered how many people who are venturing into PPC via Adwords don't even have a clue their ads are also on the content network.
I'm pretty sure Google knows exactly what they're doing.
|assuming this is true shouldn't google just offer the ability for advertisers to DE-SELECT or BANNING their ads appearing on "MFA" sites...unless this is resource intensive. |
I'd bet that a significant number of advertisers don't know what MFA sites are, many don't even know for sure what the Content Network is, and don't have time or just don't want to study up on it enough to make an informed decision. Google has to keep attracting new advertisers, and many small businesses can't afford to hire someone, or devote their staff to it. AdWords needs to be simpler for these people, not more complicated.
look at the adwords threads on webmaster world, people tend to learn that lesson the hard way. I know we did. We have quite a few businesses and spend a lot on adwords. We opt out of every content network in every campaign. I know that there are good sites out there who would love to make some money from us sending good traffic. Right now the only way we advertise is pay per action. Come June 1st, we are going to give the content side a spin again and see what happens. If it works out, we will continue. If we get crap traffic again, we will turn it off again until google does another round of housecleaning.
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