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Easy automated solution for the MfA/arbitrage problem.
ecce




msg:3436726
 3:48 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

MfA sites are neither good for publishers, nor advertisers, not even for Google since they only take out, but don't bring in new money into the system.

The automated solution to this problem imo would be to have following feature made available for adsense publishers:

"Don't show ads paying less than $x.xx per click".

With that option/control a publisher could simply raise the level of earnings per click above those of MfA ads, but keep it below those of legit ads so MfA ads wouldn't show anymore and MfA sites would soon vanish. The process of determing the level of earnings per click would be a market finding one for the publisher and the level would depend on the topic of his website.

This will work and won't hurt the adword advertiser by raising the levels of cost per click for him, because if a publisher would raise his level too high (above the market price) no ads would show on his website. So he would be forced to lower it again, until enough real bidded ads appear. aso.

I am puzzled why Google hasn't implemented this feature yet, since they love automation. Atm, they have to manually clear out MfA sites, so why not let the publisher do the work?

What do you think? I, as an publisher would love to have this tool.

 

europeforvisitors




msg:3436735
 3:53 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am puzzled why Google hasn't implemented this feature yet, since they love automation.

1) Google probably doesn't want clueless publishers shooting themselves (and Google) in the foot by overestimating the value of their clicks;

2) Google needs inventory for low-bidding advertisers as well as for high-paying advertisers.

3) Not all low-bidding advertisers are click arbitrageurs.

ecce




msg:3436759
 4:21 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)


3) true. There is a balanced market price for every topic/niche. MfA works by always underbidding that market price. Low legit bidders wouldn't be hurt because within their niche, MfA sites still bid lower than the low bidders. A website niche that attracts mostly low bidders would still be able to find the right price between the low bidders and the MfA bidders in short time.

2) The feature would not change those market prices that differ from niche to niche (legit low and high bids niches would remain), but it would simply reduce the excess volatility that arbitrage/MfA site use. All it does it removes the MfA middle man.

1) Wouldn't worry about that, cause publishers able to find this feature in their panel, will also figure out that the reason why ads disappear is because the minimun price is too high, therefor reducing it.

europeforvisitors




msg:3436788
 4:55 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wouldn't worry about that, cause publishers able to find this feature in their panel, will also figure out that the reason why ads disappear is because the minimun price is too high, therefor reducing it.

Naah, they'll just come here and complain about PSAs. :-)

LifeinAsia




msg:3436790
 4:55 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

MfA sites are neither good for publishers, nor advertisers, not even for Google since they only take out, but don't bring in new money into the system.

I'm certainly not going to defend MFAs, but I don't understand your statement. By your definition, every publisher would be deemed a parasite, since they only "take money out of the system."

Um, on second thought, even that is a false statement. The money a publisher gets is a percentage of money that advertisers put into the system. Although a click on a publisher's site results in $x (publisher's cut of the click cost) coming out of the system, it also results in $x + $y (Google's cut cost) being put into the system (from an advertiser being charged for the click).

[edited by: LifeinAsia at 4:55 pm (utc) on Aug. 30, 2007]

ecce




msg:3436817
 5:11 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm certainly not going to defend MFAs, but I don't understand your statement. By your definition, every publisher would be deemed a parasite, since they only "take money out of the system."

Um, on second thought, even that is a false statement. The money a publisher gets is a percentage of money that advertisers put into the system. Although a click on a publisher's site results in $x (publisher's cut of the click cost) coming out of the system, it also results in $x + $y (Google's cut cost) being put into the system (from an advertiser being charged for the click).

You are forgeting one thing, that MfA/arbitrage sites pay for their (adword) ads with the income of (adsense) ads displayed on their site page. Therefor using a system that is made to "pay for play" for free, which is an abuse, plus draining money out. It's simple as that. And that is their entire business, not providing additional products or content.

whoisgregg




msg:3436822
 5:15 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

So, advertisers set a maximum CPC and publishers set a minimum CPC? An interesting proposition. And why didn't they build that in from the beginning?

I agree that the ultimate effect would most likely just be less money spent by advertisers and less money earned by publishers/Google. But Google's made decisions with that same effect in the past because it contributed to long term growth. Would this approach also contribute to long term growth?

ecce




msg:3436849
 5:36 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

And why didn't they build that in from the beginning?

I don't know, maybe the answer is the same as the one to the question of why they didn't build in the "Allowed Site" feature from the beginning. ;-)

I agree that the ultimate effect would most likely just be less money spent by advertisers and less money earned by publishers/Google.

How the money that isn't drained to MfA is used would be up to Google. Of course they could pocket all, but they could also distribute it equally between pubs, adv and themself.

In any way, the whole system would become less skewed, more efficient and less inviting to abuse - leading to better prices for both pubs and ads (if Google manages it right), therefor enabling Google to charge higher commission fees, therefor enabling bigger long term growth because the system is better and attracts more people and so on.

It all comes down to this: A market where only one side has pricing power is no market at all (or at most a very costly inefficient market).

Erku




msg:3436851
 5:38 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

this option can be enabled only for publishers that meet some kind of criteria, which means they know what they are doing.

For example

minimum 5000 impressions per day, or let's say minimum 100 dollars per day.

tim222




msg:3436854
 5:43 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

minimum 5000 impressions per day

Where do I sign up? :)

My guess is that the threshold is at least 100,000 impressions per day.

So-called "premium" advertisers need 20M page views per month, which equates to about 667,000 p/v per day

LifeinAsia




msg:3436855
 5:46 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

You are forgeting one thing, that MfA/arbitrage sites pay for their (adword) ads with the income of (adsense) ads displayed on their site page.

Ah, I didn't know you were including arbitrage sites with MFAs. But Google has already been whacking a lot of the arbitrage moles.

ecce




msg:3436875
 6:03 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

this option can be enabled only for publishers that meet some kind of criteria

Wow, interesting. Well, I am a long way from premium, if ever. Hopefully one day they make this single most important feature available to anybody who asks for it. I mean, by asking they proof they know what they are doing, no? Maybe more and more pubs will bug Google about it. ;-)

europeforvisitors




msg:3436885
 6:10 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

The thing is, Google needs inventory for all advertisers, not just for higher-bidding advertisers. It isn't in Google's interests to let publishers boycott advertisers at the lower end of the scale.

koan




msg:3436908
 6:58 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wasn't there a minimum of $0.05 in the very beginning and MFA sites started to appear when they lowered it to $0.01 (and even lower now with smart pricing)?

netmeg




msg:3436917
 7:10 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

We can wish, and we can ask, but I don't think this one will ever happen.

ecce




msg:3436918
 7:11 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

But Google has already been whacking a lot of the arbitrage moles.

See, I don't think so. They caught the obvious ones, but the rest adapted and is alive and kicking and will always be, as long as all the publishers, that know what they are doing, have no pricing power.

The thing is, Google needs inventory for all advertisers, not just for higher-bidding advertisers. It isn't in Google's interests to let publishers boycott advertisers at the lower end of the scale.

I totally understand you concerns, as I also thought a lot about this. Assuming I have two websites, I see one with an average EPC of 7 cents and one with an average EPC of 42 cents. Both are in different niches. Now as a publishers, I know I can't raise the minimun EPC of the "7 cent site" up to 50 cents because no ads will show, but I could still put it at 5 cents - filtering out the lowest bidders. I probably couldn't raise it higher since not enough ads would show in that "poor" niche, but my average EPC would go up a few cents. On the "42 cents site" I could raise my limit higher than 5 cents, because prices in that nice/market are more expensive and advertisers are willing to spent more.

Now you are saying I am dicriminating against the lowest bidders, that only have an EPC of 1-4 cents. But I don't, since this is self-regulating after a few days. Why?!Because the ultimate goal for publishers is to have the maximum EPC while having ALL the add slots ALWAYS filled with ads. There is no point for my site to show ads only 1 hour a day and have the rest of the time empty holes on my pages (or psa). Therefor, the minimum limit price will never be too high for not letting enough ads show. It will be just high enough to filter the MfA/arbitrage pages, which need a certain higher spread size to make money.

About the boycott of legit adv on the lower end of the scale. Well, Google is already doing it. If you don't bid a certain price, your ads won't show. So what's wrong with that? It's the market.

koan




msg:3436938
 7:26 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

The thing is, Google needs inventory for all advertisers, not just for higher-bidding advertisers.

I don't think most publishers put ads on their sites for charity purposes or give a hand to small businesses with low budgets out of good will, in the end, it should ideally be under their control. This is a capitalist system we're talking about.

If a site only attract low bids, it will eventually have to lower its minimum if they want any revenue at all, in the meanwhile, they would at least have the choice to display other ads system, like referrals, CPM ads or affiliate ads if it doesn't have any CPC advertisers willing to bid more.

I have sites where my minimum would probably be $0.05, and others where it would be $0.15.

But I agree, this will probably only happen if competition actually becomes a threat to Google and provide themselves such features. Google has confidence in their algo to provide what's best to publishers, but in reality, it doesn't seem to work because unblocked MFA sites actually do lower revenues, what with their catchy texts and high CTR. I'd rather have a user leave my sites for $0.10 than having 11 users leave it for $0.01 each.

As for clueless publishers shooting themselves in the foot... well... maybe they just could make it a difficult process to control that aspect, and inform publishers with big, blinking, red, ominous sounding, text of the possible consequences of increasing their minimum.

moTi




msg:3437009
 8:47 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

the ultimate goal for publishers is to have the maximum EPC while having ALL the add slots ALWAYS filled with ads.

nope. my goal as publisher is to maximize my earnings.
don't forget that the system automatically selects the best performing ads = ads that earn you the most money. performance is cpc x ctr. so let's be clear about that: every fumbling around with min cpc will ultimately end in lower earnings for the publisher, because i cut out the high perfoming ads that have low cpc but are clicked like crazy. and these are not necessarily mfas, but also ads, that fit perfectly to your content.

secondly, with set cpc as an mfa i would bid just over the min price that is demanded (say 5c), then set min cpc higher than that on my arbitrage site (say 45c). arbitrage sites are designed to attract higher paying clicks and high ctr anyway - otherwise it wouldn't have worked from day one. and boom: with ctr of 25% secure income of 10 cent! mfa'ers dreamland!

europeforvisitors




msg:3437043
 9:40 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't think most publishers put ads on their sites for charity purposes or give a hand to small businesses with low budgets out of good will, in the end, it should ideally be under their control.

From a publisher's point of view, it should be under the publisher's control, but from the network's point of view, it should be under the network's control. Unless you can give the network a compelling reason for ceding control to you (the publisher), you're going to have a tough time selling the change.

BTW, it would be interesting to know what kinds of sites, other than obviously made-for-AdSense sites, are getting EPCs in the single-digit and especially in the low-single-digit range. Is there a common factor among sites with low EPC? I.e., type of content (such as forums), sector, or something else?

sailorjwd




msg:3437074
 10:21 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

The only way you are going to get better click prices is to write better content that will draw more advertisers and increase bid competition.

It does you no good to block advertisers. Blocking only decreases the competition and lowers your EPC.

Change niches, change content, get more advertisers. Not Less!

koan




msg:3437076
 10:27 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is there a common factor among sites with low EPC?

I know your sites are about traveling mostly so your topic has a huge commercial interest for sponsoring it, maybe that's why you have a hard time relating to other publisher with less luck, or MFA problems, but any sites where the content itself is the product, not necessarily conductive to buying something, will usually have low EPC. The usual advice given by WebmasterWorld is to create a site about something you know, but sometimes, your interest does not happily coincide with sponsors interests. That's fine, such is life, and low EPC is okay, you can sometimes make it up with volume, but that's where the MFA sites hang out, because they can actually afford it. It doesn't mean your site is low quality. But it's tiring to block them because they take the place of legitimate businesses and irritate your users with their scams and useless landing pages.

BigDave




msg:3437080
 10:30 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

There are lots of problems with this, even from a publisher's perspective.

For one thing, the only way to implement this that would be fair to all publishers, is to replace any ad that was not shown because it was under the minimum bid, with a PSA. You should not get a higher percentage of the higher paying ads than those who have not messed with their minimum bids.

And how do I deal with the situation where I have a site that earns the majority of it's money with clicks that are less than 10 cents, but on the same account there are a couple of pages that the clicks are worth around $2 each. How do I get rid of the MFAs that are bidding $1.50 for those keywords without damaging my steady income from the low price clicks?

ecce




msg:3437118
 11:25 pm on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wasn't there a minimum of $0.05 in the very beginning and MFA sites started to appear when they lowered it to $0.01

Interesting. But that was global, so it probably only worked for low paying sectors, and was abandoned because of it.

every fumbling around with min cpc will ultimately end in lower earnings for the publisher

Nope, read my posts above.

secondly, with set cpc as an mfa i would bid just over the min price that is demanded (say 5c), then set min cpc higher than that on my arbitrage site (say 45c). arbitrage sites are designed to attract higher paying clicks and high ctr anyway - otherwise it wouldn't have worked from day one. and boom: with ctr of 25% secure income of 10 cent!

You describe the state as it is atm or would be with a GLOBAL min EPC. I am talking about giving the market the function to negotiate the price for every niche/sector. MfA/arbitrage sites won't find 5 cent ad spaces for their sites in sectors that pay 45 cents on average, cause min EPC will be higher there. On the other side, where most publishers can only afford min EPC of 5 cents not many advertisers will pay 45 cents. In your example, where the "normal" ad price is 45 cents, publishers only have to increase min EPC up to 15 cents to wipe out those arbitrage sites you are talking about in your example with a CTR of 25. Not boom, just puff. Bye, bye arbitrage. So in a sector advertisers pay average 45 cents, the min EPC would probably end up around 15-25 cents. That still leaves a nice range/spread for a healthy bidding process among advertisers. You get my point?

From a publisher's point of view, it should be under the publisher's control, but from the network's point of view, it should be under the network's control. Unless you can give the network a compelling reason for ceding control to you (the publisher), you're going to have a tough time selling the change.

Well, good point. We will see when the boom cycle of Adsense/Adwords comes to an end, and enough advertisers get a bit smarter than they are now by realising they have ALL the pricing power. If we are before a new nasty recession caused by a credit crunch all EPC will go down to the low single cent digits in every sector. You can already see the effects if you compare the highest paying keywords over time. They are steadily dropping. This will go on until all of them are in the cents range. There you have the incentive for the network to give more power to the pubs. Imo, the only way to avoid a meltdown we already have in certain sectors. To be realistic, this can still take years.

For one thing, the only way to implement this that would be fair to all publishers, is to replace any ad that was not shown because it was under the minimum bid, with a PSA. You should not get a higher percentage of the higher paying ads than those who have not messed with their minimum bids.

Nope, those pubs that don't mind MfAs and don't set a min EPC can display 1 cent EPC ads. Why not? If that is what they want. But I think, it is more likely the market will find a better price for everybody except MfAs if only a certain percentage of pubs start to use min EPC and kick this off.
Again, over the long run, with this system, single pubs won't be able to only get the higher paying ads. Because 1. advertisers have pricing power too and 2. eventually almost every pub will start to use the min EPC function creating a real market.

And how do I deal with the situation where I have a site that earns the majority of it's money with clicks that are less than 10 cents, but on the same account there are a couple of pages that the clicks are worth around $2 each. How do I get rid of the MFAs that are bidding $1.50 for those keywords without damaging my steady income from the low price clicks?

One word: channels. Define min EPC per channel.

BigDave




msg:3437155
 12:24 am on Aug 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Nope, those pubs that don't mind MfAs and don't set a min EPC can display 1 cent EPC ads.

So, from Google's point of view, they would be rewarding the publishers that make it difficult for them to sell their ad inventory, and punishing those sites that work within their system with only low paying ads because the others have taken up the high paying inventory.

If you don't understand what is wrong with your suggestion from Google's point of view, you will never succeed in convincing them. On the other hand, if all you want to do is convince yourself that it is "easy", and that you are smart and they are stupid, then ignore the problems with what you suggest.

ecce




msg:3437168
 12:44 am on Aug 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Than why don't you explain to me what is wrong with my suggestion from Googles point of view? Because you haven't done so.

Google gets a certain percentage of the ad sale. I think I am right when I say, Google doesn't care if they sell one 10 cent ad or ten 1 cent ads, because their cut will be the same in both cases, no?

BigDave




msg:3437263
 3:26 am on Aug 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Because google needs to sell as much of their ad inventory as possible. If they want to do that, they need to reward those people that make their job easier. What you suggest makes selling that inventory harder, and punishes those that accept the cheap ads (the people making their job easier) because according to your theory, the higher paying ad inventory would go to fill up ad blocks for those that specify a higher minimum.

Here's a VERY simplified version for you. The 2 of us are the only publishers in the world. We both get clicks at the same rate. An advertiser is paying .50 per click, another is paying .05 per click.

You get 50 clicks at .50 and 50 clicks at .05 and make 27.50. I make the same.

Then you set your minimum to .20.

In a short time, you are only showing the .50 ads. You are using up the higher paying advertiser's budget at a higher rate, and the other advertiser is using up his budget at a lower rate. Google has no choice to send me almost exclusively .05 ads.

Your profit shoots up to $50 and mine drops to $5. You are thrilled, I move to YPN. Google loses money and the publisher that was helping them make money. The only ne that comes out better is the publisher that made it *harder* for them to move their inventory.

We all want to make more money, but we can't expect Google to do things that are going to help only those publishers that know what they are doing, to the detriment of the rest of the publishers, the health of the system, and google's bottom line.

Is that clear enough?

tim222




msg:3437265
 3:32 am on Aug 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

...explain to me what is wrong with my suggestion from Googles point of view?

Because the result would be more PSA ads. Google probably dislikes PSA ads as much as we do.

Really, Google has already provided a mechanism to deal with this. First, they'll serve the ads that are most likely to make money for you (so they claim, anyway). Next, you do have the ability to filter specific ads you don't like. Alot of people complain that 200 isn't enough but I think that if you can find 200 ads you don't like, then no limit will be enough. People who have 200 blocked ads are likely to have thousands if Google lifts the limit.

tim222




msg:3437271
 3:35 am on Aug 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Your profit shoots up to $50 and mine drops to $5.

Actually I think Google would replace the 5 cent ads with PSAa. I think in your example, he would make $25 and you would still make $27.50. In the end, he and Google would make less money. But I think you would make the same.

moTi




msg:3437294
 4:33 am on Aug 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

every fumbling around with min cpc will ultimately end in lower earnings for the publisher

Nope, read my posts above.

nope what? i suspect you don't understand the performance model at all. it's NOT about epc only. it's the combination of epc and ctr.
with set minimum price, in any case you cut out some of your best performing ads.
now why does google show low epc ads at all if there are advertisers who pay more in your niche? because cheap ads with high ctr earn more money than a high paying ad few people click on.

You get my point?

not at all. your assumption is that publisher and mfa are in the same niche. same niche = same prices = same ads.
how do you think an mfa will earn money under these circumstances? the mfa lives off the fact, that he is able to trigger higher paying clicks. actually even a 100% ctr earns you nothing if you can't realize higher click prices. now how do they do that? different niches. niches you want to be handeled seperately.

BigDave




msg:3437306
 5:00 am on Aug 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Actually I think Google would replace the 5 cent ads with PSAa.

That was what I suggested google should do, ecce disagreed and said that the other publisher should get more 1 cent ads because they didn't mind.

It would be fine with me if google replace the below minimum ads with PSAs or alternate ads. I just don't want Google cutting into my pay because someone else sets minimum bids.

This 112 message thread spans 4 pages: 112 ( [1] 2 3 4 > >
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