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Mainstream news article: "The word farms of the web"
mromero

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 2:11 am on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

"The growing number of websites that mix and match low-quality articles produced by amateurs in order to generate traffic is causing concern, reports Danny Bradbury."

[guardian.co.uk...]

 

jetteroheller

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jetteroheller us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 1:22 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

low-quality articles produced by amateurs

low-quality articles produced by professional to meet the demand of the biggest advertisers of their newspaper.

MFA stands here for Made for AdSense.

But MFA stands also for Made for Advertisers.

I can write and publish independent from the pressure of big companies.

A journalist of a big newspaper can not do this.
He has always to answer the question "What will this big advertisier of our newspaper think about this article"

His biggest advertiser does not have this new technology, so he has the obligation to write bad about the new technology. Truth? No, the truth is determined by advertisng dollars.

MFA remains MFA.
Regardless MFA web site, or MFA newapaper.

Webwork

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 2:25 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

In re Zett: IMO, type-in traffic for parked domains is a MYTH, cherished by domainers who want to attract as little attention as possible.

Zett, if you want to hash out that issue a bit further take a look here: A Report From the Parallel World of Adsense for Domains [webmasterworld.com], a post I made must before viewing this thread.

Here's a short version of the linked thread:

  1. Yes, Zett, as a dyed in the wool domainer myself I am prepared to admit there are MFA domain landers, just like there are MFA websites.

  2. Is there such a thing as a "quality domain lander"? Absolutely, easy enought to spot - for those who know what they are talking about and who aren't wearing "all parked domains suck" blinders.

  3. What distinguishes a "MFA domain lander" from a "quality domain lander"?

Read the post.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 2:25 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

His biggest advertiser does not have this new technology, so he has the obligation to write bad about the new technology. Truth? No, the truth is determined by advertisng dollars.

Sorry, but that isn't how it works in the real publishing world. Advertising may influence some of the topics that get covered. (For example, if the ad department can sell ads for a Suburban Homes section, somebody will have to write articles to fill that section). But that isn't about truth, it's about writing text to fill holes. And in most cases, the text for those special advertising sections won't even be written by the journalists who produce the non-advertorial copy.

[edited by: europeforvisitors at 3:01 pm (utc) on Oct. 4, 2007]

ebound

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 2:31 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

OFF TOPIC, but funny.

I visited the ad blacklisting site that was mentioned in the article just to see what it was all about. According to them, Yahoo is blacklisted as an MFA.

ebound

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 2:38 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is there such a thing as a "quality domain lander"? Absolutely, easy enought to spot...

I'm sure there are some good ones out there but the majority of them SUCK. I'd say 99.9% of the one's i've seen are worthless.

To me a "quality domain lander" is called a good website.

Korrd

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 2:41 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

The difference between a quality content publisher and a MFA site is akin to the difference between the New York Times and the "free take one" shoppers at the door of the supermarket.

Webwork

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 3:03 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

To me a "quality domain lander" is called a good website.

To me, a good website is one I never want to leave and one with a minimum of ad-clutter. No ads is even better . . but I understand.

Since direct navigation is a manifestation of "search intent" a quality domain lander will be populated with "on domain keyword topic keyword related links", not just junk generic links nor high PPC links that have no search relevance to the initial search intent expressed IN the act of direct navigation.

A person typing MiamiHotels.tld isn't likely - statistically speaking - to be shopping to buy a Miami hotel, so we can forget adding that link to the lander. However, they may be interested in finding a "Cheap Miami Hotel" (add that link to the lander) or a "Beachfront Miami Hotel" (okay, add that link) or a "XYZ District Miami Hotel" - okay, add that link AND add value by doing so.

The art of domain landers IS in the performance of a bit of "keywords in the domain related research" and in using that research or knowledge to help fulfill the search intent of the direct navigation searcher. Expand on the relevant keywords in the domain by adding links that embed those other, associated ideas, as links. End of story. Yes, I admit: a domain isn't a website, but I can still do a fine job of addressing search intent. Direct navigation is about as intention as search gets. "Don't give me the clutter and confusion. Give me CheapCityHotels.tld. A list of them will do fine." I would expect that well crafted relevant advertisements do well.

Perish the thought . ;-P . but not everyone wants to read through your content to find a "Cheap Miami Hotel" nor do they want to wade through Google's SERPs to find one either. So, that person can take the short cut and either type "Cheap(City)Hotel(s).tld" or CityHotel(s).tld and chaces are pretty good that the owner operators of such aptly described hotel(s) will be lining up to buy that traffic - driven by direct, highly focused "search intent" action.

Would I want to buy traffic from a parked CityHotel.tld domain that is populated with "Buy Viagra Cheap" links or "Get Out Of Debt" links? Of course not.

You can go spreading whatever myths you wish to propogate but the numbers speak for themselves. My revenue, from my parked domains, has been going up during the last 3 years. I can't wait for advertisers to have tight control over what parked domains their ads are routed to. I'm certainly not alone, as a domainer, in that thought. And yes, I'm certain there are 1000s of domainers who shudder at that thought. There ARE junk domains. There ARE junk landers. There are manipulators and con jobs in all walks of life.

There there are folks who labor to give others a fair deal. A good number of such folks.

Have I audited and edited everyone of my domains? No, sorry, I just don't have that time. Have I don't that for my highest traffic domains? Absolutely (unless a system glitch resets them). Do I park with a company that purports to have an "intelligent system" for automatically adding links? Yes. Is it that smart? No, but I have the option to handcraft links.

Let's stop with the domain-ist crap about parked domains not cutting the mustard. Like websites there are quality domains and quality domain landers that "have the right stuff" and work harder than others. You just have to give the advertisers the option to target them and to make a deliberate choice about associating themselves with quality, filtered traffic.

[edited by: Webwork at 3:14 pm (utc) on Oct. 4, 2007]

aleksl



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 3:10 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Korrd, not entirely. :)

"Good content"..."good content"...
It's a complaint by overeducated english-speaking folks who can't stand mass production.

Ford is a mass production. It's a crappy car. Yet, it is bought by millions.

1. New York Times or Washington Post are examples of great content.

2. My local "inquirer" is a syndicated mostly good content...now mixed up with lots of "blah" content, stats, weather, newswires and other "easy" content.

3. A local free ad revenue suported paper is (typically) a very average-to-poor content. If they are in non-english language, they are mostly copied or badly written content that is your typical bad content.

4. Coupons, supermarket prints, "free deals", junk mail etc. is your typical MFA.

All these 4 have the right to live. It so happens that on the web it is as difficult as in real world to produce good content, yet it is increasingly easy to produce junk. The only way we can lower junk is if Google tighten their AdSense acceptance policies. Or if next generation SE comes along.

[edit]spelling. pardon my not perfect 3rd language English[/edit]

[edited by: aleksl at 3:34 pm (utc) on Oct. 4, 2007]

zett

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 3:13 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is there such a thing as a "quality domain lander"? Absolutely, easy enought to spot - for those who know what they are talking about and who aren't wearing "all parked domains suck" blinders.

No blinders here. Still 99.99% of all parked domains suck. Ah, make that 100%. ;-)

But seriously, I understand there are many shades of gray, i.e. some "landers" may be better than others. But it may be that I can not spot all those fine differences? To me, parked sites look all black. I understand that you take great pride in manually handcrafting your "landers". Nice. I've indeed seen customized "landers" with matching images, e.g. a "lander" for Grand Canyon Tours features a picture of the Grand Canyon. (Wow! Amazing!) I guess this already qualifies as quality lander.

But I still do not think that your "work" adds actually anything to the user experience. Au contraire! I am convinced that throwing the user into a maze of links and ads confuses them more than it helps them. Users who have done this are less likely to click Adsense ads in the future.

Looking at my CTR values over the past 2.5 years shows that users (on my sites) click less often. And we are running quality stuff with good organic SERPs and lots of fresh visitors each month (no forums). People are learning that clicking Google ads does not help them to solve their problems. Often, it creates new problems.

Thus, yep, I understand what you mean, but I don't buy it. :-)

weeks

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 3:21 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Webwork said:
I can't wait for advertisers to have tight control over what parked domains their ads are routed to. I'm certainly not alone, as a domainer, in that thought.

That will help, but it's not enough to improve the experience of the web overall.

As annoying as it is, I can appreciate Wedwork's bottom line attitude. The question is, how does one get paid for quality? Webwork looks at the numbers and makes the call.

This is the problem the news sites have had for some time. If the NYT is typical, quality brings traffic. And, I'll echo others here and say that it should, eventually, work out in other areas as well.

But, the NYT is facing the same questions pros like Webwork are dealing with--how much can we afford to do? The web isn't profitable as the ol' print media, so it's a real question.

I predict that we're going to go to few high quality sites in each area, a few niche sites that are not so good but kind of useful at times and a lot of junk sites. And it's not just greed or laziness. There is not a lot of people who can turn out really great stuff. (Novel-monkeys-typewriters-infinity-internet proof.)

Webwork

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 3:23 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I ain't sellin' it to you, Zett, so I don't mind if you don't buy it. ;) However, it's been my experience that advertisers - a least the ones that know what they are getting into - ARE buying it and are coming back for more, at higher prices.

Someday maybe you'll back away from the monitor and determine that - if you apply yourself artfully and scientifically - you might benefit by buying some of that traffic to bring people to your "valuable content" website. From what I can see some decent traffic still goes for a pretty reasonable price, but that may not last forever.

For many holders of direct navigation domains type-in traffic is just a bonus. The same domains work nicely, once developed, for all manner of other marketing purposes. Once they're developed then the lament will likely be "But I think my website's content is superior to their content. Why must they rank higher? It must just be that darned on topic domain!"

There's no end to it - the laments - so it's time to move on. Oooo . . I think just spotted a rather nice generic geo-targeted insurance related domain. Click! ;-P

[edited by: Webwork at 3:27 pm (utc) on Oct. 4, 2007]

mattg3

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 3:27 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Good content"..."good content"...
It's a complaint by overeducated english-speaking folks who can't stand mass production.

Yapp exactly Eton educated, state funded liberals want different sites than Homer Simpson .. Oxbridge Boy will likely be mean, watch no telly, drive some pseudo hybrid car .. and thinks the world can afford their organic meals .. and will be brewing raspberry wine in his garden shed cause he is bored (yapp I knew one who did) .. Ah my ex colleagues bless them and their wee fantasy world ..

ebound

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 3:52 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

The big difference for me is between direct navigation and search.

I don't do alot of direct navigation but when I do, a quality domain lander is ok and sometimes useful. I understand that not every domain name can harbor a fully developed and helpful website and I would actually rather land on some sort of QUALITY domain lander than a dead page.

The point at which I begin to get frustrated with them is when I land there through search. It adds one more step in the search process.

Crush

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 3:57 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

If google indexes it then they must think it is OK. That is the way I look at it.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 4:07 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Good content"..."good content"...
It's a complaint by overeducated english-speaking folks who can't stand mass production.

No, it's a complaint by Internet users (yes, many of us here actually use the Internet ourselves) who don't like having their time wasted by worthless fluff.

Need a hypothetical example of good content vs. worthless content? Try a topic like professional wrestling, which hardly appeals to an "overeducated" demographic. One site is edited and written by wrestling buffs and has everything you'd ever want to know about professional wresting, while the other has a bunch of 300-page articles that a college kid or a freelancer in India knocked out for $5 each after being given a copy of PROFESSIONAL WRESTLERS OF THE WORLD as source material. One site has good content; the other has junk content. If you can't recognize the difference, don't apply for a job as an editor. :-)

Ford is a mass production. It's a crappy car. Yet, it is bought by millions.

LOL. Ford lost $12.7 billion last year (the worst loss in its corporate history).

2. My local "inquirer" is a syndicated mostly good content...now mixed up with lots of "blah" content, stats, weather, newswires and other "easy" content.

Yes, and I'll bet it doesn't fetch the same CPMs that THE NEW YORK TIMES does.

There's be a place for junk content in the advertising world, but it's at the low-CPM end of the spectrum. AdSense publishers who produce #*$! shouldn't expect the kind of revenue they'd get with Shinola.

marketingmagic

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 4:14 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Adsense staff should be doing a manual site review, and then revisiting the site(s) periodically to ensure that it meets quality standards. This would also produce better converting traffic for advertisers.

aleksl



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 4:40 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

EFV, I agree with you, but unfortunately Google doesn't care. They go for the dough, their current motto being "through in enough content sites in SERPs for users not to get disgusted so they will click on paid listings".

And because of that here goes the internet.

Neither of us, nor many millions of internet users want internet to become About.com. But it already did IMHO.

JS_Harris

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 4:58 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

One of my sites is in an extremely competitive sector. The main keyword is a three letter abbreviation. Out of 19.5 Million sites on Google for that keyword my site ranks #21. Spot #6 is the ceiling for this keyword because manufacturers are hand picked for the top 5.

The problem for this site is:
- You can only re-write descriptions a certain number of ways, a blue widget is a blue widget afterall.
- Certain terms are expected in any review of this keyword or its sub keywords.

100% original content is impossible, deviating too far from whats expected means the articles can never be found since the deviations aren't searched for.

I just wanted to add this because not all sites are written as they are for "mfa" reasons. Sometimes there is just no choice.

edit: 19.5 million was inacurate, that was last weeks number. This week there are 19.7 million and another site squeeked by me. You get the idea.

[edited by: JS_Harris at 5:01 pm (utc) on Oct. 4, 2007]

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 7:18 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Adsense staff should be doing a manual site review, and then revisiting the site(s) periodically to ensure that it meets quality standards. This would also produce better converting traffic for advertisers.

That's a nice idea in theory, but it wouldn't be practical or economic unless Google wanted to impose a traffic/revenue minimum and clean out tens of thousands (maybe even hundreds of thousands?) of mom-and-pop sites.

aleksl



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 8:53 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

it wouldn't be practical or economic unless Google wanted to impose a traffic/revenue minimum and clean out thousands of mom-and-pop sites.

in this case, practical=economic.

I don't see any other way for SERPs not to become 90% garbage. moms and pops have nothing to do with it, it's auto-generated stuff. And there will be more of it. And it will not be cleaned by next filter, because next filter will rerank sites and spam that was under control 2 months back will suddenly become "legit".

If Google keeps to practical=economic, we are going to see more junk and less value. And at one point, Joe Public hopefully will decide that he can no longer find stuff "on Google", and they will start looking for an alternative. That time is maybe... about NOW.

[edit]maybe I should've said SERPs to become 90% commercial. we all know wikipedia is there to pretend it's all "informational and not-for-profit"[/edit].

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 10:13 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Aleksl, marketingmagic was talking about the Google AdSense program, not Google's SERPs.

powerstar

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 11:51 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

This current one is the hardest to beat but someone will solve it.

how about not indexing any web site with AdSense? yeah right...

TheWhippinpost

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 12:31 am on Oct 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google's advertising has changed the internet.

I was only this morning watching a GoogleED video about scam sites in which the presenter posed that proposition (to Google employees).

TheWhippinpost

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 12:38 am on Oct 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ha! After having just read that (Guardian) article, I realise the Cambridge University dude interviewed, was, in fact, the very same presenter I referred to above.

gibbergibber

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 12:42 am on Oct 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

--It's a complaint by overeducated english-speaking folks who can't stand mass production. Ford is a mass production. It's a crappy car. Yet, it is bought by millions.--

I think you're missing the point.

Yes, Ford makes millions of COPIES of their cars, but the number of original car designs they come up with is considerably smaller, perhaps less than 100. Car makers spend a lot of time and money on each design, and that's why people buy the cars.

No one objects to mass production of copies, it's mass production of original content that's the problem. If Ford mass produced car designs instead of cars, the quality of those designs would be crap.

Harry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 3:51 pm on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just want to point out that the Guardian article has typos too. Who watches the watchmen?

nickreynolds

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464931 posted 5:55 pm on Oct 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Most often its translated "who guards the guards" - appropriate in the light of the name of the newspaper:)

This 57 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 57 ( 1 [2]
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