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Finally bit the bullet and banned the top 3 advertisers.
And wouldn't you know -- my EPC shot up 2 days straight!
YesMom




msg:3466249
 6:32 pm on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

It is no coincidence.

Earnings per click have been dismal for the last few months.

After investigating, I found that the top 3 ad slots (consistently) across my sites are all owned by the same person and he/she is under investigation for fraud -- while being allowed to continue operations.

I noticed that their ads weren't appearing on another HUGE site in my niche, so I figured they weren't afraid to take a stand and ban the top 3 bidders either. (3 different company names - 3 different websites.)

Lo and behold, my income didn't suffer! In fact, it has doubled on earnings per click for 2 days now.

I'll continue to watch this, but I have no explanation for it!

Still plenty of competitive inventory, but ... well, it makes no sense.

Just thought I'd share that tidbit -- no harm done after doing the 'unthinkable' and trying to protect my visitors from being the next gullible victims of a scam!

YM

 

Malibucreek




msg:3466263
 6:44 pm on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

I do not hestitate to ban advertisers whose landing pages feature what I consider to be scams, e-mail harvesting campaigns or nothing but other ads.

I want my readers to learn to expect that a click from an ad on my page will lead to an online business of great interest to them, and I'm not willing to sacrifice my readers' loyalty while waiting for Google's algorithms to figure out certain ads are a scam or MFA.

Congratulations on the move, and don't look back!

wyweb




msg:3466285
 7:04 pm on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Good deal YesMom... glad to hear it. That sort of proactive policing is necessary and works sometimes.

ArtistMike




msg:3466339
 8:24 pm on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have just checked one of my most popular pages and found the ads on that page were to scraper search engines. So I have deleted those ads from my site.

Mike

IanCP




msg:3466417
 9:55 pm on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

I found that the top 3 ad slots (consistently) across my sites are all owned by the same person and he/she is under investigation for fraud

Might sound a silly question but how could you possibly know that unless there was some media attention?

YesMom




msg:3466900
 11:51 am on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Might sound a silly question but how could you possibly know that unless there was some media attention?

Well, the niche is small and the news also is relatively small and insignificant for this niche. Also -- it won't be reported in the magazines for this niche, because the companies run by this person are so cash-rich that the magazines would be losing big $$$ advertising bucks. These companies do the glossy back cover ads on many of them, except those who are wise to the lawsuits, etc., if someone tipped them off. Probably some know already, but are playing dumb so as not to lose the income.

I found out with a tip from a friend that they had purchased several dozen more domains and had plans to expand further, so I did my own internet research to turn up the current litigation. Websites within my niche had quite a heated discussion about the owner and had been threatened with libel/slander suits, etc. The owner of the company was also trolling the forums and posting positive "testimonial" comments supposedly from real customers about the company. They were laughing about how the IP addresses were all the same and how the person obviously had mental and moral problems.

Probably more than you needed to know, but that is how I found out. Otherwise I wouldn't have known!

YM

Matt Probert




msg:3466995
 1:39 pm on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I want my readers to learn to expect that a click from an ad on my page will lead to an online business of great interest to them

This is also in your interests. If readers know the links are likely to be of use to them, they are likely to follow them - for which you get paid. Every body is happy.

Matt

maximillianos




msg:3467047
 2:23 pm on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've blocked a number of advertisers that just were not showing relevant ads (ie - ebay, shopping.com, etc). Then I also block most of my competitor sites... Not the ones I respect and think are useful... just the crappy duplicate ones that are a black hole for anyone who visits.

All these steps seem to help me keep a healthy EPC...

Content_ed




msg:3467531
 12:13 am on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Works great, if you have room in the filter. We ran out some time back, very sad.

plumsauce




msg:3467595
 2:03 am on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

scams, e-mail harvesting campaigns or nothing but other ads.

I wonder what the ethical ramifications are with respect to the ad broker accepting these ads as inventory.

That would be the Google Adwords programme. You know, the one from the company with the slogan "do no evil"

At some point, all media, including the internet, bear some responsibility for vetting their content. Especially when there is money involved.

It is deplorable that print, broadcast and online media seem to be overrun with schemes touting get rich quick, work at home, debt consolidation, lose weight fast, no money down real estate, etc. promises for the gullible.

If they can't regulate themselves, then the FTC ought to get involved. I can hear all the tragic bleatings now from the media elite about "freedom of the press". Well, foo to you too. For once it might be a justified application of government intervention as it was originally believed. Regulation for the greater good.

jomaxx




msg:3467669
 4:54 am on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

I assume you're referring specifically to illegal scams, as there's nothing remotely unethical (much less "evil") about allowing advertisers to collect registrations or show ads on their websites.

Frankly I've never clicked through to a scam site from AdSense; in fact I'm not sure I've ever even seen an ad for one. I guess I'm doing the wrong searches.

zett




msg:3467713
 6:51 am on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

I assume you're referring specifically to illegal scams, as there's nothing remotely unethical (much less "evil") about allowing advertisers to collect registrations...

Registrations per se are not unethical or "evil". It's the way the collected data will be used in the future that may (or may not) be unethical or "evil". I think, for example, that registering for a piece of content or information at www.ibm.com after clicking an ad is less risky than registering at www.widgetdeals4cheap.com where no other information (i.e. other than the registration itself) can actually be seen. Why would I care to register to see deals for widgets?

I bet that the unlucky users who register for that email will see just more spam in their mailboxes in the future.

...or show ads on their websites.

Again, ads per se are not unethical or "evil". It's the balance between content and ads that make it into something that may be perceived as unethical or "evil". When, after clicking a promising ad, I arrive at a page that contains virtually no information at all, just ads, then I'd say this classifies as unethical.

Frankly I've never clicked through to a scam site from AdSense; in fact I'm not sure I've ever even seen an ad for one. I guess I'm doing the wrong searches.

Dude, you are lucky. There are few real scams out there in Adsense country, but I have seen at least two real scams.

1) One service that promises a "life balance check" and only tells you in the fine print that by registering you agree to them sending you a 99 Euro bill for their "service". Scam!

2) A group of sites that disguises as real widget shops with nothing but ads ("sponsored links") above the fold. Once you enter a search term, the browser opens a new window AND goes into full screen mode. There is NO WAY OUT for the visitor except shooting down that window using the task manager (at first, users will click on the ads a few times, though, to get out). Scam!

But I agree that most of the junk sites are not scams but just arbitrage sites. Which is bad enough.

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