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You can now stop promoting the $0 affiliate program
Onsite advertiser sign-up feature to be retired
oddsod




msg:3526705
 1:33 pm on Dec 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Our recent findings indicate that the Onsite Advertiser Sign-up feature, which allowed advertisers to sign up for AdWords campaigns on your site, hasn't been performing as well as we had hoped.

According to Adsense [groups.google.com], it didn't work, wasn't a good idea and $0 commissions don't get webmasters all fired up.

You don't say!

When they announced it two years ago I started a thread [webmasterworld.com] condemning this free advertising they were screwing me for. Adsense Advisor dropped in to tell us they were listening, blah, blah. Net result: They continued running it for over two years and now they're discontinuing it so you can earn more money. Yeah, sure! ;)

 

adfree




msg:3526773
 2:47 pm on Dec 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google is one of the better examples to recognize and fix issues. But with size will come disconnect and we will experience more lowdowns.

Not to be afraid to correct mistakes though should go hand in hand with innovation and this is what they do really well.

zett




msg:3526778
 2:51 pm on Dec 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

It's interesting to re-read the whole thread, especially EFV's comment on the quality of the idea...

I think it's a great idea

As it turns out, the idea was indeed great (as everything that comes from Google these days), but it did not work as intended (in fact, it did not work at all).

If Google were honest and focused, they would admit that they are a two-trick pony (search and PPC advertising). All the other products/solutions/ideas neither attract substantial traffic nor bring in any money. I guess, it probably hurts too much to admit this.

Sidenote - yesterday evening was a report on German TV, featuring a Google employee that told the interviewer "that knowledge is power, and the more knowledge any given single person has, the more power that person has". I immediately thought about Adsense and the amount of information we as publishers receive from Google, and how powerful this information actually makes us. (Hint: We get next to no information, and we have actually next to no power at all.)

europeforvisitors




msg:3526842
 3:56 pm on Dec 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

As it turns out, the idea was indeed great (as everything that comes from Google these days), but it did not work as intended (in fact, it did not work at all).

It was a great idea, but it suffered from two problems:

1) It was ahead of its time (it would have much more potential if contextual site-targeting were available); and...

2) The vast majority of "AdSense sites" aren't good enough to get inquiries via "Advertise on this site" links, so the links had a low clickthrough rate. Maybe Google should consider displaying "Advertise on this site" links on sites that have a proven record of attracting site targeting. That shouldn't be too hard to implement.

ronin




msg:3526846
 4:07 pm on Dec 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

I really didn't have a problem with it. Especially not, given that you could edit the copy of the Onsite Advertiser signup page.

I edited it to make sure that potential advertisers who had clicked through were aware of two options available to them:

1) They could contact me directly via my (stated) email address and we would arrange a direct deal with no intermediaries.

2) They could sign up for Google Adwords and let Google automate the campaigns.

I don't know for certain how many direct advertisers I've had over the last couple of years who emailed me because of the information on that page which Google kindly hosted on my behalf, but I'd be surprised if it were none at all.

oddsod




msg:3526848
 4:08 pm on Dec 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

ronin, the vast majority of publishers don't have time to keep up with every Adsense blog announcement and make changes to ensure they don't suffer from every opt-out trick played on their accounts. A good faith practice would be to make such "innovations" opt-in. In any event, how much of commission did you make from the sign-ups you generated for Adwords?

it would have much more potential if contextual site-targeting

Now that they've admitted you and I make more money with that adware removed, it would be difficult for them to justify going back to that fantastic $0 commission affiliate program. Especially if they penalised only quality sites (what a preposterous idea even for you, EFV!)

farmboy




msg:3526886
 4:40 pm on Dec 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

It was a great idea, but it suffered from two problems:

I think it was a great idea but I have contended all along the primary problem was the way it was implemented, which was downright misleading to potential advertisers.

If I visit widgets.com and see an "Advertise on this site" link, I expect I will be able to click and advertise on widgets.com

The way Google implemented this feature, someone who clicked on the link was basically being invited to sign up for AdWords & master all the nuances of AdWords and then maybe, IF all the stars line up just right, SOME of the advertiser's ad spending might result in their ad appearing on widgets.com sometime.

FarmBoy

europeforvisitors




msg:3526888
 4:42 pm on Dec 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Oddsod: Jeez, you were upset about the feature when they had it, and you're still upset about it now that they don't? It's gone. Relax. Don't worry, be happy! :-)

Farmboy: Great analysis. I think you've nailed it.

europeforvisitors




msg:3526954
 5:46 pm on Dec 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

By the way, the online advertiser sign-up feature's lack of success may be indicative of another problem that AdSense faces: the complexity of the system, and its unfriendliness to new, small mom-and-pop advertisers. The basic concept of contextual text ads is simple: "Buy a text ad, and we'll show it to prospects on many different sites." But when a potential advertiser goes to buy an ad for his B&B in Widgetville or her doggie gift-basket service in Poughkeepsie, the reality turns out to be more complicated. I'd guess that a lot of the people who clicked "Advertise on this site" bailed out once they saw that buying AdSense ads is a lot more complicated than picking up the phone and buying a classified newspaper ad or posting an ad on Craigslist.

menial




msg:3527371
 3:28 am on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

It was a great idea

Now you can go back and edit or delete your 10,000+ posts ;). The topic starter realized it was not a great idea on the same day the idea was announced... not after two years.

europeforvisitors




msg:3527387
 3:58 am on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Menial, it [i]was[i] a great idea, but--as farmboy and I have pointed out--it wasn't implemented well. As any editor or engineer can tell you, ideas are a dime a dozen; execution is what counts.

potentialgeek




msg:3527403
 4:37 am on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Why did it take two years for Google to figure out it was a bad idea and/or they couldn't figure out how to execute it properly?

It's just yet more evidence that Google rushes to implement new ideas without proper full testing. You get channels glitches, ad code limited to certain site glitches, etc., etc., and on and on.

And yet you get this official fluff--the decision was based on: "our unwavering commitment to our publishers."

The unwavering commitment to our publishers whom we forgot to ask if they could promote Adwords for us free.

The idea: tacky.
The implementation: tacky.
The exit: tacky.

p/g

koan




msg:3527422
 5:34 am on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Why did it take two years for Google to figure out it was a bad idea

I don't know about you but many other companies would just keep using it. At least Google is capable of rectifying it, if not early, at least at some point. I'd hate to see this thread (too late?) turn into sour grapes on the announcement of good news!

moTi




msg:3527504
 9:01 am on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

i admit i was very enthusiastic when this feature was introduced. initially, i really hoped that there would arise some competition and that the advertisers would outbid each other to show up in my ad blocks. but after some weeks it already became apparent, that this was a non-starter and i canceled it. the aforementioned explanations in this thread as to why seem plausible to me.

but it's the same disillusion as with site targeting in general. it simply won't work as hoped. for me, one of the biggest disappointments in adsense history. i wonder for how many of you site targeting seems to really work, meaning that you recognize (in your stats), that advertisers in sufficient amount compete to show exclusively in your ad blocks? probably very few.

oddsod




msg:3527569
 11:00 am on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)


The idea: tacky.
The implementation: tacky.
The exit: tacky.
p/g

potentialgeek, in Google's favour, they are willing to try new things, to innovate, to experiment. That's a Good Thing. Today's Good Innovation is Ad Review Center [groups.google.com]. And it's because of this innovation that we have Adsense in the first place. And I am grateful to them for that.

However, you are right on all three scores.

I think it was a great idea
I think you've nailed it

We'll have to agree to disagree on this. It was a rubbish idea. Always was a rubbish idea.

Maybe Google should consider displaying "Advertise on this site" links on sites that have a proven record of attracting site targeting.

My call is that they shouldn't. If I'm "upset" about anything it's as the owner of quality sites ... when other webmasters suggest to Google to penalise me.

aleksl




msg:3527763
 3:34 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

You see crap - you opt out.

We have "advertise with us" link on every page of our content site. And it brings WAY MORE money than AdSense. Why on earth would I want to give my better paying DIRECT clients to G$$gle in a faint hope that THAT would create more competition for my KWds?

Seriously, folks, count your beans better, it is simple math, really.

Good riddance.

europeforvisitors




msg:3527829
 4:12 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

We have "advertise with us" link on every page of our content site. And it brings WAY MORE money than AdSense. Why on earth would I want to give my better paying DIRECT clients to G$$gle in a faint hope that THAT would create more competition for my KWds?

If you're worried about losing direct ad sales to AdSense, why have AdSense on your pages at all?

On my site (and, I suspect, on many others), AdSense ads serve different markets and different purposes than other types of ads. I don't even want to get ad inquiries from the guy with a B&B in Widgetville, the travel agent who's selling Elbonian inner-tube cruises, or the general advertiser who wants to buy 10,000 text-ad impressions across the site. If Google can sell ads to those people and send me some of the impressions and clicks, more power to them.

Still, why do we continue to fight this battle in a Webmaster World thread? The feature is gone, finis, dead--at least for now. RIP "Advertise on this site."

RonS




msg:3527834
 4:16 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you didn't like it (which I didn't) opting out of it was a very simple thing to do.

oddsod




msg:3527992
 6:48 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Opting out is what spammers offer.

I've got opt out fatigue.

europeforvisitors




msg:3528070
 7:52 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Opting out is what spammers offer.

AdSense is an opt-in program.

oddsod




msg:3528102
 8:36 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I was wondering when that ol' chestnut would make an appearance! :)

europeforvisitors




msg:3528110
 8:56 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Chestnut? It's a simple fact. Anyway, it's a moot point now, so why continue to complain about a feature that's being eliminated?

oddsod




msg:3528434
 10:26 am on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>being eliminated
Opting you in automatically is not something Google is anywhere close to "eliminating". And I'm not talking just Adsense.

I'm sorry this thread is bothering you so much. Brett should really offer the option for people to opt-out of threads they don't like :)

europeforvisitors




msg:3528529
 3:55 pm on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Opting you in automatically is not something Google is anywhere close to "eliminating".

I thought we were talking about the online advertising sign-up feature. Or is this just another "Google noise" thread?

zett




msg:3528536
 4:05 pm on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Or is this just another "Google noise" thread?

What is a "Google noise" thread?

europeforvisitors




msg:3528547
 4:27 pm on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I believe the term was coined by Tedster in the Google Search News forum. It refers to a thread that wanders off-topic into a general bitch session about Google.

greatstart




msg:3528563
 4:46 pm on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

You can now stop promoting the $0 affiliate program

Good, I never did use that feature. There are a few others that I think they should retire too.

oddsod




msg:3528589
 6:06 pm on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

greatstart, the good news is that they do drop in and read our comments here.

EFV, to me "noise" is the banging of the drum and the tune of Google Hallelujah.

europeforvisitors




msg:3528601
 7:09 pm on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Maybe I'm missing something, but how does saying that an idea was poorly implemented constitute banging the drum or singing a Google hallelujah?

Rodney




msg:3528616
 8:02 pm on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think it was a great idea but I have contended all along the primary problem was the way it was implemented, which was downright misleading to potential advertisers.

If I visit widgets.com and see an "Advertise on this site" link, I expect I will be able to click and advertise on widgets.com

The way Google implemented this feature, someone who clicked on the link was basically being invited to sign up for AdWords & master all the nuances of AdWords and then maybe, IF all the stars line up just right, SOME of the advertiser's ad spending might result in their ad appearing on widgets.com sometime.

I think this is very true.

I think the system was confusing even for existing adwords advertisers.

As an adwords advertiser, there were several sites that I saw the "Advertise on this site" link on. I clicked the link hoping to get an easy way to see my text ads on that site.

What I got was a long, confusing process that never really told me how to get my ads there. I ended up giving up.

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