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AdWord Quality Scores Not Slowing AdSense Junk
Junk Ads Put Site Reputations at Stake
incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 11:10 pm on May 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Today was one of the absolute worse bunch of AdSense ads that I've seen in such a long time I came very close to actually pulling the plug on AdSense altogether. There were ads for all sorts of junk linking to sites that didn't have what it claimed, Amazon affiliates, off topic garbage, even phone company directory listings, it was a complete fiasco. Because of all the junk, it was the first time in a long time I decided to spend some time and weed it out by hand, not like AdSense makes it easy, especially when your filter list is full.

There is no real quality checking on the AdSense side and we have no real control unless ads are "targeted" direct to our sites. I'm at the point that I don't care if the AdSense ads are targeted or not, they show up on my site and that's all the targeting I care about. It's my site and my reputation at stake for this junk, not Google's, because people remember they saw that junk on my site, not that Google put it there.

If AdSense wants to continue to be placed on quality sites they will need to add more ad reviews and controls for the webmaster or AdSense might find itself kicked to the curb if these poor quality ads continue.

Am I the only one seeing this junk?

Does Google care we're unhappy with this junk?

What will it take to give publishers some control short of a mass exodus?

 

ken_b

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 11:41 pm on May 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well the placement targeted ads are no prizes either. I'm blocking about 90% of all the new ones that show up. And I set my prefs to block the ads until approved, (that really only blocks them for 24 hours though, then they automatically get to run unless you block them later)

Apparently the targeted ads aren't quality/relevance checked at all by Google.

The CPC text ads are another issue.

I'm seriously thinking of just pulling the ads altogether, or at least drastically reducing their space/numbers, and I only have 1 adblock and 1 adlinks unit on most pages to start with.

I've not made any effort to sell ad space directly, but that option is looking better every day.

Scurramunga

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 11:55 pm on May 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

There were ads for all sorts of junk linking to sites that didn't have what it claimed, Amazon affiliates, off topic garbage, even phone company directory listings, it was a complete fiasco....Am I the only one seeing this junk?

YES YES YES!. Thank you very much Bill. I do see this crap, although in most instances it tends to occur outside the regions of my targeted niche. The same bottom feeding ads are queued up waiting to creep into my main niche area (USA, Canada, UK) in times fo the day/month/year when bidding and advertiser inventory declines in those regions.

Where are those members who came along to my thread and diverted the topic from one about poor quality ads to poor quality site. See:
[webmasterworld.com...]

wyweb



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 12:09 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

Any relation?

[webmasterworld.com ]

farmboy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member farmboy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 12:21 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm suddenly getting a lot of ads where targeting is only about a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10 where the pages typically get ads that are about 9 or 10. I haven't changed anything on the pages.

However, today my EPC is about 2-1/2 times normal.

Something strange is happening in the cyber world.

FarmBoy

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 12:45 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

My ads seem to be good, and targeted to each page. But that's just what I see.

But I think if you want to get a message to the Adwords people, you should probably enter this in the AdWords forum. Whether or not anything comes of it, at least AWA passes the feedback along in his report to others at Google.

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 1:10 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

My ads seem to be good

Most of mine looked OK but it was the couple of problem ads that started the process.

I figured where there's smoke there might be fire so I looked at every ad on the page and although the ads looked good, what was being displayed were ads that simply didn't match what was being advertised or was a completely junk page.

To put it mildly, the pages having problems were full of bait & switch ads, which reflects on the reputation of my site which is where people see them.

[edited by: incrediBILL at 1:11 am (utc) on May 23, 2008]

dibbern2

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 1:53 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

Not sure this applies to anyone else, but in my sector I think I get the junk ads every weekend, starting on Friday and continuing thru Sunday. The effect is apparent in my eCPM and CTR on those days. Come Monday morning, they're gone and my eCPM and CTR make a significant jump, which maintains thru sometime on the next Friday.

I'm figuring that this holiday weekend is starting today (Thursday), so that makes today kind of like a regular Friday, and Monday will show results akin to a Sunday, except probably even worse.

Wether I-Bill might be seeing an extra helping of junk ads because of the Memorial Day holiday is possible. I'm not saying that's the whole enchilada, or making light of G's problems with serving bad ads to good sites.

Scurramunga

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 2:23 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

Wether I-Bill might be seeing an extra helping of junk ads because of the Memorial Day holiday is possible

I would say that you have hit the nail. Low advertiser inventory lowers the threshold to the bottom feeders.

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 2:35 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

Low advertiser inventory lowers the threshold to the bottom feeders.

Theoretically there shouldn't be any bottom feeders left if Google's screening them for quality.

Besides, my site tends to be very popular on some holidays, so low inventory means I should show all these people garbage just because it's a holiday?

No thanks, PSA's anyone?

farmboy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member farmboy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 2:54 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

FWIW, I don't completely buy the theory that most advertisers turn off their PPC ads on holidays. If I were an advertiser I might not want my ads to run on a radio few people may listen to over the holiday, but this is PPC, not CPM advertising.

If I get 2 out of 100 clicks to convert, I'd want my ads to keep running to get past those 98 rejections. It might not happen as fast on a holiday, but as long as my conversion rate remained the same, shutting down ads makes no sense.

It's like the hardware store owner who actively promotes the selling of lawnmowers in the winter. He doesn't sell many, but he sells more than he would if the mowers were out of sight in the backroom. And he gets just about all the sales in town as he is the only one still pushing lawnmowers.

...but in my sector I think I get the junk ads every weekend, starting on Friday and continuing thru Sunday.

Also FWIW, on Thursday my EPC was lower than normal, but over the course of the day I generated an above average number of impressions. On Friday, impressions were back to normal but the EPC had jumped up to 2-1/2 times normal. It's almost like AdSense is rewarding me with higher earnings per click today because I generated a lot more impressions yesterday.

Sometimes I think AdSense is as sly as a video poker machine.

FarmBoy

Car_Guy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 2:59 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)


Today was one of the absolute worse bunch of AdSense ads that I've seen in such a long time I came very close to actually pulling the plug on AdSense altogether. There were ads for all sorts of junk linking to sites that didn't have what it claimed, Amazon affiliates, off topic garbage, even phone company directory listings, it was a complete fiasco. Because of all the junk, it was the first time in a long time I decided to spend some time and weed it out by hand, not like AdSense makes it easy, especially when your filter list is full.

There is no real quality checking on the AdSense side and we have no real control unless ads are "targeted" direct to our sites. I'm at the point that I don't care if the AdSense ads are targeted or not, they show up on my site and that's all the targeting I care about. It's my site and my reputation at stake for this junk, not Google's, because people remember they saw that junk on my site, not that Google put it there.

If AdSense wants to continue to be placed on quality sites they will need to add more ad reviews and controls for the webmaster or AdSense might find itself kicked to the curb if these poor quality ads continue.


These comments hit home with me more than anything else I've read on here in quite some time.

Now all we need is for a Google employee with the power to make changes to read this and then actually make some changes.

Until that happens, threads like this serve as a venue to vent but ultimately produce nothing. Sorry, man.

Scurramunga

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 3:10 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

Theoretically there shouldn't be any bottom feeders left if Google's screening them for quality.

Evidently, Googles efforts to screen for quality via QS fails dismally on many fronts. Or they may have set the bar far too low.

swa66

WebmasterWorld Senior Member swa66 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 11:26 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'd not mind if Google would raise the quality bar with a huge leap forward (think 100 times at hard to get in as advertiser). The faster it happens the better.

If that means they have no ads targeted for my site left: so be it, I'll use alternate ads.

I'm actually applying for Ad manager to see what it can do and how granular i get control there (to see if I can replace my own ad management with it, and intend to sell more directly at the cost of less adsense.

Scurramunga: yes, venting is what it is, but it's also what's needed to try to grab attention of ASA or better : the top brass at GOOG. And failign that it might be whats needed by competitors to spot their market opportunities.

farmboy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member farmboy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 12:32 pm on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hmmm. My site stats this morning show a much higher than usual CTR and thus higher earnings for this time of the day.

Yet I just visited three of my sites and it seems all AdSense ads have disappeared.

FarmBoy

celgins

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 1:18 pm on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

There is no real quality checking on the AdSense side and we have no real control unless ads are "targeted" direct to our sites.

I agree with this statement.

I know Google will never reveal exactly how they implement QS for advertisers, but it doesn't seem to work very well.

Ad-copy is still shaky and headlines are littered with misspellings and inappropriate keywords.

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 2:56 pm on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

FWIW, I don't completely buy the theory that most advertisers turn off their PPC ads on holidays.

I run advertising for a dozen clients, many of which are B2B, and I sure don't turn off the PPC ads on weekends or holidays. For any account. Ever.

I know Google will never reveal exactly how they implement QS for advertisers, but it doesn't seem to work very well.

Yet if you go over to the AdWords forums, there are plenty of advertisers over there screaming because their quality scores have been lowered such that they can't continue to advertise.

Expecting Google to step in on behalf of the publishers is naive. They won't.

The goals of the advertiser and the publisher are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but somehow, there's great Great Wall separating them (even on WebmasterWorld) so that they *both* feel like they're being had by Google and by each other.

How do you get past that? Personally, I think everyone who is involved in either side should be reading and participating in both forums, because the two sides are so tied together.

Hobbs

WebmasterWorld Senior Member hobbs us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 5:26 pm on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

Fully agree with you netmeg.

I also agree that bad targeting leads to junk ads, I'm used to the bad targeting waves, it's either a regular contextual algo change like a sine wave, or Google's way of distributing all level of ad inventory equally, or a regular ad inventory fluctuation, whatever it is, it's nothing you can fight effectively, except by lowering ads per page or turning off CPM, picking fleas one at a time is futile and very aggravating given the tools provided.

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 8:35 pm on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

I also agree that bad targeting leads to junk ads

My targeting is just fine thanks so let's not go there.

This is a case where many of the ads were deceptive so they hit my targeting and showed other junk.

It's even possible they're cloaking to deceive Google to avoid the QS problem as that's the only reason I can even grasp that such junk is allowed in the AdSense network unless the almighty dollar bottomline is stronger than QS.

Expecting Google to step in on behalf of the publishers is naive. They won't.

Technically, Google *IS* a publisher and runs the ads on their network, and they bend over backwards for premium publishers, so why should we be treated like the ugly stepchild?

OK, here's the real rub for me, I sell a lot direct ads on my site and have run into conflicts with advertisers where I decline to run their ads that either see competitors ads in AdSense or go to AdWords and run ads that end up on my site. This gets somewhat dicey when you can't apply the rules evenly because of a 3rd party vendor and I sure as heck don't want to end up getting sued over it.

zett

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 11:22 am on May 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Am I the only one seeing this junk?

Absolutely not. I think the scammers come in waves, and it is beyond any comprehension (to me, that is) why Google actually allows them in. Some of the junk ads are so easy to spot, that one wonders whether ANYONE works at the Adsense department at all (except for that reply-bot-coding intern who works part-time).

Does Google care we're unhappy with this junk?

Apparently not. Looking at their long (and outstanding) track record of ignoring publisher requests (be it simply a bigger filter, or more sophisticated reports and tools), I have given up hope that this will change. (Then again, if only the part-time intern who codes reply-bots, who should actually care?)

What will it take to give publishers some control short of a mass exodus?

A strong, smart competitor. MSFT would be perfect, but they act as cluelessly as always by pursuing (or having pursued) that YHOO deal. It amazes me time and again that MSFT can not get their act together and build a competitor. -- In fact, I think it requires a startup to come up with this prooduct. (Plans are ready, but I have been too lazy to look for financing. If interested, please send a sticky.)

zett

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 11:44 am on May 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

why should we be treated like the ugly stepchild?

THIS question has bothered me for a long time. I think it is a dangerous mix of "they [the publishers] don't know what they don't know" and "bottom line is stronger than blood".

1) they [the publishers] don't know what they don't know

Again, Google's track record of disguising their operations also works very well (cough) for Adsense. Not only are we being kept in the dark what exactly generates the income, we do not even know who advertises on our sites. I would not be surprised if they at some point in time disable the preview tool and replace it with nothing. Google thinks along the lines of "the less anyone knows about us, the better".

2) bottom line is stronger than blood

Well, Google is not a charity. They have to satisfy analysts and stockholders. Their core product (Search with Adwords) seems to have reached full saturation in certain markets; other products are so mediocre in terms of monetization that basically just Adsense is left to tell some type of "growth story" to the markets. However, they need to provide proof for this and thus take the money and run. From time to time, they disable advertisers or large publishers, but that's just eye candy. If they were REALLY caring for their product, they would have cleaned up both advertisers and publishers. (But as I said above, just one part-time intern is hardly capable of doing that.)

potentialgeek

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 10:54 pm on May 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I suspect many abusers use throw-away domains, so it's good to recheck your blacklist (filtered domains) once in a while and discard the sites or domains no longer in use.

Some publishers could be "filtering" 100 domains or more which are no longer in use. (Banned by Google/whatever.)

But in my sector it seems a new abuser enters the fray every day, which makes whack-a-mole a waste of time.

We've been complaining about this limited filter for years and Google remains very obstinate. That could prompt some geek to hack into the Adsense control panel at the Plex and give us all an unlimited domain filter! 8->

p/g

Januuski



 
Msg#: 3656924 posted 3:01 am on May 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

incrediBILL, I'm not surprised to hear about your situation. I have been the only one here complaining about this for years. Google will never give us any tools other than the stupid filter that will allow us to fight spammers or to have some control over what is being displayed on our websites.

You have to accept it or you have to leave.

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