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Adsense Ad Quality
Does Google check the quality?

 5:48 pm on Jun 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

After all those years we (better: some of us) have been complaining about arbitrageurs, we are still finding blatant MFAs advertising through Adsense.

For example this guy. The ad reads (paraphrased):

Foobar Hotel Widgetville
Book the Foobar Hotel in Widgetville
online at unbeatable rates!

This takes you to a page where you get eight sponsored results, powered by Overture (Yahoo! Search Marketing). No useful content at all. Zero. Just ads.

Now, I wonder WHY do they get past Google's quality control?

A) What 'quality control'?
B) They spend too much money with Google to say 'no'.
C) Google is affiliated with these guys.
D) They found a way to trick Google's 'quality control'.

I am undecided. Everything is possible. What's your take?



 4:50 am on Jun 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Weeks, I agree. Your list is excellent for starting-off the thinking process, and I will keep it handy for the time things are getting totally off-whack (note to self: do not put list too far away). :-)

Still, I'd prefer Google to act as a good partner, with good communication skills and the right tools and (the formerly) good eCPM. You see, there was a time when we were quite happy with Adsense.

Their program is not just the easiest thing around, it is also the only one that is available in all geographic regions which is key for our sites. 80% of our traffic comes from 20 countries, so any alternatives need to take that into consideration as well.

But again, thanks for the starting-point.


 8:10 am on Jun 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

A) What 'quality control'?

I asked this question several times on both adsense and adwords help groups and guess what? Got no answer but the standard canned response.

I got my personal idea that QC = choose sites that give google the best revenue. Can't explain all the crap adsense is still showing in a different way.


 2:32 pm on Jun 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Maybe the people here who use AdWords could help me on this. Didn't Google set some sort of standard for landing pages or did I just dream this?


 2:40 pm on Jun 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Didn't Google set some sort of standard for landing pages or did I just dream this?

In theory, but it's not really spelled out anywhere. QS for search does not take into account the landing page, but QS for content does. You don't get a "keyword inactive" flag in your account if your QS for content is bad, supposedly your ads just stop running.

About the most specific they'll get about the landing pages is that they should be in line with the general Google Webmaster Guidelines, anything else is kind of vague.


 10:16 pm on Jun 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

My personal experience:

1) Bad quality ads are still getting through, at the same time, these controls are having a negative side effects on legitimate ads. These automated quality controls needs to be more carefully thoughtout.

2) Front line staff need more training.


 3:15 am on Jun 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

3) Google bluntly ignores pleas from publishers to give them the tools needed to clean up the mess

4) Some publishers start to drop out due to poor ad quality and not being willing to be associated with the crap ads.
[I've noticed it helps if I don't send them all impressions, but instead run other things on a given % of the impressions, seems I can use up the inventory of halfway decent ads in my niche ...]
Even if this is the poor man's solution it'll only lead to less adsense ads, not more.


 6:17 am on Jun 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

"Google has quality control."

I agree, because quality control that is inadequate or flawed is still quality control.

"Google has a policy team that takes their job very seriously. User experience trumps all."
"I can say with absolute certainty that spend does not trump policy."

I believe that to be the case with Search. The AdWords team has worked to help advertisers like eBay and Target in writing, approving, and displaying ads that seem to be triggered by almost every imaginable keyword even if the advertiser has nothing to offer that truly matches the keyword, and the user experience suffers at the expense of the AdWords revenue.

An AdWords rep told me that there are different buildings for AdWords and AdSense, and that it is unlikely for people from one team to mingle with the other. One can presume that this was deliberate.


 2:33 pm on Jun 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Different buildings? Dude, they're in different states. AdWords is about a mile from me; I could see the building if it weren't for the trees. AdSense is probably still in California.


 9:20 pm on Jun 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Dude! That is so rad!


 2:58 am on Jun 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

3) Google bluntly ignores pleas from publishers to give them the tools needed to clean up the mess

Thats right. Every arbitrage, spam, mfa or whatever you want to call it is good for GOOG and thats why they do tolerate or even promote that. Just think about it. When you see what tools are available in AdWords and what tools are available in AdSense it is obvious that GOOG is ok with MFA and thats why we have the stupid spam filter limited to 200 spammers.

At least I'm a GOOG shareholder so I make some cash from this scam too.


 12:13 pm on Jun 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

As mentioned in the AdSense Help Center, our AdWords specialists make every effort to ensure that ads which may violate our policies do not run prior to review, though some ads may run on Google before they are checked. You can report inappropriate ads directly to the AdWords team via the ad feedback form [adwords.google.co.uk].

The Landing Page and Site Quality Guidelines are the guidelines mentioned on this thread. You can find them here [adwords.google.com]. For further details on Landing Page Quality, I recommend you also review this section [adwords.google.com] of the AdWords Help Center.


 6:23 am on Jun 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

our AdWords specialists make every effort to ensure

Thanks for the "clarification". Much appreciated.


 7:28 am on Jun 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

ASA, Zett and Januuski have permanent gripes. Just ignore them ;-) (you have been doing so for a very very long time, successfully I may add).

I am happy with the ads.. Now just fix the realization from the adlinks...Something wrong there..


 7:56 am on Jun 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Now just fix the realization from the adlinks...Something wrong there..

Agreed, mine now have abnormally low EPC, and perhaps not coincidentally, they also have a variety of weird links to Satan [keyword] frequently showing up, which may be attracting worthless curiosity clicks.


 6:04 am on Jun 22, 2008 (gmt 0)


Zett and Januuski have permanent gripes.

Just to be clear here - I *do* have gripes if a company I am dealing with tells me (through an officially appointed contact) "we treat you and your comments seriously" when I am seeing exactly the opposite (like many here in the forum).

Especially when I think about the quality of the ads that Google places on our sites. They clearly have a problem with the ad quality. A look into my filter list is 100% proof for that. Now, this would not be a big problem to me IF they provided us the tools to fix the mess ourselves. But they don't do that. For some strange reason they think that publishers are some kind of brainless suppliers that do not deserve ANY tools (except the 200 slots of the oh-that-is-already-too-much competitive filter). Instead they tell us that their Adwords (Adwords?) quality control "makes every effort to ensure" the ad quality. This is not what I am seeing, and again - I'm not the only one.

So why jump in a thread that discusses a serious problem of the Adsense program and give just a boilerplate reply? Silence is -sometimes- golden. :-(

This 45 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 45 ( 1 [2]
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